Technological Singularity

Craig Burley burley at tweedledumb.cygnus.com
Tue Jun 9 11:41:29 EST 1998


"Ian J. Lewis" <ian.lewis3 at virgin.net> writes:

> Evolution is a mythology.  As the biosphere develops -
> so do its constituent parts.  We are part of this oneness.

Really?

> Next you will be saying that the foetus was replaced by
> the baby by natural selection;

No, I won't.

Hmm, if we are part of this oneness, how come you didn't *know*
I wouldn't?

> when all along it was a mere
> unfolding into matter through time.

In essence, all things built out of matter are merely a bunch of
tiny particles believed to be interacting in accordance with some
pre-defined laws -- which nobody has been able to explain in terms
of where those laws came from, how they were designed, who designed
them, and why.  (Not that plenty of speculation hasn't been offered.)

In fact, the Big Bang never happened -- this is all just one of
many billions of simulations being tried before the actual experiment
being done.  :)

Still, though we might wish to view all evolutional arguments as
being "merely" a matter of who produces the most grandchildren,
and further dumb it down to just a bazillion particles interacting,
I find that, in practice, it's worthwhile considering the higher-
level mechanisms that might be operating.  Even though these
mechanisms almost certainly have no direct support in the material
world, they do seem to be abstractions with some potentially useful
"weight" in the field of product design and distribution.

If I didn't think such consideration was worthwhile, I'd just claim
that all these USENET posts were just arbitrary bunches of bits that
were essentially randomly arranged according to some cosmic rules,
so there was therefore no point in discussing *anything* about what
they might really "mean".  Yet, people who love to define some things
(or all things) in terms of the least divisible components they can
identify often insist on treating these evanescent higher-level
constructions built out of electrons as if they were something else
(say, a discussion about evolution) entirely.

And, to anyone who claims everything is all "one" with some mystical
notion of a "universe" and that "matter" is thus just acting out
this "oneness" in a fashion that renders pointless any discussions of
medium-level behaviors such as evolution, geology, mathematics, and
what-not, I ask: if that's so, exactly why do you have to bother
claiming it at all?
-- 

"Practice random senselessness and act kind of beautiful."
James Craig Burley, Software Craftsperson    burley at gnu.org



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