[ExI] Evolution

John Clark johnkclark at gmail.com
Sat May 23 12:11:30 UTC 2020

On Sat, May 23, 2020 at 1:30 AM The Avantguardian via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

* > It is true that deleterious mutations are more common than beneficial
> ones.*

Deleterious mutations are astronomically more common and many of them are
lethal; while the super rare beneficial mutations are only slightly
beneficial. And that's one reason Evolution is so agonizingly slow.

* > It is the price that life pays for searching fitness-space for greener
> pastures on the other side of the valley of death.*

And that price was so large that there was huge evolutionary pressure to
find a better way to make good behavioral decisions in a quickly changing
environment and to make those decisions rapidly. And so Evolution invented
brains, although it took it over 3 billion years to do so.

*> That being said, automotive engines display a different sort of
> complexity than living systems. The complexity of the car engine is imposed
> upon it a top-down fashion.*

That's true but the fundamental difference between a car engine and a
horse's muscle is not in the top-down vs bottom-up distinction, it's
between random mutation and natural selection vs intelligent design. And
I'm not talking about God, He didn't invent the car engine.

* > In 1848, a railroad worker named Phineas Gage had a three foot iron bar
> blasted completely through his skull and brain by an explosive charge. Mr.
> Gage nonetheless continued to function quite well actually. My laptop or
> most technology today could not survive that.*

He didn't function quite well. Mr. Gage's personality changed dramatically
after his accident, before it he was described as a friendly careful and
rather straight laced man, after it he was described as unfriendly, fitful,
irreverent, capricious and indulged in the "*grossest profanity*". He also
suffered from epileptic seizures until one eventually killed him. When my
computer starts behaving insanely I just turn it off and then turn it back
on and 99% of the time that simple reboot fixes the problem, but
unfortunatly there was no way to do that to Mr.Gage.

John K Clark
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