Re: Are we "special"?

Tom Clarke (
7 Dec 1996 23:31:56 -0500 (Lawrence Sayre) writes:

>In message <589uu1$> - (Thomas Clarke)6
>Dec 1996 20:16:01 GMT writes:
>:>In article <> writes:
>:>>In article <586ume$>, (Thomas
>:>>Clarke) writes:

>:>>You need to work on your logic.

>:>OK. Where is the argument wrong?

>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.

Yes this is a precise analogy to the statements I made regarding Homo sapiens.

>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.

Yes, I would conclude this as well. In fact I think I said this
somewhere else on this thread or another related thread.

>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.

Isn't that what I said?.
Number 1 is evolution.
Number 2 are the unique characteristics of a particular animal.
Number 3 are the "special external circumstances."

I was just trying to strip the argument to the bare essentials.

Now that I have been cogitating for a minute, the case of birds may
not be so unique or special. Mammals evolved a well adapted flying
variant (possibly twice according to something I read). Could
the "special external circumstances" be similar for bird and bat?
I don't know, but the question occurrs to me.

I don't go further and lump in flying insects since they are not vertebrates
and thus the evolutionary starting point would have been vastly different.

Tom Clarke

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
Hamlet - Shakespeare