Re: [asa] Darwin only biological evolution? (can anything exist without evolution?)

From: Gregory Arago <>
Date: Mon Jan 12 2009 - 22:44:22 EST

Dave Siemens Jr. wrote:
"I am unfortunately not familiar with Beethoven's manuscripts, but I am guessing that the original drafts were subject to alteration to ensure their improvement. Is this all that distant from the alteration of genomes under the influence of natural selection? Did Beethoven ever start to make a change and remove it? If he did, we can expand the analogy...One person's relevant analogy is sure to be another's nonsense. In attempting general persuasion, probably the best procedure is to stick with generally accepted analogies."

Are you suggesting 'evolution' be defined as 'subject to alteration to ensure improvement,' Dave?
To the first question, yes it *IS* all that distant; it is 'human selection' and not 'natural selection.' The second question is thus rendered null by the fact that 'human selection' is a purposeful, goal-oriented, meaningful, teleological act, even if it may have 'unanticipated or unintended consequences' (R. Merton, 1936).
You've put your finger on a HUGE problem with the 'analogy of evolution,' which is shown here in its extreme in the suggestion that 'everything evolves.' What are the limits or boundaries of the 'generally accepted analogies' when it comes to 'evolution'? I've been suggesting for a couple of years on thus list, as you know Dave, that evolution is a much more restricted type of change than the hyper-inflated analogy of 'everything evolves, there is nothing that doesn't' allows.
Escaping from YEC is one thing; demonstrating a responsible, coherent understanding of origins and processes of growth and development, in living things and in human-made things is something else. I've no doubt that your experiences in philosophy and human-social sciences departments tell you that 'human selection' and 'things that don't evolve' (i.e. *ALL* human-made things) are logical and responsible ways of thinking, that do not represent any threat to the sovereignty of biological evolution, 'old' earth or 'descent/ascent' of humankind from precursor animals. When the time comes for you (and Michael Roberts) to move beyond evolution-ism, hopefully you'll embrace it. __________________________________________________________________ Instant Messaging, free SMS, sharing photos and more... Try the new Yahoo! Canada Messenger at

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Received on Mon Jan 12 22:44:50 2009

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