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bigjeff5 comments on An Alien God - Less Wrong

80 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 02 November 2007 06:57AM

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Comment author: bigjeff5 29 December 2011 01:34:08AM 0 points [-]

If watches reproduced and mutated randomly and were selected for accuracy then they most certainly would build themselves. Microsecond accuracy in just a few weeks, no watchmaker required.

See Evolution IS a Blind Watchmaker.

It took as little as 100 generations to get clocks that are accurate to the second (3 handed clock), and depending on the initial conditions sub-second accuracy (4 handed clock) was possible within a few hundred more generations.

It's pretty interesting, he got a series of "epochs", like "the age of the pendulum", where things didn't change much. Then all of a sudden a random mutation would turn a series of neutral mutations (mutations that aren't beneficial or harmful, and are therefore not selected for or against) into a beneficial mutation and a new type of clock would dominate almost immediately. The transition periods are so short compared to the stable periods that it really illustrates why we rarely find crazy transition species in nature - they simply weren't around long enough compared to the stable species.

Comment author: bigjeff5 29 December 2011 01:48:38AM 0 points [-]

Just noticed Psy-Kosh posted the same video four years ago, back before the comments nested - oops!