Re: playing at suicide

From: Wade Smith (
Date: Wed Jan 09 2002 - 17:14:46 GMT

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    Subject: Re: playing at suicide
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    On Wednesday, January 9, 2002, at 10:47 , Grant Callaghan wrote:

    > The ones that get him what he wants are kept and the less
    > successful discarded.

    When does a baby know what it wants? I'm serious.

    > On the one hand, that song was inherited from the parents but
    > on the other hand it is learned behavior. What evidence do you
    > have that the birdsong was not fixed in the bird's mind in the
    > same way?

    I have no argument with that at all. I think language and
    birdsong have many of the same developmental mechanisms. It's
    when we start to discuss interactivity with the cultural
    environment that I stop short with birds. Their song is only a
    reaction to their genetically developed natural environment. And
    we (supposedly) have memes as a value-add. If we _don't_ have
    memes as a value-add, if what we do is also just a reaction to
    our genetically developed natural environment, then memes are
    useless, (in that I think they are non-parsimonious), and we all
    just really sing like birds, regardless if it's a Bach chorale
    or a shriek.

    And I don't think Bach is a shriek.

    > God does not design the song for them and hand it down like the
    > ten commandments.

    No god does that for anything and never has.

    - Wade

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