RE: Logic

From: Vincent Campbell (
Date: Thu Jul 26 2001 - 11:57:52 BST

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    From: Vincent Campbell <>
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    Subject: RE: Logic
    Date: Thu, 26 Jul 2001 11:57:52 +0100
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    >> What view of evolution, in your view, is plausible?

            <When our hominid ancestors developed a method of scavenging for
    meat in the
    > hottest part of the day (after most animals have retreated to the shade)
    > they soon began developing sweat glands and losing their hair. The
    > phylogenetic shift occurred in tandem with the behavioral shift. This is
    > the norm, and it suggests that our own actions help determine our
    > evolution.
    > We shape ourselves. If we'd had to wait around for a couple million years
    > for a random mutation to give us the necessary glands under our skin, we'd
    > still be waiting. Since we can't pass on acquired characteristics
    > directly
    > to our offspring, there must be a kind of nonmaterial, species memory
    > which
    > evolves in accord with the shifting behavior of individual organisms.
    > This
    > is akin to Aristotle's notion that the form of the organism is determined
    > by
    > the species, not through machine-like processes arising from the nuclei of
    > our cells.>
            I'm sorry, this is pants. Did our ancestors make the days hots?
    Evolution doesn't need 'a kind of non material, species memory', in other
    words a macguffin to make it work. All you need is a process where there is
    replication, variation and selection. That selection can come in different
    forms, but one majorly important part is the environment external to
    organisms. Take neanderthals, they evolved in relation to the harsh
    environment of Southern Europe around the time of the last major ice age.
    Their adaptations to that environment were undoubtedly superior to modern
    man's, but as the climate changed, the environment changed in ways which
    favoured modern man. Much is made modern man's superior intellect,
    communication, social organisation etc. But it should not be forgotten,
    that it was largely climate change that brought neanderthals into
    competition with modern man, and then the relative abilities of modern man
    showed through. Just like Thylacine's were doing fine thank you very much,
    until modern man arrived with dogs. Of course the actions of organisms
    alters the environment they exist within, which in turn affects their
    environment (I believe it's called niche construction), but there are still
    macro-environmental factors influencing selection.

            Evolution isn't in a hurry, indeed it's not "going" anywhere, it's
    just a name for the process that occurs when replicators emerge. Remember
    also, natural selection doesn't work at the level of individuals, but at the
    level of the genes, humans are not replicated when we reproduce.

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