Re: Breast Size (Was: Re: Homosexuality and genetic determinism)
Jacques Guy (email@example.com)
7 Jun 1995 07:22:39 +1000
firstname.lastname@example.org (Bryant) writes:
>But once one understands how selection works, a little
>working short-hand language isn't so horrible a thing. We talk about
>evolutionary "strategies" all the time, but none of us means this literally.
Oftentimes have I seen evolutionist arguments trying to explain how this
or that absolutely useless feature is "adaptative". The knee-jerk reaction that
every evolved trait must be explained in terms of giving an advantage
is pervasive. You talk of evolutionary strategies all the time, so
much that eventually you come to believe in them.
>:Unless some a priori Platonic ideals for
>: environments can be found, the concept of "purposive" evolution is
>But this is silly. We understand you're point, but adaptations can be,
>amongst friends, discussed in terms of their purposes or evolved functions.
It is *not* silly. It is this "amongst friends" which is silly. It
implies that, "amongst friends", evolution can be discussed in a
special language which, taken literally, is the very negation of
Darwinian principles. I see in that a perversion of language
not unlike Orwell's newspeak. From now on, I shall, with friends
discuss politics using "freedom" for "slavery", "peace" for "war"
and vice versa. Eventually, we'll all believe in our new ideologies,
verbatim. So, again, (I don't know who posted this, I lost the
line), this, far from being silly, is spot on:
"Unless some a priori Platonic ideals for environments can be found,
the concept of "purposive" evolution is meaningless".
It was worth repeating. Not that it will make any difference, of
course (* sigh *)