Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Hidden Dilemma of Deliberate Speciation

The choice of an alien civilization to create a new species to replace itself was discussed in previous posts. It is obviously a monumental decision, and forms the basis for the differentiation of the two main categories of alien civilization that might be colonizing other solar systems than their home one. One maintains their own species and colonizes to spread this species elsewhere; the other colonizes to spread civilization there, and may engage in speciation either for their home world, if it produces better aliens according to a wide range of metrics, or for other planets they colonize, either in their own solar system or in other ones.

There is even another dilemma hidden within the choice of speciation. It relates to intellos. Intellos are the biological equivalent of robots; essentially animals of any sort designed to perform certain tasks within the alien civilization. Once genetics becomes as powerful and well understood as mechanics, this will be an option for performing tasks within the civilization. Since the alien civilization will understand what genes can be used for intelligence, they would be able to give any particular intello design whatever level of intelligence would be appropriate for the designated tasks it would perform.

Step back and ask about the regulation of behavior between aliens and between aliens and any organization, such as an agency of government. There must be some codes recorded so that aliens know the proper behavior, or the limits of proper behavior, and also so that any agency will have directions as to what they should do for, and may not do to an alien citizen. There are countless possibilities, and some obvious ones are what communication content is prohibited, to whom and under which conditions; what repairs will be done by whom for an alien who is injured, or damaged by other means if any still remain, including damage caused by aging; what ownership is permitted and what is required; what nutrition is provided by the government; how employment is to be divided up when more than one alien wants to take some position; what level of expense is allowed by an alien citizen; and so on. They may relate to what genetics an alien citizen will receive and what training.

Now leap forward to the time after the genetics grand transition, which occurs very early in the history of the alien civilization. They decide to deliberately speciate, and design a new species to replace their own. Do they apply the same regulations to the new species? Does the old species lose out on any privileges? This is a fairly easy question to ponder, as we have the old species of aliens being replaced by the new one. Does it depend on how dissimilar the new species is?

At about the same time, the aliens are busy creating intellos to perform certain functions within their society. They go through the costs and expenses having them will be and compare them to robots. Whatever is more efficient, when looked at from a total picture, will likely be used, unless the preferences of the aliens overrides efficiency. They might like to have something that looks like a very cute animal answering their questions and carrying their umbrellas.

Since the aliens are so intelligent, sooner or later one of them will ask why the civilization’s regulations that apply to the old species, and which have been transferred over to the new species, do not also apply to the intellos, or some of them. What is the basis for the difference in treatment? Intellos might be created to be as smart as the old species of aliens, or could be if the alien civilization decided to do this. Neither the new species or the intellos are involved with reproduction, as it is more efficient to create new creatures industrially. What is the basis upon which the regulations will take effect?

The realization will dawn on them that there is none.

This is the dilemma that deliberate speciation comes with. There was a basis for treating alien citizens different from intellos of all sorts, and that basis was the genetic code that creates them. Alien citizens have code which evolved and was only selected from to provide improvements, perhaps some further tinkering was done. Intellos are purely synthetic. But if a new species is created to replace the old species of aliens, this argument fails and the basis evaporates.

The alien civilization will have to carefully pick what regulations will apply to which type of creature, and somehow determine what the basis is for their choice. It must be arbitrary. Is it written on the basis of what society can afford, or on the basis of the purpose for which the creature is created, either to join the class of aliens who essentially rule the planet, or the servant class of intellos? Will this dilemma result in some new regulations as to what qualities may be endowed to intellos, such as no longevity greater than some number of years, or no intelligence genes which would place them too close to the alien species, or that they must look like some stereotypes, or something else more sophisticated?

This dilemma may rock the foundations of a category A2 alien civilization, and call into question their memes relating to the fundamental purpose of their civilization. When they seek to apply the purpose they ascribe to, spreading intelligent life to other planets in the galaxy, they might think about applying it to their own home planet. What would it mean there? They could create as many intellos of any type or variety of types as they wanted to, but how would that connect to their fundamental meme? They will have blurred the definitions of the terms used in the memes and this could lead to confusion on a large scale, occurring near the end of the genetics grand transition. What exactly do they want to accomplish?

In a category A1 alien civilization, everything is clear because they have their own traditional species that they can restrict their regulations to, and come up with some other regulations for intellos. The distinction between the two is written in the different genetic codes used for them. Not so with a category A2 civilization.

As the A2 aliens struggle with what criteria they will use to see who receives the benefits of their civilization and who will serve to create those benefits, some other bright citizen might want to see if their criteria apply to robots of any type. If intelligence is used as a criteria, then robots might well fall within the bounds set up to determine the receiving class for benefits. Clearly their society will have to face some very deep questions relating to their choice of meme.

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