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Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: dickbill]
      #6289759 - 01/03/14 02:13 PM

OK, let's assume Dickbill's statement is the truth of the matter, the selfish gene theory…is our human awareness of the gene theory part of our evolutionary path or is it, as in the case of our being able to see rainbows and stars, just a fortunate side benefit of this evolutionary process?

More simply, is our awareness that this is what our DNA is doing, an important part of DNA's evolutionary development-for-its-own-benefit, or just an unintended side-consequence of that evolutionary development? And if the latter, is this awareness a harmful-dead-end which the DNA will need to "select-out"?


Otto

Edited by Otto Piechowski (01/03/14 02:17 PM)


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dickbill
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/30/08

Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #6289925 - 01/03/14 03:30 PM

Quote:

...is our awareness that this is what our DNA is doing, an important part of DNA's evolutionary development-for-its-own-benefit, or just an unintended...




First, within materialistic reductionism, everything is 'unintended'. If you are not reductionist, then, that's different, but then we must choose our side first.
When Lawrence Krauss says 'there is no evidence the universe is designed', everything follows and nothing can be 'intended' thereafter, but then again, not everybody would agree with him on his first premise.
Quote:

...is this awareness a harmful-dead-end which the DNA will need to "select-out"?



Same here, for a Reductionist, there is no such thing as the 'Mind' or 'Awareness' as an 'out-of-this-physical-world' Entity. There is only the neural network with its trillions of configurations, of which derive the feeling of a 'Mind'.


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Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: dickbill]
      #6290067 - 01/03/14 04:43 PM

You have to forgive me, I am so use to using teleological language with its intentions and all that.

I think though I can ask the question with avoiding all that. Let us suppose, as you suggested earlier, that DNA has reached a point on its evolutionary path in which it sees it is advantageous to create human brains with all their current cognitive functions. Would the DNA be deleteriously impacted by our awareness? And would the DNA's evolution begin to select out our awareness as one piece of the otherwise advantageous brain?

Otto


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dickbill
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/30/08

Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #6290234 - 01/03/14 06:32 PM

I see, in short, wouldn't it be better to just have big computer power and memory, but without the awareness that may produce an anti-Darwinian outcome, like sacrificing yourself for your enemy for religious beliefs, promoting the survival of unfit individuals, not reproducing voluntarily, or any other behavior that put your own genes in danger?
Yes, because the gene is selfish, but consciousness is not necessarily.
But can you define 'awareness' first, Otto?


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Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: dickbill]
      #6290329 - 01/03/14 07:24 PM

In this case, what I meant by using the word awareness is that we were onto the DNA's game. Something like that.

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maugi88
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 08/25/13

Loc: SE MN
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #6290486 - 01/03/14 09:06 PM

To suggest that DNA has some kind of self awareness and can implement changes in evolution makes no sense to me. DNA has no ability to sense the world whatsoever. It is the presence of the being the dna makes up that allows it to make changes. Without living beings DNA is just an artifact. Otherwise it would be useless in court proceedings. Thinking out of the box is fun but this whole conversation has gone a little off kilter. DNA cannot evolve for its own sake or you will let million of prisoners free. DNA cannot evolve without a being, period.

The changes that are made is simply when a genome added or one lost makes for a better kritter. The change in DNA is the result not the cause.

Common now guys

Edited by maugi88 (01/03/14 09:18 PM)


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dickbill
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/30/08

Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #6290503 - 01/03/14 09:24 PM

Hmm, 'awareness' counter-selected by itself?
I hope not.
I assume that only in the case of human awareness, a behavior can be disadvantageous for its own gene carrier, from the own will of the carrier, and in full knowledge of the consequences of the behavior.
Tough question you asked, Otto.


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PeterR280
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 05/27/13

Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: dickbill]
      #6290526 - 01/03/14 09:41 PM

Intelligence may work against Darwinian evolution.

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dickbill
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/30/08

Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: dickbill]
      #6290529 - 01/03/14 09:45 PM

BTW Otto, what you are asking is like asking what would be the end result of Evolution, if there is one end, or if Evolution will ever stop.
Of course if it stops, it could be because of what you mention: a byproduct, or a step in Evolution that stops Evolution itself.
It reminds me about the halting problem in 'universal Turing machine'. It is not necessarily a 'computable' function (that could give the answer, that the Program will stop or not, in less Time for the program to run) and the only way to know, is to run the program. No shortcut for us.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halting_problem


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PeterR280
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 05/27/13

Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: dickbill]
      #6290544 - 01/03/14 09:51 PM

it may begin to dumb us down enough to let evolution begin again, but then it would be cyclical.

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PeterR280
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 05/27/13

Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: PeterR280]
      #6290575 - 01/03/14 10:03 PM

I'll throw in one more thought on the topic. We are not only intelligent, self aware beings but we are also social creatures.Some believe that it was the deciding factor for survival over the Neanderthals. Our advancement is based as much on communication and cooperation as individual success. Perhaps evolution is taking a course that is evolving the social aspect of humanity. We select against crime and war is self selecting for example. Technological and scientific accomplishments have become complex enough that it may be impossible for an individual to make the advancements versus cooperative efforts.

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llanitedave
Humble Megalomaniac
*****

Reged: 09/26/05

Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: PeterR280]
      #6290614 - 01/03/14 10:20 PM

Neandertals were apparently quite social as well. Our ancestors may well have had a linguistic advantage, or some other trait which made the difference, but considering that modern humans and neandertals coexisted for over ten thousand years, either the advantage was not great or the competition was never really fierce.

I think your point that we may be transcending Darwinian evolution is a valid one. Our future evolution may be as much the result of deliberate engineering as variation and selection.


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llanitedave
Humble Megalomaniac
*****

Reged: 09/26/05

Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #6290649 - 01/03/14 10:35 PM

Quote:

The idea has been floated here…I forget who, probably many of us, possibly Dave…the idea has been floated that it is much more likely to have DNA develop in different places in the universe than for intelligence to have developed.

What if the development of intelligence is a tool/strategy used by DNA to help gets it (the DNA) passed along and developed?

Otto




I don't think I meant DNA specifically, but if you replace that with "some sort of inheritance mechanism" then you're not too far off base.

There's no question in my mind that the evolution of intelligence is a means for the enhanced replication of our own genes, which on earth happen to be DNA, but that statement holds just as true for every feature an organism can possess:

bark, leaves, roots, flowers, feathers, mitochondria, hemoglobin, keratin, stripes, wattles, prehensile tails, subcutaneous fat, etc., etc., etc.

Thing is, though, none of these are "strategies" in the sense that they are designed and implemented. They are the results of billions of blind variations that have been winnowed down to the few that actually made a difference in the reproductive success of the populations that possessed them. Variations on those variations resulted in further selection which fine tuned them into the features that we now recognize.

Intelligence certainly did not descend fully formed from the trees. It was shaped by the differential breeding success of thousands of different lineages, within some of which it was a critical ingredient, within others it was overshadowed by other traits. There was no sure or inevitable path from there to here.


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llanitedave
Humble Megalomaniac
*****

Reged: 09/26/05

Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: dickbill]
      #6290668 - 01/03/14 10:42 PM

Quote:


First, within materialistic reductionism, everything is 'unintended'. If you are not reductionist, then, that's different, but then we must choose our side first.
When Lawrence Krauss says 'there is no evidence the universe is designed', everything follows and nothing can be 'intended' thereafter, but then again, not everybody would agree with him on his first premise.





Even agreeing with the premise does not mean that your conclusion is accepted. I disagree that "nothing can be 'intended' thereafter". Intentionality need not be part of the original structure of the universe for it to arise via evolutionary processes. It happens to be a very practical behavioral trait, and can develop from a primitive drive to sense food and pursue it, to the ability to choose between competing drives, to the ability to evaluate ones surroundings and plan several moves in advance, to the ability to establish a set of individual moral principles and make all decisions in the furtherance of those abstract goals.

Don't underestimate the power of the emergent property.


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dickbill
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/30/08

Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: PeterR280]
      #6290692 - 01/03/14 10:51 PM

Quote:

it may begin to dumb us down enough to let evolution begin again, but then it would be cyclical.




hmmm, I've heard the Complexity of Evolution cannot decrease globally, supposedly there's a demon that forbid that. Under Darwinian selection, Evolution may stall, but may not be able to go down the ladder of complexity gradually and loop back. Darwinian atheists certainly don't want to remove that demon. Funny, they don't believe in God but they believe in demons, it doesn't make sense.


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PeterR280
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 05/27/13

Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: dickbill]
      #6290777 - 01/03/14 11:36 PM

I have read that communication may have been the key over Neanderthals. It seems that they were also quite intelligent. Also a small percentage of our DNA is Neanderthal.

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PeterR280
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 05/27/13

Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: PeterR280]
      #6290790 - 01/03/14 11:42 PM

I don't know if we are smart enough to be successful at deliberately engineering evolution. What I was implying is that the organism that is evolving is the societal mass versus the individual. I think evolution on the individual level may have stalled.

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PeterR280
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 05/27/13

Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: PeterR280]
      #6290798 - 01/03/14 11:46 PM

Society can augment, enhance human intelligence with silicon intelligence.

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llanitedave
Humble Megalomaniac
*****

Reged: 09/26/05

Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: dickbill]
      #6290844 - 01/04/14 12:04 AM

Quote:

Quote:

it may begin to dumb us down enough to let evolution begin again, but then it would be cyclical.




hmmm, I've heard the Complexity of Evolution cannot decrease globally, supposedly there's a demon that forbid that. Under Darwinian selection, Evolution may stall, but may not be able to go down the ladder of complexity gradually and loop back. Darwinian atheists certainly don't want to remove that demon. Funny, they don't believe in God but they believe in demons, it doesn't make sense.




Reduction in complexity happens fairly often in evolution. This "demon" thing you're talking about truly doesn't make sense, because it's not part of any scientific theory, anywhere. It's not scientists attempting to insert it.


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llanitedave
Humble Megalomaniac
*****

Reged: 09/26/05

Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: PeterR280]
      #6290857 - 01/04/14 12:15 AM

Quote:

I don't know if we are smart enough to be successful at deliberately engineering evolution.




We may not be smart enough to do it wisely, but we are certainly smart enough to get the technical know-how to accomplish it.

Quote:


What I was implying is that the organism that is evolving is the societal mass versus the individual. I think evolution on the individual level may have stalled.




Evolution always occurs at the population level, not the individual level. Variations happen to individuals, but the genetic change that results is a matter of those variations spreading through the population.

Be that as it may, variation and natural selection are still happening in human populations. It can be masked or overwhelmed by rapid social diversification and global genetic mixing, but it doesn't have to be. There are a number of lines of evidence pointing to areas in which humans are still evolving.


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