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Daniel_Humphries comments on No Evolutions for Corporations or Nanodevices - Less Wrong

28 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 17 November 2007 02:24AM

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Comment author: Daniel_Humphries 18 November 2007 12:21:24AM 0 points [-]

Interesting post.

But lack of broad distribution of an ability doesn't necessarily mean the ability doesn't exist. One of the themes of this blog is that human brain power has outstripped "nature" (I use that advisedly) in its ability to change, create and evolve. If psychic powers were an epiphenomenon of supercomplex brain structure, for example, then they would be no different than the ability to, say, do higher mathematics. That is, something most humans are physically capable of but only a tiny fraction of which have actually put in the requisite study, and learned from the right teachers. The ability to do higher mathematics could be seen, abstractly, as conferring a huge advantage for the organism. But whether that translates to higher rates of reproduction is another question.

The lack of psychic powers and higher mathematics in the general populace does not mean that the ability could not have evolved. Only that it did not evolve independently of another useful adaptation (like a brain that could make reasoned and complex inferences about the ancestral environment).