Re: Debunking pseudoscience: Why horoscopes really work

From: Robin Faichney (
Date: Sat Dec 01 2001 - 10:10:17 GMT

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    Subject: Re: Debunking pseudoscience: Why horoscopes really work
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    From: Robin Faichney <>
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    On Fri, Nov 30, 2001 at 12:33:15PM -0800, Dace wrote:
    > > On Wed, Nov 28, 2001 at 11:07:14PM -0800, Dace wrote:
    > > >
    > > > Whatever is genetically programmed now had to be consciously learned
    > when it
    > > > first evolved. Every function of the body had to be built up through
    > > > learning and imitation.
    > >
    > > I sometimes sympathise with some of the things you say, but that is
    > > absolute bullshit. Genetic mutation is random, it does NOT follow
    > > learning, imitation or anything else whatsoever.
    > Who says evolution is reducible to genetic mutation? The only thing we can
    > say for sure is that organisms can't develop and species can't evolve except
    > to the extent that they in some way retain forms and behaviors from their
    > past.

    I've never formally studied genetics, or even biology, so I'll just
    say this: as I understand it, structures and behaviours are retained
    due to being genetically determined -- plus, of course, for sufficiently
    social and intelligent species, there's memetics. I'm quite confident in
    saying that no other mechanism is known, and I get the impression that
    practically everyone working in this and related areas believes that
    no other mechanism is required. Amateurs with bees in their bonnets,
    like you and Sheldon, have no credibility.

    >The radical notion that memory is stored in genes remains unproven.

    Not so much radical as ludicrous.

    > We have no reason to believe that memory in its natural state works
    > according to the same principles as artificial memory. This is merely
    > anthropic projection. It's a meme that exploits our unconscious need to be
    > the center of the universe.

    Unlike the meme that exploits our need to be specially different from
    anything created, of course.

    > Darwin insisted repeatedly that evolutionary theory depends on a mechanism
    > by which learned behavior is incorporated into species memory. Organisms
    > adapt to their environment, and these acquired adaptations become
    > instinctive in subsequent generations. Without this, he maintained, the
    > whole theory is shot.

    Despite the inevitable personality cult, I don't think you'll find many
    people who believe that Darwin was infallible.

    > A theory of living memory is inherently more plausible if it treats
    > evolution the way Darwin did, as something that follows naturally from
    > learning and imitation.

    So there was learning before evolution? Bullshit!

    Robin Faichney
    "One person's mess is another's complexity"
    inside information --

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