RE: Neural darwinism (Re: Human intelligence is obviously absurd)

From: Phil Goetz (
Date: Sun Jan 30 2005 - 06:49:54 MST

--- Ben Goertzel <> wrote:

> > Calvin's proposed mechanism bewilders me in that
> > Calvin is a very smart man who knows a lot about
> > the brain, but there is AFAIK no evidence
> > for the "neural darwinism" type mechanism he
> > proposes, and no adherents to it except Calvin
> > himself and George Edelman (admittedly another
> > very smart person).
> I tend to think the theory is very plausible --
> though missing a lot of
> important details (some of which I tried to fill in,
> in my own work on
> speculative neuroscience in the 1990's)

If you think about how you're going to copy these
patterns, and how you're going to vary and/or
breed them, and evaluate them, and choose the best
ones and preferentially copy those, you start
seeing a huge overhead imposed. Evaluating a
single prospective program requires
passing it through every related cortex area,
meaning that you need duplication not only in
the area being evaluated, but in ALL areas, because
you assume all the competing programs are being
evaluated in parallel. Also important is that
you cannot evolve concepts in multiple cortical
areas at the same time. That is, if you have
some task that requires processing in cortical
areas A, B, C, and D, you have to have hundreds
of copies in all 4 areas, but you can't evolve
and choose in area A at the same time as you're
evolving in area B or C or D. The whole thing
strikes me as very improbable.

- Phil Goetz

Do you Yahoo!?
Yahoo! Mail - Helps protect you from nasty viruses.

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Jul 17 2013 - 04:00:50 MDT