Re: Evolved Preferences

Robin Hanson (
Wed, 30 Apr 1997 11:56:03 -0700 (PDT)

Steve Witham writes:
>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?

It depends on whether "genes" (not necessarily DNA) can directly code
for the value "maximize your long term domination of the population".
So far at least, this has been too abstract to code for, so life has
had to make do with coding for more direct values aimed at this final
value. If there are more direct values that turn out to be
equivalent, and there are given certain assumptions, then evolution
may never go the final abstract step.

Robin D. Hanson