Evolution and Uncertainty

The New Scientist of 29 Jan 2011 (Issue 2797) has an article by Midgley (already blogged in ‘Evolution and epochs’ ) and ‘I, algorithm’. The latter shows how ‘old AI’ can be improved by combining it with probabilistic reasoning. The model that it uses is of numeric probability distributions. Is this enough to be able to represent the evolutionary behaviour described by Midgley, or the Knightian uncertainty of financial crashes? Or is it another example of a limited metaphor ‘hijacking our thinking’?

Keynes (Treatise on Probability) and Smuts (Holism and Evolution) both built on Whitehead’s notion of epochs, claiming that ‘common sense’ probabilistic reasoning was too limited. Or have I missed some advance?

Dave Marsay

See also

Reasoning in a complex world


About Dave Marsay
Mathematician with an interest in 'good' reasoning.

2 Responses to Evolution and Uncertainty

  1. Pingback: Fat tails and Epochs | djmarsay

  2. Pingback: Life’s Other Secret | djmarsay

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