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Unread June 17th, 2006, 10:40 AM
Fred H. Fred H. is offline
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Default Re: Implications of Somatic Behavior Choice

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Carey: I still think there's a solid case for the argument that natural selection in practice - the process that actually occurs in the real world - is completely non-circular.
I’d say that the “process that actually occurs in the real world,” that makes evolution possible, first of all requires a universe with a beginning low entropy. Why beginning entropy was low, while usually taken for granted, remains a profound mystery; and most would agree that the second law of thermodynamics—essentially that entropy only increases—a statistical law, is not circular. And while I’m inclined to agree that evolution does seem to entail various concepts/mechanisms, such as emergence, self-organization, selection, etc., any additional understanding that those concepts actually provide tends to be somewhat superficial and circular, unlike, for example, the understanding and predictability that, say, Einstein’s general relativity provides regarding gravity and space-time.

That shi-tzus evolved from wolves as a result of selection, albeit “artificial” selection, seems to be undeniable, so I can understand why “selection” is so compelling (it certainly persuaded Darwin). Plus natural selection is the current orthodoxy, so it’d be risky behavior for anyone employed in your field to openly entertain possibilities of circularity, unless they had tenure and were willing to endure the abuse that would inevitably follow from the Darwinian establishment. So my advice, Carey, is that when you yourself begin to suspect the circularity of natural selection, and I expect that you eventually will, keep it to yourself, unless you have tenure of some sort and/or plan to marry a rich woman.

Last edited by Fred H.; June 17th, 2006 at 11:06 AM.
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