George C. Lindauer (
3 Oct 1996 03:50:38 GMT

RBB ( wrote:
: In article <52738u$>, Publius <> wrote:
: > Those of us who have been probing the workings of the
: > Atheist/Darwinist mentalities have come up against a puz-
: > zling quirk in their thinking process:
: OK, I'm ready. What's the puzzling quirk?
: > If they really believe what they preach, then they should
: > readily admit that as the Evolutionary Process continues, it
: > is just a matter of time till Man is succeeded by a Being as
: > superior to Man as Man is to the Ape.
: Actually, any proper evolutionist will tell you that, biologically speaking,
: there is _no_ basis for saying that Man _is_ superior to an Ape. Evolution
: measures success simply on the basis of differential survival. I suppose
: you could say that we are superior to Apes because we are outcompeting them
: for resources and living space in most places that we come into contact with
: them, but I somehow doubt that's what you meant by superior. Actually if
: you want to talk about REALLY superior organisms, check out Bacteria!
: > Instead, some say that
: > Evolution "was" but no longer "is" - its possibilities evidently
: > exhausted.
: I have never heard or read a statement like this from anyone who considers
: themselves an "evolutionist." That doesn't mean that nobody said it. Could
: you furnish a quote or a citation? Anyone who did say this is dead wrong.

Um... I'll but in here. The whole idea of evolution is based on the
facts related to changes in individual organisms. But human societies
are not thinking in these terms, they are thinking in the terms that
everyone is equal. So much so that at any minor little difference in
attitude or behaviour that crosses a certain line, all sorts of punishments
are meted out. In some cases it is not punishment, but the assumption
that there is such a thing as 'not being well' which leads to people
being doctored and taking drugs. Also I had an argument with scientists
the other day, they were maintaining that all scientists necessarily make
the assumption that the ability to perceive is the same across all human
beings. Governments are continually grouping their citizens into various
groups and making it hard for them to move to another group (for example
someone on welfare has incentive not to work so the majority of them just
stay on welfare).

In these ways, and many more, society as we know it is trying to
REPRESS changes in individuals and promote the idea that individuals
should remain the same and not change. Yet, this is exactly counter to
the whole point of evolution, that individuals be allowed to change
and mutate in different ways. Theoretically, evolution is a nice theory;
but as humans we are trying to repress change. Fortunately, the
scientists don't yet know enough to keep individuals completely
unchanging. BTW I take most of the miraculous stuff that was recorded
in times past as ways individuals had changed. If society hadn't been
actively repressing change some of the changes would have caught on for
the masses. Note that it is always in the best interest of leaders to
maintain the status quo rather than allow change...

: Hmm... the ultimate configuration of life? Since there are regular cataclysmic
: events that short-circuit various evolutionary pathways here on earth (climate
: change, asteroids, etc), I wonder how you would KNOW that you reached the
: ultimate? After all, mammals are only here in large numbers 'cuz a friendly
: asteroid eliminated their most common ecological competitors.

The problem is that once you have reached the ultimate you are going to be
so proud of yourself you won't go do something else. Where is the life
in that?

: Gould's most recent book _does_ take certain biologists to task for
: persisting in the use of outdated and inaccurate metaphors that imply
: a vector to evolution. The "No-No," in Gould's view is the view that
: there is a vector of evolution. There is not. Read the book (Full House),
: and you'll see that the appearance of a vector is actually the result of the
: fact that life begins at a 'wall' of minimal complexity with the bacteria,
: and therfore the elaboration of life over time can only result in more and
: more complex forms. But at the same time that these complex forms are coming
: about, the 'simple' forms of life are also evolving into ever wider niches.
: A bacteria alive today (perhaps in a subteranean oil puddle, or next to a
: 700 degree Farhenheit seabed magma vent) is as evolved as you and I. And
: that fact does not make human achievements any less remarkable, nor does it
: make the world any less full of wonder and spirituality. Got it?

But I fail to see how that disproves the vector theory; I'm sure I could
postulate a more complex vector based on the things you have just said.

: ------
: Environmental Policy Group, Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning
: ------