[extropy-chat] Humans--non-rational mode

Lee Corbin lcorbin at tsoft.com
Fri Mar 10 08:49:29 UTC 2006

Russell writes

> On 3/10/06, Lee Corbin <lcorbin at tsoft.com> wrote:
> > I'm sure that I speak for many when I say that my immortal
> > purposes involve doing away with my genes altogether. So
> > it doesn't matter what *my* purposes are. The important
> > question is "Have the human genes made a TERRIFIC mistake, 
> > not only in immolating themselves, but in destroying all
> > DNA on Earth?"  Most likely answer is "Yes, they have."
> > Because the odds are very against humanity just simply
> > puttering along in its present bio-form for much longer. 
> And there I disagree. The odds were always against that, 
> and are especially so if we fail to reach Singularity; 
> and if nothing else, the sun would autoclave the biosphere 
> in a few hundred million years anyway. I don't care so 
> much about the technology of information storage on 
> deoxyribonucleic acid per se, but if I have any say in 
> the matter (which I may not, but the odds are at least 
> a little better than if we'd never come down from the 
> trees), the essential part of the information carried
> in our genes will outlive the stars themselves. Doesn't 
> sound like a mistake to me.

We're operating on different levels. I'm thinking biology:

    Gene: The fundamental physical and functional unit of
    heredity. A gene is an ordered sequence of nucleotides
    located in a particular position on a particular
    chromosome that encodes a specific functional product
    (ie, a protein or RNA molecule).

Those things---in the sense that they're "selfish" a la
Dawkins---have made an awful mistake that greatly imperils
their survival.

You're evidently thinking of our genes' collective hypothesis
that there is a niche for a thinking general purpose creature.
Indeed, the algorithms and propensities that the human genes
have created (what you're calling the essential part of the
information) entertain a good chance of scoring really big
in this universe.


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