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Mike_Johnson comments on Evolutions Are Stupid (But Work Anyway) - Less Wrong

34 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 03 November 2007 03:45PM

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Comment author: Mike_Johnson 05 November 2007 06:07:14AM 0 points [-]

This should not be surprising; genes have to do all their own work of spreading. There's no Evolution Fairy who can watch the gene pool and say, "Hm, that gene seems to be spreading rapidly - I should distribute it to everyone." In a human market economy, someone who is legitimately getting 20% returns on investment - especially if there's an obvious, clear mechanism behind it - can rapidly acquire more capital from other investors; and others will start duplicate enterprises. Genes have to spread without stock markets or banks or imitators - as if Henry Ford had to make one car, sell it, buy the parts for 1.01 more cars (on average), sell those cars, and keep doing this until he was up to a million cars.

Fantastic paragraph in a really interesting piece.

Then other evolutions don't imitate it. If snake evolution develops an amazing new venom, it doesn't help fox evolution or lion evolution.

The only nitpick would be the possible spread of genes through horizontal gene transfer, but in mammals that seems like it would be trivial in most any sense of the word.