Documenting the Coming Singularity

Monday, July 06, 2009

Let's move things along, shall we? - Hawking: "Humans Have Entered a New Stage of Evolution"

Editor's note: Hawking essentially proposes that transmitted information be included in the calculation of the speed of human evolution. His argument makes a great deal of sense, considering that evolution does not have to be biological to result in the transformation of a species.

Daily Galaxy - July 3, 2009, by Casey Kazan

Although It has taken homo sapiens several million years to evolve from the apes, the useful information in our DNA, has probably changed by only a few million bits. So the rate of biological evolution in humans, Stephen Hawking points out in his Life in the Universe lecture, is about a bit a year.

"By contrast," Hawking says, "there are about 50,000 new books published in the English language each year, containing of the order of a hundred billion bits of information. Of course, the great majority of this information is garbage, and no use to any form of life. But, even so, the rate at which useful information can be added is millions, if not billions, higher than with DNA."

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