cause-and-effect

Malcolm McMahon cuhes at csv.warwick.ac.uk
Mon Jun 20 10:05:44 EST 1994


In article <2u41a9$2nq at infa.central.susx.ac.uk>,
>Unlike mental processes, evolutionary processes are NOT goal-directed. 
>The current view of evolution very clearly observes that mutations
>happen in cells (or organisms) and then afterwards natural selection
>works against all those forms that are not able to produce the most
>offspring over an extended time period.  
>
>The evolution of mental properties are odd and unique precisely because
>the ability of a brain to develop "purpose" and "objevtives".  Natural
>selection has neither of these properties.
>

I think you could "model" evolutions behaviour pretty well on the assumption
that it "aims" to fill all available eccological niches.

My reading on genetic algorithms shows me that evolution can be regarded as
an exteremly powerful general purpose problem solving technique. It may
well be that mental processes actually solve problems in the same way: by
selecting, combining and mutating ideas. To me evolution _is_ a thought
process.

Malcolm




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