An insecticide-infused bed net. The net quickly kills mosquitoes that land on it, so the little boy doesn't get bitten by one that may have malaria. The result: only mosquitoes with resistance to the insecticide survive and reproduce. Does this bed net promote the evolution of insecticide-resistant mosquitoes? Photo from http://microbewiki.kenyon.edu
This paper was changing the way I think about drug resistance and evolution. It set off a thought that proceeded to bounce about in my head until it hit another thought about the nature of intelligence. These two thoughts danced around each other in a very ephemeral waltz (a second or two) until they spawned another thought, which instead of dancing was expressed in an email to a friend of mine who is really interested in artificial intelligence and the nature of conscious thought. I wish now to leave you with my thoughts in this email to let them bounce about in your own brain for a bit. Enjoy!
"I just had a thought relating intelligence and evolution. I felt they were similar because they are both things humans try to simulate, but have yet to successfully and consistently recreate, and that are biological in nature. Then I thought more and decided that evolution is the opposite of intelligence, because it is a purely passive process and intelligence is not at all passive, but perhaps the antithesis of passivity.
Discussion question: Which will humans create first: non-intelligent forms that "live" and evolve on their own, or a finite intelligent entity?
Coming soon: this email as a blog entry!"