Tag Archives: genes

Fin de l'Evolution

To a physicist, life is a neat example of electromagnetic interaction. To a biologist, cependant, 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. De même, 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. Par exemple, if I had a genetic condition that made me prone to some life-threatening disease (en d'autres termes, if I was not very strong), my chances of passing on my genes would be a little smaller.

Cependant, 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. Puis à nouveau, because of the dependence of the quality of health care on money, the survival chances get distorted in favor of the rich. Si, 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?

Réf: This post is an excerpt from my book, L'Unreal Univers.

Evolution–Inverted Logic

Evolution is usually described as “the survival of the fittest,” or as species evolving to adapt to the environment. To survive, to evolve, to adapt—these are action verbs, implying some kind of intention or general plan. But there is a curious inversion of logic, or reversal of causality in the theory of evolution. This is almost the opposite of intention or plan.

It is easiest to illustrate this inverted logic using examples. Suppose you are on a tropical island, enjoying the nice weather and the beautiful beach. You say to yourself, “This is perfect. This is paradise!” Bien sûr, there is some specific gene containing the blue print of your brain process that leads you to feel this way. It stands to reason that there may have been genetic mutations at some point, which made some people hate this kind of paradise. They may have preferred Alaska in winter. Evidently, such genes had a slightly lower chance of survival because Alaskan winters are not as healthy as tropical paradises. Over millions of years, these genes got all but wiped out.

What this means is that the tropical paradise does not have an intrinsic beauty. It is not even that you happen to find it beautiful. Beauty does not necessarily lie in the eyes of the beholder. It is more like the eyes exist because we are the kind of people who would find such hospitable environments beautiful.

Another example of the inversion of logic in evolution is the reason we find cute babies cute. Our genes survived, and we are here because we are the kind of people who would find healthy babies cute. This reversal of causality has implications in every facet of our existence, all the way up to our notion of free will.

Réf: This post is an excerpt from my book, L'Unreal Univers.