Re: [asa] Evolution Conference Washington, DC - language confusion

From: <>
Date: Fri Sep 11 2009 - 17:15:45 EDT

Gregory -

The following is the entry for "evolve" from The Free Online Dictionary. (I realize that this isn't the most scholarly or complete reference but it is quite adequate for showing normal American usage).

e·volve (-vlv)
v. e·volved, e·volv·ing, e·volves
a. To develop or achieve gradually: evolve a style of one's own.
b. To work (something) out; devise: "the schemes he evolved to line his purse" (S.J. Perelman).
2. Biology To develop (a characteristic) by evolutionary processes.
3. To give off; emit.
1. To undergo gradual change; develop: an amateur acting group that evolved into a theatrical company.
2. Biology To develop or arise through evolutionary processes.

The 2d meaning for "evolve" as an intransitive verb fits Randy's meaning precisely - ideas "undergo gradual change" as you yourself agreed (though without the qualification "gradual").


---- Gregory Arago <> wrote:
> Hi Randy,
> Please explain or describe to me the 'mechanism' or 'method' by which 'ideas evolve.' If you'd like, pick an example or just to speak abstractly or theoretically. Otherwise, it is rather easy to dismiss you as having wax in your ears; you listen, but hear nothing I say.
> Ideas do not 'evolve'. Sure, they change. But 'change' and 'evolution' are not the same thing.
> There has been zero willingness on your part to confront this reality, unfortunately, and now the only option left is to assume it is a willful denial of knowledge on your part. Every single person I've spoken with on this issue 'gets it.' Perhaps the problem is the medium of communication?
> I write directly like this, since you were recently the President of ASA and if you are going to say something like "The title...seem[s] appropriate" as if that has authority, when I made a clear argument against it, then you should be able to explain your view. I don't think you can and I submit that you are displaying a lack of 'proper tools' to evaluate the topic. But I say this, of course, with due respect and humility for other aspects of your participation and contribution to 'science(, philosophy) and religion' discourse. The conference could be a great one for what it is, but this doesn't excuse the misworded title.
> Do you think 'ideas evolve,' Randy Isaac: yes or no? If yes, what gives you such confidence to say apples (biological entities) are oranges (ideas) or vice versa? Evolutionary theory 'evolves' you say, Randy?
> Yours disappointed (again and again) by American evolutionistic dogma,
> Gregory
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Received on Fri Sep 11 17:16:15 2009

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