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Unread August 22nd, 2006, 06:35 PM
Fred H. Fred H. is offline
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 483
Default Re: Battle Against Scientific Illiteracy

Carey: If natural selection is such a weak concept, then suggest something (even just a hint) that could take its place.
Well Carey, as I recall, a few posts back, you noted that the “origin of bacteria in the first place was momentous,” and I tended to agree, and asked if you’d perhaps explain how your natural selection explains the momentous origin and evolution of life/bacteria. However, you never did. And as I noted, I suspect that you can’t and won’t be furnishing much in the way of theories/ explanations/ evidence that will provide the predictive power, understanding, and convincing coherence of a good physical science theory, say like gravity. Nevertheless, you should still attempt to do so, and then perhaps you’ll better appreciate the current shortcomings in your natural selection and, as Mayr calls it, your “philosophy of biology.”

I see that your buddy MM has weighed in, indicating that you and I seem to be “having trouble understanding how the other can not see the simple truth in [our] positions - perhaps the reasons for that are not to be found so much in their respective objective validity - as in the minds that are seeing them." Well, I think we can understand how it is that MM “feels compelled by her emotions,” to believe whatever it is that she happens to believe here since, as she has previously declared, she believes whatever it is she believes b/c that is what makes MM herself “feel good,” and, as she explains in her so-called “axiom,” MM “uses her brains to justify it” (and also, as MM has amplified, “what makes us different are the things that make us feel good”).

But really Carey, you and I actually see many things similarly: First, we agree that Einstein’s general relativity, his theory of gravitation, is a superb theory. Second, we agree, using your words, that “comparing the two [natural selection and gravitation] is a pretty empty exercise altogether.” Third, I don’t disagree that the idea of natural selection is compelling and even useful, but rather that it, like “emergence,” is, ultimately, merely one of those deceptively circular/tautological cool sounding terms that seem to explain a lot more than it actually explains (probably similar to how MM’s “axiom” seems to explain, to MM anyway, a lot more than it actually explains); while you, Carey insists that the “apparent circularity [of natural selection] just isn't important at all.”

And BTW, perhaps you should tell MM that Einstein’s general relativity is amazingly complex, whereas natural selection, essentially survival of the fittest, is actually rather simplistic, and really could never begin to explain the momentous origin and evolution of life/bacteria.

God, Carey, will this thread ever end?
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