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----- Original Message -----
From: Philip Jonkers
Sent: Friday, May 03, 2002 11:44 AM
Subject: Re: Saving the ethnosphere
> If you wish. I'd like to regard it inherent and typical to evolutionary
Utility is typical of evolution but certainly not inherent to it, as the panda's thumb demonstrates.
Do you mean to say that the panda's thumb doesn't have a function? According to this site
"The panda's "thumb" is a much enlarged sesamoid bone. Not only is it not a true thumb, but it can't move much. It is primarily a bony support for the pad above it, a support the panda's true thumb and fingers can squeeze against to hold bamboo (Endo et al 1996). "
You're approaching life from the outside. Any physical system can be comprehended according to its mechanics. For instance, a rotting corpse can be understood entirely in the light of universal, physical principles. To be alive is to operate according to intrinsic principles. Life is intrinsically meaningful.
The cardinal assumption of the life-sciences is that life is mechanical (in the sense of being free of metaphysical agents like souls
etc.) so yes I do approach life with a mechanical mindset. The intrinsic principles you talk about to me are mechanical too.
To me life is meaningful in the sense of carrying more information (or information with higher density) than life-less matter.
> Life is an expression or manifestation of solar-induced energy that
> happens to exists because of favorable conditions here on earth. Life is
> equally superfluous as it is spontaneous.
Life is self-expression. There's no physics of the self. It's hard to make measurements and equations when the only number you've got is one.
In that sense: yes. Self-reflection is hardly admissable in the department of science, but it may, however, serve as a pointer to
scientific discoveries. Measurements performed on a sole subject is impotent scientifically but when repeated on an ensemble
of equivalent subjects (i.e. featuring the same psychological properties needed, for instance some mental illness) it does
fall within reach of science. Isn't that what modern psychology and psychiatry is all about?
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