RE: [asa] What is life? (letters in Raleigh News & Observer)

From: Alexanian, Moorad <>
Date: Tue Oct 16 2007 - 10:29:26 EDT

Suppose evolutionary theory can thoroughly explain altruism. Given that
knowledge, what data do you need about a particular individual in order
to predict or give the corresponding probabilities that that individual
is an altruist or not.


-----Original Message-----
From: PvM []
Sent: Monday, October 15, 2007 11:13 PM
To: Alexanian, Moorad
Cc: AmericanScientificAffiliation
Subject: Re: [asa] What is life? (letters in Raleigh News & Observer)

What is one to make of such ad hoc claims? Proof by assertion seems
rather circular an approach here.

Let's take the concept of altruism, surely as nonphysical as any of
the ones claimed by Alex, and yet we can study it, and even find
plausible evolutionary explanations for it. So what am I to make of
such assertions? Perhaps responding to it already makes too much of
them, but I am really attempting to understand the logic involved.

On 10/14/07, Alexanian, Moorad <> wrote:

Consciousness and rationality are purely nonphysical, since purely
physical devices cannot detect them, and can only be "detected" by the
self in humans. In addition, life cannot be reduced to the purely
physical, so living beings are both physical and nonphysical.

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Received on Tue Oct 16 10:31:35 2007

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