virus: Un-natural De-selection

Brett Lane Robertson (
Thu, 14 Aug 1997 11:43:07 -0500

I find the idea that selection does not operate on chance as offensive as
you must find the idea that selection does operate on chance. I think this
primary difference will color all our interactions vis a vis memetics. (Gifford)

I found these mechanisms in an online book called "Out of Control"
(, in a chapter called "Post Darwinism"
subtitled "The mathematics of natural selection"
( The book is an exciting look at
computer generated life processes and gives the following mechanisms as
non-random explanations that "intelligently" select for evolutionary "origins".

Symbiosis-Easy informational swaps that permit
convergence of distinct lines

Directed Mutations-Nonrandom mutation and crossover
mechanisms with direct communication from the

Saltationism-Clustering of functions, hierarchical
levels of control, modularization of components, and
adaptive processes that modify a cluster all at once

Self-organization-Development biased toward certain
forms (like four wheels), which become pervasive

In "Natural selection is not enough", Kevin Kelly says:

Most critics of natural selection concede that Darwin
got "survival of the fittest" right. Natural selection
primarily means the destruction of the unfit. Once
fitness is created, natural selection is peerless for
winnowing out the duds.

But creating something useful is the bugaboo. What the
Darwinian perspective neglects is a plausible
explanation for the origin of fitness....

Darwinian theory has the sizable burden of
proving that the negative, braking power of selective
demise, coupled with the blind chaotic power of
randomness, can produce the persistent, creative,
positive drive toward more complexity we see sustained
in nature over billions of years.

I wanted to say that "origins" is a look at the independent uprising of life
instead of the species perspective. It talks about social forces but more
importantly about the individual's contribution to evolution--intelligence,
choice, preference, causes, effects, unity, cooperation.... I think it is a
"must read" for those stuck in a co-dependent mindset. I'm particularly
excited by "saltationism" and am going to do some more research on this and
other systems models which look at "paradigms" and "icons" (which suggest
that maybe there is a way to pass on great theories "memetically", and in full).


Rabble Sonnet Retort
Nobody wants constructive criticism. It's all we can do to
put up with constructive praise.