Re: Tears and 'salt excretion'. Was Re: tears

Tom Clarke (
1 Nov 1995 14:53:10 -0500

In article <> (Bill Burnett) writes:
>H. M. Hubey writes:

>>Ahhh, yes, the doubtless better explanation "It just happened by
>>accident like everything in the universe! There's no direction to
>>evolution. It just happens. Rocks fall down. Why? They just do
>>Sea is salty. Why? It just is......."

>What sort of direction do you want for evolution? Going to tell us you're
>'higher' than a worm again? Richard Owen and victorian Britain thought
>that, and Darwin and Huxley were trashing them 150 years ago, before the
>'Origin' was even published. Ask Tom Clarke for a copy of Dawkins, there's no
>need for a direction except human insecurity.

I was staying out of the debates between Hubey and y'all since I find
that Hubey generally hasn't quite mastered the science game yet :-)
Then you had to go take my name in vain.

Actually as I contemplate the sentences above I'm not sure of your point.

What are you saying? I think Hubey was saying that you are asserting
that no explanation is necessary for the evolution of certain hominid
characteristics. If that is what you are saying then I agree with him.
You, of course fixed on his careless use of the forbidden word "direction",
which I think was a slip due to inexperience in the science wars :-)

Even Dawkins with his "selfish gene" ideas would not eschew explanation
of how phenotypic characteristics evolved. He of course would emphasize,
that any such explanation would have to reduce to the advantage of
the underlying selfish gene. The most common basis of such explanation is
of course reproductive success of the individual housing the genes.

>As for falling rocks and salty oceans I can only suggest Newton and a decent
>physical oceanography text.

Sigh. Don't you have any sense of irony? I think Hubey knows that such
explanations exist. He was pointing out that evading explanation in
other sciences is obviously silly.

Surely paleoanthropology has advanced beyond the butterfly collecting stage.

Tom Clarke

People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment
and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against
the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices - Adam Smith, WofN