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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • I read, liked, and agreed with most everything. There were a couple of points that still have me scratching my head:

    Why do humans have "self awareness"? Basically the same reason -- if can't communicate a concept of self and aggressively protect it, our real, actual physical self would easily be lost and we wouldn't have offspring.

    Are you saying that self-awareness is necessary for self-defense and generating offspring? If so, it is an interesting perspective not restricted to humans. It makes m

    • It’s really very simple. If you extrapolate “survival of the fittest” (which people always confuse with “survival of the best” or “survival of the most advanced”, but that is a rant for another day), the logical conclusion is that under the given conditions, having self-awareness and free will (if we do have free will, which personally I am not so convinced of) has allowed us to survive better than ancestors that did not, at least at one point in the past.

      There wa

      • that's not what I am contending.

        If scrottie had said "self-awareness and free-will help perpetuate the species", I wouldn't have asked for further clarification. I believe that statement to be true.

        I likely have read too much into and too literally his comments, but it seemed to me he was saying:

        1. Free will has come as a result of it being required for survival of the fittest.

        I contend that free will, if equated to non-deterministic behavior, can arise in any sufficiently complex self-referencing system. Needing to survive isn't necessary for it to develop.

        2. We couldn't survive without free will.

        I contend that the argument, if true, has to extend to all non-extinct lifeforms and their ancestors all the way back to the first self-replicating protein.

        I am not at all trying to imply that either quality doesn't help in our survival - only that neither one depend on one another exclusively.

        In any event, this is not at all perl related unless we start talking about genetic algorithms. In which case, it can be shown that the fittest need not be self-aware nor have free will in order to survive.

        • Well, the point I was making is that free will is clearly unnecessary for survival in general, but may well have been necessary for the survival of mankind. Scott’s statements did start “why do humans have”, after all.