Saturday, October 3, 2009

Will Humans Evolve Into Machines?

Tenet 3(f) of Ecocosmology recognizes that if the human species morphs or evolves into a species that does not depend on central stars with habitable planets orbiting them, the need for infinite nomadic travel from solar system to solar system can be avoided.

This blog also questioned the issue of machines in the scheme of evolution in a post Putting a Face on Machine Mutation a while back.

The notion of evolution into machines seems like science fiction, however, some serious and viable scientists think human evolution into machines is the only viable reality for survival of the human species:

In a futuristic mode similar to Hawking, both Steven Dick, chief NASA historian and Carnegie-Mellon robotics pundit, Hans Moravec, believe that human biological evolution is but a passing phase: the future of mankind will be as vastly evolved sentient machines capable of self-replicating and exploring the farthest reaches of the Universe programmed with instructions on how to recreate earth life and humans to target stars.

Dick believes that if there is a flaw in the logic of the Fermi Paradox, and extraterrestrials are a natural outcome of cosmic evolution, then cultural evolution may have resulted in a post-biological universe in which machines are the predominant intelligence.

(Space Colonization). In the post Putting a Face on Machine Mutation linked to above, there is a discussion about machines evolving into biotic organisms many millions of years ago:

"Our cells, and the cells of all organisms, are composed of molecular machines. These machines are built of component parts, each of which contributes a partial function or structural element to the machine. How such sophisticated, multi-component machines could evolve has been somewhat mysterious, and highly controversial." Professor Lithgow said.


"François Jacob described evolution as a tinkerer, cobbling together proteins of one function to yield more complex machines capable of new functions." Professor Lithgow said.

"Our work describes a perfect example of Jacob's proposition, and shows that Darwin's theory of evolution beautifully explains how molecular machines came to be."

(Science Daily, emphasis added; cf Putting A Face On Machine Mutation - 4). But wouldn't reverse evolution from biological human back into machines violate Dollo's law? Isn't reverse evolution illegal? Note:

The Belgian biologist Louis Dollo was the first scientist to ponder reverse evolution. “An organism never returns to its former state,” he declared in 1905, a statement later dubbed Dollo’s law.

(NY Times). Well, that throws a monkey wrench into the equation doesn't it?

Wouldn't you know that some futurists are claiming that only the rich will evolve into machines as a separate species?

Can The First Bank of Reincarnation be far behind?

Will Humans Evolve Into Super Beings?

Both the evolutionary section of science and the creationism section of religion are rear-view mirror concepts.

That is, they ask "where did we come from?", however, Ecocosmology is a front wind shield concept asking "where are we going?", and so it is a completely different approach.

Concerning Tenet 3(f) of Ecocosmology, we gave recent scientific thought concerning human evolution a look in the post Will Humans Evolve Into Machines.

We had mentioned in an earlier post that we would consider the mystical or religious position on that subject, so, that is what is being done in this current post.

The religious and mystical dogma and teachings vary over time as do evolutionary dogma and teachings.

But in the Tenet 3(f) sense, both call for a morph of the human body into something no longer frail and subject to a host of bad things: from hunger, disease, and death, to permanent extinction when the Sun's demise takes place.

An ancient Christian Apostle said this:

I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed — in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.

(I Cor. 15:50-53, emphasis added). The religion of the Apostle Paul was that perishable flesh and blood humanity had to be changed into non-flesh and blood beings with imperishable bodies.

The scientists quoted in the links to the articles on evolution above said that perishable flesh and blood humanity will be replaced with imperishable "machines" with artificial intelligence ("the future of mankind will be as vastly evolved sentient machines capable of self-replicating and exploring the farthest reaches of the Universe").

In a sense, then, as was pointed out in another post on this blog, there are distinct similarities in science and religion concerning what must happen in order for humanity to survive, but the ways of getting there are where the distinct differences arise.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Wanted: Technology To Save Our Species

When "you" discover that the Sun will destroy you at an unknown time in the future unless you move somewhere else, some people will say "lets talk about that somewhere else and how to get there fast", and some people will say "why worry about that now".

This says a lot:
... the Voyager 2 spacecraft, which has been traveling outward from the Sun for 31 years ... launched in 1977, is moving at a speed of 38,000 miles an hour. Even at this considerable speed, the spacecraft will still take 30,000 years to reach a distance equal to that of the nearest star.

(Science Daily). The nearest star is only 4.2 light years away, has no habitable planets around it, and it would take "30,000 years" [74,000 years by other calculations] to travel there. We have trouble travelling a few days to the moon and setting up a colony (it hasn't been done BTW).

Thus, our current technology does not allow us to find another habitable planet and colonize it, which we must do in order to avoid extinction as a species (because our star is going to disintegrate us along with all the inner planets out to Mars).

The NASA Kepler mission is looking for habitable planets or habitable moons of planets in the 50-500 light year range. You know, up to a million years of travel for Voyager 1 & 2 type space vehicles (see Tenet 3(b) basics).

Anyone ready to drop the silly fossil fuel technology and the song "Fly Me To The Moon", and get serious about developing the new physics?