on evolution and evolutionary reality (me and you)

Archive for November, 2012

Towards Evolutionary Reality II

Towards Evolutionary Reality II

The essay’s title “evolutionary objectivity” reflects my opinions about the nature of reality, or the answer to the primordial question- “what is”.
The basic premises of my concepts are contained within that term. I am actually amazed how few of these premises I need! No controversial new research results, no multiverses, no turtles…

The core of this theory are consequences of the theory of evolution. If the mechanisms of evolution are correct they couldn’t start and stop out of blue. They can’t apply only to some artificially carved out parts of mater.
These mechanisms are essential in all the universe, from the beginning to the end.
The understanding of the evolution is expanded in time and in space.

To explain better the above idea I need to introduce the second, much more difficult part of the theory’s name and theory’s premises.

The term “reality” is used to put me firmly in the scientist’s camp. I promise, it is where I belong. If you’ve detected my unusual  emphasis on this belonging, you are right.
I have been accused of opinions like “ it’s all in our heads” or “it’s all an illusion” or “a story, it’s all that is”.
But everything is interdependent, therefore all mechanisms and laws are really interdependent and therefore the things and stories are really non-dual. Well, ultimately non-dual. It means that you can be spiritual, until you are blue on your face, provided you agree that your “spirit” ( or whoever) is made the same way as the rock.
This declaration of interdependence is not some new age-y emotional pitch. There is no subjective rules and objective rules, the laws which created me, also created my worldview, and the same happened to you.

So ,when discussing the mechanisms of the evolution I have a choice of two beginning points of the story.

The first starts as the subjective experience and develops into objectivity. The second starts as the objective understanding of the world and within this understanding the subjective origins are revealed.

This is the same story, same reality, and its unity will be obvious latter.
Every story is told  by a person and this is my story.
In this version it begins with my conception. Physically and biologically , an exact moment is fuzzy, but philosophically it is crystal clear. I will carry this analogy or metaphor into the other version of the story, this “more objective” (pardon for this oxymoron), version. As I was growing as an embryo, the nature of my experience was changing rapidly. I traveled in my ontogeny along the 4 billion years old path of phylogeny. So even as this experience in the womb was always mine, ie subjective, the “scientific” description of this subjectivity would use different language.
The embryo’s self is limited to the intent built -in in the primitive neural tissue, there is no other elements of subjective experience like emotional identity or consciousness (whatever it is).
With the development of brain and sensory system the uniquely mine experiences began even if the majority of wiring was not unique. How did my body knew how to grow. It was in my genes and in my environment.
Let’s look very closely at the sources of this body of information which tells me (as an embryo )
what to grow and when. My past can be viewed as a line of ancestors. Their experiences (viewed by an observer as the behaviors) were validated by evolutionary mechanisms. Over the billions of years the winners were encoded, the “losers”  were eliminated.
Note that, “longer neck” or “larger memory” can not be the winner, or loser. Evolution doesn’t care how you look or what you think, you live or you die , that’s all… It’s subjective- experience, objective- behavior, which counts. If you can repeat it- you win, survive, multiply , yoopee!, if you can’t- you are not a subject of this story, you died out. To repeat it,  you need to remember, to remember across the generations you need to put it in the coding system (ie genes + stable environment- the genes would not reproduce same beneficial effect in the new niche). You need to be able to repeat “the suite” of beneficial behaviors. It include homeostasis, feeding, defending, breeding, all.
Note also that the evolution doesn’t care about separate organisms. The winner behavior can be related to the better enzyme in the liver (a body organ), better hunting axe ( a tribe), or abolishment of the nuclear weapons (a civilization).
The metaphor which comes to the mind: You read a text, then suddenly you notice that the words can be read not only horizontally but like in the word puzzle- also vertically, diagonally and backward.
Then , they also can be read out of the puzzle magazine’s page, into the page of your novel!
So, I guess, the information  encoded is purely relational?
And that’s it, you’re set, you do not need to know anything more, to be this or that, it is all included. The content  of this coding, it is animal’s worldsense. It is its implicit universe. It doesn’t play like a film in fish brain, fish is just doing it.
So was I, as an embryo, doing it. Then I was born and kept doing it.
Being a very complex animal, though, within this performing “my suite’ of beneficial behaviors, two discernments have to be added.
First, some of my behaviors become conscious. When it happened to me , I called this things “experiences”.
I felt what I was doing, I saw what I was doing, I started to understand what I was doing. Like in my brain, there was played kind of film of my doing it, the film played for me…The parts of my implicit animal worldsense become explicit. I could put these behaviors in language, think about them, dream, discuss, even write it down. And for a very good reason.
Explicit form of  behavior descriptions in our minds , shares better.
And sharing experiences is for the evolution like for the military , the nuclear weapons. Who needs trenches anymore??
Sharing makes (in terms of the evolutionary effort ) complexity cheap, fast, extremely effective, and with limitless future. It makes society out of the number of individuals.
So, secondly, since early infancy I indulged in sharing experiences. There is no benefit to keep them separate in the brain. I was exploring and learning with my experiences all mingled and mixed.
With all this formidable new tools at my disposal I was trying to figure things out.
And it is what I still do. My explorations extend in time towards the Big Bang, towards the Future of mankind, into space na into deep reflexion into myself. I (with your help) created my worldview.
And this is  the same story but told with the different beginning point.
That story merges mathematic and physics and the evolution.
These mechanisms have to be extremely potent and basic to be so pervasive.
And I believe they are.
Probability can be understood in time as a spectrum from existence to non-existence.
Existence can be understood in time as a spectrum from all energy to no energy.(minimal entropy to maximal entropy)
Energy can be understood in time as a spectrum from simple matter to complex matter.
Complexity can be understood in time as spectrum from perfectly simple maximum heat energy to minimum heat with perfect understanding.
Perfect understanding can be seen as the spectrum of the meaning of life and it starts at birth and ends with death.

Of course “understanding” is our modern metaphor for the ancient processes which we also know under other names ( survival fitness, life force etc) . In the Universe before the life the mater was getting more and more complex as if “ trying” to produce life. Then, as soon as the primitive life started, it was as this young life forms would embrace  the rule :”status quo will not do, try to be better or die”. The life from the  beginning ( and even before that!) was about the action, the intent, trying to be better.
Most of matter followed the rules of entropy, but the probability allowed the matter to be uneven.
So with time( or in other words, from the language of probability games, with  increasing numbers of trying) the parts of matter with energy supply kept organise itself, get more and more complex at the expense of others following the omnipotent entropy. Looking back on evolutionary successful animals , one can trace the mechanism working for them and for their niches, like a “complexity engines” similar to anthropic principle theory. The attempts to calculate the “odds” is flawed. One can always  say that Universe had “just enough” time or energy or space to make mathematical calculations correct.
Back to the second version of my story. This is how a 68 year old pediatrician and an armchair philosopher is trying to understand the nature of the Universe.
It started with the probability of existence. No time, no space no matter, no energy yet. Not even mathematics, just philosophy. The stories about the universes which did not happened are rather boring… But, luckily ( in the full sense of this word) mine universe happened. And all the laws of the universe had to click together, the happening had to extend from the beginning to now, smoothly, logically, and without interruptions. All the observations, all laws had to neatly fit to each other, everything had to had happened once, that were the odds. ( here you are – the anthropic principle) .My understanding of the universe is build up on the understandings of my peers and my ancestors, past the baboon, past the fish, down to the original intent to be better. Or more evolved, or more complex, more existing? probable?

One day I will correct, work on the above, now  new/ old thing about hierarchies.
I imagine that any function of the brain involve activation of the many pathways.
evolution (phylogeny) and maturation (ontogeny) should include  increase in adaptability.
This means more complex function, recruiting more pathways. But the cheapest way of this  would be the flexibility of the pathway hierarchy.
If the animal depending on the perception ( situation) had capacity make brainstem “in charge”, “submission” memory second and “vigilance for danger” third , then it could be able, in need, reverse the hierarchy . This would add immense complexity( advantage in survival) without any re-wiring or adding new pathways or synapses.
As this is a fantastic trick I think it was utilised over and over.
The more sophisticated the function is, the ability to shift hierarchies would be more beneficial and varied.
Also I am not a mathematician but my worldview mysteriously highjacks my vague notions of equations and the “hierarchy” feels on the right track..
In the primordial soup the chances to start life rellied on the condition in the area. “the behavior of the ocean “ etc. As soon as life started, first thing was done( and I know one can talk for hours about this “was done”, like – who, purpose or plan etc, forget this ) the “responsibility “ was divided or rather chances multiplied by creating the behavior and “survival” of the individual organism. This could lead to the old story about the behavior being the subject of the evolutionary challenge, not as customary is seen – an organism or species or civilisation( the last one actually smacks of the flavor of “behavior”)
But the hierarchy in the neural pathways is interesting when we look at the communication between the organisms.
In the primitive organisms the hierarchy is simple- warning call about a predator, works like  the sight of the predator. Then, an aggressive posture of the alfa male chimp gives quiet a spectrum of the possible response ( I suspect the flexibility in the hierarchies of the neural pathway of the response)
And then consider the brain activity when you see beautiful woman….
Our brain works by continuously creating stories. Some are long , some are short, most involve a huge number of brain systems. Some involve consciousness , some avoid it.
Actually, i think , that most them are not stories but cases – like in the court.
In the classical story the time and the place and the actor’s characteristics are veiled and removed: “far, far away, long time ago, there was a hero” In our brain it is who and what and when and where. And even more importantly: why (emotional and moral) and “what to do NOW “
These cases are the best example of the shifting hierarchies.
Depending of the brain, the attitudes, emotions, culprits and outcomes can change in seconds 180*
This is , as you would expect, the characteristic of the human brain, the ability or even propensity to rapidly shift hierarchies of our neural pathways. I say “as you’d expect” because we are product of the very special phase of the evolution. Incredible rapid changes of environment, material, social and interpersonal environment, the evolution marching from animal body to brain to mind to consciousness. The language environment, the place where most of the recent evolution occur, naturally reflects this characteristic.
We use: different approach
other aspect
in other words
the other side of the coin
from the other point of view
on the other hand
You can think of other expressions addressing the shift in the hierarchy of the neural pathway. t


Worldview Game Evolved Nov 2012

Worldview Internet Game evolved. I obtained the Provisional Patent , so for 1 year now it has “patent pending” status. I am talking ( with the help of my daughter Sophia) to developers. At this moment you can still put your answers as comments here, also, more convenient, you can ask me for the invitation and I would share with you my Google doc spreadsheet where all answers are browsable, and you can put your answers there.

The rules and the content are the same, there is no “V numbers”- we need to figure out the way to tag the autorship of the answer if it “travels”.

The  new invitation letter emphasises the personal and societal benefits rather than simply “fun”…. oh well, the people do not like it as much as I expected.

The scoring -proposed- includes comments and answer’s length.