Re: [asa] Nudging Evolution

From: dfsiemensjr <>
Date: Sun Sep 13 2009 - 23:18:28 EDT

You say you have been using "front-loading" in a way different from its
common usage. You should not have been surprised that you were not
understood. It would have helped if you had coined a new term. I do not
see that "nudge" is helpful toward understanding what goes on. There the
notion is that things can be arranged so more people will choose one of
the alternatives. How do you persuade a gene to want to change one base
rather than another? I might throw in some metaphysical notion that a
gamma ray that altered a specific gene was aimed by God to do that job.
But that is an external power, not a persuasion.

However, I recall reading some philosophical stuff that included
panpsychism, the doctrine that everything is sentient, whether slightly
(rocks) or extremely (us), with God trying to persuade things to do it as
he wanted, with somewhat limited success. I guess one could then talk of
the Nudger, but are genes on this notion sufficiently sentient to choose?
Dave (ASA)

On Sun, 13 Sep 2009 20:21:06 -0400 "Nucacids" <>
As I have been arguing for the hypothesis of front-loading evolution over
the years, not too long ago, it has occurred to me that the term
“front-load” has the ability to mislead people into thinking I have
argued that evolution is a deterministic process, such that everything we
currently see around us was programmed to be as it is as a consequence of
the originally front-loaded state. This misperception then causes people
to think front-loading is an old, discredited view of evolution. But
that is not the case.
To demonstrate this, I have just run across a design approach that is
very, very similar to the approach I talk about and have labeled as
“front-loading.” It’s a social engineering approach that is becoming
increasingly popular known as “nudging.”
I outline some of the similarities between nudging human behavior and
front-loading evolution here:

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Received on Sun Sep 13 23:22:08 2009

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