Re: Logic + universal evolution

From: Pascal Jouxtel (pascal@contagions.com)
Date: Sun Jul 29 2001 - 11:49:26 BST

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    From: "Pascal Jouxtel" <pascal@contagions.com>
    To: <memetics@mmu.ac.uk>
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    Subject: Re: Logic + universal evolution
    Date: Sun, 29 Jul 2001 12:49:26 +0200
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    A bientot sur / see you soon on
    www.contagions.com
    Tell your friends / parlez-en vos amis
    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Wade T.Smith" <wade_smith@harvard.edu>
    To: "Memetics Discussion List" <memetics@mmu.ac.uk>
    Sent: Saturday, July 28, 2001 9:46 PM
    Subject: Re: Logic + universal evolution

    > Hi Pascal Jouxtel -
    >
    > >Assuming that DNA (and with it the whole bio realm) is one piece in a
    chain
    > >of successive replicators, preceeded by clay
    >
    > Life is, perhaps, the symptom we know of from our local replicators, but,
    > that clay (the primordial soup, eh?) was, unfortunately for your poetic
    > takeover of natural history, not a replicator.
    >
    > Clay is wet granulated rock.
    >
    > Very specific and special wet granulated rock, granted, but, rock
    > nonetheless.

    Wade,
    I would not have thought of clay cristals as replicating code myself before
    I read AG Cairns-Smith's book (of which I had read about in 'the blind
    watchmaker'. ) AGCS's argumentation is very convincing, and the idea that
    neither evolution nor life started with organic molecules seems acceptable
    enough.
    check it here
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0521398282/qid=996401101/sr=1-1/ref=s
    c_b_1/103-7919144-8024648
    Did you ever stand by a river (or seen a glimmering lazy stream from a
    plane) and feel that you were close to an ancient lifeform ?
    BTW, as far as memetic creatures are concerned, I believe poetry to be worth
    as much as science.

    Along the way, you will also recognize that the 'takeover' hypothesis is an
    alternative to the 'primordial soup' hypothesis, which has it that sheer
    statistic encounter between simple molecules built up larger molecules. That
    is the contrary of the 'archway scaffolding' vision of AGCS.

    >
    > Life and the organics are a special form of matter, and, to me so far at
    > least, evolution is only sensible in this realm.>
    > There are processes and physics that matter does and that happen
    > geologically, (like the formation of clay), but, replication is not one
    > of them.
    >
    > Thus, there were no 'takeovers' before life got in the way.

    When did life get in the way ? How do you call what was before it ?
    'life got in the way' sounds very 'hand of god' to me.

    >
    > >(We animals might have been created by 'mother' earth as tools to
    > >shape her into her future...)
    > The Gaia hypothesis is prettily packaged, but, empty inside.
    >
    > - Wade
    >

    OK, Wade, maybe I was taken too far there! Forget about Gaia, it was
    probably the less important part of my idea.
     The central point was the use of 'tools'. I have a hint that in evolution,
    steps forward are sometimes made when a temporary expression of life is
    using 'tools'. How ?

    If a clay particle is surrounded with organic 'coating', it might achieve
    mechanical properties that will allow it, when dried in the sun, to be
    carried by the wind further than non coated particles, thus inseminating
    another water pool with its cristalline structure. It will subsequently
    last longer and eventually becomme locally dominant. I take that example
    from 'the blind watchmaker'. Minerals might have 'used' organic pre-life as
    tools. But the notions of 'use' and 'tools' are viewed retrospectively, and
    the words are inapropriate because they contain the notions of intention and
    finality.

    Another example (this one completely hypothetical) might be that shapeless
    matter encoutering matter structured into particles (like quarks, and so
    forth) would result in more matter being structured. This is another way of
    saying that the coded structure of matter has been replicating, and locally
    became dominant because statistically, shaped matter lasted longer than
    shapeless matter.
    I am still in need of experimental elements to prove this one. if someone
    knows where they are, please tell us.

    As for the present takeover, no need to explicit the 'tool' nature of things
    like culture, law, science, technology, speech, logic, and even thinking.

    The point I am getting at is : 'tools' is another word for 'next step in
    evolution'...

    Give a hug to your lawnmower for me.

    Pascal

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    >

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    This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
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    see: http://www.cpm.mmu.ac.uk/jom-emit



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