--- Damien Broderick
> At 06:33 PM 13/01/01 -0800, john marlow wrote (or
> possibly trolled, it's
> hard to tell by this point):
> >> Evolution is precisely *not* a theory of
> >> coincidence. ... Natural *selection*,
> >> geddit?
> >**I am aware of this. Try this: Where I use the
> >"coincidence," substitute "random chance."
> You evade the key point. A million genome copies of
> X exist.
**Let's go back. In the Beginning (so to speak)--there
were ZERO genome copies of X. THere was, in fact, no
**So--how do we get from there, to a million genome
copies of X? 'Tis the more fundamental question. As
I've said, natural selection in obviously in
operation; I do not refute/deny/quibble with this. No
question. My problem with it is this: It needs more.
It's not enough. It is insufficient to get from the
Beginning to where we are now.
> chance, many are slightly and heritably altered. The
> performance of the
> great majority of offspring in a given setting is
> degraded, of a few
> improved. How hard is it to see that gradually the
> offspring of
> [contingently-]improved variants will supplant the
> others? Chance, yes -
> followed by competitive-plus-cooperative selection.
**Now--who/what laid down the rules? Why should this
be? How did it begin?
> >> You, I gather, see a Mind from outside
> >> the system intervening top-down to produce an
> >> of Its own order.
> >**Entropy is said to be the natural condition. I
> >suggest that Extropy requires intelligence.
> `Extropy' is not a scientific concept or construct;
> it is a social
> metaphor. Complex energetic organisation emerges and
> thrives by exporting
> entropy into its environment; intelligence has
> nothing to do with this.
**But it results in manifest intelligence, yes? Can
this result not be said to be the "goal" of this
process of organization?
> >I said nothing about a
> >top-down intervention by an intelligence residing
> >outside the system. The intelligence may BE the
> Oh, I see. The universe brought *itself*
> intelligently into being. Too
> cool. Too self-undermining.
**"Too cool?" Isn't it, though?
> >**Next time you see that Darwin guy, you ask him
> >me: How does your theory account for the creation
> >the whole shebang? The starting kickoff?
> Your original post made no claims about the origins
> of the universe, or
> even the origins of life. You recorded your
> sentiment that the Hamlet-like
> human mind was far too angelic to have come into
> existence via brute
> evolutionary processes.
**Discussion broadened, or so I thought. "Angelic?"
Hardly. (Hey that's religion, ain't it?) There remains
no proof we evolved from primordial pond scum, which
in turn evolved from nothing. doesn't that sound a
> I reply: actually, the evolution of the human
> brain/mind is patently
> darwinian (although some of the selected replicators
> were doubtless memes,
> which by reciprocal feedback co-evolved with the
> genes providing their
> material substrate).
> As for the whole shebang, that might be subject to
> darwinian explanation
> (in the Linde or Smolin models, which are not
> untestable), or it might be
> due to a stochastic vacuum fluctuation, but either
> way it is not relevant
> to the emergence by natural selection of human
> beings 13 or so billion
> years later. Get a grip on the scale of these
> phenomena, sir.
**It seems I stand accused of being a mystic.
A few choice bits from AE (the closest thing yet to
"The more a man is imbued with the ordered regularity
of all events the firmer becomes his conviction that
there is no room left by the side of this ordered
regularity for causes of a different nature."
"The finest emotion of which we are capable is the
mystic emotion. Herein lies the germ of all art and
all true science. Anyone to whom this feeling is
alien, who is no longer capable of wonderment and
lives in a state of fear is a dead man. To know that
what is impenatrable for us really exists and
manifests itself as the highest wisdom and the most
radiant beauty, whose gross forms alone are
intelligible to our poor faculties - this knowledge,
this feeling ... that is the core of the true
religious sentiment. In this sense, and in this sense
alone, I rank myself among profoundly religious men."
"I am satisfied with the mystery of the eternity of
life and with the awareness and a glimpse of the
marvelous structure of the existing world, together
with the devoted striving to comprehend a portion, be
it ever so tiny, of the Reason that manifests itself
"It is in this striving after the rational unification
of the manifold that it encounters its greatest
successes, even though it is precisely this attempt
which causes it to run the greatest risk of falling a
prey to illusion. But whoever has undergone the
intense experience of successful advances made in this
domain, is moved by the profound reverence for the
rationality made manifest in existence. By way of the
understanding he achieves a far reaching emancipation
from the shackles of personal hopes and desires, and
thereby attains that humble attitude of mind toward
the grandeur of reason, incarnate in existence, and
which, in its profoundest depths, is inaccessible to
man. This attitude, however, appears to me to be
religious in the highest sense of the word. And so it
seems to me that science not only purifies the
religious imulse of the dross of its anthropomorphism
but also contibutes to a religious spiritualisation of
our understanding of life."
"The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational
mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society
that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift."
**I suggest that what he refers to as
'reason/rationality made manifest in existence,'
etc.--is what I'm talking about.
**Love ya, Albert.
> Damien Broderick
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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon May 28 2001 - 09:56:19 MDT