Re: Singularity awareness

From: Ricardo Barreira (
Date: Sun Jun 04 2006 - 11:30:16 MDT

On 6/4/06, Eliezer S. Yudkowsky <> wrote:
> Ben Goertzel wrote:
> >
> > In evolutionary biology more generally, if you look at books like
> > Augros and Stanciu's "The New Biology" (not such a new book anymore)
> > or A. Lima de Faria's "Evolution Without Selection" (he overstates his
> > case, but still has some good points), not to mention some of Stephen
> > Jay Gould's writings, you will find plenty of strong arguments for the
> > role of self-organization and emergence in evolution.
> I haven't heard of any of these people except Stephen Jay Gould, but I
> definitely know that Gould is not respected in mainstream evolutionary
> biology. To quote John Maynard Smith - a *very* eminent and respected
> mainstream biologist - evolutionary biologists tend to see Gould "as a
> man whose ideas are so confused as to hardly be worth bothering with,
> but as one who should not be publicly criticized because he is at least
> on our side against the creationists". Having looked over some of
> Gould's ramblings, I concur with the first half of this statement.
> The "narrow" viewpoint of "selection-focused" evolutionary biology is,
> as far as I know, mainstream science. Non-mainstream evolutionary
> theories regularly decry the focus on selection rather than their own
> favorite hypothetical forces - but it is well to remember that they are
> not mainstream.
> --
> Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
> Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

Well, my point is just that not all of our characteristics should be
attributed *directly* to evolution. Not that essential characteristics
appear out of nowhere, if that's what you're countering regarding
those individuals you mentioned.

To me at least, it seems quite sensible to accept that our evolved
characteristics intermix and create new behaviors which aren't exactly
caused by evolutional pressures.

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