Re: post from Holloway

Gerrit Hanenburg (
Thu, 26 Oct 1995 21:06:20 GMT (H. M. Hubey) wrote:

>>Does that place them lower on the scale?

>Yep. See the definition.

Brain mass/body mass?
In that case,who do you think is higher up the scale,squirrel monkey or
Homo sapiens?

>>So,intelligence is the criterion of evolutionary advancement?

>Show the something that's more highly correlated with "complexity"
>or whatever it is that evolution moves towards.

I think you are in error about this "moves towards" as the direction of
evolution.It is only possible to speak of direction when you look back at
certain lineages.A while ago somebody used the idea of a vector as a
representation of direction.If you want to you use this metaphor in
relation to evolution then evolution should be characterized by many
vectors at the same time,pointing in different directions and constantly
shifting directions in response to o.a.environmental changes.To pick just
one of the vectors and call it *the* direction of evolution is
arbitrary.(don't even think about adding them and call the resultant *the*
direction of evolution,that would be stretching the metaphor)
An increase in brainsize in hominini is just one of the many "directions"
of evolution.A reduction in the number of toes in equids,loss of a
functional digestive system in intestinal parasites(tapeworms),
"degeneration' of the eyes in cavespecies are others,and there are many

>>You have already scaled the organisms before doing the measurements.

>Instruments are useful. Without instruments one can still scale
>things using his God-given instruments. If it weren't so, the
>bone-gazers of the world would not have been claiming to be
>scientists all this time.

But if you use the equivalent of "bone-gazing" in scaling then the scaling
isn't worth much,is it? ;-)