Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Evolution Everywhere

Those who seem to demonstrate some reason for knowing always say it, and I keep finding that it does seem to be the case, that evolution is a deep idea and this means that it will keep popping up as one of those theories that fits with all other deep ideas and not only that, it usually helps to explain them; it actually fits in with their explanations.

I have lost the New Scientist ref for this, (and they require a subscription for their archives), but a recent article detailed how evolution helps to explain how it is that we are actually here at all, at this point in the multiverse. Apparently (and I read this whilst also being told Sponge Bob jokes, which is a reasonable disclaimer if ever there was one), scientists can be more than a little struck by the idea that we exist at all, at any point in the multiverse, let alone that we are here and now. But the theory of evolution comes to the rescue. Something like: universes which produce black holes (which are somehow more conducive to producing the laws of physics which will eventually contribute to the evolution of life) are likely, by the nature of black holes, to be more productive of other multiverses...hence the greater chance that life will evolve.

I find even only this minimal grasp of this idea quite extraordinarily satisfying, which probably denotes a serious form of lunacy...however...

Pardon my even greater pleasure in finally realising just how closely the action of taking children seriously is linked to the laws of evolution. Again I feel I have the weakest possible grasp on this inkling of an idea but it goes something like this...The benefits of intelligence, rational thought and creativity (which are allowed for when one successfully takes one's children seriously), outweigh the costs (such as energy consumption) of these things because the world is an unpredictable place and those who can respond to it with greater behavioural flexibility (ie: rationality and creativity) are likely to live or live well and problem solve for another day. Bad ideas cause problems because they do not fit reality, they do not present solutions. This, of course, may not result in either the death of the person who holds the idea, or even the death of the idea, but the bad idea will be overtaken by better ideas which do solve the problem.

How is this likely to cause the better, problem solving idea to survive? Well, I think that there is an element of positive feedback in all this...by which I mean that the generation of creative and rational thought generates more unpredictability, which then demands even greater intelligent responses. Therefore, once we have broken the assumption of "coercion is good for you", we can only effectively keep responding with greater and greater rationality and creativity. This means that those who limit the capacity for creative, rational thought will get left further and further behind. They either evolve or get seriously confused!

This last point may give reason for optimism about the possibility of spread of TCS ideas. (Of course there are plenty of those who state that they dislike the ideas but who in reality practice them...I am not talking about them here)...

(This is one of those posts where am daring myself to look a complete fool, but not only that, am off to post this to the TCS list (to be found through the website: http://www.takingchildrenseriously.com/), so that the idea can get soundly trounced there and in the process be improved upon! That's evolution for you.

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