An interesting idea came up in an email thread with my dad
Ted Goertzel, his friend Bill McNeely, and my son Zar Goertzel…

Suppose that morphic resonance works – so that when a
pattern arises somewhere in the universe, it then becomes more likely to appear
other places in the universe. Suppose
that, like quantum entanglement, it operates outside the scope of special
relativity – so that when a pattern occurs on this side of the universe, its
probability of occurrence is immediately increased way on the other side of the
universe.

*(As with quantum entanglement, the language of causation is not really the best one to use here – rather than saying “pattern X occurring here increases the odds of pattern Y occurring there”, it’s better to say “in our universe, the odds of the same pattern occurring in two distant locations, sometimes with a time lag, is higher than one would expect based on straightforward independence assumptions” – this has the same empirical consequences and less needless metaphysical baggage. I’ve pointed this out here )*

Suppose also that the physical universe contains multiple
intelligent species and civilizations, flung all over the place – scattered across
our galaxy and/or multiple galaxies.

It would follow that when one intelligent civilization
creates a certain pattern, other civilizations halfway across the galaxy or
universe would have a higher probability of happening upon that same
pattern. And perhaps there would be an
increasing-returns type dynamic here: once half the intelligent civilizations
in the universe have manifested a certain pattern, the odds of the rest coming
to manifest it would be much higher.

But what kinds of patterns would be most likely to get
propagated in this way? A pattern
highly specific to Earthly life would not be likely to get picked up by
gas-cloud aliens in some other galaxy – because morphic resonance, if it works,
would only mildly increase the odds of a pattern being found in one location or
context, based on it already having been found in another. Most likely its mechanism of action would
involve slightly nudging the internal stochastic dynamics of existing processes
– and there is a limit to how much change can be enacted via such nudging. If the odds of a certain Earthly pattern
being formed in the world of the gas-cloud aliens is very low, morphic
resonance probably isn’t going to help.

Probably the most amenable patterns for morphic resonance
based cross-intelligent-civilization transmission would be the most abstract
ones, the ones that are of interest to as many different intelligent
civilizations as possible, regardless of their particular cultural or
physical or psychological makeup.

**would seem the best candidate.***Mathematics*
So, if this hypothesis is right, then mathematical theorems
and structures that have already been discovered by alien civilizations
elsewhere, would be especially easy for us to find – we would find ourselves
somehow mysteriously/luckily guided to finding them.

It’s not hard to imagine how we might test this
hypothesis. What if we built a giant
AGI mathematical theorem prover, and set it about searching for new
mathematical theorems, proofs and structures in a variety of different regions
of math-space. Based on all this
activity, it would be able to develop a reasonably decent estimator of how
difficult it should be, on average, to discover new theorems and proofs in a
certain area of mathematics.

Suppose this AGI mathematician then finds that certain areas
of mathematics are

**for it – that in these areas, it often seems to “just get lucky” in finding the right mathematical patterns, without having to try as hard as its general experience would lead it to suspect. These areas of mathematics would be the prime suspects for the role of “focus area of the intergalactic, cross-species community of morphically resonating mathematicians.”***unreasonably easy*
Suppose the AGI mathematician is trying to solve some
problem, and has to choose between two potential strategies, A and B. If A lies in a region of math-space that
seems to have lots of morphic resonance going on, then on the whole it’s going
to be a better place to look than B.
But of course, every alien species is going to be reasoning the same
way. So without any explicit
communication, the community of mathematically-reasoning species (which will
probably mostly be AGIs of some form or
another, since it’s unlikely evolved organisms are going to be nearly as good
at math as AGIs) will tend to help each other and collectively explore
math-space.

This is an utterly different form of Search for
Extraterrestrial Intelligence – I’ll label it the “Search for Extraterrestrial
Morphically-REsonating Mathematicians”, or SEMREM.

As soon as we have some highly functional AGI theorem-provers
at our disposal, work on SEMREM can begin!

**P.S. --**After reading the above, Damien Broderick pointed out that species doing lots of math but badly could pollute the morphic math-space, misdirecting all the other species around the cosmos. Perhaps this will be the cause of some future intergalactic warfare --- AI destroyer-bots will be sent out to nuke the species polluting the morphic math metaverse with wrong equations or inept, roundabout proofs ... or, more optimistically, to properly educate them in the ways of post-Singularity mathemagic...
## 2 comments:

This assumes that AGI will be able to benefit from the morphic resonance of organic beings--of any species no less. But the observations which orignally prompted Sheldrake's theory (and I assume all the other observations) suggest that morphic resonance functions mainly, if not only, between members of the same species. And there seems to me a very high likelihood that AGI will not be able to benefit from the morphic resonance of any organic beings. Of course, this depends on how morphic resonance develops, but again species-specific evidence hints that its development is tied to the physical continuity which exists between organic beings through the reproductive process.

If the community of mathematically-reasoning species using AGIs are supposed to be far more advanced than us, they'd be so many proofs ahead of our coming math-loving-AGI, in all areas of mathematics. How could this test give results if the probability of finding proofs is enhanced equally in all areas of mathematics.

Said in a different way: why should there be a "focus area of the intergalactic, cross-species community of morphically resonating mathematicians”?

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