[ExI] Benchmarking the Singularity

William Flynn Wallace foozler83 at gmail.com
Sun Jul 21 16:52:34 UTC 2019

Well, John, that's a lot of interesting information and no joke.

The eye - is it possible that if strong sunlight were to aim directly at
retinal cells it would be too strong?  If so, then it's not backwards.
It's a necessary filter.  (I don't mean looking directly at the sun, but
just, say, light bounced off a white building, or a strong fire.)

Your last paragraph reminds me of a metaphor I invented a while back:
there are two frogs - one can make a vertical leap of 5 inches and the
other 6 inches.  Both are presented with stairs that are 6 inches high.
One can go to the top and the other cannot go anywhere.  Perhaps a
difference this small is what separates us from the other apes.

bill w

On Sun, Jul 21, 2019 at 6:33 AM John Clark <johnkclark at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Sat, Jul 20, 2019 at 6:26 PM William Flynn Wallace <foozler83 at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> > I do not have the knowledge to challenge your statement that
>> intelligent design produces fewer errors than DNA,
> The fundamental problem isn't with DNA but with the process of Evolution
> itself, here are a few reasons for it's poor performance, the most
> important one is the last:
> 1) Time Lags: Evolution is so slow the animal is adapted to conditions
> that no longer exist. that's why moths have an instinct to fly into candle
> flames. I have no doubt that if you just give them a million years or so
> Evolution  will give hedgehogs a better defense  than rolling up into a
> ball when confronted by their major predator, the automobile. The only
> problem is that  by then there won't be any automobiles.
> 2) Historical Constraints: The eye of all vertebrate animals is backwards.
> The connective tissue of the retina is on the wrong side so light must pass
> through it before it hits the light sensitive cells. And the nerve caring
> the visual information to the brain must pass through the retina causing a
> blind spot. There's no doubt all this degrades vision and we'd be better
> off if the retina was reversed as it is in squids whose eye evolved
> independently, but It's too late for that to happen now because the
> intermediate forms would not be viable.
> Once a standard is set, with all its interlocking mechanisms it's very
> difficult to abandon it completely, even when much better methods are
> found. That's why we still have inches and yards even though the metric
> system is clearly superior.  You mentioned Windows and that's why it's
> still around, Nature is enormously conservative, it may add new things but
> it doesn't abandon the old because the intermediate stages must also work.
> That's also why we have all the old brain structures that lizards have as
> well as new ones.
> 3) Lack of Genetic Variation : Mutations are random and you might not get
> the mutation you need when you need it. Feathers work better for flight
> than the skin flaps bats use, but bats never produced the right mutations
> for feathers and skin flaps are good enough.
> 4) Constraints of Costs and Materials: Life is a tangle of trade offs and
> compromises. An Advantage on one Level is a Disadvantage on Another. One
> gene can give you resistance to malaria, a second identical gene will give
> you sickle cell anemia.
> 5) Evolution  has no foresight: This is the most important reason of all.
> A jet engine works better than a prop engine in an airplane. I give you a
> prop engine and tell you to turn it into a jet, BUT you must do it while
> the engine is running, and you must do it in one million small steps, and
> you must do it so every one of those small steps improves the operation of
> the engine. Eventually you would get an improved engine of some sort, but
> it wouldn't look anything like a jet. If the tire on your car is getting
> worn you can take it off and put a new one on, but evolution could never do
> something like that, because when you take the old tire off you have
> temporally made things worse, now you have no tire at all. With evolution
> EVERY step (generation), no matter how small, MUST be an immediate
> improvement over the previous one. And it can't think more than one step
> ahead, it doesn't understand one step backward two steps forward, but a
> intelligent designer, like a human, can
>> > but it does seem that much software is extremely buggy.  Look at the
>> other discussion by Stewart angry with MS and Windows.
> Intelligence has been designing MS Windows for about 35 years but
> Evolution has been "designing" DNA for 3.5 BILLION years, and yet the vagus
> nerve that connects the brain of a giraffe to its larynx is over 15 feet
> long even though the two organs are less than a foot apart, the vagus nerve
> runs all the way down the neck and then double backs and goes back up the
> neck to the larynx. If Evolution could think ahead that would never happen,
> but it can't and it can't backtrack either and start over because every
> change it makes must improve things *right now*.
> And speaking of DNA, that places an upper bound on how complex a seed AI
> would have to be. In the entire human genome there are only 3 billion base
> pairs. There are 4 bases so each base can represent 2 bits, there are 8
> bits per byte so that comes out to 750 meg. Just 750 meg, that's about the
> same amount of information as an old CD disk could hold when they first
> came out 40 years ago! And the 750 meg isn't even efficiently coded, there
> is a ridiculous amount of redundancy in the human genome. And much of it
> codes for things that have nothing to do with the brain or intelligence.
> And yet that tiny amount of information was enough to reshape the surface
> of a planet.
> John K Clark
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