Re: Evolution

Anders Sandberg (
Sun, 16 Feb 1997 20:31:53 +0100 (MET)

On Sat, 15 Feb 1997, Gregory Houston wrote:

> Nope. We are going to use science to remove evolution's constraints on
> us. How? When we finally create the enabling technology necessary to be
> "immortal", we will no longer be participating in evolution. We will no
> longer have to reproduce in order to perpetuate the race. We will make a
> shift from species evolution to individual development.

I think it is important to remember that evolution works even in
individuals, in the selection of their memes. In an immortal,
self-transforming population there will still be an evolution, but instead
of dying you just accept that body- or mind-type X is better than your old
and change to it, no longer improving on your old design. It will in some
sense be a Lamarkian form of evolution, consciously guided by
individuals. A kind of meta-evolution, where there is replication and
selection for forms of evolution.

> If I attain immortality via science, I doubt I will forever remain in
> this universe. It may take thousands or even millions of years, perhaps
> only a couple centuries, but I am optimistic that one day as a highly
> *developed* entity I will learn to create my own universes, my own
> realities. I am just as optimistic that I will have by then developed
> something better, more *useful* than evolution.

Well, I would be interested in seeing what it was. I look forward to
future work in this area myself. Unfortunately I think evolution
(replication+variation+selection) is a very general and robust way to grow
complexity, although there are other ways too.

Anders Sandberg Towards Ascension!
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y