Re: circular logic

From: Dace (
Date: Wed Dec 05 2001 - 07:24:04 GMT

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    Subject: Re: circular logic
    Date: Tue, 4 Dec 2001 23:24:04 -0800
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    From: Joe Dees

    > >> 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.
    > >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 wins.
    > >
    > >Environment and the threat of starvation have nothing to do with it.
    > >
    > If you can provide a reference for this, I stand corrected of an incorrect
    assumption, and thank you for furthering my understanding of this phenomenon
    as direct social/sexual competition rather than food competition.

    Gould, Stephen Jay. Leonardo's Mountain of Clams and the Diet of Worms:
    Essays on Natural History. Oct. 1998. 432p. Crown/Harmony

    Except for the phrase "neck-wrestling" (my own embellishment), it's all


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