Re: Dawkins etc

From: Dace (
Date: Thu Aug 30 2001 - 20:55:19 BST

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    Subject: Re: Dawkins etc
    Date: Thu, 30 Aug 2001 12:55:19 -0700
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    From: Chris Taylor

    > > > Of course there are differences. Why shouldn't there be? They're
    > > > different species in different locations. But they're also profoundly
    > > > similar.
    > No, I bet you couldn't find a single protein with the same sequence, let
    > alone a gene; all the similar traits will ontologically be from
    > different developmental pathways. Similarity at the macro level, which
    > is all you are considering, is a small percentage of what makes an
    > organism.

    It's a testament to the power of morphic resonance that any two species with
    different genes and proteins end up appearing and behaving as incredibly
    closely as many of the marsupials and placentals. (Not to mention the S.
    American and Australian marsupials.) The improbability that these parallels
    result *exclusively* from natural selection is beyond calculation. Why
    should wolves appear? Why should cats appear? Why should flying squirrels
    appear? It's absurd that natural selection, by itself, would produce the
    same array of creatures twice in two different places.

    > > > Parallel evolution is quite common
    > > > and crops up in human origins. Witness the incredibly similar
    > > > development of Eurasian Homo sapiens (Neanderthal) and the African
    > > > model.
    > That is drivel. They only just *DI*verged so of course they're similar.

    Neanderthal evolved from Homo heidelbergensis a minimum of 500,000 years
    ago. The most recent spurt in brain growth occurred between 500 and 200
    Kya. This spurt was almost identical in the African and Eurasian lineages
    of Homo sapiens. The result is that Neanderthal had the same brain size and
    identifiable neural structures as modern humans. Their advanced vocal
    tracts, which evolved after the split from our common ancestor, were also
    the same. Here's Stephen Mithen from The Prehistory of the Mind (page 141):

    "The hyoid is a bone that can provide detailed information about the
    structure of the vocal tract. Its movement affects the position and
    movement of the larynx to which it is attached. That found at Kebara, lying
    in an undisturbed position with the mandible and cervical vertebra, is
    virtually identical to that of a Modern Human with regard to its shape,
    muscular attachments and apparent positioning."

    While these parallels could theoretically result from natural selection, the
    combination of morphic influences and natural selection is far more

    > > Except for superficial changes, such as pigmentation and hair
    > > texture, not much has changed, or had much time to, evolutionarily
    > > speaking. Here we are most definitely talking (geologically recent)
    > > common ancestor.
    > Yeah.

    Never assume Joe Dees knows what he's talking about.

    > I just don't understand how one could go shopping for new explanations
    > anyway when there don't appear to be any problems with existing
    > theories. Just because they don't explain everything straight away
    > doesn't mean that they can't (remember they're just tools in our hands,
    > which implies some skill in their use). To get MR's foot in the door
    > with me, you'd have to prove that there is something that current
    > thinking clearly doesn't have a hope of explaining.

    The quality of being alive. All organic structure irreducible to genes.
    Mind and memory. Self-existence and self-determination. Convergent
    evolution not explainable according to natural selection or species-hopping
    genes. Cumulative progress across generations of a given species in
    completing specific tasks. The passing on of acquired characteristics.
    Non-materially coordinated behavior among groups.

    Those are the more significant ones.


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