Re: Extropianism & Theology

Timothy Bates (
Sat, 27 Feb 1999 15:55:27 +1100

ASpidle do say
> Whoa there Tim. There isn't
> enough time since the beginning of the Universe to get from blue green algae
> to amoebas, much less to people if natural selection from random mutations is
> the only mechanism.

well I have two responses.

The first is: "See, I told you this was a module of the mind"

The second I shouldn't really bother with given 1.

GO and buy a copy of Richard Dawkin's books (any will do. Extended phenotype is heavy going. I still recommend "The Blind watch Maker".

If this wasn't a module which required you to believe in god, you would rapidly learn that there has not only been enough time to get from blue green algae to amoebas but all the way up to humans.

> The only way evolution can work is if natural selection has a limited choice
> of mutations to choose from,

well there is certainly a limited choice of mutations ... but heck, you are going to say the next sentence anyway, right?

> hence there must be some basic organizing
> principles that presents these options for selection.

It is that module man. There is no way you would ever say something like this about building an airplane or thinking about dog breeding.

What organizing principle would ever present the option of having no head? The option of blood that can't carry oxygen? The option of having no arms? This happens everyday, dozens of times over. Mutation is not organized, it's random. We can (and have) directly observed it as being such.

But there is a lovely unconscious organizer who "sorts through" each of these completely unorganized options: It is natural selection.

The junk that makes it to the next generation, unsurprisingly forms the next generation. The junk that fails the test, unsurprisingly, fails the test and is no longer represented.

The test is whether or not you can make a successful copy of yourself. Up until now, only genes have been allowed to sit the test, but humans are sharpening their pencils and will soon be sitting the test themselves.

So long as there is a test the outcomes are inevitable. Unpredictable but inevitable.

all the best,