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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • The holy grail for this area would be one equation to express how "evolved" something (anything) is. The same equation should be able to demonstrate why a human is more evolved than bacteria, why a pre-nova star is more evolved than a new star, and how evolved a human is relative to a star.

    I think you will have a hard time finding such an equation, because I don't think there is a sense in which a human is more evolved than bacteria.

    I'm not just saying this to be cute. I'm a biology student, and my un

    • It may well be that if you can come with an equation to compare the "evolvedness" (or some more sophisticated concept) that a bacteria and a human are simply too close, and the difference (while existing) may just bee too small to be noticable.

      But what if you tried to compare the "evolvedness" of a bacteria and a rock.

      Or instead of a rock, how about a simple non-living self-replicating molecule?

      If some metric can be found, then perhaps they can be applied to the difference between bacteria and humans. And m
      • It may well be that if you can come with an equation to compare the "evolvedness" (or some more sophisticated concept) that a bacteria and a human are simply too close, and the difference (while existing) may just bee too small to be noticable.

        Your reply to my "you won't find any, since it's not there" seems to be "maybe it will be too small to notice".

        FWIW, I believe we won't find a metric or a scale along which a human would come out more evolved than bacteria; not because the differences will be too small along the relevant axes, but because we won't find any relevant axes.

        The term "evolution" sometimes misleads people subtly into believing that progress is being made from species like bacteria towards species like Homo sapiens. There is no such progress, there is no "towards" in it. It's just fiddling with parameters, keeping in synch with an ever changing environment (or a few steps behind, as it were).

        • I certainly agree that evolution is a process of adjustment, rather than a progression.

          But if it can be established that there are long consistent long term trends in evolution, where we progress (in the large scale) from state A to state B, then perhaps that change can be expressed as a metric.

          Lets not call that evolution, how about we call it futureification. :)