Re: Cognitive complexity from so few genes?

From: Gordon Worley (
Date: Thu Jul 18 2002 - 08:40:02 MDT

On Thursday, July 18, 2002, at 12:34 AM, Emil Gilliam wrote:

> As a separate issue, however, I am really nervous about how so few
> genes (some fraction of the 30,000 to 120,000 genes that are believed
> to exist in the human genome, by various estimates) can encode wiring
> algorithms for the many purported built-in modules of the brain that
> are supposed to exist under the Integrated Causal Model. Can anyone
> give, or point me to, a really satisfying hypothesis for this?

As I understand it, genes are more like a set of arguments passed into a
Human Making Machine. You tell it to give it these properties and
those, and out comes pretty much what you asked for. This is a
reasonable means by which evolution can work: genes store the variables
and the best genes, over time, are the ones that get put in a Human
Making Machine most often (of course the Machine changes since it's
inside of a human and evolution can take place with just that).

This is somewhat similar (not the same) as the way Ben has mentioned he
tweaks his AI: he has a set of variables that he can play with while
the rest of the mind is created automatically via some formula. The
problem from his perspective, just like it is in human evolution, once
you've got the AI Making Machine you have to pass in the right variables
to get a good AI.

Gordon Worley                     `When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty            said, `it means just what I choose                it to mean--neither more nor less.'
PGP:  0xBBD3B003                                  --Lewis Carroll

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