• Gnomon
    301
    What I mean is that given any project - life and anything else for that matter - an intelligent person with a good plan will be produce better and faster results than a person without a plan.TheMadFool
    I agree. But I'm not talking about an "intelligent person" whose intentions and methods are presumably similar to my own. Just as the Atheists argue, the fact that our world is flawed, indicates that a traditional creator-entity failed to achieve his goal of perfection, either because he was a flawed designer (demiurge), or that his perfect plan was opposed by an evil deity (Devil). A variety of such rationales have been proposed in the past. But my thesis reverses that assumption of divine intention. What if the "plan" was to create an evolving process instead a perfect world?

    Since evolution does show signs of progress toward some ultimate goal*, I must assume that the intention was not to instantly create a Garden of Eden 6000 years ago. Instead, the intent was focused either on a distant future resolution, or on the process itself. As I suggested, human multi-player game designers (SimCity; Dungeons & Dragons) don't create a perfect world, but provide a base reality, and then allow the players enough freewill to evolve their world according to a collective intention. The omniscient designer turns over the base design to the hive-mind of fallible players with selfish motives.

    I don't mean to take the simulated world theory (Matrix) literally, but just as a metaphor for a designed Process instead of a designed Product. The ultimate end of such a process might be perfect in some sense, or it might just play itself out as entropy reaches a maximum. I take an optimistic view based on the novel concept of Enformy (negentropy). Enformationism is a theory of an Enformed System.


    Enformy : In the Enformationism theory, Enformy is a hypothetical, holistic, metaphysical, natural trend or force, that counteracts Entropy & Randomness to produce complexity & progress.
    http://blog-glossary.enformationism.info/page8.html

    Theory of Enformed Systems : http://hilgart.org/enformy/$wsr02.html
    https://hilgart.org/enformy/enformy.htm

    Simulated Reality : https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/oct/11/simulated-world-elon-musk-the-matrix
    https://www.nbcnews.com/mach/science/are-we-living-simulated-universe-here-s-what-scientists-say-ncna1026916

    * Progression of Evolution : http://www.bothandblog.enformationism.info/page29.html
  • TheMadFool
    4.3k
    I don't mean to take the simulated world theory (Matrix) literally, but just as a metaphor for a designed Process instead of a designed Product.Gnomon

    I have nothing against the idea of process being the purpose rather than products. Assuming a designer for the moment it's possible that s/he wants to create a robust life principle capable of spontaneous generation and able to sustain itself against great odds.

    I wonder now whether in this context intelligence is just one of the tools life evolved to perpetuate/steer/accelerate the process towards something even bigger.

    Paleontological evidence doesn't confirm this hypothesis. After all the dinosaur age makes it quite clear that intelligence isn't necessary for life. That said intelligence does give us an edge in the survival business doesn't it? The USA has a program that scans the skies for large asteroids that could precipitate a global extinction event like the one that wiped out the dinosaurs. Of course we have to factor in the possibility that intelligence, in human form, is itself an extinction event. Looks like intelligence is like weapons of mass destruction - capable of preventing catastrophes but is itself a major threat.
  • Gnomon
    301
    After all the dinosaur age makes it quite clear that intelligence isn't necessary for life. That said intelligence does give us an edge in the survival business doesn't it?TheMadFool
    Maybe a slight edge. Arthur C. Clarke once wrote, "It has yet to be proven that intelligence has any survival value." I don't know if he was being sarcastic, but biologist Ernst Mayer also voiced that same opinion. Yet how else do you explain that, of all vertebrates, only humans have adapted to every environment on Earth, and even in space? Plus, of all mammals, humans are the only ones increasing in population, while many others are facing extinction. If successful reproduction is a sign of evolutionary fitness, then intelligence must be a big success. Unfortunately, as you noted, intelligence can be a two-edged sword, like the taming of fire. And intelligent humans have only one rival in the survival business : other humans. :cool:


    PS___Birds are considered to be the literal descendants of dinosaurs, and they seem to be doing pretty well considering, millions of years after the Saurian "Extinction". Relatively smart, and warm-blooded.
  • Spirit12
    26
    I can't help but wonder if there is evolutionary purpose for evolution to give us way to disagree with our own selves?
  • Brett
    1.1k


    can't help but wonder if there is evolutionary purpose for evolution to give us way to disagree with our own selves?Spirit12

    Maybe not a purpose but a consequence that may in the long term be a disadvantage, Assuming that by disagreement with our own selves you mean the dilemmas we face as conscious and reflective beings
  • Brett
    1.1k


    Of course we have to factor in the possibility that intelligence, in human form, is itself an extinction event.TheMadFool

    That’s a very interesting point. I’d like to hear more on that.
  • Spirit12
    26
    No. I mean general ability to disagree with self. Second and third guessing is considered useful in both short and long term.

    Is it purely disadvantage in all ways? If I have no ability to second guess myself then maybe I fail and fall and die first time instead of using willpower to question whether had taken enough thinking time.

    So long as we reject magical conceptualization for explanation of phenomenon of Will, then maybe we can think in this way.
  • Possibility
    787
    Life requires an agency capable of discovering the most efficient processes to perpetuate itself with the ability to choose these processes in order to do so.

    In fact it could be said that if nature is truly efficient it would favor directed evolution which necessitates an agent with intelligence AND free will rather than just leave everything to the vagaries of chance.
    TheMadFool

    We're in a catch 22 situation. The ability to choose - free will - combined with intelligence would favor life but then there would be no choice but to follow the most efficient processes.

    Perhaps we could frame the issue in terms of intelligence alone not being adequate because then there would be nothing to make a choice to follow the most efficient processes to perpetuate itself. There is a need for the ability to choose (free will) even if in the broader context these choices are limited by NE.
    TheMadFool

    This a very interesting discussion. I’d like to throw in a suggestion:

    Perhaps we could frame the issue in terms of will as part of the directed evolution itself. Rather than simply the ability to ‘choose’ the most efficient processes, what directs evolution even prior to life is an impetus to discover or at least prefer what it perceives (in its limited awareness) as the most efficient processes for a sustainable existence. This develops as an underlying impetus to increase awareness, connection and collaboration - although an individual will has always been in a position to alternatively ignore, isolate and exclude with every interaction, depending on its limited awareness of what constitutes ‘sustainable existence’.
  • TheMadFool
    4.3k
    That’s a very interesting point. I’d like to hear more on that.Brett

    Global warming, nuclear weapons, pollution, climate change, etc.
  • TheMadFool
    4.3k
    "It has yet to be proven that intelligence has any survival value."Gnomon

    :lol:
  • Brett
    1.1k
    Of course we have to factor in the possibility that intelligence, in human form, is itself an extinction event.TheMadFool

    That’s a very interesting point. I’d like to hear more on that.
    — Brett

    Global warming, nuclear weapons, pollution, climate change, etc.
    TheMadFool

    That’s a list. I as really alluding to the idea of whether intelligence is an advantage or mistake of evolution, or if it has its limits and where those limits might be? Or if we can step back and observe or correct our intelligence? Or is intelligence a force that occupies the mind, like a virus?
  • ovdtogt
    465
    All species have faced extinction at some stage. Perhaps we are the only one that has the ability to prevent this happening to ourselves.
  • Brett
    1.1k


    It’s not whether we can prevent our extinction I’m interested in, it’s about the nature of our intelligence.
  • ovdtogt
    465
    The nature of intelligence is to assist in our survival.
  • Brett
    1.1k


    So, has it done a good job or not?. What should we expect from it?
  • ovdtogt
    465
    We are still here aren't we? And as I said: we might be the only species capabile of surviving extinction.
  • Brett
    1.1k

    If successful reproduction is a sign of evolutionary fitness, then intelligence must be a big success.[/quote]

    I’m not sure, but I think viruses are more successful in reproducing than us. But we would not regard them as intelligent. But then again it’s us ourselves defining intelligence. Not the most unbiased assessment.
  • TheMadFool
    4.3k
    That’s a list. I as really alluding to the idea of whether intelligence is an advantage or mistake of evolution, or if it has its limits and where those limits might be? Or if we can step back and observe or correct our intelligence? Or is intelligence a force that occupies the mind, like a virus?Brett

    The list I provided was meant to show how intelligence can lead to global catastrophes. After all man-made stuff like the industrial revolution and the nuclear arms race have been paraded to the public as real existential threats.
  • Brett
    1.1k


    Yes, I understand that. So then, intelligence can be viewed as a threat to its host.
  • Brett
    1.1k


    We are still here aren't we? And as I said: we might be the only species capabile of surviving extinction.ovdtogt

    And the only one capable of creating our own extinction.
  • TheMadFool
    4.3k
    Yes, I understand that. So then, intelligence can be viewed as a threat to its host.Brett

    Anything's possible.
  • ovdtogt
    465
    And the only one capable of creating our own extinction.Brett
    I think humans would be capable of surviving even the worst nuclear winter. As a species we are almost impossible to eradicate.
  • Brett
    1.1k


    And as I said: we might be the only species capabile of surviving extinction.ovdtogt

    Though nothing can survive extinction. Maybe you mean avoid extinction. What do you think the number of people being alive would qualify as ‘close to extinction’?
  • ovdtogt
    465
    What do you think the number of people being alive would qualify as ‘close to extinction’?Brett
    2. Adam and Eve
  • Harry Hindu
    2.6k
    Freedom entails choices. The more choices you have, the more freedom you have.

    Most animals don't make choices. Their actions are instinctive. They respond to the environment in programmed ways. The program is a general response to a variety of circumstances. Bees evolved to instinctively use the Moon as a means of navigation, and a porch light can be mistaken for the Moon and cause the bee to fly around and around until it dies of exhaustion. The bee has no choice. It simply does what it was programmed to do and can't distinguish the Moon from a porch light.

    Humans have more freedom because we can make choices. We can make distinctions between the Moon and porch lights. Being able to make more distinctions enables us to make more choices. Our ability to plan ahead and store a significant amount of information in our brains also provides us with the ability to make choices. Sometimes, though, having too many choices is a detriment. It can freeze us in place as we try to make a decision about what to do when it might become to late to act. Instinctive behaviors are good in the way that they limit response times to changes in the environment, while decision-making can fine-tune our responses to the variety of environmental changes that occur. Both have their pros and cons. Nature is simply trying different tactics to see what works best. If humans end up destroying themselves, then one might make the case that freedom and choices are more of a detriment to organisms over the long term. But then, humans have been able to use their intelligence to learn of the threats to our existence that other animals are oblivious to, and enables us to take actions to prevent it. The jury is still out one whether or not one is better than the other.
  • ovdtogt
    465
    Freedom entails choices. The more choices you have, the more freedom you have.Harry Hindu

    Totally agree with you there. No such thing as absolute freedom. The more choices (options) you have the more freedom you have. This is also the reason a lot of people are so dissatisfied with life. They see other people who have more freedom (choices) in life than they do, not realizing that being free from loneliness, fear, pain, hunger, and the other necessities for survival is all that is required for a 'good' life.
  • Gnomon
    301
    I’m not sure, but I think viruses are more successful in reproducing than us. But we would not regard them as intelligent. But then again it’s us ourselves defining intelligence. Not the most unbiased assessment.Brett
    That's why I limited my example to vertebrates. For sheer reproductive power, single cells that divide every few minutes don't need much intelligence to survive as a species. Ironically, as humans have expanded their mental power (not just intelligence) via science & education, they have tended to reproduce less often. Perhaps that's because the human mind is gaining more survival advantage from their memes, than from their genes.

    Memetic Evolution : http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/MEMEEVOL.html

    PS__ world evolution has evolved from slow erratic Natural Selection to rapid targeted Cultural Selection.
  • Gnomon
    301
    I as really alluding to the idea of whether intelligence is an advantage or mistake of evolutionBrett
    The answer to that question depends on whether the "goal" of evolution is Quantitative (reproduction) or Qualitative (teleology). Atheists assume that evolution has no ultimate aim, hence it's only the raw numbers that count. If so, then the emergence of Intelligence is not necessarily a mistake, but merely a Spandrel. However, non-atheists may see signs of intention and qualitative progress in evolution. If that is the case, then Intelligence -- and perhaps freewill -- may be an essential function for the program of gradual improvement.


    Spandrel : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spandrel

    Evolutionary Progress : http://www.bothandblog.enformationism.info/page29.html

    Progressophobia : http://bothandblog2.enformationism.info/page27.html
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