Re: Logic

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Fri Jul 27 2001 - 05:17:33 BST

  • Next message: Philip Jonkers: "Re: Logic"

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    From: "Scott Chase" <>
    Subject: Re: Logic
    Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2001 00:17:33 -0400
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    >From: "Scott Chase" <>
    >Subject: Re: Logic
    >Date: Thu, 26 Jul 2001 11:36:26 -0400
    >>From: Philip Jonkers <>
    >>Subject: Re: Logic
    >>Date: Thu, 26 Jul 2001 16:46:00 +0200 (CEST)
    >>Philip said:
    >> > >Sorry, but no for you too Wade. Evolution might not be
    >> > >perfectly logical with respect to a perfect intelligent
    >> > >design, but it is logical the some degree nonetheless.
    >> > >Also it does `separate wheat from the chaff' if I correctly
    >> > >understand your niche. Natural selection means specific
    >> > >adaptation. A species adapts or perishes. During the competition
    >> > >between species only the fittest survive. Therefore, natural
    >> > >selection does function as a sieve to separate wheat from chaff.
    >> > >We humans wouldn't be around, being intelligent, on top of
    >> > >the food chain and all that, if it weren't for natural selection!
    >> > >Of all the macro-species, humans came out as winners in the
    >> > >rat-race called biological evolution.
    >> > >
    >> > >
    >>Scott said:
    >> > I suggest you start by reading Stephen Gould's _Wonderful Life_ and
    >> > follow
    >> > it up with an order of _Full House_.
    >>Then Philip goes:
    >>Sorry Scott, I don't have time for that. Why don't you
    >>enlighten me with whatever it is you want me to know.
    >It might be a good start for unravelling the chauvinistic misconceptions
    >which place us at the evolutionary pinnacle or top rung of a ladder
    >resulting from some apparently progressive process. Are we truly "winners"
    >in a "rat race"?
    Coming back to this since I have a little more time...

    In your talk about separation between wheat from chaff above you make a
    transition between evolution and natural selection which is significant, yet
    you apparently overlook the distinction. Evolution is not equal to natural
    selection. I do not know that one could say evolution separates wheat from

    Gould takes issue with the evolutionary winnowing metaphor itself in
    _Wonderful Life_, stressing more of a lottery view, at least in the context
    of the Burgess shale fauna. Lottery could be more apt, with decimation or
    massive elimination the key. At least randomness if brought into the mix,
    which seems slighted when you stress that only the fittest survive. Maybe
    lady luck plays her part.

    What do you mean by our being "top" of "*the* food chain" (emphasis on *the"
    is mine)?

    What about "winners in the rat-race called biological evolution"? We may
    have enjoyed local successes, but are we global "top dog" in a dog eat dog
    world? What about what Gould refers to as "modal bacter" in _Full House_?

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