[ExI] endpoint of evolution: was RE: why anger?

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Sat Feb 27 04:08:47 UTC 2010

On 27 February 2010 04:00, spike <spike66 at att.net> wrote:

> What is the ultimate endpoint of evolution?
> We can imagine a planet with a climate like ours today with about a billion
> well-fed well-educated humans and a bunch of areas where humans never go,
> filled with lots of bugs and other interesting beasts, all in an equilibrium
> with little change over millenia until the heat death of the universe,
> forever and ever amen.
> Many in the environmental movement picture this, but I consider it an
> unlikely outcome.  Rather, I envision a continually changing chaotic system
> pressing towards (I hope) increasing intelligence with ever improving means
> of making matter ever more efficient in thinking.
> Thought experiment: picture the earth as it was for most of its 5 billion
> year history: a big rock with the only lifeform being blue-green algal mats.
> If we saw it that way, we might say this is a big waste, there are no
> thought being thunk here.  The actual metals (everything that isn't hydrogen
> or helium) is idle.  Multicellular life comes along, Prerecambrian
> explosion, dinosaurs, etc, now suddenly right at the endgame, sentient
> beings show up.
> >From the point of view of an MBrain, the overwhelming majority of the metals
> on this planet still are unemployed with thought, with the rare exception of
> a few billion scattered points of proto-thought.
> My notion of an endpoint of evolution is that these few points of
> proto-thought create mind children capable of robust thought, and eventually
> put all the available metals to the task.  With a mere few grams or perhaps
> a few kg of those metals, we could simulate all the interesting currently
> extant lifeforms, and use other metals to simulate other possible
> evolutionary paths, demonstrating something about which I have long been
> fascinated: convergent evolution, as seen in the ratites.
> Until we get all the metals thinking in the form of computronium, they are
> going to waste.  We need to get on it, since we have a limited time before
> the heat death of the universe, perhaps as short as a few hundred billion
> years.
> Question please: is there any other logical endpoint for evolution besides
> an MBrain?

You know, of course, that evolution has no purpose or "endpoint". If
life on Earth devolves to protoslime that's fine by evolution, just as
good as an MBrain.

Stathis Papaioannou

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