Re: Evolved Preferences

Steve Witham (
Mon, 5 May 1997 00:17:15 -0400

>Steve Witham writes:
>>But isn't the only value, as far as evolution is concerned, to
Robin Hanson replies:
>It depends on whether "genes" (not necessarily DNA) can directly code
>for the value "maximize your long term domination of the population".
>[...]evolution may never go the final abstract step.

Didn't say what I meant to: that as far as *analyzing* evolution of facts
and values, you'll be lead into finding that the value (in hypothesized
beings) that is identical to what you (the analyzer) call success, will
be the one with the most stability, and everything else might as well be
coded (in your analysis) as ideas of how to achieve it. The flexibility in
your (the analyzer's) "stance" (as Dennett calls it) sort of leaves you
holding the ball.

I like your division into small and large spaces better, but I think small
spaces only look that way *after* evolution has tromped all over large
areas and found good spots with boundaries. In more stable areas I
guess the advantages of sex just take longer to show up. Btw, there's
also the choice (now) of being sometimes-asexual, sometimes-sexual, so
you can mix the advantages of stability and new ideas.

But to combine asex in one area with sex in others, don't you need a
*main* parent? Hmm, like the evo of ribosomes (inhereted from mother)
vs. nuclei (mixed)...


--           Steve Witham          web page under reconsideration