Re: Logic + universal evolution

From: John Wilkins (wilkins@wehi.EDU.AU)
Date: Fri Aug 10 2001 - 01:57:46 BST

  • Next message: Wade T.Smith: "Re: Logic + universal evolution"

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    From: John Wilkins <wilkins@wehi.EDU.AU>
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    Subject: Re: Logic + universal evolution
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    On Friday, August 10, 2001, at 10:39 AM, Wade T.Smith wrote:

    > Hi John Wilkins -
    >> Interestingly, the word "evolution" was used independently by
    >> geologists
    >> and mineralogists, and by astronomers. The term "stellar evolution"
    >> predates the biological sense, and in this case it is appropriate.
    > And they're probably right to use it so.
    > However, it always bugged me, mostly because 'evolution' had come to
    > mean
    > the creation of species, and stellar evolution was about the lifespan
    > and
    > processes of stellar existence- one may as well say that one 'evolves'
    > as
    > one changes from baby, to adult, to antique- since stars 'evolved' from
    > youth to old age in their stellar range of lightyears.

    Indeed, this would the etymologically correct, if you were living in the
    18th century.

    However, anyone who uses the phrase "cosmic evolution" (other than Alan
    Guth) immediately marks themself out as kook material.
    > But, so far, no star has replicated and produced a different star. (Not
    > that they could. Yeah.)

    Actually, I gather this is not quite true. Stars can indeed give rise to
    new stars in a predictable manner after they slough off material in the
    red giant phase.
    > Words.... If only there _were_ a morphic resonance, maybe we'd all use
    > the same ones....
    A serious point: I found when reading Alfred Wallace's material on
    Spirit in evolution that it all made very good explanations if you
    substituted the term "culture" for "Spirit" in his writings. Culture is
    what causes the evolution of certain faculties, & c. I wonder if
    Sheldrake's "spiritualism" is another case of this misplaced
    misidentification of the effects of culture.

    I have in mind the notion of a "ghost channel" in information theory as

    John Wilkins
    Head Communication Services, The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of
    Medical Research, Melbourne Australia
    Personal page: <>

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