Information Theory vs. Darwinian Evolution
- The European: The ultimate indeterminate process on Earth is evolution. Yet evolution doesn’t really require input and commands, it sustains and develops itself. That seems fundamentally different from the way we think about technological evolution…
Dyson: Biological evolution is a bottom-up process. There are differences between the two realms, but there are also similarities: In both biology and technology, things develop into structures of increasing complexity. That’s what Nils AallBarricelli saw right away. He tried to understand the origins of the genetic code and apply that to the development of computers. The question was whether you could run computer experiments that allowed increases in systemic complexity to happen. And very quickly that stopped being an experiment and codes began evolving in the wild—not by random mutation, but by crossing and symbiosis, exactly as Barricelli prescribed.
George Dyson (science historian) is the son of Freeman Dyson (physicist and global warming skeptic) and the grandson of George Dyson (composer), who "composed some fifty works for the liturgy of the Church of England, including two complete morning and evening canticles in D major and F major, as well as a setting of the evening service in C minor for trebles."