Re: Re: Evolution appears fulfilled

Robin Mandell (
Tue, 15 Dec 1998 18:33:01 -0600

At 07:17 AM 12/15/98 EST, you wrote:
>In a message dated 12/15/98 2:03:32 AM,Jonathan wrote:
><<Robin Mandell wrote:
>> I can't help it. Yet another half formed question.
>> To me it seems like evolution has reached its goal. Not that change
>> ceased or nothing is adapting but more like a general plan has reached
>> fulfillment. >>
>jonathan and Robin,
>My understanding of the theory of evolution is that it has no long-range
>or goals. What is evolution's goal? There is no general plan that has
>reached fulfillment. If there is one, I would welcome you or someone else
>telling us what it is. Natural selection only works on fortuitous mutations
>that enhance the survival and adaptibility of a given organism in its
>immediate, specific environment, and eventually of a population.
>Thus Simpson could say, “Man is the result of a purposeless and naturalistic
>process that did not have him in mind. He was not planned.…He happens to
>represent the highest form of organization of matter and energy that has
>ever appeared” In another place he wrote, “Evolution has no purpose; man
>must supply this for himself” (Simpson, G. G., 1949. The Meaning of
>Evolution. The Yale University Press. New Haven.)
I was probably trying to approach this from a different starting point.
Rather than Evolution's viewpoint I prefer my own on matters like this. Let
me rephrase and see if I can get the discussion going where my mind is.
When I see the world around me many of the flora and fauna strike me as
finished in some sense.Not like beautifuly bound hardback compared to blank
paper but like a first draft compared to an outline. Np doubt you can get
out your empirical gun here and lay waste but I suspect that if we always
do that soon evolution will be a pointless parade of terms with little
relevance to what makes us even care to begin with. Now what I am wondering
is if we visited past time periods would the organisms strike us as on
their way or done. I guess one would say my preconcieved notions from my
time would be the standard of comparison thus wrecking my whole question
but I was hoping not. Once I answer this I would then move on to
evolution's perspective and look for something like "finished" or
whatever.I am still reaching for clarity but fire away.>