Re: tree-climbing hominids

H. M. Hubey (
3 Nov 1995 01:32:59 -0500 (Bill Burnett) writes:

>The whole concept of 'advancement' suggests direction and an end point, a
>perfect (Divine?) state. Evolution requires no direction to occur, it needs
>no goal. Any organism that is well adapted to its environment is as worthy of>the label 'highly evolved' as any other. Heck, we all started at the same
>time... :-)

This kind of attitude reminds me of "Affirmative Action". What is it?

It's a quota system that's not a quota system :-).

Direction has always been there. It's there when they want to be
able to classify according to primitive features and innovations.
If the two groups A and B share all the "primitive" features and
none of the "innovations" (i.e. advances in other words have not
evolved further) they are the same. The whole idea of "evolving away"
from some primitive state is replete in evolutionary theory.

It's just that the cantenkerous creationists have pushed some of
the valiant defenders :-) into being obstinately blind to reality.
The "evolutionists" have picked up allergies to the D-words ..
Direction and Determinism.

This kind of thinking (i.e. an evolutionary heirarchy) stems from
>the concept of an evolutionary 'ladder' which falls apart as soon as you stop
>thinking of extant species as descended from one another, but rather from
>common ancestors.

Say what?

Who said each of the species are descended from each of the other

>Chimps are no lower than us, they just went in a different
>direction. The same applies to every node in every phylogeny.

They're at least a foot or two lower :-)..

And yes, they are lower. It depends on definition of high and
low. And yes, they are higher than reptiles, and they are
higher than bacteria.

Both determinism and direction are there and have been there
all along. The big taboo against the first is due to the books
like the Bell Curve i.e. "biological determinism". Sooner or
later all there will be a more homogeneous mixture of humans on
earth and today's stink will be just a stupid joke like Galileo's
trial. And no, we won't look like this a million years from now.
If instead of making jumps on the fossil record you look at things
in a more continous fashion, both the direction and determinism
stand out so clearly that it amazes me how people can say two
things that contradict one another constantly. Our descendants
will be around a million years now (and will probably look
like our children today). If you look at any one small time
period you will always have to decide that those in the begining
are really the same ones at the end. So then when do they become
a different species?

All it takes is a deeper level of thinking and something based on
another mathematical model; something that describes the events
in a more sophisticated fashion.

YOu and your kind can continue to be admirers of bacteria :-)..

I admire them too. Hell they've been around a long time :-).


Regards, Mark