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

From: Robert Bradbury (
Date: Sun Jan 23 2000 - 15:42:49 MST

On Sun, 23 Jan 2000, Robert Owen wrote:

> J R Molloy wrote:
> > 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.
> >

As I explained in another note the driving force would seem to be the
possibility of opening up untapped ecological niches.

[snipping comments by Robert & Max on "extropy"]

As Max pointed out, the scientific term is "negentropy". It comes
up alot in Robert's study of the evolution of life, "Xenology".
It is likely that J.R. meant this, since "extropy" doesn't really
come into the picture until Max created it.

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

Same reasons, if you can open up a new ecological niche, you can
monopolize it for a while. It becomes a self-propagating effect
because the borders between the old/new niches or the over/under-
populated niches then become the niches. The reason there are
so many species of bacteria and insects is because there are
so many niches they can fill.

> 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 F. discusses it a bit in Xenology. The universe is "setup"
to allow molecules to form, that then get increasingly complex,
that then may catalyze self-replication, that then may partition
themselves from the rest of the world, that then become cells with
genetic machinery, that then evolve into multiple ecological niches,
changing those niches on planetary scales, that then get involved in
all kinds of races for survival as they become increasingly complex
until intelligence develops (turning hardware into software) and
then cultures develop (allowing knowledge to accumulate beyond
that of a single mind), and so on and so forth until the
stars all burn out.


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