Re: Refuting Aristotle et al (was Re: [asa] Dawkins on the fossil record)

From: Don Nield <d.nield@auckland.ac.nz>
Date: Tue Dec 15 2009 - 18:52:58 EST

Schwarzwald wrote:
> Heya Don,
>
> This last example actually helps make Murray's point that a
> definition is involved. If one defines the integer 4 as the
> integer 2 greater than the integer 2 (which is just what
> mathematicians do) then that settles the matter. Otherwise you
> have an open question of what is meant by 2 +2.
> Don
>
>
> Of course definitions are involved, Don. They always are - who was
> denying this? But I think Murray has already conceded Gregory's point
> - namely that, yes, there really was a "first" once "human" is
> defined. He's stipulated that he takes 'evolution' as a given - but I
> don't see where anyone was insisting that there being a "first" means
> evolution is untrue, so that seems moot.
>
> Now, someone could argue whether a given definition is appropriate or
> correct - but that's a whole other discussion, and by then the whole
> thrust of the debate has shifted. And of course, I'd disagree with
> Murray's claim that there being a "first" does not help someone making
> the claim that there was a "definitive break". Amusingly enough, we'd
> then have to have a definition of what would constitute a "definitive
> break" - which would include discussions of whether the standards were
> purely or partly genetic, social, physical, or even by divine fiat.
I should have been more precise. I think that Murray's point is that the
precision of the definition is involved.

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Received on Tue Dec 15 18:53:28 2009

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