Saturday, June 21, 2008

Truth and the tautology of evolution.

Universal Darwinism reduced is: if you have variation, selection and heredity, you get evolution.

Susan Blackmore loves the word MUST from "You MUST get evolution". Must is a word that implies some form of universality.

I shorten Universal Darwinism to "survival of the survivors" to make it even more tautological in my own mind not because I wish to invoke some horrible "Karl Popper said it needs to be falsifiable", but to compare it to mathematical simplicity and truth. Karl Popper may have been right about theories, but some things aren't theories, they're actually proofs. The problem is, not many beleive in the idea of real world synthetic a priori with ramifications to new thought. Most people think that anything that can be figured out is worthless, as useless to science as "common sense".

There is a beauty in this truth of survival though because it is irrefutable. Like 1+1=2. To me, it's the world of maths and discoverable truths leaking into every day existence. I want to know how many other truths there are out there. How many ideas that are floating around as common sense or obvious truths that only when properly considered make new bold claims and lead to new discoveries.

I believe that we get evolution because at some point, something is going to have variations and heredity in a limited resource environment. Unless you get a system that survives, and has to succeed at surviving, you won't see it evolve. Unless you get evolution, you wouldn't exist to ponder it. Evolution could be seen as the best example of algorithmic anthropic principle.

Again, what other algorithms could there be out there?

Evolution is lucky to have itself linked to the anthropic principle in this way. We can talk about it because it happened. What other things, facts, allow us to talk about them? Language? What's the proof of langauge? Evolution's math is "survived because it survived", Language's math may just be the same and would therefore offer no further advance toward more truths.

No comments: