Re: Selfishness (Was: Re: Polemics for longevity)

From: Robert Owen (rowen@technologist.com)
Date: Sat Jan 22 2000 - 22:42:22 MST


J R Molloy wrote:

> Robert Owen wrote,
> >The basic question asked is: why is their not nothing but unicellular life
> >on earth? Why are we not all bacteria?
>
> Because of something called extropy. Complex adaptive systems evolve into more
> complex, more highly evolved, adaptive systems, organisms, and super-organisms.
> No mystery here, and no supernatual cause at work. The natural order of the
> universe eventuates in genetic algorithms, organic chemistry, and Darwinian
> evolution.
>
> --J. R.

I don't think, actually J.R., that this addresses the issue of those taking
an interest in the "cooperative gene". First of all, "extropy" is at best
a descriptive term -- it does not, it seems to me, have any explanatory
value whatever. Isn't "extropy" itself something in need of explanation?
The term has no recognized scientific status, does not appear in any
standard reference work, and in fact is primarily a metaphor. Here is what
Max More had to say:

           What is Extropy? A metaphor referring to attitudes
           and values shared by those who want to overcome
           human limits through technology.

           First of all, it would be natural to assume that extropy
           is the opposite of entropy. But itís not. The opposite of
           entropy is negentropy. That term can be defined in
           terms of information theory or in terms of thermodynamics.

                      http://www.extropy.com/faq/entropy.html

Second, the issue is not how complex adaptive systems evolve, but
why simple, unicellular adaptive systems evolve?

Third, I am afraid I find the statement "The natural order of the
universe eventuates in genetic algorithms, organic chemistry, and
Darwinian evolution" completely meaningless.

--
=======================
Robert M. Owen
Director
The Orion Institute
57 W. Morgan Street
Brevard, NC 28712-3659 USA
=======================



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