Re: "God Does Not Play Dice..." --was Re: That idiot Darwin

From: Damien Broderick (
Date: Sat Jan 13 2001 - 21:06:58 MST

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 word
>"coincidence," substitute "random chance."

You evade the key point. A million genome copies of X exist. By random
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.

>> You, I gather, see a Mind from outside
>> the system intervening top-down to produce an echo
>> 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.

>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.

>**Next time you see that Darwin guy, you ask him from
>me: How does your theory account for the creation of
>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.

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.

Damien Broderick

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