The Perfect Human Being series – Susan Blackmore on a new form of evolution

Interesting ideas, similar to Richard Dawkins

I’m just laughing because the idea that will take care of evolution I know what people mean if we’re doing genetic modification we’re interfering with the processes of evolution many of the things we do in in society are affecting the evolution of means the evolution of ideas and technology but can take care of it you can’t control it evolutionary processes you get this massive explosion of of of DNA or of ideas or of technologies and then selection we’re part of the selecting machinery it will take whatever way it takes things we do affect it but we can’t control it you talk about replicators you say we have genes that we have memes and now we have dreams can you explain what that means the idea of replicators is not the only way of looking at the evolution and there are many scientists who take a different view on it but it’s one way of thinking about evolution is to think of the information that is copied varied in selected as being the driving force behind evolution so in the case of plant and animal animals and biology on the whole planet so we can think of the information the gene the genetic information coded in strings of DNA as being the replicator that information is what is copied again and again with variations most of the variance died most of the animals and plants created by those variations don’t survive don’t pass on their genes to the next generation that’s what what involving is which replicator survival which are selected out and then you can say well apply the same thinking two words stories pictures financial institutions scientific ideas all of these things are information copied from person to person now what you call me names these army so their information that coupled with variations every time we tell the story it’s a little bit different we make a theory to other people make a variation on the theory one of the theories that tested one of the theories does better the others are thrown away the same process is going on so in this case we call the information underlying that the replicator and that’s what we call me thinking is this electronic information this silicone based digital information is this really still more means or is there something different going on here and I thought about that for years and during those years the technology change dramatically it’s going so fast it’s incredible so during those years smartphones came along for all the the social media came along and I began to think under what circumstances would I say we have a third replicator genes memes and another one we would have a third replicator I thought when there is digital information based in machinery in in our technology which is being copied varied and selected by the technology in other words the three essential processes of evolution will be carried out without any necessary human intervention now is that happening well certainly the machinery that we’ve constructed is capable of copying things storing them making variations selecting them the search engines are doing that all the time it still involves off with we put a certain item into the search engine so it hasn’t got away from us completely but I would say because all those three things are happening out there we have a new case the question to my mind is is thinking about it in terms of a third replicator a helpful way of thinking about it

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