[ExI] Evolution (was: Re: Essential Upload Data)
ben at zaiboc.net
Wed May 20 20:56:18 UTC 2020
On 20/05/2020 13:49, Re Rose wrote:
> EVOLUTION FINDS BRILLIANT SOLUTIONS to many problems, and even
> evolutionary algorithims quickly lead to novel and adaptable
> solutions! Don't be mean to evolution.
Evolution definitely does not come up with 'brilliant' solutions to any
problems. That's not how it works. It comes up with just-good-enough
solutions, that result in more offspring. That's its job, that's all it
has to do, and that's all it does, or even can do.
This is why we have such terrible solutions as the recurrent laryngeal
nerve, the inside-out mammalian eye, and the ridiculously inefficent
Okazaki fragments in DNA replication, that /every single organism on the
earth/ is stuck with. Don't tell me that these are 'brilliant
solutions'. They are afwul bodges. But they work just well enough to not
kill a potential parent before it can produce offspring. It's these
kinds of things that show the 'intelligent design' religious nuts to be
It's not being mean to point out that evolution is a bit like democracy,
in that it's a terrible system, but the best one we know of. So far.
In fact, that's not really true. We don't know what system would work
better than democracy, but we do actually know that deliberate design
usually works much better than evolution. That includes using
evolutionary algorithms, because there is a meta level sitting above it
that makes deliberate decisions about the longer-term usefulness of an
evolved system, instead of blind selection for fitness under local
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