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Attitudes to life extension via genetic engineering

Patrick O'Neil patrick at corona
Thu Feb 16 11:05:42 EST 1995

On Thu, 16 Feb 1995, Eugen Leitl wrote:

> I am an Evolutionist and use GAs on my computer. Yet if I am
> an individual suffering from fatal intreatable cancer, arisen
> from essentially the same mutation/crossover process which is
> the driving force of evolution I don't care a fig for adaptation.
> It is entirely clear that a population of immortal individuals 
> does not evolve. 
> Unless it wishes to. Do you care for Darwinian or Lamarckian 
> evolution? Or a pleasant mix of both of them? You're free 
> to choose. That is the nice point in the Downloading concept:
> freedom to do anything you did before (including the death
> _option_), plus More. How much more, is only limited by the
> amount of computation at you disposal and your imagination.
> It's Man-made Heaven, all right.

Unless you actually LIKE the feel and touch of a woman's skin, or all the 
wide scents of nature, the wide flavers of organic matter, and don't mind 
relying on factories receiving a constant good supply of silicon, arsenic 
and the like, and the random EM or entropy induced memory wipe or system 
crash...and reliable physical humans around to make sure things keep 
running correctly.  
  I'll take physical, biological sex and biological interaction with the 
universe around me any day over plastic and silicon.  In any case, the 
mind is not an occupant of your brain that can be uploaded or 
downloaded.  Who and what you (we) are is irreversibly coupled to our 
biochemistry and evolution.  In addition, our brains are very unlike 
digital computers and they cannot be classified as analog either.  Neural 
network computation is inspired by certain aspects of brain structure but 
it hardly even approaches the real conformation and function of a living 


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