Re: Where are the zoologists?

Phillip Bigelow (
Fri, 16 Dec 1994 10:41:55 GMT (loopy ) writes:

>NOt everything needs or has an explanation. For
>instance Dawkins uses the example of the vertebrate eye. The photreceptor
>cells are wired "backwards"; that is, the light-receiving part of the cell
>faces the back of the eye, and the nerves come out of the cell at the end
>the faces the _front_. All vertebrates are wired this way. Why? is it
>because it was somehow advantageous? No, it is most likely there for what
>are known as "historical" reasons. It just happened that way, for no good
>reason, and since it was that way in our common ancestor, then all
>vertebrates have that eye structure.


Exactly so. Steven Jay Gould of Harvard has written extensively on the
"randomness" of the evolutionary history of life. His point is that
evolution doesn't _always_ have to have a driving force, or a driving
purpose. Sometimes, it just happens. Time usually sorts out the "good"
experiments from the "bad" experiments.