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About Luminal

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  1. Just wondering... I don't understand why a true 'seed' AI program has never been developed after numerous decades of this concept existing in some form or another. In it's most simple form, seed AI does this: 1) A program with preexisting functionality performs some change upon itself; any part of the program can be. The change can be entirely random or partially guided by the programmer. 2) If the program crashes or cannot compile, return to step 1. Otherwise, run the program again and test its performance against its original performance. 3) If new performance is superior
  2. Well, this question could refer to any cell type in the body, but blood provides the easiest example. In red blood cell production, erythropoiesis, if the source of this production (certain bone marrow from what I gather) was replaced with a cell with a different genes (either genetically modified cells or cells from a different organism), would the new blood cells' DNA eventually come to be the most common in the body? If so, what long-term effects would this have on the organism?
  3. I was curious if there was any condition or side-effect of medical treatment that caused one to have a smaller body (not thinner necessarily... body fat ratio not affected or affected minimally) in general, particularly the skeletal frame and possibly the organs. I know there are plenty of things that cause an increase in body size, naturally or unnaturally, just wondering if the opposite existed. This question isn't completely limited to humans; other examples in nature would be appreciated as well. Or is growth basically a permanent effect on organisms? Obviously, I'm speaking of
  4. Well, there are several ways I that I'm aware of, including neural networks. For example, a feedforward NN has 10 possible outputs (4 operators and 6 variables), and is looped as many times as the value of the left-most variable (recursion). So, if u is the left-most variable and equals 4, the NN's looped 4 times, with the first output going to the left of the =, and the next 3 going to the right. Next time the NN is run, it will loop a # of times equal to the new left-most variable's value. By the way, when an operator is the output, it must be between two variables otherwise the NN is
  5. Here's an example I found from a quick Google search, involving a cellular automaton: http://forum.wolframscience.com/archive/topic/788-1.html My own example: in a program the variables u, v, and w are given a value by the user each loop, while x, y, and z are determined within the program (initialized randomly the first loop). There are many higher-order functions in the program dependent upon the interaction of these variables. - The first loop: y = ux + wy. In another part of the program, the variable on the left (y in this case) is the number of times a function is called. One o
  6. He wouldn't be the only one. I just read this entire thread, sighing inwardly at the OP. Then I noticed the date. Let's think... January of 2004... I was a senior at a fundy Christian High School in the deep South, and a creationist. It's hard to believe sometimes how much can change in four and a half years.
  7. Interesting. What would be your take on the distinction between 'weak' and 'strong' emergence given a mathematical approach? Depending on how you define these terms, there could be upwards of 3-4 different types of systems (if you have a sturdier definition, disregard these): 1 - Uniform: The system has the same properties as its parts. For example, the properties of elements stay generally the same throughout changes in quantity. 2 - Weak Emergence: The system's parts interact in such a way that the system has properties that a single part cannot have, due to nonlocality or chao
  8. Would you consider it even possible to explain holistic or emergent systems through mathematical language? Emergent systems supervene on their components, potentially changing the lower-order rules at each juncture, and in turn the altered rules affect how the system behaves at the emergent level. There's no point one can "step in" and measure any quantity meaningfully. And without meaningful quantification, how can math describe these systems? To understand some of it, you must understand (nearly) all of it. I know that it seems unscientific, but there may be certain phenomena that
  9. I am curious as to why modern science has become so heavily reliant upon a mathematical, reductionist approach in explaining observable/natural phenomena (there are exceptions, of course, including game theory, sociology, and macroeconomics). It seems that we have become addicted to explaining nature by disassembling it, rather than trying to understand how the parts influence each other in a higher-order, dynamic fashion. There is a place for reductionism in science, yet is there not also a place for emergence (in particular, strong emergence) and holism? There is a level of disd
  10. You are primarily talking about the benefits of sexual dimorphism, not sexual selection. Yes, dimorphism is the result of sexual selection, but only one of many results. Sexual selection, in its broadest sense, is an accelerant to natural selection. While a potential mate may have survived long enough to mate, it may not mean it is the best choice out of all that are available. The female is usually the selector because she can only propagate her genes to offspring once every X number of weeks or months (years if you include time to raise young), while the male can do so several times a
  11. A hermaphrodite would have the same number of parents and grandparents as we do (except in rare cases of self-fertilization or incest). How are you arriving at the number of 2 grandparents?
  12. Actually... since every hermaphroditic organism would be a potential mother, each would be able to sexually select who "she" allowed to mate with her, as do the females in many species currently. Then, when "she" decided to assume the role of a male and seek a mate, "he" would have to be fit in the eyes of a potential mother. The way I see it, sexual selection is still quite alive in hermaphrodites. However, it would require more intelligence to be able to switch between two roles, which may be the true reason it has not evolved. The simplest sexually reproducing multicellular specie
  13. Yet I don't see how a two-sex system would produce more genetic diversity than hermaphroditism. Recombinations and mutations would occur no more or less often in either system. The only extra diversity in a two-sex system would come from a sex chromosome only one side possessed, such as the Y-chromosome in human males. Yet this seems to do more harm than it does good, as genetic diseases/conditions are more common without a second X-chromosome to step in. I know this well, considering I'm color blind.
  14. How does it reduce genetic diversity? If anything, it would seem to increase it. If every organism is a potential mother and father, new mutations have multiple unique paths to take to enter the gene pool at large. I also thought of this, but did not mention it. Let's suppose that during the majority of such a hermaphrodite's life, it would pursue sexual partners as normal. However, if it could not find a mate, it would resort to self-fertilization. It's not an ideal choice, but far better than its genes dying off with it. Also, an important note: self-fertilization wouldn
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