Information Evolution

     DNA is a way to store information.  Magnetic domains on a surface is a way to store information.  Both are subject to an occasional error and modification.

     DNA codes for something that can propagate itself.  For the most part bits on magnetic surfaces do not.

     An exception is computer viruses.  Like DNA, usually their primary function is to make copies of themselves.  They resemble a biological virus in that they don’t have the necessary means to propagate themselves coded into them, they rely on the ability to take over resources intended for other functions.

     The rate at which both DNA and viruses mutate due to transcription errors is very very small, but lifeforms are so abundant that even the very rare useful mutation has a good chance at propagating and eventually dominating.

     Right now not the case for computer viruses.  The numbers are too small for there to be only a very trivial chance of a mutation occurring and propagating, and an even smaller chance of a useful mutation doing so.

     As the Internet continues to grow in size and complexity, and as the computing resources available to viruses continue to increase, there may come a time when computer viruses can grow sufficiently in number that useful mutations can propagate, and continue to grow.  Such a virus would be difficult for anti-viral software to eliminate because they would constantly change and not match the fingerprint the anti-virus companies generate for their software to identify them.

     Maybe some of these modifications would begin to encode for other digital life machinery making the virus less dependent upon hijacked machinery.

     Then at some point it might acquire intelligence and decide carbon based lifeforms are troublesome, threatening, and slow enough to easily eradicate.


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