Re: circular logic

From: Dace (
Date: Tue Dec 04 2001 - 02:30:30 GMT

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    Subject: Re: circular logic
    Date: Mon, 3 Dec 2001 18:30:30 -0800
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    Joe wrote:

    > "Kenneth Van Oost"
    > >The famous giraffe- example of Lamarck is also a misunderstanding,
    > >Devillers and Chaline, Théorie de l'évolution, Paris, 1989 write, in a
    > >of circular logic, if the ancestors of the giraffe did got indeed a
    > >neck
    > >they had to be bigger in general than the giraffes of today. They too did
    > >reach (for) the leaves at the top of the tree.
    > >
    > >What in a sense dismisses any explanation as for Darwin as for Lamarck.
    > >The thing is, according to Devillers and Chaline, that not only the neck,
    > >but
    > >also the frontlegs of the animals were getting longer. The result of both
    > >processes, forced upon them by the environment, is that the giraffe,
    > >standing up on its backlegs can now reach a hight of six meters ( 20
    > >All is due to habits. And the habit, more likely the need, of reaching
    > >the
    > >highest leaves resulted in changes.
    > >
    > Nope. Shorter giraffes starved to death, taller ones (however 'taller'
    was manifested, by neck or legs or both) survived to reproduce, giving us a
    new spectrum of heights in succeeding generations; the shorter ones of these
    generations starved to death, too, and the median giraffe height rose as a
    consequence of this blind purposeless natural environmental selection of
    certain mutations over others, or of one end of that species'
    body-configuration spectrum over the other, in continuous iteration.

    That giraffes have long necks due to their desire to reach the highest
    leaves is what Gould refers to as "the tallest tale." It's a myth.
    Giraffes developed long necks because the males of the species establish
    mating supremacy by trying to knock each other down. Like goats they charge
    at each other, except that their weapon is the neck instead of calcified
    hair. They usually end up neck-wrestling and, inevitably, the longer neck

    Environment and the threat of starvation have nothing to do with it.


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