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Missile Guidance Systems and Darwinian Logic


Since I earn my living as a software engineer in aerospace research and development, and since one of my specialities is guidance, navigation and control (GN&C) software development for precision-guided airdrop systems, I thought the following might be of interest to UD readers. As I listened to the following explanation of how missile guidance systems work, I thought to myself, “(Self) This is perfect Darwinian logic!”


I think and I thunk til I no longer thunker ‘Bout Darwinists splaining their circly slam-dunker. They know what they’ve thought’ve, For they’ve thought what they ought’ve, But if Gil thinks that way, I’m digging me a bunker! I nominate Tim for Poet Laureate. GilDodgen
Oh, Gawd. I can just hear the folks in the Pentagon getting out their checkbooks to pay for this thing now. Very impressive! :-) Lutepisc
Evolution knows where it is at all times. It knows this because it knows where it isn’t. However, it does not know where it will be. When it gets where it will be, it now knows where it is. By subtracting where it once was going to be and now is, from where it was, or vice versa, whichever is greater, we get a difference. This is called variation. When a variation occurs, selection, evolution's unguidance system, corrects where evolution will be, although it doesn’t know where it is going, but it will know where it is when it gets there. We thus conclude that evolution is a fact. GilDodgen
I picked up on that definition of "where it is" by trading on "where it isn't". It looks as though the presentation was having some fun with being vague about the planned trajectory to a target that the guidance system was to match. Hmm. "Planned?" "Target?" that seems kind of telic to me. Funny stuff. However, in broad Darwinian narratives, the swapping back and forth of thing-one as evidence for thing-two which is then evidence, er, for thing-one again is THE comedy/farce. Unfortunately, it is taken as Holy writ. Would I be quote-mining unfairly if I Googled "overwhelming evidence"and "homologues"? By the by, I certainly hope that the guidance system was created using some initial definitions that were not so self-refential, else this: I think and I thunk til I no longer thunker 'Bout Darwinists splaining their circly slam-dunker. They know what they've thought've, For they've thought what they ought've, But if Gil thinks that way, I'm digging me a bunker! Tim
The thing that came to me when I listened to it was the old Abbott and Costello skit, "Who's on First?" jerry
Gil, you are way too generous. That is much more sensible than Darwinian logic. A Darwinian guidance system would be a flock of missiles has no idea as to where they want to be but a short circuit in an electrical component in the guidance system of one of them confers a survival advantage which is passed on to its offspring which after many generations become space shuttles. tribune7
Darn! I had funny stuff to say. I was beat to the punch and now my funny has evolved into obscurity because I lost track of whence it came sigh..... IRQ Conflict
GilDodgen, Re: "missile guidance system:" Did you ever watch Star Trek? This is exactly how Commander Data described his first consummated sexual encounter. pmob1
Wow, that sounded a lot like some of the talks evolutionary biologists give on TED....... Very informative indeed. Never knew you could pack so much substance into an audio lecture. Did they just condense everything Ian Musgrave has said over the past ten years or something? F2XL

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