Re: [sl4] Evolution, personality and altruism

From: Matt Mahoney (
Date: Tue Nov 25 2008 - 14:26:09 MST

--- On Tue, 11/25/08, Stuart Armstrong <> wrote:

> > The only important difference between reproduction and
> immortality is that your children don't inherit all your
> memories.
> Which, from the point of view of evolution, is a rather phenomenally
> huge difference. Hence our intuitions about darwinian evolution will
> not apply in the new situation.

For life forms in the range from bacteria to insects, everything they know is encoded in their DNA and *is* inherited. The invention of culture and written language makes humans more like them, except that we accumulate information much faster than one bit per population doubling.

My earlier point was not to place too much emphasis on the distinction between immortality and reproduction. We only get hung up on preservation of identity because of our biologically programmed fear of death. For the purposes of forecasting the singularity, it makes little difference where our knowledge resides.

-- Matt Mahoney,

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