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Eliezer_Yudkowsky comments on The Baby-Eating Aliens (1/8) - Less Wrong

42 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 30 January 2009 12:07PM

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Comment author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 01 February 2009 08:01:00AM 1 point [-]

Hollerith, you are now officially as weird as a Yudkowskian alien. If I ever write this species I'll name it after you.

Carl, I realize that I am postulating a sort of complicated and difficult adaptation, and then supposing that a comparatively simpler adaptation did not follow it.

And if I were writing my own story that way, and then criticizing you for writing your own story the other way, that would be unfair.

But Carl, this sort of thing does happen in real-world biology; there are adaptations that seem complicated to us, which fail to improve in ways that seem like they ought to have been relatively simpler even for natural selection. It happens. I am not yet ashamed of using this as a fictional premise.

And I'll also repeat the question for what you think would be a more probable more evil alien - bearing in mind that the Babyeaters aren't supposed to be completely evil, but anyway it's an interesting question.