From: Steve Drew (sd014a6399@blueyonder.co.uk)
Date: Sun 08 Dec 2002 - 21:09:51 GMT

  • Next message: Lawrence DeBivort: "RE: Toward a new US-World dialogue"

    > Date: Sun, 08 Dec 2002 07:02:00 -0800
    > From: "Grant Callaghan" <grantc4@hotmail.com>
    > Subject: evolution
    > The problem of talking about evolution as you guys are is that you seem to
    > assume it is a single thing that applies to all of life on earth when in
    > fact it is billions of things taking place over eons as individual animals
    > fight for existence in a niche of their own. The crocks in Australia seem
    > to have found one they can exploit forever.

    Indeed. I was not assuming that evolution was a single 'thing', but I was taking issue with the idea that we can use the idea of progress in association with it.
    > Most of the rest of the animals on earth are not so lucky. But "evolution"
    > only describes the general process of change that shapes the animal to its
    > environment or lets it die if it can't change fast enough. Most species
    > don't really die, though. They just become something unlike what their
    > ancesters were.

    Not sure I totally agree with you wrt not really dying out, though I get the idea of your argument

    > The 'junk' DNA we carry in our genome contains the ghosts
    > of our ancestors back to the bacterial stage of our climb to our present
    > stage of existence.

    I thought a lot of the junk DNA has been ascribed as being freeloaders inserted by viruses (though not all)
    > They are not gone. They were carried forward but burried in a complex set
    > of code that reflects where we came from and what we went through to get
    > here. And although we don't know exactly where we're going, like the man
    > driving down the road to no specific destination, we can see a short way
    > through the darkness ahead using the headlights of science and logic.
    > Grant

    As a species I would suggest that we are walking along a mine strewn raod with a bag on our heads. As individuals we believe (and I mean list members etc) in science and logic, but I do not see a lot of it lighting up the world in general.
    >> At 01:23 AM 8/12/02 +0000, you wrote:
    >>>> Date: Sat, 07 Dec 2002 21:46:02 +1100
    >>>> From: Jeremy Bradley <jeremyb@nor.com.au>
    >>>> Subject:
    >>>> SNIP.......Steve:
    >>>>> Also,implicit in your statement seems to be the idea that social
    >> evolution
    >>>> has a
    >>>>> destination? Society changes, and good or ill are relative to the
    >> society of
    >>>>> the observer.
    >>>>> Regards
    >>>>> Steve.
    >>>> Jeremy:......... Hi Steve
    >>>> In my study of narrative form I developed a theory that the linear
    >>>> rhetorical form of outcome based narratives, such as we all grew up
    >> with,
    >>>> normalise the notion that outcomes and destinations are the inevitable
    >>>> result of existence.
    >> Steve:
    >>> The notion you talk about would appear to be correct for any society
    >> Jeremy's reply:
    >> The 'goal' of many pre-colonisation peoples was to maintain a status-quo.
    >> This is discernible in their narrative patterning. Australian narratives
    >> were cyclical, like their notion of time. A story typically starts with
    >> locating the story in the land, language and the people, thereby
    >> establishing the status-quo. It then moves to the problem. A solution is
    >> found with the assistance of nature, magic or a 'spirit' intervention. And
    >> the status-quo is thus restored (apologies for the simplification).
    >> As you can see this is significantly different to our traditional narrative
    >> structure.
    >>>> Jeremy........cont.:
    >> In my memetics, subtle cultural notions such as these are part of a coded
    >>>> sets of information ( culture memes which form a complete 'strand', or
    >>>> cneme, for want of a better word) which constrains the production of
    >>>> culture so that evolution can't happen outside of previously set
    >> perameters.
    >>>> It is the 'cenemes', of which I have only mentioned one, which make
    >> memes
    >>>> appear to be good or bad to different peoples (as our current
    >> case-study
    >>>> clearly shows).
    >>>> Like the mapping of the human genome, the mapping of a cultural cneme
    >> is
    >>>> possible through the analysis of the most enduring elements of that
    >> culture
    >>>> - - its narratives and their form.
    >>>> 'owzat Steve?
    >>>> Jeremy
    >> Steve:
    >>> I don't have any qualms as such, I just tend to note when people tend to
    >>> ascribe a direction to evolution. It occurs (evolution), and only humans
    >>> ascribe good or ill (and a direction) to it.
    >>> Not a cricket fan thank god:-) and I hope I've faired better!
    >>> Regards
    >>> Steve
    >> Jeremy:
    >> The Australian Estuarine Crocodile has existed, in its present form for at
    >> least 50,000,000 years. The toxic ticks that I catch for anti-vemom are the
    >> most dangerous animal in Australia and have been unchanged for longer. Both
    >> of these animals are perfectly adapted for what they do. I therefore
    >> suggest to you that the process of evolution is not ongoing. IMO it stops
    >> at some stage, perfect adaptation.
    >> In the case of pre-invasion indigenous Australian societies, that stage of
    >> cultural evolution arguably arrived many millennia before our forebears
    >> emerged from their caves; let alone before they ceased to be ruled by
    >> inbred, syphilitic, drunken, war-lords with a desire to consume the
    >> possessions of others. IMO colonising Europeans were the true uncivilised
    >> savages. The very fact that our linear cultures are still evolving is
    >> evidence of their inferiority. (controversial stuff eh Steve)
    >> I'm not a great cricket fan either and I didn't mean to rub any salt into
    >> the wounds caused by the unmerciful flogging of your National team in its
    >> latest foray to the antipodes.
    >> ;~)
    >> Jeremy



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