Technological Singularity

James Sharman james at exaflop.demon.co.uk
Mon Jun 8 04:14:27 EST 1998

>>If the environment in which a group of animals live remains unchanged then
>>eventually the animals (including any intelligent animals) will stop
>>evolving after settling into a number of different roles.
>This isn't actually true; there's a lot of stuff studied about
>genetic drift and similar methods of evolution that don't result
>from direct selection pressure.

genetic drift is a very slow process and hardly accounds for anything.  The
fossil record clearly shows however that the vast majority of natural
selection occurs very rapidly accross a short space of time as a direct
result of a change in the animals environment.  I would also think its about
time to mention tht evolution and natural selection are two totaly different
things.  Natural selection is once of the mechanisms that allos evolution to
take place but natural selection on its own has little to do with evolution.
This thread was disussing weather or not a geneticly engineard human race
introduced into the mix would be capable of replacing the 'normal' human
race,  lets try and stay little on track.

>But anyway....

>>What is being discussed here is the results of introducing a race of
>>genetically engineered super humans into the mix. We are not talking about
>>an entirely new race just a bred that is in some manner better than your
>>every day human (intelligence, strength, attractiveness or a combination
>>these). Clearly natural selection will be very complex since we are not a
>>bunch of animals on an African plain killing each other or hunting,
>>our complex structure rather than reducing the types of resources for
>>we must compete actually increases them.
>>1) You (being an ordinary human) go to a job interview, you think you have
>>done well only to discover that the job was taken by a superman with an IQ
>>of 400.
>>2) You plan to go to a party but you get a cold and dont feel up to it. A
>>superman doesn't get the cold because of his enhanced immune system and so
>>he goes to the party and meets the girl you would have met.
>>3) Your in a head on collision in your car with a car driven by a
>>you both have similar injuries but you die and he lives because his
>>metabolism keeps him alive the crucial extra minutes on the trip to
>>I could go on with examples forever.
>You probably could.  However, these sorts of examples, particularly
>out of context, really don't mean much and don't convince.  Only one
>of them, for example, directly addresses reproductive fitness -- and
>you're making the assumption that the girl that you met at the party
>is there with the intention of getting laid by any man she happens
>to meet at the party.

One of the primary considerations of natural selection is that it can occur
with only the slightest increase in survival chance on one species over
another.  With my experience with the fairer sex having a good/better job,
actualy meeting girls and not being dead all increase a man's chances of

>One of the things that we know about the social aspects of human
>reproduction is the principle of "assortative mating," which is
>a pretentious way of saying "like goes out with like" or "birds
>of a feather flock to blokes of the same feather."  Most marriages --
>and particularly most successful marriages -- tend to happen, for
>instance, between men and women of approximately similar IQs and
>socioeconomic classes.  There are considerably fewer -- although
>exceptions of course exist -- marriages between genius-level women
>and dumb-as-a-brick men (or vice versa).  So a slightly more
>sophisticated analysis might suggest that, although the 400+ IQ
>Superman might well be able to get the job that you wanted, he's unlikely
>to score with Lois Lane, which makes his 400+ IQ a net *NEGATIVE*
>in terms of selection pressure.

The only real examples I can find in this case would envolve the super man
rejecting Lois Lane because she is not good enough.  However,  even if your
statement is true then this does not contradict the principle.  Simply by
having a better sorce of income the superman/superwoman couple stand a
better chance of preproduction than the ordinary courple with a low income.

>Similarly, I'm not sure that the mere fact that car accidents are more
>survivable directly equates to a survival advantage in car accidents;
>we've got lots of data suggesting that as cars get safer, people drive
>more carelessly.  It's not unreasonable to believe that Superman is
>likely to be a worse driver than the rest of us and get into more
>car crashes.

their by killing more normal humans in situation he still has a better
chance of surviving.

>Even in the event that he's also got super common sense, there's
>still the minor problem that success in other areas does *NOT*
>correspond to reproductive success.  I've already suggested that
>he's unlikely to be able to pull Lois.  But he's not only got to
>pull Lois (away from me; pulling Wonder Woman away from Aquaman
>wouldn't mean much, genetically), but he's got to be able to have more
>(surviving, successful) children than I do.  Given how I feel about
>my current job, I'd be delighted if he were fool enough to take it
>away from me, giving me N months of unemployment insurance and
>a chance to spend time with my SO....

However,  I'm starting to get board of arguing.  The real issue here is that
it has been shown time and time again in the fossil record that seperate
species with only a fractional improvment over another have replaced the
inferior species. Evolutionaisits will tell you that this process is the
only reason that you and I exist today. A very relevent and very recent
example can be made of Neanderthal Man. In this case we see two species of
man side by side,  its very hard for us to tell why Neanderthal Man evetualy
died out since they did not seem to be any dirrect conflict. It is hard for
us to tell why we were superior to Neanderthal Man (The differences were
slight) but the fat of the the matter is we eventualy replaced them


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