From: Robin Faichney (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Wed 12 Oct 2005 - 07:14:40 GMT
Tuesday, October 11, 2005, 1:32:53 PM, Derek wrote:
> 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.
Indeed. "Action at a distance" is a profoundly unscientific concept.
Like "intelligent design" it's an attempt to dignify ignorance and
make it permanent. Can't see how a particular cellular mechanism could
have evolved? Then it obviously must have been designed! Can't find a
link in a supposed causal chain? Well, it must be action at a
distance! Both appeal to "common sense", both are sheer nonsense.
-- Best regards, Robin mailto:email@example.com =============================================================== This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing) see: http://www.cpm.mmu.ac.uk/jom-emit
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