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

Phillip Bigelow (
3 Nov 1995 14:30:19 -0800 (H. M. Hubey) writes:

>This knee-jerk reaction to the D-word is a residue of fighting
>off the creationists. In truth it's there because of the difficulty
>of convincing the creationists. So they have to fight tooth and
>nail every time they see the trigger words.

>The simple fact is that direction means lots of things to lots
>of people (and I know that you know that).

Which means, from a scientific definition point-of-view, that the term
has no meaning at all.

>First off, even the simplest (not too simple really) math models of
>population genetics have direction built right into them. There's
>evolution in N-space. The phase point moves. Bingo.

The so-called "direction" is only known after the fact. There is no
pre-determined "end-point". As a result, even though the starting
conditions (or what you call "phase point") will be found, through time, to
have moved as a vector, the vector is "seeded" randomly from minute (or
possibly, unknown) cause factors.
Mark, I advise you to at least glance at some books written by Harvard
paleontologist Steven Jay Gould.
Even if the Mongol hoards of creationists didn't exist, the use of the
word "direction" should be abolished from SCIENTIFIC usage. Let the general
public wrestle with the word if they want to.