From: J. Maynard Gelinas <j.maynard.gelinas.nul> Date: Thu, 1 Mar 2012 15:40:12 +0800 Archived: Thu, 01 Mar 2012 08:29:54 -0500 Subject: Biosphere Computational Modeling Speculative: On Using Earth's Biosphere For The Computational Modeling Of Novel 3D Morphology And Function In the previous post I posited that hypothetical aliens might be using a combination of cellular agents in Earth's biosphere with directed evolution (Complexity Theory) to evolve useful molecular reactive agents for other purposes. The genesis of this idea was my desire to both find a rational purpose for Extraterrestrial visitation while removing anthropocentric arguments. At the same time, any argument would have to fit the pattern of observed phenomena from antiquity to modern times, while at the same time conforming to the known behavior of unrelated species on Earth as a model for supposed Extraterrestrial <-> Human interactions. http://www.ufoupdateslist.com/2012/feb/m27-005.shtml In short, by manipulating the genome of a target organism (or several organisms) within an ecosystem tailored to a specific fitness function, one might derive novel useful compounds. It would be akin to a chemistry Erector Set at the atomic scale. Define a set of initial conditions, implement them, and wait n number of generations to collect the output. Some of the responses seemed to miss the general point of Directed Evolution and Complexity Theory, so here is a fine introduction to the subject available on the web: http://www.methodsandtools.com/archive/archive.php?id=119 I would like to now expand upon that notion in a second thought experiment by suggesting another possibility along similar lines. In short, this post proposes that an Extraterrestrial species might find Earth's biosphere useful for computationally modeling and deriving novel 3 Dimensional molecular structures expanded out to the macro scale within a bounded fitness for specified functionality. What that means: if one looks at a multicellular organism (land or sea animal), one notes evolved structures from the molecular scale on up to the macro scale that conforms to a fitness function defined by the open environment. Extraterrestrials then might use this as a mechanism to selectively evolve specific physiological forms as a model to design other large scale structures from the molecular scale up to the macro scale. For example, suppose this hypothetical Extraterrestrial species wanted to design a large space ship with volumetric complexity similar to an evolved biological organism, and yet work out any potential 'bugs' in the system prior to manufacture. By changing the genetic structure of various Earth organisms in equilibrium with their environment, and then selecting a new fitness function, the Extraterrestrial might then wait n number of generations (hundreds, thousands, perhaps even millions) and then sample shifting morphology of evolved structures to determine if they might be relevant to solving certain problems at hand. Why Utilize a Biosphere Like a Computer? Engineering novel 3 Dimensional structures with defined form and function is an extremely hard problem. Doing so from the molecular scale to the macro scale would demand vast computational resources. To give an example of how difficult this problem is, consider that across decades of bioinformatics research, there is still no reliable means to computationally model and predict basic protein folding. Typically, systems used in this research are composed of thousands of server level PCs arranged in supercomputer clusters. Yet as Moore's Law continues to advance the speed and efficiency of computing, the problem remains intractable. Proteins are molecular structures built of thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, - perhaps, at most - millions of atoms and measure at the micrometer scale. Imagine trying to solve a similar problem for a design at tens, hundreds, or thousands of cubic meters. Computers built around the design principles of Turing and Von Neumann architectures are inherently unable to solve problems at this scale within a viable time frame (the lifetime of the universe). It may well be that even quantum computers would not be up to the task. Therefore, using biological systems as a computational substrate to model these kinds of complex structures may be the only solution available. Implications: - Mutilations: Given that oceans offer an easy means to simulate zero buoyancy in a way similar to the environment of space, I'd suggest that their primary targets for designing structures used in outer space would be sea faring animals. However, land animals might offer means to solve other problems for deriving useful structures utilized within an open gravitational field. This might explain cattle and other animal mutilations, as a rationale for genetically modifying organisms and then sampling and re-sampling over time specific morphological structures of various target land animals across multiple generations. - Abductions: While I simply cannot accept the use of hypnotic regression as viable evidence gathering, let's assume such occurrences are on-going for the thought experiment. Why? It could be part of a similar program to design intelligent bio- mechanical robots. Hybrids might be useful for surveillance of human political events, in order to predict and intervene in the event of global thermonuclear war. For a nuclear war would not just crash their 'program', it would destroy the computer itself. Thus causing vast numbers of 'Gray Hours' (so to speak) in lost work output. However, one thing it would not indicate is a long term program for invasion. a) Why not Invasion? Because what space faring civilization that had successfully built the industrial infrastructure to sustain themselves in space would ever want to move back to a planetary gravity well? The energy expenditure involved in ferrying mass numbers of materials and organisms to and from orbit makes simply making space a home vastly more desirable. Thus, Earth is more of a jail than a home. b) Why Not Simply Eradicate Humans Now? Within this framework, human beings would have shown themselves to be quite the pest. As noted in my previous post, we've altered the climate globally due to industrialization, we've developed nuclear weapons which threaten the simulation goals, and may well poke our noses into the central goals of the simulation, thereby potentially ruining the simulation output and even the simulation hardware itself. Any Extraterrestrials using Earth in this manner are almost certainly concerned by the prospect. Yet ecosystems are complex webs of interaction whereby modifying one aspect of the system has secondary, tertiary, and ad infinitum order effects that would be thoroughly unpredictable. Were they predictable, using a biosphere for complex 3D modeling would be unnecessary. Thus, to eradicate humans during run-time, who are part of the biosphere and the simulation itself, would likely introduce disequilibrium in the model that would generate garbage results on final output. c) Alien Hybrid Prediction: Again, not that I believe in abductions or alien hybrids given the poor evidence available, but if such a program were in effect, and this framework of using a biosphere for 3D computational modeling is valid, then I predict that any hybrids injected into human culture would be sterile. For to allow hybrids the ability to reproduce would introduce unpredictable changes during run-time that would increase over the generations, likely also impacting final output of the program with garbage results. This is the flip side of the coin to eradicating humans (or any other part of the simulation in the biosphere) during run-time. d) What Happens When the Simulation Run-Time Ends? For human society, _very_ bad things. For at that point we would be of no use to the systems specialists of such a program. Thus, at that point, eradication would be not just viable, but likely desirable. In fact, if an Extraterrestrial design engineer wanted to run the simulation again for a different purpose, eradication would be end result anyway - even if humanity hadn't proven itself to be the pests that we are. e) How to Respond? Run like hell. Given the technological and thus likely military asymmetry between human and advanced Extraterrestrial, to stand and fight for Earth would be suicide. In fact, attempting to set up shop within our solar system might well be just as stupid. Assuming this is model is true, and that humanity has no idea when such a model run-time might end, to first find another out of the way star with no habitable planets and no reason for Extraterrestrials to visit might be a pretty good first start. Then humanity would need to get off planet and run. Run as fast as we can. However, to utilize scarce resources in order to effect a massive military build-up in hopes for a 'last stand' defense would be - IMO - idiotic. Humanity wouldn't stand a chance. Thoughts? Maynard Listen to 'Strange Days... Indeed' - The PodCast At: http://www.virtuallystrange.net/ufo/sdi/program/ These contents above are copyright of the author and UFO UpDates - Toronto. They may not be reproduced without the express permission of both parties and are intended for educational use only.
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