Re: Evolved Preferences

Steve Witham (
Tue, 29 Apr 1997 19:47:51 -0400

>Yes, your definition of "sexual" is vastly more liberal than mine.

I just thought you *couldn't* mean the real definition, you must have
been talking about some old-fashioned DNA-specific thing. But it
looks like you're serious:

>Let me suggest that it is useful to distinguish the evolution of
>values from the evolution of "facts", or beliefs about facts. The
>space of possible basic values is much smaller than the space of
>possible fact beliefs; so I think it is plausible to think in terms of
>an evolutionary equilibrium of values even when fact discovery is
>still going strong. I started this discussion citing papers on basic
>value evolution, and my conclusions are mainly regarding that: asexual
>reproduction of values has strong advantages when investment matters.

Okay. Interesting. You really are saying asexual reproduction,
not accepting others' input, is best for "basic values."

But isn't the only value, as far as evolution is concerned, to
reproduce? Doesn't that mean that *that's* the only thing that will
be reproduced "asexually" (the distinction is almost moot when this
value is identical for every individual) and everything else amounts to
beliefs about *how* to reproduce, which will reproduce sexually?


--           Steve Witham          web page under reconsideration