Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Thoughts on bioconservatism and artificial intelligence in evolution

I think in terms of voluntary, non-coercive, evolutionary advancement, beginning with screenings for genetic diseases, genetic counseling, birth control, all voluntary yet still encouraged. We want to halt devastating diseases which are passed on, but we also want to encourage healthier and more intelligent people with good  physical and mental health. It seems odd that one has to affirm these obviously positive things.

I can acknowledge Francis Galton's statement from the late 19th century that human civilization with its easy survival has often thwarted the mechanisms of natural selection which applied for millions of years---although good modern nutrition can also raise IQ's. When intelligence declines then civilization as we have known it declines. IQ correlates with many sociobiological factors, and these things have indeed been determined objectively by science.

We can exalt the healthy genius and the talented who have given so much to the average man. We have a long way to go in our evolution to Godhood, and Godhood is defined as the zenith or the absolute of intelligence, beauty and merit.

I affirm a bioconservative position on bioengineering and trans-human evolution. The growth of computers does not automatically mean that biological evolution will be superseded by technological evolution, computers are still autistically intelligent zombies, as David Pearce put it.

I do contrast biological intelligence with artificial machine intelligence, we are not forced to become cyborgs, or a combination of  human and artificial intelligence, and we are not forced to accept nonbiological artificial intelligence ruling over us.

It is true that genetic evolutionary change is slower at this time than exponentially advancing computers, but genetic engineering is speeding this up considerably. Computers can be used to help advance biological humanity, not rule us, and not combine with us.

There will be anarchic bio-hackers seeking to expand their minds, like those today who experiment with designer drugs, and perhaps they may need to be regulated---an intelligent sociopath is still a sociopath. There will probably be future competition between bioconservative evolutionists and those who radically promote artificial machine super-intelligence. But competition is part of evolution.

The creation of human civilization evolved mainly by way of  the bonding ethics of group-selection, and this remains deeply within human nature. Any future evolution will need to work with human nature in developing political philosophy, not against it, if we are to have the long term evolutionary success we need. For example, I see a world of thousands of small states, or ethnostates, protected by a light federalism, and guided in evolution toward Godhood by religion and science.

We certainly will invent and use higher and higher technology, but our future successors will be supermaterial descendants of ourselves and not digital machine monsters run on computers. The Godhood we are evolving to is not a superintelligent robot.
It should be made clear at this point that while we can affirm voluntary selective breeding, negative-eugenics (eg. disease curing), genetic engineering, gene therapy, human cloning, germ-line engineering, etc, we cannot affirm the projected man/monster/machine melds of transhuman technologies, and the like. This is where bio-conservative evolutionist's separate from the singularity and transhuman machine philosophies. In any case, human nature, or the nature of life itself, may put up its own obstacles to its own death, or its takeover by machines.
Reckless radicals seem to want to do such things as modify human cells with artificial cells until there is no natural biological identity left, which defines the death of natural life. We do not believe evolution can continue in that way. The Spirit-Will which first activates all life to evolve to Godhood, before natural evolution shapes life, will die if natural life dies.  

Although we certainly will be aided by superior machines and technology, we see Godhood as the zenith of natural material-supermaterial evolution, and not a machine-God.

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