Re: god makes hubey

Phil Nicholls (
Sun, 19 Nov 1995 19:16:46 GMT (H. M. Hubey) raged:

> (Phil Nicholls) writes:

>>Alex is not claiming that evolution goes nowhere or has no direction.

>He is, but it doesn't matter. I can argue against both :-)

I have no doubt that you can.

>>However, evolution has no pre-set goal.

>Explain neoteny.

Neoteny is one example of a phenomena known as heterochrony. The
timing of developmental events is altered. In the case of neoteny,
juvenile features are retained into the adult stage of development.

Now, please explain what this has to do with determinism in evolution.

>Why do baby chimps look more like humans?

The explanation generally invoked is neoteny.

>What is in our future?

No one knows except that like all species we will probably become
extinct one day.

>Is it more like those in sci-fi movies with big heads and big eyes?

Why would it be?

>Evolution is not driven
>>toward the production of "intelligent" beings. If it were then there
>>would be a great deal more intelligent species.

>Words are inadequate to explain some concepts. Evolution refers
>to evolution of all species. Then the fact that eventually intelligent
>beings like us who can tinker with their own evolution will be
>produced means that it will happen. That makes it "deterministic".

>For you to anthromorphize a concept, and call it "a goal" is
>just silly word playing. Humans have goals. We have a brain and we
>think ahead and plan ahead. Where could evolution's brain exist?

>The whole thing is a straw-man argument. Deterministic things happen
>all the time without a brain. Rocks fall down, and we don't ask
>how rocks came to know which way "down" is or how they figured
>out that they should go down, and not up. There's both determinism
>and direction, and no brain and no goal.

>YOu seem to keep thinking that somehow you still got creationists
>on your tails.

>>less than 30,000 years. Life has been on this planet for 3.5 billion
>>years. Do the math, Mark.

>I've done it. :-)

>>One of Stephen Jay Gould's favorite metaphors is the film "It's a
>>Wonderful Life." Change one variable in the history of life and the
>>outcome is different.

>Look, this is all silly. If Newton had not lived, would the laws
>of mechanics not have been "discovered" or "invented" ? If X didn't
>go to the North pole first, would it have remained uncharted?

>See, it doesn't make much difference in that way. It would have
>happened anyway, but it would have been some other guy. Humans
>are intersubstituable in that gross manner. We give credit to
>specific humans because our society wants to encourage and reward
>such behavior. It would have been done anway, sooner or later.


> Regards, Mark

Phil Nicholls
"To ask a question you must first know most of the answer"
-Robert Sheckley