Re: virus: Consciousness Revisited (was: Un-natural

Brett Lane Robertson (
Wed, 27 Aug 1997 17:18:05 -0500

>On Fri, 22 Aug 1997, Brett Lane Robertson wrote:

>> Defining consciousness and looking for it's equivalent in DNA would suit=
>> purposes best.

>So go for it! What are you waiting for?

>Despite evidence to the contrary, I can't do all the talking here on CoV
>all the time. In fact, I'm going to slip into the shadows for a time and
>let others pick up the reins. Be good, I'll be watching you.

>-Prof. Tim

Some references to theories which suggest "conscious" DNA or a design to
evolution as opposed to--or in addition to--chance.

I like the developmental stuff by still looking for more current
material on self-organization.


After considerable thought, the only answer that I could arrive at is that
altruism is the biological
baseline of all the species; designed to encourage the development of the
group, and that natural
selection is a "maximum effort mechanism" designed to ensure the survival of
the individual, which
of course, in multiples, is the foundation of the group. The problem is not
in the theory of natural
selection, but in the belief of those who feel that natural selection is the
overriding law of evolution
and nothing else can replace it. Biological altruism is the very reason that
we, as a civilization, are
here. Inclusive fitness, which helped to create the clan, is the step
between the natural selection
maximized individual and the various groups that began to form our early
societies. It very simply
has to do with group cooperation vs.

Freud, Piaget, and Vygotsky =FE the three principal figures in the=
of 'genetic psychology"
=FE were all concerned, in elaborating their theories, to understand=
which can be
conceived at one and the same time as semiotic, cognitive, and biological.

If what humans do is called design, then it wouldn't be hard for the process
of evolution to employ similar strategies. It's "goal" could be to reduce
entropy, by creating more complex beings. Or it could have a "goal" of
reducing tension between an organism and its environment...

So now we enter the world of speculation. Under what circumstances could a
cross-generational mechanism be employed to "design" new creatures? It
would require: A feedback mechanism in the genes, to "recognize" how well an
organism is doing; In other words, a cross-generational inner eye. Our
genes must be parameterized, such that body size or shape, for example,
could be adjusted by a cross-generational mechanism. In other words, if
genes leave themselves open to be adjusted in standard ways, they could be
employed to design creatures, given certain restrictions.=20

A cross-generational "note pad," which could record which genetic
parameters were altered, and how well the change worked. This information
would be stored in the genes, to be transmitted on to later organisms. It is
plausible that DNA has evolved an ability to record information into itself,
perhaps employing retroviruses,which can alter human DNA.


Rabble Sonnet Retort
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Any member introducing a dog into the Society's premises
shall be liable to a fine of one pound. Any animal
leading a blind person shall be deemed to be a cat.