RE: Logic

From: Vincent Campbell (
Date: Fri Jul 27 2001 - 11:26:31 BST

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    From: Vincent Campbell <>
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    Subject: RE: Logic
    Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2001 11:26:31 +0100
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    I realise I'm mailing to an empty room, but there you go.....

            <Survival might relate to accidental events. A species might
    > survive regardless of its possible maladaptative state. The addition of
    > the word `fittest', makes sure that survival applies only to the most
    > vigorous and best equiped, best adapted and most successful species. Even
    > if it's tautological, that still doesn't diminish its significance of the
    > success in explaining nature. Let's not waste our energy on petty
    > syntactic
    > matters, shall we. I say we stay focused on the more important issues
    > of semantics instead!>
            Maladaptive behaviours do not, in the long run persist. As long as
    a species is adequately equipped to survive it will do so, it does not need
    to be the most vigourous, the best equipped, it just needs to be equipped
    sufficiently. Like the old creationist argument about eyes being too
    perfect to have evolved by chance, this ignores the gradual slight changes
    over millions of years that led up to humans eyes, which are far from
    perfect (goldfish can see further into both the infra red and ultraviolet
    than we can). An individual may possibly survive by 'accident' but a
    species will not prosper based on luck alone.

            <Why there's a myriad of different species and not one dominant?
    > Suppose there's only one, to be antropocentric let's say the human
    > species.
    > We run into obvious trouble at feeding time: Where do we obtain our food?
    > We necessarily have to resort to cannibalism then.
    > The point is this: There's enough space on earth, enough resources and
    > plenty of positions on the food-chain for a multitude of different species
    > to thrive. Nature seizes on such possibilities through mutability of
    > species
    > via natural selection. Then there's symbiotic relationships. Often,
    > one species cannot live without the existence of the other. To take it to
    > the extreme, there are ample examples (bacteria, shit-flies) around of
    > species living off of other species' feces!>
            But this contradicts your earlier view of superior fit species
    shaping their own evolution.
    >> Another basic error is to see evolution as a kind of a
    ladder, with
    >> species fighting each other to get to the top of it, and with us
    on top.
    >> It is not like that. If it was, then humans could not be wiped
    out by
    >> bacteria or viruses because they are so much further "down the
            <I know... If this interpretation is still entertained by the
    > popularizing evolution has still a long way to go. A sorry state of
    > affairs
    > then, but this can be overcome.>
            ? But this is the view you basically presented.

            The weather's rubbish in Scotland, but it always is :-)


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