From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Wed Jan 30 2002 - 20:02:58 MST
> "Smigrodzki, Rafal" wrote:
> Eliezer S. Yudkowsky [mailto:email@example.com] wrote:
> Alden Streeter wrote:
> > What makes you think that every species doesn't maximize it's rate of
> > mutation? Evolution predicts that there should be an equilibrium between
> > mutation rate ensuring maximum variation for potential evolution and
> > mutation prevention ensuring adequate health of the population. Mutatation
> > rate is itself an evolved trait.
> ERROR 514: group selection postulated
> ### What do you mean?
What I mean is that you *may* be able to say:
"Evolution predicts that there should be an equilibrium between mutation
rate ensuring sufficient mutation among a group of offspring that some
will be able to adapt to environmental changes, and mutation prevention to
maximize the overall health of those offspring." It would be pushing it,
but you might be able to prove it. It's been demonstrated to be true at
least once, for the special case of the immune system, where the locks
have to change every generation.
But you can't say "maximum variation for potential evolution" or "adequate
health of the population" without inherently postulating group selection,
and postulating group selection is almost always a mistake.
-- -- -- -- --
Eliezer S. Yudkowsky http://singinst.org/
Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence
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