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Thursday, October 1, 2015

A Genuine Mystery


Update October 3, 2015: See A Partial Explanation for a Genuine Mystery.

Perhaps the greatest mystery in the world is based on the following set of observations:

  • The human brain is a device evolved to optimize the long-term reproductive success of the associated genes in the environment of the African Savannah.
  • Yet, in at least some instances it has developed the capacity to come up with ideas like Curry-Howard Correspondence.
  • However, this capacity could in no conceivable way have aided reproductive success in the African Savannah.
  • Moreover, at least to judge from historical anecdote, this capacity, if anything, impedes reproductive success.

The author has never run across a fully satisfactory explanation for this set of facts. It is almost enough to make one reconsider certain propositions one would otherwise (and previously had) happily and confidently Occam-razored away.