Although It has taken homo sapiens several million years to evolve from the apes, the useful information in our DNA, has probably changed by only a few million bits. So the rate of biological evolution in humans, Stephen Hawking points out in his Life in the Universe lecture, is about a bit a year.
“By contrast,” Hawking says, “there are about 50,000 new books published in the English language each year, containing of the order of a hundred billion bits of information. Of course, the great majority of this information is garbage, and no use to any form of life. But, even so, the rate at which useful information can be added is millions, if not billions, higher than with DNA.”
This means Hawking says that we have entered a new phase of evolution. “At first, evolution proceeded by natural selection, from random mutations. This Darwinian phase, lasted about three and a half billion years, and produced us, beings who developed language, to exchange information.”
But what distinguishes us from our cave man ancestors is the knowledge that we have accumulated over the last ten thousand years, and particularly, Hawking points out, over the last three hundred.
“I think it is legitimate to take a broader view, and include externally transmitted information, as well as DNA, in the evolution of the human race,” Hawking said.
In the last ten thousand years the human species has been in what Hawking calls, “an external transmission phase,” where the internal record of information, handed down to succeeding generations in DNA, has not changed significantly. “But the external record, in books, and other long lasting forms of storage,” Hawking says, “has grown enormously. Some people would use the term, evolution, only for the internally transmitted genetic material, and would object to it being applied to information handed down externally. But I think that is too narrow a view. We are more than just our genes.”
The time scale for evolution, in the external transmission period, has collapsed to about 50 years, or less.
Meanwhile, Hawking observes, our human brains “with which we process this information have evolved only on the Darwinian time scale, of hundreds of thousands of years. This is beginning to cause problems. In the 18th century, there was said to be a man who had read every book written. But nowadays, if you read one book a day, it would take you about 15,000 years to read through the books in a national Library. By which time, many more books would have been written.”
But we are now entering a new phase, of what Hawking calls “self designed evolution,” in which we will be able to change and improve our DNA. “At first,” he continues “these changes will be confined to the repair of genetic defects, like cystic fibrosis, and muscular dystrophy. These are controlled by single genes, and so are fairly easy to identify, and correct. Other qualities, such as intelligence, are probably controlled by a large number of genes. It will be much more difficult to find them, and work out the relations between them. Nevertheless, I am sure that during the next century, people will discover how to modify both intelligence, and instincts like aggression.”
If the human race manages to redesign itself, to reduce or eliminate the risk of self-destruction, we will probably reach out to the stars and colonize other planets. But this will be done, Hawking believes, with intelligent machines based on mechanical and electronic components, rather than macromolecules, which could eventually replace DNA based life, just as DNA may have replaced an earlier form of life.
Hawking must be reading some Kurzweil in his old age with his talk of DNA being replaced by mechanical parts.
But I suppose a real Singularitarian would claim that DNA is going to be replaced by quantum parts, not mere mechanisms.
My friend Nolocontendere has a theory about the recent ‘cyber-attacks’ on government agency sites:
Fear sells better than sex.
“A determined propaganda blitz is well underway as the government sets the stage for the passage of Cybersecurity Act of 2009, introduced in the Senate earlier this year. If passed, it will allow Obama to shut down the internet and private networks. The legislation also calls for the government to have the authority to demand security data from private networks without regard to any provision of law, regulation, rule or policy restricting such access. In other words, the bill allows the government to impose authoritarian control over electronic communications.”
“According to “security experts analyzing the attacks,” Obama’s White House, the Pentagon, the New York Stock Exchange, the National Security Agency, Homeland Security Department, State Department, the Treasury Department, Federal Trade Commission and Secret Service, the Nasdaq stock market and The Washington Post were targeted.
All of this is happening as Senate Commerce Chairman John (Jay) Rockefeller — who has said we’d all be better off if the internet was never invented — plans a committee vote on cybersecurity legislation he introduced in April with Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine.”
I agree. The so-called attacks were only superficial, if true.
Nothing serious was cracked and no data was lost, so WTF?
More false flag B.S.
From Blacklisted News:
The basic tenets of conservatism were sound before it was turned into a rabid fundamentalist religion. Everyone wants clean air, water and good food and that has nothing to do with governments or its policies. Most people believed in a common sense approach when it came to their world until the beginnings of the industrial revolution. There were many who believed that the world was developing too quickly, having too many children and the earth resources would dry up completely. It was a craze like no other. In the late 1960’s and early 70’s that craze turned into a mass consciousness called environmentalism. This was radically different from its sister conservatism. Environmentalism unleashed upon the populace a mass hysteria and had its leaders demanding the governments of the world initiate policies to correct the damage that was done. This craze was furthered by drawing upon legitimate grass roots issues like pollution. They cast a very wide net in their attempts and later would ‘come up with the idea’ of global cooling, global warming and later climate change which of course covers all the bases so that they wouldn’t be proved wrong.
“To summarize the Malthusian doctrine, there can never be more people than there is food for. There will not be less, because man, like every other animal, tends to increase in numbers… The straightforward way of striking the balance is nature’s method of creating an excess and then killing it off by plague or starvation. Malthus himself, and other more recent writers also, have attempted to propose solutions which should allow us to escape from this threat, but nobody has found one which is at all convincing. –Charles Galton Darwin(The Next Million Years)”
“It is clear that current lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middle class — involving high meat intake, consumption of large amounts of frozen and convenience foods, use of fossil fuels, appliances, home and work-place air-conditioning, and suburban housing — are not sustainable. A shift is necessary toward lifestyles less geared to environmentally damaging consumption patterns.” –Maurice Strong
Environmentalism spread like wildfire but behind the scenes there were think tanks such as the Club of Rome, Sierra Club and the World Resources Institute which turned environmentalism on its head and decided that mankind itself is the problem. This brings us back to Thomas Malthus who spoke of limits of growth, eugenics, and depopulation. If mankind is the problem what is the solution? Of course it is not all humanity that will suffer just the uncivilized proletariat; the intellectuals must survive to fulfill their goals. Now, knowing that these ideas are not new what policies do we see today that are in line with their project?
“In Nature organic growth proceeds according to a Master Plan, a Blueprint. According to this master plan diversification among cells is determined by the requirements of the various organs; the size and shape of the organs and, therefore, their growth processes are determined by their function, which in turn depends on the needs of the whole organism. Such a ‘master plan’ is missing from the process of growth and development of the world system. Now is the time to draw up a master plan for organic sustainable growth and world development based on global allocation of all finite resources and a new global economic system” –Club Of Rome(Mankind At The Turning Point)
The truth is that most environmentalists do not understand the nomenclature, the history or the real architects behind their cause. It sounds good, feels good and they see that it is something that they can take pride in. The upper echelon engineers of the environmental movement have created their own language which seems fairly innocuous but serves a purpose in its different byzantine meanings. The words Sustainable Development comes to mind. A house is a sustainable development as it sustains life and keeps us from the elements but they have their own ideas of what sustainable really is. On a rudimentary level sustainable means rigidly earth friendly. Living in rural areas is not earth friendly, they want every last one of us living in high rise urban slums so that the animals can roam freely without being disturbed by ‘humanity’.
“Civilization has taught man how to live in dense crowds, and by that very fact those crowds are likely ultimately to constitute a majority of the world’s population. Already there are many who prefer this crowded life, but there are others who do not, and these will be gradually eliminated. Life in the crowded condition of cities has many unattractive features, but in the long run these may be overcome, not so much by altering them, but simply by changing the human race into liking them.” –Charles Galton Darwin(The Next Million Years)
“The Wildlands Project, which proposes to make 50% of the continent of North America uninhabitable, appears to be going “wild” all across the nation. Reports from California, South Carolina, Virginia, and almost every state in between are reporting huge chunks of their state being designated.” –Joyce Morrison
“…that at least half of the land area of the 48 conterminous states should be encompassed in core reserves and inner corridor zones (essentially extensions of core reserves) within the next few decades…. Nonetheless, half of a region in wilderness is a reasonable guess of what it will take to restore viable populations of large carnivores and natural disturbance regimes, assuming that most of the other 50 percent is managed intelligently as buffer zones. Eventually, a wilderness network would dominate a region…. with human habitations being the islands. The native ecosystem and the collective needs of non-human species must take precedence over the needs and desires of humans.” –Wildlands Project
“…Community Sustainability Infrastructures [designed for] efficiency and livability that encourages: in-fill over sprawl: compactness, higher density low-rise residential: transit-oriented (TODs) and pedestrian-oriented development (PODs): bicycle circulation networks; work-to-home proximity; mixed-use-development: co-housing, housing over shops, downtown residential; inter-modal transportation malls and facilities …where trolleys, rapid transit, trains and biking, walking and hiking are encouraged by infrastructures.” –U.N. Conference on Human Settlements
It isn’t by surprise that rural areas are turning into ghost towns due to the structure of the new superhighways and many cities are being destroyed because we have to ‘shrink to survive’. Citizens are easily manageable when they live in gated urban dwellings. The cities are being designed in order so that there is no need to own your own car which is based on the European Model. I am sure you will be happy reducing your carbon footprint while living in a capsule.
“A massive campaign must be launched to de-develop the United States. De-development means bringing our economic system into line with the realities of ecology and the world resource situation.” –Paul Ehrlick
“Global Sustainability requires the deliberate quest of poverty, reduced resource consumption and set levels of mortality control.” –Maurice King
It isn’t enough for the elite that you live and work in a cubicle; they want to control your usage of water, electricity, food and more. That is where the grid comes in, the smart grid technology. The smart grid system plans to control all of your utilities and monitor their usage against the ‘sustainable’ projections to determine if you or your family is a net consumer or producer. This is the scientific dictatorship at work. Prepare yourself for peak usage and heavy tax and fees for power users and perks for those who recycle and play by the new rules. The smart grid is an integrated system which goes hand in hand with cell technology so I am sure that your vehicle mileage and condition will come in to play as well.
“We need to get some broad based support, to capture the public’s imagination…So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements and make little mention of any doubts…Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.” –Stephen Schnieder
“A cancer is an uncontrolled multiplication of cells; the population explosion is an uncontrolled multiplication of people. We must shift our efforts from the treatment of the symptoms to the cutting out of the cancer. The operation will demand many apparently brutal and heartless decisions.” –Paul Ehrlick
“Childbearing should be a punishable crime against society, unless the parents hold a government license. All potential parents should be required to use contraceptive chemicals, the government issuing antidotes to citizens chosen for childbearing.” –David Brower(Sierra Club)
Before I am summarily lynched with hemp rope by zealots with a cause, I want to say that I think there can be sound common sense policies to protect the environment. We want the best for our world. There is nothing stopping us from doing our part to keep our cities from turning into corporate landfills. Don’t worry about the world just yet, focus on your own town and move outward. Sustainable development and freedom cannot coexist. How dare you deny us of our right to pursue our own happiness. You cannot pursue happiness working four jobs to put food on the table and you cannot pursue happiness when these unelected sycophants decide that you can’t live as you see fit. Draw your line in the sand or it will be drawn for you by someone you’ve never met.
A colleague and myself had just this very conversation this morning, only it concerned the space program and its place in the terms of ‘sustainability.’
I have grandchildren. What gives these ‘human-haters’ the right to determine if my grandchildren have their own children and grandchildrens’ right to exist or not?
If they want to take themselves and their descendents out of the gene pool, they’re welcome to it, that’s their right.
But they don’t have the right to decide for myself or other people.