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

From: Randy Isaac <>
Date: Fri Sep 11 2009 - 19:57:37 EDT

  George responded much more eloquently and accurately on this matter. Many
things do develop gradually, including ideas and biological entities. The
latter, Darwin pointed out, develop through natural selection of the
variation within the population. Ideas, such as his theory, develop through
an increase in knowledge of pertinent data. Social structures can also
evolve though the process may be different than either ideas or species.
  The title is not misworded but a good use of the same word in related but
different meanings. Every person I know "gets it" except one.


P.S. In the interest of precision in the use of words, I am not and have
never been the President of ASA. That title is conferred on a different
council member each year.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Gregory Arago" <>
To: <>; "Randy Isaac" <>
Sent: Friday, September 11, 2009 12:54 PM
Subject: Re: [asa] Evolution Conference Washington, DC - language confusion

> 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 19:58:22 2009

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