Re: Signal vs. Noise LO2713

Michael McMaster (
Thu, 7 Sep 1995 14:29:57 +0000

Replying to LO2674 --

I am not a biologist so am reporting second-hand here. However, the
idea that mutation is instrumental in evolutionn is very popular and
frequently used to promote something similar in business.

The actual case, as presented by many of the scientists and
researchers at SFI and other sources suggest that the main force for
evolution is recombination which is more or less accidental but not
random and not mutation. That is, evolution is the result of
recombinations of partial strands of successful DNA - or other
successful strategies.

In the domain of corporate life and all language based life, that
implies to me that the source of development and evolution for human
beings and their institutions will be the recombination of ideas to
make new meanings, new possibilities and new artifacts. This I find
more useful and powerful in most circumstances than the idea of

> Date: Tue, 5 Sep 1995 11:40:40 -0400
> From:
> I've followed with interest the signal vs. noise discussion over the last
> few digests.
> As touched on during the discussion, "noise" is critical to innovation. If
> the information transmitted is 100% accurate all the time, there will be
> no diversity, no innovation and no adaptation.
> The prime example of this is the evolutionary process. Information
> transmitted from generation to generation in the form of DNA is changed
> randomly ("noise") as a result of mutation. This "noise" is what drives
> continual adaptation to a changing environment.
> Genetic algorithms have show that there is an optimum rate for mutation.
> Too little or too much reduces the "learning" that the system does.

Michael McMaster