Re: Re: Re: Evolution appears fulfilled
Robin Mandell (email@example.com)
Wed, 16 Dec 1998 19:23:46 -0600
At 07:28 AM 12/16/98 EST, you wrote:
>In a message dated 12/15/98 7:38:56 PM, Robin Mandell wrote:
> 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 beautifully 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.>
>Your question is a good one--"Now what I am wondering is if we visited past
>time periods would the organisms strike us as on their way or done?"
>My answer is that I believe organisms would strike us as "done", not "on
>way". We would have no way of knowing whether any further evolution would
>occur (assuming we had no preconceived notions brought in from our own time).
>As I understand it, however, evolution is an open-ended process. Thus we
>cannot assume, from an evolutionary perspective, that our present day's flora
>and fauna are done. There may be a mutation, or group of them still to come
>that would open up a new advance. Who knows? Evolution can make no
>predictions about the next step or about the distant future. There is no
>goal. At least I have not heard of any.
I think I disagree. We describe certain things as higher in form or more
sophisticated and other terms. What if these concepts exist on there own
somehow outside of just biological human earth talk.Could a "spiritual"
being like man not be in tune to
those kind of things. I could imagine seeing a painting that contained no
and discern something missing. I know I am in nebulous land I was hoping to
find some concrete. If only Plato were here.
>If you wish to read a rather sophisticated discussion of this topic, you can
>find it in Michael Denton's book, _Nature's Destiny_. In his 13th chapter,
>"The Principle of Plenitude" he argues that "the diversity of life on earth
>approximates to the maximal diversity possible for carbon-based life." His
>argument thus is that the carbon basis of life, not evolution, provides the
>limit on diversity, and that we have reached that limit.
I read Denton's Destiny also.Did you agree with him mostly or not.
>This suggests that if evolution has a goal it would be to generate all the
>diversity possible, given carbon-based life. Has that goal been reached?
>Denton thinks so.
>I hope this addresses your questions in a helpful way.
Thank you Bob.