RE: Teleology etc.

From: Vincent Campbell (
Date: Tue Aug 14 2001 - 15:22:04 BST

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    From: Vincent Campbell <>
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    Subject: RE: Teleology etc.
    Date: Tue, 14 Aug 2001 15:22:04 +0100
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            <There was indeed an experiment involving island monkeys and their
    ability to
    > learn to wash sand off potatoes before eating them. The speed of learning
    > proceeded at a slow pace at first, and then overnight all the monkeys
    > seemed
    > to have learned the method. Unfortunately, this experiment was not
    > properly
    > controlled, so Sheldrake refuses to invoke it in support of his theory.
    > He
    > prefers experiments, such as the water maze experiments with rats, that
    > have
    > never been disputed.>
            Sorry to labour the point, but i t wasn't controlled, because it
    wasn't an experiment, and the myth that's spread is wrong in every detail.
    Not all the monkey's learnt how to wash the potatoes- in the same way that
    not all humans learn to ride a bicycle or do algebra (differential ability
    of individuals). Moreover the suggestion that once this troop had all
    learned the new trick lots of other troops vast distances away could
    suddenly do it also, is a complete falsity.


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