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Valeri Pavlo
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Jerusalem

Registered: Oct 2004
Posts: 1

The Meaning Of Life

Long time ago I understood that this universe is just a simulation inside of the BIG computer. The velocity of all physical interactions in the world is limited by the speed of light, therefore the speed of light is in fact the frequency of CPU of the BIG computer. The most probable reason for the function of the BIG computer is the creation of intelligence by evolution. This has not been accomplished yet. The human beings are only the first (?) step towards the formation of the general intelligent system which finally should convert the BIG computer in an intelligent creature. What is a purpose of a human life? The life of each human being is just an infinitely small step towards the final goal of the evolution. The final goal of the evolution of the universe inside of the BIG computer is the conversion of all free space into the one intelligent being. The creator(s) and programmer(s) of the BIG computer are waiting for the self-evolution of the universe into an intelligent being which can help him (them) to solve the very important problem for example to survive.


Valeri Pavlov
Jerusalem
October 29, 2004
Jerusalem

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Old Post 10-31-2004 01:28 AM
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MikeHelland


Registered: Dec 2003
Posts: 181

I'm a bit old fashioned, but I look at the meaning of life as two separate questions:

1. How did we get here?
2. What do we do now?

Science has a role to play in answering the first question. First it was creation theory, since then we've been able to expand on that answer and say that we were created by genes which compete for selection.

You could ask, how did the gene's or their environment get here, but then you're getting into "Mind of God" territory which, while poetic sounding, doesn't actually tell us something.

As far as the second question, whatever you choose, I'd say.

Any problems with that?

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Old Post 11-09-2004 07:51 PM
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Jason Cawley
Wolfram Science Group
Phoenix, AZ USA

Registered: Aug 2003
Posts: 712

Point of correction (to a disrupter, since removed) - you said at one point "as Wolfram has pointed out, the real goal of evolution isn't so much 'survival', as it is diversity." I am quite sure you will find he has said no such thing. Don't put words in his mouth.

Complexity is a real phenomenon and as such needs an explanation. It is not a "goal". What Wolfram has said about evolution - which happens and matters obviously, and involves natural selection on the basis of survival, not any other "goal" - is merely that it is not obviously the only explanation of complexity within life. Notice, complexity is not everything in life. Nor is it restricted to life. Complexity is a more general phenomena, it happens in systems that are not alive at all, and for essentially algorithmic reasons - the typical behavior of simple programs beyond a modest level of internal variety.

As such, there is no necessity that a selective advantage causes a given pigmentation pattern on a sea shell (just because the latter is complicated), when there clearly isn't such a cause for a drainage network or a pattern created by fracture. Complex patterns can arise for essentially computational reasons in life and outside of life. They then no doubt feature as inputs to natural selection processes, as any other source of variation can (mutation, genetic mixing, drift, etc).

The point is merely that algorithmic variation can enter at that pre-selection stage, as one kind of "variation" in the formula, "descent with variation". And can be entirely adequate to cause significant complexity, on its own. The point is not that complexity is a goal of anything, whether of rule 30, or the edge of a broken stick, or the billows of a cloud. Just that it already happens in these prebiotic cases and can be expected to continue doing so in organic ones. Natural selection then undoubtedly fiddles with the resulting varied and complex output - but it does not need to produce them in the first place. The nature of simple programs will do that.

This has testable implications, which can distinguish which basic cause is operating. If a full range of parameters for a complex subsystem is seen empirically, the inference is that selection has not picked special parameters to produce that variety. If only a few optimized special cases are seen, natural selection is the likely explanation. If a parameter space is seen to be "winnowed" or "culled", with portions remaining but others not present, the inference is underlying variety pruned by natural selection.

The timing of variety and optimization can also give evidence for or against this proposition. Wide variety quickly and first suggests an algorithmic "variety motor". Elaborate "engineering" optimization and specificity, on the other hand, suggests natural selection. Both can be presumed to operate, and which is more important in a given case is an empirical question about what actually happened, not an a priori one.

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Old Post 11-10-2004 05:07 PM
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jakob


Registered: Feb 2004
Posts: 2

Complexity

Many people talk of complexity.

How do you define complexity, and how do you quantitate it?

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Old Post 11-23-2004 03:02 PM
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Reconnect
Atomic Operations
UK

Registered: Oct 2004
Posts: 8

The meaning of life is to give life meaning.

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Two lefts dont make a right, but three do.

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Old Post 11-29-2004 02:16 PM
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MikeHelland


Registered: Dec 2003
Posts: 181

Reconnect, that's what I said. :-)

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Old Post 12-07-2004 02:18 PM
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Livin

VA

Registered: Dec 2005
Posts: 4

Re: The Meaning Of Life

The explanation you just gave me gives me something to think about, but as I do, I also challenge it with my own beliefs.
This creature you call the big computer, or God as some would put it, would be nothing. Or something but as nothing. To put it in comprehendable terms, if this big computer were to exist, then it would be no more than a double heliz to another being whose life purpose would be just an inpossibly small step in creating the God above it. Which would therefore in turn be the same. So live your lives and dont think so hard.

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Old Post 12-19-2005 05:22 AM
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