Tag Archives: evolusi

Genetics of Good and Evil

Good is something that would increase our collective chance of survival as a species. Evil is just the opposite. Certain things look good and noble to us precisely the same way healthy babies look cute to us. Our genes survived because we are the kind of people who would find our collective survival a noble thing, and wanton destruction of lives a cruel or evil thing.

The genetic explanation of good and evil above, though reasonable, may be a little too simplistic. Many morbid things are considered great or noble. Mindless brutality in wars, misalnya, is thought of as a noble act of courage and sacrifice. Certain cruel social or cultural practices were once considered noble and are now considered abominable. Slavery, misalnya, is one such custom that changed its moral color. The practice of slavery was condoned in some parts of the world while slave liberation was frowned upon, in an exact reversal of the current moral attitude.

Can we understand these apparent paradoxes in terms of our DNA replication algorithm? What exactly is the scope of the DNA replication algorithm? Jelas, it cannot be that a DNA wants (or is programmed) to replicate all DNAs. We would not be able to eat or survive in that case. Even the maximsurvival of the fittestwould not make any sense. Neither can it be that a DNA wants exact clones of itself. Jika ini benar, it would not take a father and a mother to make a baby.

There is some behavioral evidence to suggest that DNA replication is optimized at sub-species or even intra-species level. A male lion, when he takes over a pride, kills or eats the cubs so that the lionesses of the pride have to mate with him. This behavior, however cruel and evil by our own genetic logic, makes sense to the male lion’s DNA replication program. His DNA is not interested in replicating the species DNA; it wants to replicate a DNA as close to itself as possible. Other examples of sub-species level optimization are easily found. Gorillas are fiercely territorial and protective of their groups. Their violent behavior in promoting their own specific DNA is in stark contrast to our perception of them as gentle giants.

Such blatant genetic motivations are mirrored in human beings as well; ethnic cleansing and racism are clear examples. We are also at least as territorial about our countries and homes as our gorilla cousins, as evidenced by the national boundaries and Immigration and Naturalization Services and so on. Even our more subtle socio-economic behavior can be traced back to a genetic sub-species level struggle for survival of our DNA.

This sub-species genetic division leads to the apparent paradox of the mixing of noble and the evil. Patriotism is noble; treason is evil. Spying for our country is bravery, while spying for some other country is clearly treason. Killing in a war is noble, but murdering a neighbor is clearly evil. A war for liberation is probably noble; a war for oil is not. Looking after our family is noble, but ignoring our own and looking after somebody else’s family is not that good.

Even though the actions and effects of each pair of these noble and evil deeds are roughly equivalent, their moral connotations are different. This paradoxical difference can be explained genetically by the notion that the DNA replication algorithm distinguishes between sub-species.

Ref: Jawatan ini adalah petikan dari buku saya, The Unreal Universe.

End of Evolution

To a physicist, life is a neat example of electromagnetic interaction. To a biologist, Walau bagaimanapun, life is a DNA replication algorithm. Let’s mull over the biology view for a few moments.

The genes in our body have only one motiveto get replicated. Our body is created in accordance with a blue print encoded in the genes torunthis algorithm. How this algorithm gets mapped to our higher level goals and emotions is what life is all about to most people who are not physicists or biologists.

A simple mapping of this algorithm leads to the maxim in evolutionthe survival of the fittest.Any mutation that has the tiniest advantage in terms of survivability gets amplified over time. Begitu juga, all disadvantaged genes get wiped out.

But evolution in humans (and through our influence, the whole echo-system) has taken a new turn. Survival of the fittest used to mean the survival of the strongest or the smartest. Sebagai contoh, if I had a genetic condition that made me prone to some life-threatening disease (dalam erti kata lain, if I was not very strong), my chances of passing on my genes would be a little smaller.

Walau bagaimanapun, because of the advances in medicine, the survival chances for such disadvantaged genes are normalized to roughly the same level as those of the rest of the species. Kemudian lagi, because of the dependence of the quality of health care on money, the survival chances get distorted in favor of the rich. Jadi, is the mapping of the DNA algorithm nowthe survival of the richest?”

Wealth is considered a product of intelligence. But intelligence (as defined by money-making ability) is not necessarily genetic. It may be, but we do not know that yet. So over several generations, it is not even the richest that survive, because time averages out the survival chances.

So what exactly is going to survive?

Ref: Jawatan ini adalah petikan dari buku saya, The Unreal Universe.

Evolution–Logik Songsang

Evolution biasanya digambarkan sebagai “yang kuatlah yang terus hidup,” atau sebagai spesies berubah untuk menyesuaikan diri dengan alam sekitar. Untuk terus hidup, berkembang, menyesuaikan diri—ini adalah kata kerja tindakan, membayangkan beberapa jenis niat atau rancangan umum. Tetapi ada satu penyongsangan ingin tahu logik, atau pembalikan sebab akibat dalam teori evolusi. Ini adalah hampir bertentangan dengan niat atau rancangan.

Ia adalah paling mudah untuk menggambarkan logik terbalik ini menggunakan contoh. Katakan anda berada di sebuah pulau tropika, menikmati cuaca yang baik dan pantai yang indah. Anda berkata kepada diri sendiri, “Ini adalah sempurna. Ini adalah syurga!” Sudah tentu, terdapat beberapa gen tertentu yang mengandungi cetakan biru proses otak anda yang membawa anda rasa cara ini. Dengan alasan bahawa mungkin mempunyai mutasi genetik telah pada satu ketika, yang membuat beberapa orang benci seperti ini syurga. Mereka mungkin lebih suka Alaska pada musim sejuk. Jelas, gen tersebut mempunyai peluang yang lebih rendah sedikit untuk hidup kerana musim sejuk Alaska tidak sihat seperti syurga tropika. Lebih berjuta-juta tahun, gen ini mendapat semua tetapi dihapuskan.

Adakah ini bermakna bahawa syurga tropika tidak mempunyai kecantikan hakiki. Ia tidak walaupun yang anda kebetulan merasa indah. Kecantikan tidak semestinya terletak pada mata yang melihatnya. Ia adalah lebih seperti mata wujud kerana kita jenis orang yang akan mencari persekitaran yang mesra seperti cantik.

Satu lagi contoh yang penyongsangan logik dalam evolusi adalah sebab kita dapati bayi yang comel comel. Gen kita terselamat, dan kami berada di sini kerana kita jenis orang yang akan mencari bayi yang sihat comel. Ini pembalikan sebab akibat mempunyai implikasi dalam setiap aspek kewujudan kita, semua jalan sehingga tanggapan kehendak bebas kita.

Ref: Jawatan ini adalah petikan dari buku saya, The Unreal Universe.