Subject: Re: Conference: Loebner and his prize
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 08 Nov 2002 06:17:56 +0000
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Erik Naggum
| Evolution is not about survival of the fittest, but death of the unfit,
| which is quite a different story.  All sorts of things survive, but when
| some illness or catastrophy or other disastrous event occurs, a lot of
| individuals die.  It is entirely random (as far as survival pre-disaster
| is concerned) which factor allows individuals to survive the disaster.

* Russell Wallace
| This is true if the disaster is something which recurs at intervals
| longer than normal evolutionary timescales. (E.g. an asteroid hitting
| the Earth.)

  Huh?  What does the timescale have to do with anything?

| However, most things which are disasters for an individual or even a
| group, are actually quite normal, repeated occurrences on an evolutionary
| timescale.  For example, when an individual survives an illness, it's
| usually because its ancestors survived it on previous occasions and
| passed on their genes for a well-adapted immune system.

  How is this not just what I said?

| So to answer the question of what factors drove a complex adaptation such
| as intelligence to appear, one often needs to look for things which might
| be disasters for an individual, but would be frequent occurrences over
| the length of time during which the adaptation evolved.

  Are you sure you read what I wrote?

  I am quite puzzled by your response, which looks like it tries to refute
  something, but does nothing to restate what I wrote as far as I can see.

Erik Naggum, Oslo, Norway

Act from reason, and failure makes you rethink and study harder.
Act from faith, and failure makes you blame someone and push harder.