Re: The Future of Human Evolution

From: Marc Geddes (
Date: Sat Oct 02 2004 - 01:31:26 MDT

> The *explanation* of 'wetness' does NOT NEED to be
*derived* from physics.

>Yes, it does.

No it doesn't!

>If wetness wasn't physically implementable, it would
not exist.

Of course wetness is physically implementable. But I
repeat my claim that a causal description is not

> But a casual description of something is NOT the
same thing as an actual *understanding* of that

>A full causal description constitutes complete
understanding of any process, assuming it is defined
all the way down to primitive physical/ mathematical
operators, though such a description does not
necessarily include knowledge of relationships to
other, similar processes possible under those physics
that we might include as part of our concept of
understanding the process.

 * Michael Wilson

No way! This and other such absurd statements on SL4
makes me think that you and Eliezer have no
understanding of systems theory or levels of

Suppose I asked what the explanation was for why
molecules on the tip of my nose were at a certain
location in space at 7.15pm tonight. A full physics
description of the motions of all the atoms in the
universe and the forces between them would yield
almost no understanding. The *causal description*
which be just that: it would be a hugely complicated
quantum equation charting the motions of the molecules
on the tip of my nose, which would indicate with a
certain probability where these molecules would be at
7.15pm. Only in one very narrow sense is there any
explanation for the location. Certainly not a full

On the other hand a perfectly good explanation could
be given WITHOUT deriving anything from physics.

For instance someone with knowledge of my habits knows
that I usually sit down to the surf the net just after
dinner time, and I do this at the same place (where
the computer is located). So the explanation for the
location of the molecules on the tip of my nose at
7.15pm follows simply from the fact these molecules
are connected to the entity known as 'Marc Geddes'
with known habits. No (or at least very little)
physics needed. And in fact this explanation is
*better* than the physics explanation.

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                                                    - Gen. John Stark

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