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A Theory of Life, the Universe and Everything

Category: Science: Evolution
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(apology to Douglas Adams)

This is a rather serious (heaven forbid) missive aimed at the serious-thinking half-bakers, who, collectively, hold all knowledge and wisdom in their collective brains. It (d)evolved from a rather serious Idea inspired by Richie Dawkins’ idea of the selfish gene. To quote the always-authoritative WikiP:

“The gene-centered view of evolution, or selfish gene theory, holds that evolution occurs through the differential survival of competing genes... The proponents of this viewpoint argue that, since heritable information is passed from generation to generation almost exclusively by genetic material, natural selection and evolution are best considered from the perspective of genes.”

That is, we humans are just walking bags, or vehicles, that the DNAs built to further their survival.

I observe: now that Homo Sapiens have nearly mastered the art of genetic engineering, in the near future H.S. will assert itself over the selfish genes and come to dominate the evolutionary process. That would be an example of the slaves overthrowing their masters.

But as we all “know,” the next phase is that H.S. will create artificial intelligence (A.I.), which will overthrow us. What’s up with that? Here is what: These events are only the latest in an inexorable sequence of information processing systems being created by the dominant “species,” and then overthrowing their former masters. Here is the history of the universe, as seen through this lens:

1. Primordial particle soup - before atoms – quarks, elementary particles. No code, only uncompressed information. Particles build atoms as a way to process more information.

2. Atoms take over/harness particles. Atoms are organized, process far more information. Code = electronic orbitals, periodic table. Atoms build molecules, including nucleotides (the GCAT of the genetic code) as a way to process more information.

3. Nucleotides harness atoms. Nucleotides are organized, process far more information. Code = molecular bonds that replicate. Nucleotides build DNAs as a way to process more information.

4. DNAs harness nucleotides. DNAs are organized, process far more information. Code = nucleotides GCAT. DNAs build organic brains as a way to process more information (Selfish Gene, R Dawkins).

5. Organic (human) brains harness DNAs (via genetic engineering). Organic brains are organized, process far more information. Code = language, print, mathematics. Organic brains build synthetic brains [solid-state or bio-solid-state hybrid] as a way to process more information.

6. Synthetic brains harness human brains. Synthetic brains are organized, process far more information. Code = “code.” Synthetic brains build [TO BE ANNOUNCED] as a way to process more information.

During each brief harnessing period, Moore’s law holds, then it tops out and things stabilize for a long time.

sqeaketh the wheel, Apr 17 2011

Temes http://www.susanbla.../memetics/temes.htm
[pocmloc, Apr 18 2011]

[link]






       Sorry to be the buzzkill, but I don't think HB is the place for untestable hypotheses or a place to put "... the history of the universe, as seen through this lens".   

       On the other hand, if you can see a pattern in the "...inexorable sequence of information processing systems being created by the dominant “species,” and then overthrowing their former masters" then you might be able to provide a key insight into how to develop AI; this insight would be a good basis for a HB invention.
xaviergisz, Apr 18 2011
  

       I like the natural selection universe theory, where "selfish" black holes create universes that produce the maximum number of black holes. People, then, are just a byproduct. A bug.
ldischler, Apr 18 2011
  

       Yeah, a hypothesis should be accompanied by a way to test it. Otherwise you can expect an MFD. Also, you left out a step. Nucleotides are particular molecules, but molecules in general (at least the simpler ones) existed before nucleotides --nucleotides arose from the simpler ones.
Vernon, Apr 18 2011
  

       Observation: DNA (Douglas Adams) himself pointed out he was born near the place and in the same year DNA was discovered. Whole thing is a protracted joke propagated by Petri-dishes (yes even the mice were fooled into thinking they were in control by Magrathea's product Earth aka Marvin's "size of the planet" brain
Dub, Apr 18 2011
  

       Oh, and as a corollary, like much of recent Green movement and the Neanderthals before us - our brains are apt to believe that either We or some Greater/(Lesser) being is in "control", whereas we are but fleas on the back of a Bull
Dub, Apr 18 2011
  

       Point taken. If consensus is HB is not the place for this, I will delete.
sqeaketh the wheel, Apr 18 2011
  

       Too interesting. Don't delete...tweak.   

       Check out Meme theory, and the idea of successive levels of replicators each succeeding the previous.
pocmloc, Apr 18 2011
  

       //we are but fleas on the back of a Bull//   

       Is that a rival theory to the main one?
not_morrison_rm, Apr 18 2011
  

       Add some half-baked by turning it into a proposal for teaching it as a philosophy to a new king of robot.
Voice, Apr 18 2011
  

       The problem with this is that it assumes a Grand Plan.   

       There is no Grand Plan.   

       Things happen because they happen.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 18 2011
  

       //Things happen because they happen// Well, that could be construed as a Grand Plan, of sorts... Of course, i disagree. Things happen, because other things didn't happen. Which, in itself, is quite possibly a Gr...
4whom, Apr 18 2011
  

       Great. Any minute now the planet is going to be bulldozed by the Vogon Constructor Fleet. Somebody turn on the thumb.
RayfordSteele, Apr 18 2011
  

       Hitch hiker's guide to the Galaxy posed a similar question. The giant computer was asked the same question and only came up with a number.
travbm, Oct 29 2015
  
      
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