This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

Comment

← Richard Dawkins on Al Jazeera English

PristinePanda's Avatar Jump to comment 33 by PristinePanda

Comment #215377 by Mitchell Gilks on July 21, 2008 at 6:21 pm

His belief is quite reasonable. If we consider our species to be a successful species (which is pushing it being that we are only roughly 200 thousand years old) then based on past successful species, we should expect to last about eight million years. Given the precedent set by other successful species.



His belief, although apparently initially reasonable, is not so if you consider the accelerating growth of human technology (which is now just passing the knee of the curve). It's possible that within 40 years a technological singularity will occur which will totally eclipse human intelligence. It is an innate nature of evolutionary processes to accelerate as time progresses: firstly, the introduction of DNA; secondly, the human prefrontal lobes; thirdly, the creation of technology, and fourthly the eclipse of human intelligence via GNR (Genetics, Nanotechnology, and Robotics) with an emphasis on robotics.

It is fallacious to assume that technology will continue to evolve in a linear fashion; we are just now reaching the knee of the curve of an exponential phenomena, at which point it will become quite evident to all that technological growth exhibits exponential, and in some cases, double exponential growth.

Natural selection is in the process of being eclipsed by technology and will most likely be entirely irrelevant within the next half a century. When a computer passes the Turing Test - and in all likelihood that will occur by the mid 2020s - Strong AI will inevitably eclipse us.

You might be interested in reading The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology by Ray Kurzweil. You should also probably read a short bio of Ray Kurzweil and objectively observe the accuracy of his past predictions. Many people disagree with his future predictions, but quite a few respectable scientists agree with his views as well. I'm sure you'd find it intellectually stimulating, at the very least. :D

www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ray_Kurzweil

www.kurzweilai.net

Mon, 21 Jul 2008 18:22:00 UTC | #204289