|1||All forms of evolution (technology, business, music, culture and biology) harness identical principles. Good science is good engineering. Any theory of evolution can be tested by applying it to technology. You do not understand any system until you’ve built it and it works.|
The central question in biology is: “What does a cell know about itself?” Barbara McClintock asked this in her 1983 Nobel Prize speech. Life directs its own evolution.
There are three levels of causation:
Codes come from consciousness, not chemistry. Consciousness generates codes which control chemistry. Codes are evidence of free will.
Living things are conscious agents. A cell is not merely a machine, it is an agent: a being with a capacity to act. The central axiom of life is consciousness. Definition: “In practice, if a subject repeatedly behaves in a purposeful, non-routine manner that involves the brief retention of information, she, he or it is assumed to be conscious.” -Christof Koch, from Consciousness: Confessions of a Romantic Reductionist.
Darwinian evolution reversed cause and effect three ways:
These errors perpetuated the biggest mistake in the history of science.
The Evolution 2.0 Prize seeks to answer the most fundamental question in science that can be precisely defined: How do you get from chemicals to code? Origin of life, evolution, consciousness, free will and AI all converge in this single question.
Computers are not going to ‘wake up’ – and we’re not going to upload ourselves into ‘the cloud.’ Strong Artificial Intelligence does not exist. Strong AI cannot be achieved using traditional computer architecture. Strong AI will exist when someone solves the Evolution 2.0 Prize.
Evolution itself is proof of what religions have always asserted: Life is purposeful and special. A dead bird is no better than a rock; only live birds can fly. Life has agency. Agency invokes meaning and morality, questions science cannot address. There is no conflict between science and religion. Science asks how; religion asks why. We need both – especially now.
|9||If the failures of Darwinism are imported into genetic engineering, the result will be worse than the atomic bomb. Darwinism dumbed down and trivialized nature. Some say we’re smarter than nature, proclaiming that evolution can now be guided for the first time. The truth: Nature is smarter than us. We can heal and repair life… and we must. But attempts to re-invent life will backfire.|
Every breakthrough Silicon Valley seeks is found in the cell. If Microsoft knew what one bacterium knows, they would be the most valuable company in the world. One blade of grass is 10,000 years ahead of human technology.