Less Wrong is a community blog devoted to refining the art of human rationality. Please visit our About page for more information.

Johnicholas comments on Life's Story Continues - Less Wrong

13 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 21 November 2008 11:05PM

You are viewing a comment permalink. View the original post to see all comments and the full post content.

Comments (17)

Sort By: Old

You are viewing a single comment's thread.

Comment author: Johnicholas 22 November 2008 12:17:48AM 0 points [-]

"This is the real point of the cell boundary, not "protection from the environment" - it keeps the fruits of chemical labor inside a spatial boundary."

What basis does Yudkowsky have for this claim?

For example, the speed of biological/chemical processes is related to diffusion, and the speed of diffusion is related to the size of cells. By restricting diffusion to a relatively small chunk of water, you can get much faster reactions. If this reason is the dominant "why" of the evolution of cells, then cells would sound more like an object-level innovation.

I suspect that Yudkowsky is ascribing more knowledge to the researchers into early life than the researchers actually have; most disciplines look more impressive from a distance than up close.