Reprinted from Thom Hartmann Blog
And that the effects are more extreme than we originally predicted even two or three years ago.
But what would happen in the worst case scenario -- what would happen if -- like Elizabeth Kolbert warns in her most recent book -- climate change caused mass extinctions across the planet Earth?
New research from the University of Texas at Austin used simulated robot brains that were programmed to improve at a task from one generation to the next.
In that way -- the robot brains were designed to evolve to be better at a specific task.
For the robots in the study -- the task was to walk on two legs.
After several robot "generations" -- a number of different robot behaviors had evolved to achieve the goal of walking.
But not all of those behaviors were useful to the goal of walking.
And they found that the robot brain survivors began adapting and evolving much quicker than any groups had before the event.
Which makes a lot of sense according to modern evolutionary theory.
You see -- Charles Darwin described evolution as what happens when creatures mutate and adapt very slowly over generations of time to best adjust to their surroundings and their environment.
But he was looking at the Galapagos Islands -- which had been relatively unchanged for thousands of years -- and he most famously described evolution using the island's many finches as his example of what we call "divergent evolution."