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Thread: The meaning of life. Deep Down.

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    Veteran Member George S's Avatar
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    The meaning of life. Deep Down.

    Gene Survival

    Replicators love to, uh, replicate. Well, not "love to," they just do. It is, by definition, their nature. The language of desire or goal is from a gene's point of view, as if it had a point of view. Genes love to replicate, being replicators.


    Natural Selection is survival of the fittest to survive long enough to generate offspring who could in turn survive and have offspring. Desire to be a grandparent is a built-in "desire" of each and every gene.


    Humans are a complicated way for a gene to go from being in a single cell, a zygote, to being in another single cell -- another zygote.


    The meaning of life to humans, these Rube Goldberg contraptions' consciousnesses, is a matter of debate.

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    Quantum Hot Dog Kharakov's Avatar
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    Fricken replicators. We need another SG series or film to take them out once and for all.

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    Humans are not replicators.

    They only give their offspring half their genes.

    Each individual is a random combination of two genomes.

    None are a replication of either parent.

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    Contributor blastula's Avatar
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    Replicate is what human lives do, but not necessarily what human life means, depending on what you mean by meaning.

    Personally, I don't think there is any one objective meaning to life, just a bunch of subjective meanings to individual lives.

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    Veteran Member George S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by untermensche View Post
    Humans are not replicators.

    They only give their offspring half their genes.

    Each individual is a random combination of two genomes.

    None are a replication of either parent.
    So true, untermensche.

    However what I pointed out is that genes are replicators.

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    Veteran Member George S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blastula View Post
    Replicate is what human lives do, but not necessarily what human life means, depending on what you mean by meaning.

    Personally, I don't think there is any one objective meaning to life, just a bunch of subjective meanings to individual lives.
    Humans do not replicate themselves. Unlike asexual reproduction, the organism does not replicate. However, genes replicate (duplicate) themselves in both cases. Genes are what life is, deep down.

    .................................................. .... A rework of two lines of the OP

    Humans and other organisms are a complicated way for a gene to go from being in a single cell, a zygote, to being in another single cell -- another zygote.


    The meaning of life to humans and other organisms, these Rube Goldberg contraptions' consciousnesses, is a matter of debate.

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    That is not a meaning of life, it's a generalized description of what life is. At the same time life offers a framework for experience, which varies from organism to organism.

    Humans, for example, have the ability to formulate and understand a huge number of concepts, like meaning, and purpose, and so the composition, and track of a human being's life can be highly variable. There is nothing dictating that a human being must propagate at all costs, and if they don't propagate they don't just go jump off of a bridge. There are other things that offer them an acceptable existence.

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    I like to think of things in terms of the meaning of X to Y where we imagine X and Y are two mainly disjoint systems. Then we can
    take the meaning to be something like how much useful information can Y extract from X. For example, there is a lot of
    information stored in the relative jiggling of my molecules that another person at least at the conscious level will probably
    never be able to extract about me. So this will not be part of the useful information they can extract about me. My large-scale
    actions can be converted to useful information by them and so would be part of what I mean to them. Within myself, I can
    look at what I've done, my large scale actions, means to myself going forward. In terms of replicating entities such as genes,
    one of the things that the universe seems to be able to extract from them is large scale structures cells, plants, animals, etc.
    So if life is these self-perpetuating entities, then part of the meaning of life to the universe is these extensions, plants and creatures
    that the universe builds out of them.

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    Veteran Member PyramidHead's Avatar
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    Our most noble and selfless moments are often examples of going against what our genes 'want' from us. We owe our genes nothing, and whatever meaning we derive from this life we never asked for, it doesn't need to be compatible with any biological imperative.

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    Veteran Member Treedbear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PyramidHead View Post
    Our most noble and selfless moments are often examples of going against what our genes 'want' from us. ...
    I understand why you placed "want" in quotes, but can you give an example of these noble and selfless moments that are in no way derived from genetics? Noble and selfless tends to mean showing empathy for others like ourselves, which seems to be a genetic trait since we are social animals.

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