Re: virus: Sexuality
Tue, 17 Sep 1996 09:14:17 -0500 (CDT)

On Tue, 17 Sep 1996, Steve wrote:

> Reed Konsler wrote:
> >Holy shit! Is this culture evolving so quickly that we already have
> >"memetic fundamentalists"? What ever happened to a healthy skepticism? A
> >sense of irony? A little humility?
> Written in the true spirit of scientismic fundamentalism. Let me catalogue a
> couple of arbitrarily selected canons of the very unhumble world of scientism:
[SUMMARY of ideas]
> 1) The Big Bang [....]
> 2) Consciousness programmed entirely from genes. [....]
> 3) I keep on hearing about new, scientifically based studies
> refuting old ones. This has become something of a sport where I look forward
> to finding out what previous study will be refuted next. Butter versus
> margarine, the greenhouse effect versus no greenhouse effect, new gimmicks
> to refute old ones, etc, etc, etc, on and on and on without end.
> No, it is scientism that is among the most fundamentalist of all the
> fundamentalist religions of today. And think about how seductive is its
> power - we don't even realize that we are in it! This is the truth of memes
> at work - a truth about the truth of scientism.
> steve tramont

Let me add one of my own:
IF random-mutation-based biological evolution is to be mathematically
coherent, [as far as I know], one must have either the many-worlds
interpretation of quantum mechanics, or a steady-state universe. [Roger
Penrose's ideas ARE a steady-state universe.] The currently-inferrable
space-time is woefully inadequate, and cannot even account for the
Von-Neumann minimal life-form. [1500 bits, one-shot 10^(-450) against]
[For reference: the smallest biological virus is larger than a
Von-Neumann minimal life-form. The smallest computer virus I have data on
DOES go under--by 4 BITS! This isn't really enough to make an impact on
the calculations. There is not much difference between 10^(-250) against
and 10^(-248) against. Besides, whether a computer virus is
self-contained is an interesting question--biological life doesn't have
the 'copy codon'!]
All of which can be escaped by simply not requiring the mutations to
be random. Saying that the mutations are random imposes a mathematical
structure which allows numerical calculation. [Note that natural
selection doesn't really alter these results. First, because whether
pruning occurs immediately or later has no effect here. Second, because
I'm talking about getting to the point where one has a sufficiently alive
life-form to evolve!]

/ Kenneth Boyd