17 Burst results for "Nick Lane"

"nick lane" Discussed on Lex Fridman Podcast

Lex Fridman Podcast

06:00 min | Last month

"nick lane" Discussed on Lex Fridman Podcast

"With joy. And that's ultimately success. Success isn't the thing beyond the horizon, the big, the big trophy, the financials. I think it's as close as we can get to happiness. That's not to say you're full of joy all the time, but it's as close as we can get to a sustained human happiness is by getting some fulfillment from what you're doing on a daily basis. And if what you're looking for is the world giving you the stamp of approval with a Nobel Prize or a fellowship or whatever it is, then, you know, I've known people like this who they're eaten away by the by the anger kind of caustic resentment that they've not been awarded this prize that they deserve. And the other way, if you put too much value into those kinds of prizes and you win them, I've got the chance to see that it also, the more quote unquote successful you are in that sense, the more you run the danger of growing ego so big that you don't get to actually enjoy the beauty of this life. You start to believe that you figured it all out as opposed to I think what the ultimately the most fun thing is is being curious about everything around you, being constantly surprised and these little moments of discovery of enjoying enjoying beauty and small and big risks all around you. And I think the bigger ego grows, the more you start to take yourself seriously, the less you're able to enjoy that. And I couldn't agree more. So the summary from harmless to mostly harmless in hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy, how would you try to summarize earth? And if you were given, if you had to summarize the whole thing in a couple of sentences, and maybe throw in meaning of life in there, like why? Why? Is that a defining thing about humans that we care about the meaning? Of the whole thing. I wonder, I wonder if that should be part of these creatures seem to be very lost asking why. That's my defining question is why it was a people used to make a joke I have a small scar on my forehead from a climbing accident years ago and the guy I was climbing with had dislodged a rock in its outer something hits out below, I think, meaning that The Rock was coming down and I hadn't caught what he said so I looked up and he went straight to my forehead and everybody around me took the piss saying he looked up to ask why. Yeah. But that's a human imperative that's part of what it means to be human. Look up to the sky and ask why. And that's why. So your question, define the earth. I'm not sure I can do that. I mean, the first word that comes to mind is living.

Nobel Prize
"nick lane" Discussed on Lex Fridman Podcast

Lex Fridman Podcast

05:18 min | Last month

"nick lane" Discussed on Lex Fridman Podcast

"This can be inherited because there are forms of membrane heredity that you can have and there are effectively if a cell divides in two and it's got a lot of stuff inside it and that stuff is basically bound as a network which is capable of regenerating itself. Then it will. Inevitably regenerate itself. And so you can develop greater complexity. But everything that I've said depends on the underlying rules of thermodynamics, there is no evolvability about that. It's simply an inevitable outcome of your starting point, assuming that you're able to increase the driving force through the system. You will generate more of the same, you'll expand on what you can do, but you'll never get anything different than that. And it's only when you introduce information into that as a gene as a kind of small stretch of RNA, which can be random stretch. Then you get real evolvability, then you get biology as we know it. But you also have selection, as we know it. Yeah, I mean, I don't know how to think about information. That's the kind of memory of the system. So it's not at the local level as propagation of copying yourself and changing and improving your adaptability to the environment. But if you look at earth as a whole, it has a kind of memory that's the key feature of it. In what way? It remembers the stuff it tries. Like if you were to describe earth, I think evolution is something that we experience as individual organisms that's how the individual organisms interact with each other. There's a natural selection, but when you look at earth as an organism in its entirety, how would you describe it? Well, not as an organism. I mean, the idea of Gaia is lovely. And James lovelock originally put guy out as an organism that had somehow evolved. And he was immediately attacked by lots of people. And he's not wrong, but he backpedaled somewhat because that was more of a poetic vision than the science. The science is now called earth systems science, and it's really about how does the world kind of regulate itself so it remains within the limits which are hospitable to life and it does it amazingly well and it is working at a planetary level of integration of regulation. But it's not evolving by natural selection and it can't because there's only one of it. And so it can change over time, but it's not evolving.

James lovelock
"nick lane" Discussed on Lex Fridman Podcast

Lex Fridman Podcast

05:59 min | Last month

"nick lane" Discussed on Lex Fridman Podcast

"Where it's much less obvious than if you think about the entire planetary history and then you realize that the first 2 billion years was bacteria only. You have the origin of life, 2 billion years of just bacteria, oxygen, photosynthesis arising here, then you have a global catastrophe, snowball Earths, and great oxidation event. And then another billion years of nothing happening, and then some period of upheavals, and then another snowball earth, and then suddenly you see the Cambrian explosion. This is long periods of stasis. Where the world isn't the stable state, and is not geared towards increasing complexity. It's just everything is in balance. And only when you have a catastrophic level of global level problem, like if snowball earth, it forces everything out of balance, and there's a tipping point and you end up somewhere else. Now, the idea that evolution is slow is wrong. It can be incredibly fast. And I mentioned earlier on that you can, in theory, it would take half a million years to invent an eye, for example, from a light sensitive spot. It doesn't take long to convert one kind of tube into a tube with novels on it into a tube with arms on it and then multiple arms and then one end is ahead with the starts out as a swelling. It's not difficult intellectually to understand how these things can happen. It boggles the mind that it can happen so quickly, but we're used to human time scales. And what we need to talk about is generations of things that live for a year in the ocean. And then a million years is a million generations and the amount of change that you can do can affect in that period of time. It's enormous and we're dealing with large populations of things where selection is sensitive to pretty small changes and can so again, as soon as you throw in the competition of predators and prey and you are ramping up the scale of evolution, it's not very surprising that it happens very quickly when the environment allows it to happen. So I don't think there's a big mystery. There's lots of details that need to be filled in. I mean, the big mystery in biology is consciousness. The big mystery biology is conscious. Well, intelligence is kind of a mystery too. I mean, you said biology, not

"nick lane" Discussed on Lex Fridman Podcast

Lex Fridman Podcast

02:43 min | Last month

"nick lane" Discussed on Lex Fridman Podcast

"Nothing much changed. It's known as the boring billion, in fact. Probably stuff was when you carry it arose somewhere in there. But. So this idea that the world is constantly changing, that we're constantly evolving that we're moving up some ramp is a very human idea, but in reality there are. Tipping points to a new, stable, equilibrium, where the cells are producing oxygen are precisely counterbalanced by the cells that are consuming that oxygen, which is why it's 21%. Now, and has been that way for hundreds of millions of years. We have a very precise balance. You go through a tipping point, and you don't know where the next stable states can be. But it can be a long way from here. And so if we change the world with global warming, there will be a tipping point just question is where and when and what's the next stable state, it may be uninhabitable to us. It'll be habitable to life for sure. But there may be something like the Permian extinction where 95% of species go extinct and there's a 5 to 10 million year gap and then life recovers, but without humans. And the question statistically, without humans with statistically, does that ultimately lead to greater complexity, more interesting life. Well, after the first appearance of oxygen, with the GOE, there was a tipping point, which led to a long-term stable state that was equivalent to the Black Sea today, which is to say oxygenated at the very surface and stagnant sterile not sterile, but sulfurous, lower down. And that was stable, certainly around the continental margins, for more than a billion years. It was not a state that led to progression in an obvious way. It's interesting to think about evolution like what leads to stable states. And how often are evolutionary pressures, emergent from the environment. So maybe other planets are able to create evolutionary pressures, chemical pressures, whatever some kind of pressure that say, you're screwed unless you get your shit together in the next 10,000 years. Like a lot of pressure. It seems like earth, like the boring building might be explained in two ways. One is super difficult to take any kind of next step. And the second way could be explained is there's no reason to take the next step. No, I think there is no reason, but at the end of it, there was a there was a snowball earth.

Black Sea
"nick lane" Discussed on Lex Fridman Podcast

Lex Fridman Podcast

05:42 min | Last month

"nick lane" Discussed on Lex Fridman Podcast

"Did DeepMind come up through patterns with some answer that was like that. I've got absolutely no idea. It bought to be possible to deduce that from the shapes of proteins. It would require much greater, much greater skill than the human mind has. But the human mind is capable of saying, well, hang on, let's look at this exit tunnel and try and work out what shape is this protein going to take. And they can figure that out. That's really interesting about the exit tun but sometimes we get lucky and our just a conscience, the simplified view, or the static view, will actually solve the problem for us. So in this case, it's very possible that the sequence of letters has a unique mapping to our structure. Without considering how it unraveled. So without considering the tunnel. And so that seems to be the case in this situation where the cool thing about proteins, all the different shapes that can possibly take. It actually seems to take very specific, unique shapes given the sequence. That's forced on you by an exit tunnel. So the problem is actually much simpler than you thought. And then there's a whole army of proteins that change the conformational state, chaperone proteins. And they're only used when there's some presumably issue with how it came out of the exit tunnel and you want to do it differently to that. So the very often the chaperone proteins will go there and will influence the way in which it falls. So there's two ways of doing it, either you can look at the structures and the sequences of all the proteins and you can apply an immense mind to it and figure out what the patterns are and figure out what all you can look at the actual situation where it is and say, well hang on, it was actually quite simple. It's got to charge the environment and then you force to come out this way. And then the question will be, well, do different ribosomes have different charged environments for what happens if a chaperone, you're asking a different set of questions to come to the same answer in a way, which is telling you a much simpler story and explains why it is rather than saying it could be, this is one in a billion different possible confirmational states that this protein could have, you're saying, well, it has this one because that was the only one it could take given its setting. Well, yeah, I mean, there's currently humans are very good at that kind of first principles thinking. I was stepping back. I think AI is really good at collecting a huge amount of data. And a huge amount of data of observation of planets and figure out that earth is not at the center of the universe that there's actually a sun orbiting the sun, but then you can, as a human being, ask, well, how did how do solar systems come to be? What are the different forces that are required to make this kind of pattern emerge? And then you start to invent things like gravity, obviously.

"nick lane" Discussed on Lex Fridman Podcast

Lex Fridman Podcast

05:34 min | Last month

"nick lane" Discussed on Lex Fridman Podcast

"I don't have a dog, by the way, they're not, it's not the diamond. And the dog character is incredibly good at using their eyes. They do just that. They are. Now, I don't imagine that a dog is remotely as close to being intelligent as an AI. Intelligence. But it's certainly capable of communicating emotionally with us. But here's what I would venture to say. We tend to think because AI plays chess well. And is able to fold proteins now well, that is intelligent. I would argue that in order to communicate with humans in order to have emotional intelligence, it actually requires another order of magnitude of intelligence. It's not easy to be flawed, solving a mathematical puzzle is not the same as the full complexity of human to human interaction. That's actually, we humans just take for granted the things we're really good at. Nonstop, people tell me how shitty people are driving. No, humans are incredible at driving. Bipedal walking, walking, object manipulation, we're incredible at this. And so people tend to discount the things we all just take for granted. And one of those things that they discount is our ability, the dance of conversation and interaction with each other. The ability to morph ideas together. The ability to get angry at each other, and then to miss each other. To create attention that makes life fun and difficult and challenging in a way that's meaningful. That is a skill that's learned. And AI would need to solve that problem. I mean, in some sense, what you're saying is AI can not become meaningfully emotional, let's say, until it experiences some kind of internal conflict that has unable to reconcile these various aspects of reality or its reality. With a decision to make and then it feels sad necessarily because it doesn't know what to do. And I certainly can't dispute that. That may very well be how it works. I think the only way to find out is to do it. And leave it to the philosophers if it actually feels sad or not. The point is, the robot will be sitting there alone having an internal conflict and existential crisis. And that's required for it to have a deep, meaningful connection with another human being. Now, does it actually feel that I don't know. But I would like to throw something else at you, which troubles me. On reading it, Noah harari's book 21 lessons for the 21st century. And he's written about this kind of thing on various occasions. And he sees biochemistry as an algorithm. And then AI will necessarily be able to hack that algorithm and do it better than humans. So there will be AI better at writing music that we appreciate the Mozart ever corridor, writing better than Shakespeare ever did and so on because biochemistry is algorithmic and all you need to do is figure out which bits of the algorithm to play to make us feel good or bad or appreciate things. And as a biochemist, I find that argument.

chess Noah harari Shakespeare
"nick lane" Discussed on Lex Fridman Podcast

Lex Fridman Podcast

05:21 min | Last month

"nick lane" Discussed on Lex Fridman Podcast

"Which can be selected over generations that if you are, if you get this wrong, it's linked with this set of circumstances that I've just, as an individual, I have a moment of blind panic and run. As of bacteria or something you have some electrical discharge that says blind panic and it runs whatever it may be. And you associate over generations, multiple generations that this electrical phase that I'm in now is associated with a response like that. And it's easy to see how feelings come in through the back door almost with that kind of. Giving real-time feedback on your position in the world in relation to how am I doing? And then you complexify the system and yes, I have no problem with phase transition and can all of this be done purely by the language by the issues with how the system understands itself. Maybe it can, I honestly don't know. But the philosophers for a long time have talked about the possibility that you can have a zombie intelligence and that there are no feelings there, but everything else is the same. I have to throw this back to you really. How do you deal with a zombie intelligence? So first of all, I can see that from a biologist's perspective, think of all the complexities that led up to the human being. The entirety of the history of 4 billion years that in some deep sense integrated the human being into this environment. And that dance of the organism and the environment, you could see how emotions arise from that. And then our emotions deeply connecting to creating a human experience and from that you mix and consciousness and the full mass of it. Yeah. But from a perspective of an intelligent organism that's already here, like a baby, that learns. It doesn't need to learn how to be a collection of cells or how to do all the things you need to do. The basic function of a baby hasn't learned is to interact with this environment to learn from its environment to learn how to fit in to the social society to the basic response of the baby is to cry a lot of the time. I cry. Well, to convince the humans to protect it or to discipline it to teach it to whatever I mean, we've developed a bunch of different tricks how to get our parents to take care of us to educate us to teach us about the world. Also, we've constructed the world in such a way that it's safe enough for us to survive in, and yet dangerous enough to learn the valuable lessons like the tables are still hard with corners. So it can still run into them and it hurts like how so AI needs to solve that problem, not the problem of constructing this super complex organism that leads up so to run the whole to make an apple pie to

apple
"nick lane" Discussed on Lex Fridman Podcast

Lex Fridman Podcast

04:10 min | Last month

"nick lane" Discussed on Lex Fridman Podcast

"To a toaster that's feeling sad today in turns away and looks out out the window sighing, having an existential crisis. Speaking of Marvin, the paranoid Android, is that Marvin is simplistic because Marvin is just cranky. Yes. So easily programmed. Yeah, easily programmed, nonstop existential crisis. You're almost basically what is the notes from underground, but this deal is just constantly complaining about life. No, capturing the full roller coaster of human emotion. The excitement, the bliss, the connection, the empathy and all that kind of stuff. And then the selfishness, the anger, the depression, all that kind of stuff. The capturing all of that and be able to experience it deeply. Like it's the most important thing you could possibly experience today. The highest highs, the lowest lows. This is it. My life will be over. I can not possibly go on. That feeling and then after a nap, you're feeling amazing. That might be something that emerges. So why would a nap? Make an AI being feel better. First of all, we don't know that for a human either, right? But we do know that that's actually true for many people, much of the time, maybe. In fact, feel better. So, oh, you are actually asking the technical question there is. So there's a biological answer to that. And so the question is whether AI needs to have the same kind of attachments to its body, bodily function and preservation of the brain's successful function. Self preservation essentially, in some deep biological sense. I mean, to my mind, it comes back round to the problem we were talking about before about simulations and sensory input and learning what all of this stuff means. And life and death. The biology unlike society has a death penalty over everything. And natural selection works on that death penalty that if you make this decision wrongly, you die. And the next generation is represented by beings that made a slightly different decision on balance. And that is something that's intrinsically difficult to simulate in all its richness. I would say. So what is it? In all its richness. Our relationship with death. Or the whole of it. So when you say richness, of course, there's a lot in that. Which is hard to simulate. What's part of the richness that's hard to simulate. I suppose the complexity of the environment and your position in that the position of an organism in that environment in the full richness of that environment over its entire life over multiple generations with changes in gene sequence over those generations are slight changes in the makeup of those individuals over generations. But if you take it back to the level of single cells, which I do in the book and ask how do how does a single cell in effect know it exists as an unit as an entity? I mean, no, in inverted commas, obviously it doesn't know anything. But it acts as a unit, and it acts with astonishing precision as a unit. And I had suggested that that's linked to the electrical fields on the membranes themselves and that they give some indication of how am I doing in relation to my environment as a kind of real-time feedback on the world. And this is something physical.

Marvin biology unlike society depression
"nick lane" Discussed on Lex Fridman Podcast

Lex Fridman Podcast

04:25 min | Last month

"nick lane" Discussed on Lex Fridman Podcast

"I never quite understand what people mean by words like emergence. I mean, there are genuine examples, and I think we very often tend to use it to plaster over ignorance. As a biochemist, the question for me then was, okay, it's a concoction of a central nervous system. A depolarizing neuron gives rise to a feeling to a feeling of pain or to a feeling of love, or anger, whatever it may be. So what is then a feeling in biophysical terms in the central nervous system, which bit of the wiring gives rise to and I've never seen anyone answer that question in a way that makes sense to me. And that's an important question to answer. I think if we want to understand consciousness, that's the only question to answer. Because certainly an AI is capable of out thinking. And it's only a matter of time. Maybe it's already happened. In terms of just information processing and computational skill, I don't think we have any problem in designing a mind, which is at least the equal of the human mind. But in terms of what we value the most as humans, which is to say our feelings are emotions are sense of what the world is in a very personal way. I think means as much or more to people than their information processing. And that's where I don't think that AI necessarily will become conscious because I think it's a property of life. Well, let's talk about it more you're an incredible writer. One of my favorite writers, so let me read from your latest book Transformers what you write about consciousness. I think therefore I am, said the cart is one of the most celebrated lines ever written. But one am I exactly? In artificial intelligence can think too by definition and therefore is yet few of us could agree whether AI is capable in principle of anything resembling human emotions, of love or hate, fear, and

"nick lane" Discussed on Lex Fridman Podcast

Lex Fridman Podcast

05:32 min | Last month

"nick lane" Discussed on Lex Fridman Podcast

"It's so interesting how we're channeling the best of the evolutionary imperative. And trying to get rid of the stuff that's not productive. To almost accelerate evolution, the same kind of thing that makes evolution creative, we're trying to use that. I think we naturally do it. I mean, I don't think we can help ourselves do it. Capitalism capitalism as a form is basically about competition and differential rewards. But we society and we have, I can't use this world moral obligation, but we can not operate as a society. If we go that way, it's interesting that we've had problems achieving balance. So for example, in the financial crash in 2009, do you let banks go to the wall or not? This kind of question. In evolution, certainly you let them go to the wall and in that sense you don't need the regulation because they just die. Whereas if we, as a society, think about what's required for society as a whole, then you don't necessarily let them go to the wall. In which case, you then have to impose some kind of regulation that the bankers themselves will in an evolutionary manner exploit. Yeah, we've been struggling with this kind of idea of capitalism, the cold brutality of capitalism that seems to create so much beautiful things in those world. And then the ideals of communism that seem to create so much brutal destruction in history. We struggle with ideas of, well, maybe we didn't do it right. How can we do things better? And then the ideas are the things we're playing with as opposed to people. If a PhD student has a bad idea, we don't shoot the PhDs. We just criticize their idea and hope they improve. You have a very humane lab. You guys do it, you know. The way I run things, it's always life and death. Okay, so it is an interesting about humans that there is an inner sense of morality. Which begs the question of how did homo sapiens evolve if we think about the invention of early invention of sex and early invention of predation, what was the thing invented

"nick lane" Discussed on Lex Fridman Podcast

Lex Fridman Podcast

03:43 min | Last month

"nick lane" Discussed on Lex Fridman Podcast

"The history of life on earth, unfortunately, is that of violence, just the trillions and trillions of multi cell organisms that were murdered. The sorry statement, but yes, it's basically true. And that's somehow is a catalyst from an evolutionary perspective for creativity for creating more and more complex organisms that are better and better at surviving. Survival of the fittest you just go back to that old phrase means death of the weakest, now what's fit, what's weak, these are terms that don't have much intrinsic meaning. But the thing is, evolution only happens because of death. One way to die is the constraints, the scarcity of the resources and the environment, but that seems to be not nearly as good of a mechanisms mechanism for death than other creatures, roaming about in the environment. When I say inviting me like the static environment, but then there's the dynamic environment of bigger things trying to eat you and use you for your energy. It forces you to come up with a solution to your specific problem that is inventive and is new and hasn't been done before. And so it forces literally change, literally evolution. On populations, they have to become different. And it's interesting that humans have channeled that into more. I mean, I guess what humans are doing is they're inventing more productive and safe ways of doing that. You know, this whole idea of morality and all those kinds of things, I think they ultimately lead to competition versus violence because I think violence can have a cold, brutal, inefficient aspect to it. But if you channel that into more controlled competition in the space of ideas, in the space of approaches to life, maybe you can be even more productive than evolution is because evolution is very wasteful. The modern murder required to really test the good idea genetically speaking is just a lot. Many, many, many generations. Morally, we can not base society on the way that evolution works. But actually, in some respects, we do, which is to say, this is how science works. We have competing hypotheses that have to get better otherwise they die. It's the way that society works. In ancient Greece, we have the Athens and Sparta and city states and then we have the renaissance and nation states. And universities compete with each other. Yes. Tremendous amount, companies competing with each other all the time. It drives innovation. And if we want to do it without all the death that we see in nature, then we have to have some kind of societal level control that says, well, hit the limits guys and these are what the limits are going to be and society as a whole has to say right. We want to limit the amount of death here, so you can't do this and you can't do that. And who makes up these rules and how do we know it's a tough thing, but it's basically trying to find a moral basis for avoiding the death of evolution and natural selection and keeping the innovation and the richness of it. For that, I said it, but that murder is illegal, probably current running it. Murder is illegal except when it's done to the sound of trumpets and a large scale. So we still have wars. But we are struggling with this idea that murder is a bad thing.

Sparta Athens Greece
"nick lane" Discussed on Lex Fridman Podcast

Lex Fridman Podcast

05:19 min | Last month

"nick lane" Discussed on Lex Fridman Podcast

"Ground plan for what's called meiosis and gamma, that's basically sex. And it happens at the level of single celled organisms, and it happens pretty much the same way in plants and pretty much the same way in animals and so on. And it's not found in any bacteria. They switch things around using the same machinery and they take up a bit of DNA from the environment. They take out this bit and stick in that bit and it's the same molecular machinery they're using to do it. So what about the kind of, you said, find each other, this kind of imperative. Find each other. What is that? Well, you've got a few cells together. So the bottom, the bottom line on all of this is bacteria. I mean, it's kind of simple when you figured it out and figuring it out, this is not me. This is my PhD student Marco con Aggie. And in effect, if you're doing lateral E. coli cell, you've got 4000 genes. You want to scale up to a eukaryotic size. I want to have 20,000 genes. And I need to maintain my genome, so it doesn't get shot to pieces by mutations. And I'm going to do it by lateral gene transfer. So I know I've got a mutation in a gene. I don't know which gene it is, because I'm not sentient, but I know I can't grow. I know my regulation systems are saying something wrong here, something wrong. Pick up some DNA. Pick up a bit of DNA from the environment. If you've got a small genome, the chances of you picking up the right bit of DNA from the environment is much higher than if you've got a genome of 20,000 genes. To do that, you've effectively got to be picking up DNA all the time all day long and nothing else. And you're still going to get the wrong DNA. You've got to pick up large chunks and in the end you've got to line them up. You're forced into sex. Bitcoin phrase. So. There is a kind of incentive. If you want to have a large genome, you've got to prevent it mutating to nothing. That will happen with bacteria. So there's another reason why bacteria can't have a large genome. But as soon as you give them the power pass, as soon as you give you carrot excels, the power pack that allows them to increase the size of their genome, then you face the pressure that you've got to maintain its quality. You've got to stop it just mutating away. What about sexual selection? So the finding like, I don't like this one. I don't like this one. This one seems all right. What's the, is it at which point does it become less random? It's hard to know. You curry has just kind of floated around. I'm just kind of like tender. It's probably is. It's just that I don't know very much about it. By the time we are hanging out with the Ukrainians, I do all the time, but you can't communicate with them yet. Peacock or something. Yes. The kind of standard. This is not quite what I work on, but the standard answer is that it's female mate choice. She is looking for good genes. And if you can have a tail that's like this and still survive, still be alive, not actually have been taken down by the nearest predator, then you must have got pretty good genes because despite this handicap, you're able to survive. So those are like human interpretable things like with a peacock, but I wonder, I'm sure echoes of the same thing are there with more primitive organisms.

Marco con Aggie E. coli curry Peacock
"nick lane" Discussed on Lex Fridman Podcast

Lex Fridman Podcast

03:52 min | Last month

"nick lane" Discussed on Lex Fridman Podcast

"A lot of times a lot of evolution, but as soon as you've got cells living inside another cell, what you've got is a new design. You've got new potential that you didn't have before. So the cell living inside another cell, that design allows for better storage of information, better use of energy, more delegation, like a hierarchical control of the whole thing. And then, and then somehow that leads to ability to have multi cell organisms. I'm not sure that you have hierarchical control necessarily, but you've got a system where you can have a much larger information storage depot in the nucleus. You can have a much larger genome. And that allows multicellularity, yes, because it allows you it's a funny thing to have to have an animal where I have 70% of my genes switched on in my brain. And a different 50% switched on in my liver or something. You've got to have all those genes in the egg cell at the very beginning. And you've got to have a program of development which says, okay, you guys switch off those genes and switch on those genes and you guys, you do that. But all the genes are there at the beginning. That means you've got to have a lot of genes in one cell and you've got to be able to maintain them. And the problem with bacteria is they don't get close to having enough genes in one cell. So if you were to try and make a multicellular organism from bacteria, you'd bring different types of bacteria together and hope they'll cooperate and the reality is they don't. That's really, really tough to do. We know they don't because it doesn't exist. We'll have the data as far as we know. I'm sure there's a few special ones and they did off quickly. I'd love to know some of the most fun things bacteria have done since. I mean, they can do some pretty funky things. This is broad brushstroke that I'm talking about, but yeah. Generally speaking, so how was another fun invention? Us humans seem to utilize it well, but you say it's also very important early on is sex. So what is sex? Just asking for a friend.

"nick lane" Discussed on Lex Fridman Podcast

Lex Fridman Podcast

04:37 min | Last month

"nick lane" Discussed on Lex Fridman Podcast

"So we start development with a single cell and all the cells in the organism have identical DNA. And you switch off in the brain, you switch off these genes and you switch on those genes and live you switch off those new switch on a different set. And the standard evolutionary explanation for that is that you've restricting conflict. You don't have a load of genetically different cells that are all fighting each other. And so it works. The trouble with bacteria, they form these biofilms and they're all genetically different and effectively they're incapable of that level of cooperation. They would get in a fight. Okay, so why is this such a difficult invention? Of getting this bacteria inside and becoming an engine which the mitochondria is, why was that why do you sign at such great importance? Is a great importance in terms of the difficulty of how it was to achieve a great importance in terms of the impact they had on life both. It had a huge impact on life because if that had not happened, you can be certain that life on earth would be bacterial only. And it took a really long time to talk 2 billion years and it hasn't happened since to the best of our knowledge. So it looks as if it's genuinely difficult. And if you think about it then from just an informational perspective, you think bacteria have got, they structure their information differently. So a bacterial cell has a small genome, you might have 4000 genes in it, but a single E. coli cell has access to about 30,000 genes. Potentially, it's got a kind of meta genome where other E. coli out there have got different gene sets, and they can switch them around between themselves. And so you can generate a huge amount of variation and they've got more an E. coli meta genome is larger than the human genome. We don't 20,000 genes or something. So and they've had 4 billion years of evolution to work out what can I do and what can't I do with this meta genome and the answer is you're stuck. You're still bacteria. So there you have explored genetic sequence space. Far more thoroughly than eukaryotes ever did because they've had twice as long at least and they've got much larger populations. And they never got around this problem. So why can't they? It seems as if you can't solve it with information alone. So what's the what's the problem? The problem is structure. If cells, if the very first cells needed an electrical charge on their membrane to grow, and in bacteria, it's the outer membrane that surrounds the cell, which is electrically charged. You try and scale that up and you've got a fundamental design problem. You've got an engineering problem. And there are examples of it and

"nick lane" Discussed on Lex Fridman Podcast

Lex Fridman Podcast

05:30 min | Last month

"nick lane" Discussed on Lex Fridman Podcast

"That's a long, long pathway, and nobody in the field would agree on the order in which these things happened, which is not a bad thing because it means that you have to go out and do some experiments and try and demonstrate that it's possible or not possible. It's so freaking amazing. That it happened, though. It feels like there's a direction to the thing. Can you try to answer from a framework perspective of what is life? So you said there's some order, and yet there's complexity. So it's not perfectly ordered. It's not boring. You're still some fun in it. And it also feels like the processes have a direction. Through the selection mechanism, they seem to be building something, always better. Always improving. I mean, maybe it's I mean, that's a perception. That's our romanticization of things are always better. Things are getting better, we'd like to believe that. I mean, you think about the world from the point of view of bacteria and bacteria are the first things to emerge from whatever environment they came from. And they dominated the planet very, very quickly. And they haven't really changed 4 billion years later they look exactly the same. So for about 4 billion years ago, bacteria started to really run the show. And then nothing happened for a while. Nothing happened for 2 billion years. Then after 2 billion years we see another single event origin, if you like of our own type of cell, the eukaryotic cells of cells with a nucleus and loss of stuff going on inside. Another singular origin it only happened once in the history of life on earth. Maybe it happened multiple times and there's no evidence everything just disappeared, but we have to at least take it seriously. There's something that stops bacteria from becoming more complex. Because they didn't. You know, that's a fact that they emerged. 4 billion years ago, and something happened 2 billion years ago, but the bacteria themselves didn't change. They remain bacterial. So there is no trajectory necessary trajectory towards a great complexity in human beings at the end of it. It's very easy to imagine that without photosynthesis arising or without eukaryotes arising there are planet could be full of bacteria and nothing else. We'll get to that because that's a brilliant invention. And there's a few brilliant invention along the way. But

"nick lane" Discussed on Lex Fridman Podcast

Lex Fridman Podcast

04:50 min | Last month

"nick lane" Discussed on Lex Fridman Podcast

"They both have DNA, the genetic code is identical in them both. The way in which it's transcribed into RNA into the copy of a gene and the way that that's then translated into a protein, that's all basically the same in both these groups, so they clearly share a common ancestor. It's just that they're different in fundamental ways as well. And if you think about, well, what kind of processors could drive that divergence very early on? I can think about it in terms of membranes in terms of the electrical charges on membranes. And it's that that makes me think that there was probably many unsuccessful attempts at only one really successful attempt. Can you explain why their divergence makes you think there's one common ancestor? I'll take can you describe that intuition? I'm a little bit unclear about why the leap from the divergence means there's one. Do you mean like the divergence indicates that there was a big invention at that time from if you'd got, as I imagine it, you have a common ancestor living in a hydrothermal vent. Let's say there are millions of vents and millions of potential common ancestors living in all of those vents. But only one of them makes it out first. Then you can imagine that that cell is then going to kind of take over the world and wipe out everything else. And so what you would see would be a single common ancestor for all of life. But with lots of different vent systems all vying to create the first life forms you might say. So this thing is a cell, a single cell. It always talks about populations of cells, but yes. These are cell organisms. But the fundamental life form is a single cell. So they're always together, but they're alone together. There's a machinery in each one individual component that if left by itself would still work.

"nick lane" Discussed on Lex Fridman Podcast

Lex Fridman Podcast

02:29 min | Last month

"nick lane" Discussed on Lex Fridman Podcast

"The following is a conversation with Nick lane, a biochemist at university college London, and author of some of my favorite books on biology science and life, ever written, including his two most recent title transformer, the deep chemistry of life and death, and the vital question. Why is life the way it is? Now a quick view second mention of its sponsor. Check them out in the description.