Exact Science

“It’s not going to be easy,” Qin answered, “because Homo sapiens is indeed already quite optimized. Whenever a species becomes relatively stable, it means that natural selection can no longer find better picks from random mutations. Within a span of 200,000 years and a population of 13 billion individuals, one of the largest groups among mammals and birds, Homo sapiens has failed to produce any new species. The safest route is still the approach of Dr. Thompson, namely, the computational evolution of Homo erectus to locate a few more species down the road. Interbreeding is really not that important, but it will definitely improve the likelihood of coexistence. The other possibility is called white matter activation through the study of the high vocal center of intelligent birds, which may be applicable to mammals as well. Either way is old school and won’t be that interesting to Christine who already could make Fey 16 years ago, whose cerebral cortex, or simply gray matter, is not really that impressive at all. However, porting Avian genes into the human genome is definitely not a trivial task. This is probably the only area with opportunities for collaboration.”

Xia Wen, a theoretical physicist and quantum engineer, who often advocated for exact science, responded from the audience, “The way you talk sounds too much like Dr. Edward Thompson for me. The same is true for those physicists who refer to Dr. Albert Einstein far too often. We need some original ideas. Once a zygote is formed, it begins to split, rapidly forming an embryo, at which point the division of functionality for its cells is roughly determined. All you have to do is to take a few cell samples in the process for molecular analysis, just to see how new cells are formed relative to their zygote. This way, you know exactly how each gene contributes to its cell specialization at the molecular level from a zygote to an embryo. A DNA sequence is very compact in the sense that each atom in its molecular structure actually encodes a specific function. We need to know why and how a specific atom dictates the formation of a specific brain structure throughout a development process that usually takes many years. Without exact science, it’s too much guesswork in the way you think. You hardly get anywhere with that approach.”

“Well,” unable to swallow such a comment too easily, Qin refuted immediately, “I am only one person and can only spend this much time on biological intelligence. When I am working on viruses and anti-viruses, I actually do exact science. We have a growing database of 50 billion viruses, whose mutation patterns are completely captured with probability functions, all using an algorithm I have written and maintained on my own. You can’t say I am not doing exact science. The Egyptian civilization is the most ancient advanced human civilization ever known, whose genome is also the closest to that of Homo neanderthalensis compared to those of other advanced human civilizations. Unfortunately, even up to the Medieval period, the probability of producing changeling children was still quite high among Europeans, showing that Homo sapiens and Homo neanderthalensis were in fact not as genetically compatible as we would like them to be. Ancient Chinese did not suffer as much because they had much less influence from Homo neanderthalensis. Well, there is no direct evidence to show that Ancient Egyptians or even Ancient Greeks are smarter than other ethnic groups. However, it is still rather safe to conclude that Homo neanderthalensis is not a stupid species, from which we are derived.”

Ying was a rather empathetic leader. Hearing what Qin had said, she replied, “If biological intelligence is too complex for exact science within your capacity, we may have another computational biologist work on it.”

“No way,” Qin objected, “you have no idea how much funding we can get from the Chinese government through biological intelligence. Because we are doing the research for humans, we don’t really need to show exact science.”

“Plus,” Wen almost laughed, “hidden the moon, gotten the flow’rs, drunken the fish’s and fallen the geese. Such is a wonderful description of a classic Chinese beauty from 2500 years ago, right?”

There were laughs from the audience, who none the less still regarded Qin as a reasonably good scientist.

Feeling that his audience was still quite on his side, he summoned his courage. “Well,” Qin grinned deliberately, “both money and honey are important in our life, aren’t they?”

“You know the purpose of this meeting is to find something appealing to Christine. How could you have been underprepared?” Wen noticed also that the audience would rather keep the meeting professional. She winked at Ying, “Perhaps, we still have to get back to physics after all. Christine can already perform simple space-time manipulation for self-defense at the individual level. If we can’t surpass her, she will not want to work with us. That her own Christish society received outdated preschool education doesn’t mean that their mental development will be late by more than 5 years. Software will not win her to be with us.”

“Either way,” Qin was rather impatient with Wen, “Christine still needs lots of raw materials and basic equipment to maintain and advance her own society, which only money can buy. Selling science and engineering to the Chinese government will get us enough funding for both societies. There’s much room for business with Christine. We don’t really have to work that hard to thrill her. I am done. Let’s see what you have to offer at your physics session.”

“Well,” Ying smiled, “if anyone of us has to work very hard to impress Christine, it means that she is still a very valuable addition to our society. I wanted to start the meeting with a biology session for two reasons. Firstly, Christine is a biologist. If we can impress her in her own field, we already win. Secondly, physics is not something I would like to share with outsiders. It’s just that it seems to be the only thing she cares about today.”


About Run Song

Run Song (宋闰) is my pen name for the Moments of Poetry, a collection of poems about the greatest moments of life. If photography captures the greatest moments of life, poetry is the life behind them.
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