Increasing abstract function
Another way to add functionality to an organism, an aggregation, is by increasing its ‘abstract’ functions.
This needs a definition. All form has accompanying function. Thus all changes of form will increase function. Even the change of a butterflies wing spots will add function, because there will have to be software to create that pattern.
But there are functions which do not have form. Thus there is laughter, smiling, joy, appreciation of beauty, anger, malice, spite, love, hate, sadness, peacefulness, bliss, anxiety, and so on. Add to this reasoning power, logical thought, pattern matching of observations, curiosity, wonder, deductive reasoning and so on and you are adding the functions needed for creation.
Thus an abstract function is any function which cannot be given form.
There are a number of real benefits to be gained by increasing abstract function
- the need to constantly produce new forms or variants of forms to increase functionality, with all its inherent risk, is removed
- the functions added can be those which help in improving the effectiveness of co-operative aggregates. In effect the functions can be geared towards obtaining better loose aggregations, again this means that physical aggregation can cease as an approach with all its inherent risk
- the functions added can be geared towards co-creation and the perfection of the end-product
There is a question mark in my mind at least as to how you test to see whether the functions which have no form are 'proven'. I don't know, no mystic or philosopher seems to know, but there clearly is some means by which it can be judged.
I actually found observations that indicate that this was the last part of the strategy, maybe even an added part to the strategy.
It is noticeable that we as a species on earth do seem to be the experiment for increasingly more abstract function. Many animals have some of the above abstract functions, but we seem to have, in totality, more. I am cautious about this assessment because there may be functions that whales, dolphins, horses, dogs , insects and other advanced creatures possess that are forms of abstract function that we would never recognise because we do not have that function. In effect their level of abstract function may be far higher than ours but we would never know, because we may not have the functions needed to recognise it.
The principle holds good, however, even if we are not the sole focus for the advance.
This increase in abstract functions is a feature of only the last few hundred thousand years within man It is as if the strategy for the increase in new form based functional development has slowed and the increase in abstract functionality has increased.
There is every reason to believe that it is this particular approach along with co-creation that has marked our time as humans here on earth. I don't think we should ever regard ourselves as 'favoured species', but a lot of investment in abstract function does seem to have been placed with us as a species.