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Adap­ta­tion Executors

TagLast edit: 3 Oct 2020 3:12 UTC by Swimmer963

Modeling biological systems as Adaption Executors is central principle of evolutionary biology in general, and evolutionary psychology in particular.

If we regarded human taste buds as trying to maximize fitness, we might expect that, say, humans fed a diet too high in calories and too low in micronutrients, would begin to find lettuce delicious, and cheeseburgers distasteful. But it is better to regard taste buds as an executing adaptation—they are adapted to an ancestral environment in which calories, not micronutrients, were the limiting factor. And now they are simply executing that adaptation—evolution operates on too slow a timescale to re-adapt to such a recent condition.

Evolution is ultimately just a historical-statistical macrofact about which ancestors did in fact reproduce. These genes then execute again, as they did previously. And so the behavior of the organism is often better interpreted in terms of what worked in the past, rather than what should work in the future. The organism’s genes are, in fact, the causal result of what worked in the past, and certainly not a causal result of the future.

External links

See also

[SEQ RERUN] Adap­ta­tion-Ex­ecu­tors, not Fit­ness Maximizers

MinibearRex23 Oct 2011 2:55 UTC
9 points
0 comments1 min readLW link

Adap­ta­tion-Ex­e­cuters, not Fit­ness-Maximizers

Eliezer Yudkowsky11 Nov 2007 6:39 UTC
85 points
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The Evolu­tion­ary-Cog­ni­tive Boundary

Eliezer Yudkowsky12 Feb 2009 16:44 UTC
45 points
29 comments3 min readLW link

The Power of Agency

lukeprog7 May 2011 1:38 UTC
86 points
78 comments1 min readLW link

Evolu­tion­ary Psychology

Eliezer Yudkowsky11 Nov 2007 20:41 UTC
76 points
40 comments5 min readLW link

The Cog­ni­tive Costs to Do­ing Things

lionhearted2 May 2011 9:13 UTC
49 points
21 comments4 min readLW link

Is Mo­ral­ity Given?

Eliezer Yudkowsky6 Jul 2008 8:12 UTC
26 points
100 comments8 min readLW link

The en­emy within

Roko5 Jul 2009 15:08 UTC
22 points
18 comments3 min readLW link

Selec­tion vs Control

abramdemski2 Jun 2019 7:01 UTC
122 points
25 comments11 min readLW link2 nominations2 reviews

A study on depression

vlad.proex13 Oct 2020 15:43 UTC
21 points
1 comment9 min readLW link

Cyn­i­cism in Ev-Psych (and Econ?)

Eliezer Yudkowsky11 Feb 2009 15:06 UTC
26 points
39 comments4 min readLW link

Reli­gion as Goodhart

shminux8 Jul 2019 0:38 UTC
21 points
6 comments2 min readLW link

If it looks like util­ity max­i­mizer and quacks like util­ity max­i­mizer...

taw11 Jun 2009 18:34 UTC
20 points
24 comments2 min readLW link

Rep­re­sen­ta­tive democ­racy awe­some­ness hypothesis

taw18 Jun 2009 3:02 UTC
4 points
13 comments2 min readLW link
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