Re: Are we "special"?

Lawrence Sayre (
8 Dec 1996 00:02:10 GMT

In message <589uu1$> - (Thomas Clarke)6
Dec 1996 20:16:01 GMT writes:
:>In article <> writes:
:>>In article <586ume$>, (Thomas
:>>Clarke) writes:
:>>>Here are three statements:
:>>>1. Human beings are animals subject to evolution.
:>>>2. Human beings uniquely among animals have language and culture.
:>>>3. The evolutionary circumstances of human beings are non-special.
:>>>It seems to me that 3 together with 1 implies that 2 is false.
:>>> I conclude that 3 is false.
:>>You need to work on your logic.
:>OK. Where is the argument wrong? I am prepared to entertain the
:>idea that some step is in error, but since I wrote the above, obviously,
:>I do not see the error.
:>You will have to expand upon your pithy comment if you want to convince
:>Tom Clarke

For reasons which I assume to be foreign to your thinking, you are actually
correct in your conclusion! Take another example:

1. Birds are animals subject to evolution.

2. Birds among animals are unique in their ability to fly.

3. The evolutionary circumstances of birds are non-special.

Using your logic: It seems that 3 together with 1 imply that 2 is false.

Therefore, I (using your logic) conclude that 3 is false.

Actually you are correct in that 3 is false in each case. Special
(environmental) circumstances must be present for random selections (I.E.
evolution) to lead to the end result of item 2 in each case. Therefore 3 is
false! This is a great vindication for evolution, which contends that external
circumstances must be present for which random evolutionary changes happen
purely by accident to provide the benefit of greater survivability amidst the
presence of said special external circumstance. Take away the special external
circumstance, and the random change (mutation) may not provide any benefit
which would lead to greater survivability, and therefore breed itself into the
general population.

Man's mind is his basic tool of survival! <Lawrence Sayre>