M Database Inspector (cheetah)
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|Tue, Jun 05 2007||40||The Ant Colony Analogy||
In a superorganism like the ant colony or a bee hive,
all the members serve one purpose:
the survival of the entire organism.
From the standpoint of evolution,
this is similar to a story told
by Issac Asimov in I, Robot.
It tells of a super robot who is the manager of six
In its brain construction - so discovers the hero of the story,
a psychologists of robots - the six robots are merly his
fingers, and the whole complex is thus one single robot.
Genetically, this is how the ant colony works:
The ant colony as a whole is an evolutionary indivudal unit,
living and perishing, competing with other ant colonies,
while the gene complex of the ant colony is carried across
generations collectively, representing the many casts
of ants each with its own function.
The ant colony is perfect,
having been perfected over many generations of evolution.
The brain subsystems are not nearly as perfected.
The ants in the skull may have billions of very complex casts,
while real ants just a handful.
This huge difference is not important.
Mankind is in a very early stage of evolution.
Two million years of very high death rates to create
a man from a primate,
another 100,000 to maintain it about as is,
and in the past 12,000 years we have been
slowly even degrading a bit.
The human brain is in an initial state of evolving,
it is new on earth, and very young.
Like with the hand of the Orangutan,
the systems in the brain have high variance,
perfectly ready for high death rates to effect
rapid natural selection.
Every species goes through such a phase,
with respect to every organ,
structure and mental capacity.
In the case of mankind, there have not been death
rates sufficient for natural selection for the past
The subsystems of the human brain have yet to be selected
by the forces of evolution, and this will begin to happen
when the planet can literally no longer hold the population,
which is infinity for all practical purposes.
Meanwhile we will have mental problems.
High variance means the skull has too many
ants that don't quite know how to get along
with one another and can not always agree
on how to better serve the body owning the skull
they live in.
The body - the vehicle that will transmit their genes
into the future - if they do enough not to let it perish.