Re: The evolution of "evolution"

From: Derek Gatherer (
Date: Tue 11 Oct 2005 - 12:32:53 GMT

  • Next message: Robin Faichney: "Re[2]: The evolution of "evolution""

    At 23:41 02/10/2005, Dace wrote:

    > Elsasser wondered if our everyday experience of memory
    >involves action at a distance over time. To explain ontogenesis, we need
    >only posit that newly developing organisms are influenced, via bodily
    >memory, by past, similar organisms, primarily those belonging to the same

    I've read this several times, and really tried to see if I can somehow make sense of it, but the only conclusion I can come to is that we must have fundamentally different views on what constitutes
    "an explanation". If you really believe in the above, then it seems to me that you believe in magic. Given that I'm sure you would say you don't, then it must be a linguistic confusion over the meaning of the word "explain".

    How can you possibly take a term out of psychology, and then propose that it can explain embryology, and furthermore by a mechanism that acts at a distance over both space and time? Was Elsasser really proposing that the embryo of, say, a dinosaur developing in the late Jurassic is currently, as we speak, exerting some space-time-independent effect on a vertebrate embryo developing right this moment?

    You see, when I set that against standard developmental biology, I just can't grasp why a sane reasonable person would choose such a belief.

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