On Fri, 3 Sep 1999, John Clark wrote:
Re: discussion of evolving nanobots
> Natural radiation would sometimes scramble the programming
> of these machines and I would define life as information that changes by
> natural selection. I think you see where I'm going with this.
Well, nanobots would only let radiation scramble their programs if they turned off the ECC. Now, maybe they would do this, just as bacteria tend to when starvation/death looms on the horizon.
> I suspect that very soon the principles of Lamarck would predominate over
> those of Darwin and the goo machines would start to inherit characteristics
> that their parent had acquired, if so then physical evolution would happen as
> swiftly as cultural evolution does today.
Very nice idea. So Lamarck, was simply ahead of his time. It would be interesting if this were combined with Moravec's idea regarding robots simulating ever more complex robots. Grey goo that figures out how to communicate & cooperate to donate processing capacity to simulations, gets to more rapidly evolve into more advanced grey goo.
Maybe hive minds are the true endpoint.