Monday, January 26, 2009

Just So Stories

Armand Marie Leroi - currently locked in a fierce competitive struggle with Richard Dawkins

I've just finished watching British television's latest homage to the Genius of Darwin...

What Darwin Didn't Know

Documentary which tells the story of evolution theory since Darwin postulated it in 1859 in 'On the Origin of Species'.

The theory of evolution by natural selection is now scientific orthodoxy, but when it was unveiled it caused a storm of controversy, from fellow scientists as well as religious people. They criticised it for being short on evidence and long on assertion and Darwin, being the honest scientist that he was, agreed with them. He knew that his theory was riddled with 'difficulties', but he entrusted future generations to complete his work and prove the essential truth of his vision, which is what scientists have been doing for the past 150 years.

Evolutionary biologist Professor Armand Marie Leroi charts the scientific endeavour that brought about the triumphant renaissance of Darwin's theory. He argues that, with the new science of evolutionary developmental biology (evo devo), it may be possible to take that theory to a new level - to do more than explain what has evolved in the past, and start to predict what might evolve in the future.

It was essentially no more than the usual collection of fibs, half truths, fantasies and non sequiturs but it made a nice change having someone other than Richard Dawkins presenting the same old fundamentalist bullcrap

And, no, Armand didn't fill in any holes but he did attempt to pass off some absolute whoppers whilst pretending to do so

There was one slightly novel element. It was I think the first time I've ever heard a TeleDarwinevangelist admit that this most beautiful and truthy of scientific theories is currently capable of predicting absolutely bugger all and only 'works' retrospectively

Ah well, it's only a century and half old. Give it time

You can only imagine how far Newton would have got trying to pull that kind of shit

"Isaac was fucked if he knew what was going to happen next"



paul said...

Is the answer v2 = u2 + 2as ?

gyg3s said...

Sparro's Black and Gold on Youtube.

gyg3s said...

For economic clarity, go to the blogs ...

Tom said...

I saw some/most of the show. The creepy guy from Uni kept contradicting himself within moments. He mentioned some of the problems in the Darwinism theory, then just wished them away with different phrases.

And he was quoting reverently from an old black leather Origin of the Species, for all the world as if it was the Bible.

All very predictable

Stef said...

Yes he is

Yes he did

Stef said...

crappy science aside

The fact that in two thousand years we've 'progressed' from 'Love God with all thy heart, Love thy Neighbour as thyself ' to 'Fuck You Buddy' isn't the greatest advert for the trajectory we're currently flying along

Anti_NWO said...

When I point the holes in these kind of scientific theories, people respond by saying "You don't understand science". Really? I may not have a degree in it, but I'm educated to level 4 standard and know how to research. Certainly no worse than the average layman.

Stef said...

Stuff like advanced calculus is hard

Evolutionary theory is a lot less fucking clever than its advocates like to pretend and can be explained in a few minutes

What I find interesting is how so many people I meet and talk with about this stuff who think they believe in Darwinism actually believe nothing of the sort when you ask them to explain what they think is involved

Anti_NWO said...

I couldn't get away with that at my line of work. It doesn't stop others from bullshitting about the technology (sometimes based on theoretical numbers and not real-life performance).

Absolute confidence in "modern science" tied with atheism is the new religion (and a largely bad one at that) in my opinion.

Anti_NWO said...

Kaplan, Inc is one of the world’s most dynamic private education providers with revenues exceeding US$2 billion and a wholly owned subsidiary of The Washington Post.

I just found this at the front of a job advert. *skips ahead to the next job*

Anonymous said...

I heard recently that Dawkins has declared evolution as the greatest scientific theory of mankind.

So much for atomic energy, relativity, Newtonian mechanics, bacteria, flight, electricity and magnetism - all starting out as theories and all actually being used to contribute something useful to engineering and mankind.

No, apparently all these are mere trifles to a theory that itself is not even complete.

The beauty of evolutionary theory is that it is legion. It's made up of lots of other theories (some observed, others not) and at any time one of the smaller theories can be dropped and aother adopted subject to new popular and consensual evidence.

No other scientific theory can achieve that, either it withstands testing or it is dropped. Therefore if you want a theory to last: Firstly include a whole bunch of theories that at least some can be proven. That way when one of your sub-theories is tested in a lab or observed you can claim your whole theory has been proven correct. Secondly, make sure your theory is sufficiently controversial but doesn't impact human progress, therefore no-one in mainstream will either care or question it.

Stef said...

Whilst I understand where you're coming from the core of Contemporary Darwinism rests on just two ideas...

- the occurrence of 'beneficial' mutations

- natural selection of organisms which are 'fittest' by virtue of beneficial mutation

If beneficial mutations ever occur they are rare as hens' teeth and cannot account for the gobsmacking variety and complexity of life in the available timescales

A usable definition of evolutionary fitness has proven so elusive evolutionists can only tell you which organism was fittest after it has 'won'. Which is, let's face it, as science, a bit silly

Oh yeah, and no-one has the faintest idea how life started in the first place

Most of the rest of the debate revolves around the significance of circumstantial evidence which may prove or disprove the theory

Merkin said...

'Kaplan, Inc is one of the world’s most dynamic private education providers with revenues exceeding US$2 billion and a wholly owned subsidiary of The Washington Post.'

I lived for a few years in Poland with an American girl who was doing her Masters degree through Kaplan aka The American Academy.

Dodgy company with mickey mouse degrees.

Stef said...


A while back I commented to someone on this blog that if Darwinist Evolution was such a stonkingly powerful design tool why had evolutionary theory found so few practical applications?

With all the computing power now available it should be a relatively straightforward process designing pretty much anything you want - from spaceships to fusion reactors - just using computer models based on blind chance and selection

Maybe tomorrow, eh?

Stef said...

George Kaplan was, of course, the name of the non-existent government agent in NbNW

Stef said...


yes, the cynicus blog is a good one but that last post could be reduced to...

'The West consumes much more than it produces and has been covering the difference with worthless money. The Asians won't accept any more. Game Over.'

anon 22:41 said...

Stef, could you clarify whether you're dissing darwinism, evolution, or both?

Stef said...

It depends on what your definitions are - lots of people use the terms interchangeably and most Darwinists aren't Darwinists but Neo Darwinists anyway

Whatever flavour, I'm currently pretty sure that Darwinism is bunk.

I don't buy the beneficial random mutation myth.

Natural selection clearly does take place but mostly as a culling of variation in existing features

Individuals within different species can show variation of attributes, some are taller, some are shorter but there are hard-coded limits to that variation and it doesn't lead to the development of novel features

Without getting too hung up on the definition of what a species is, cats are cats, dogs are dogs, and if anyone tries to breed anything too freakish it comes out sterile

No-one's explained to me how, if Darwinism was at play, why all species don't just merge into and overlap with each other, all mushy like. That's not going on today and there's no evidence of it in the fossil record

In the rock record species appear, hang around for a bit largely unchanged, then disappear

If they didn't calling something, say, a brontosaurus would be a nonsense as it would only be a brontosaurus for few generations as it oozed from one thing into something else

Now I know there are evolutionist arguments to explain stasis but the fact that evolutionists rarely, if ever, volunteer the fact that the history of life is one of punctuated equilibrium, not constant evolutionary change, demonstrates how little confidence they have in the persuasiveness those explanations

That's also the reason why it's microbe watchers are currently at the forefront of plugging evolution. Palaeontology and Zoology have had a good long run but just haven't delivered the goods for Darwin fans. It's my contention that microbug watching won't either and the more the watchers learn the more the more they'll have to concede the limits of their preferred Just So story

Stef said...

I love this slab of Dawkinsbabble from the Wiki entry on punctuated equilibrium...

Richard Dawkins dedicated a chapter in The Blind Watchmaker to correcting, in his view, the wide confusion surrounding the theory of punctuated equilibrium. His first, and main point, is to argue that phyletic gradualism in the sense of uniformity of rates—what he refers to as "constant speedism"—is a "caricature of Darwinism"[12] and "does not really exist."[13] His second argument, which follows from the first, is that once this caricature is dismissed, we are left with only one logical alternative, which Dawkins calls "variable speedism." Variable speedism may be distinguished in one of two ways: "discrete variable speedism" and "continuously variable speedism." Eldredge and Gould, believing that evolution jumps between stability and relative rapidity, are described as "discrete variable speedists," and "in this respect they are genuinely radical."[14] They believe that evolution generally proceeds in bursts, or not at all. "Continuously variable speedists," on the other hand believe that "evolutionary rates fluctuate continuously from very fast to very slow and stop, with all intermediates. They see no particular reason to emphasize certain speeds more than others. In particular, stasis, to them, is just an extreme case of ultra-slow evolution. To a punctuationist, there is something very special about stasis."[15] Dawkins therefore commits himself here to an empirical claim about the geological record,[16] and it is this particular claim that Eldredge and Gould have aimed to overturn.

So, if you're Richard Dawkins and your religion tells you that something can't just come to a stop, just like that, you don't say it stopped you claim that it's moving ultra slowly and then accuse anyone who thinks that is a knob end thing to say of suffering from a 'popular misconception' and being a bit thick

what a twunt

Anonymous said...

Your sense of humor often gives me good laugh. Poor Isaac really looks stumped in the picture.

I appreciate your good sense too.

paul said...

Based on what Ive read, my opinion is that theres a 62 million and 225 million year cycle due to the orbit of the sun in the galaxy. These cycles cause mass extinction/mass speciation at regular intervals intersperced with comparative stability. Apparently something triggered by the movement (EM energy? magnetics? torsion fields?) causes spontaneous mass changes in DNA over a short time period.
And yes, Darwinism is a crock of shit.
Incidentally, were due!

Stef said...

There's a good possibility that something weird happens periodically and we haven't been around long enough to see it yet

And, in a way, Darwin possibly is right in that you need to identity two factors to explain the variety of Life...

- a mechanism for genetic change
- a force which organises those changes into something coherent and viable

The problem with stasis for Darwinists imho is that even in periods of ecological stability you're still going to have competition between species and between individuals within species, so there's no reason why their evolution would come to a stop, sorry, an extreme case of ultra-slowness

Anti_NWO said...

In other news, the Times reports that 70,000 jobs are going (mostly across the UK and US):

paul said...

The biggest problem for a theory of competition through fitness to environment is when control over environment is acheived, it becomes totally irrelevant.

Re an earlier comment on the principles utility, I beleive there was a fashion for research into 'evolutionary' computing, but it was shite.
Far more efficient, if less romantic, to decide what you want and pick the best way to acheive it.

I also remember a science article which suggested we will be able to use genetic engineering to create living machines that would evolve to their environment, spaceships that would change shape on atmospheric re entry etc.

I assume these are, as yet,still somewhere far down the pipeline.

Sophia said...

paradigm shift in evolutionary theory

Anonymous said...

Having read Forbidden Archaeology I have an open mind either way about this stuff. I'd like to know what your specific objections are to traditional Darwinian evolutionary theory though Stef?

numeral said...

Following Sophia's link, I remembered Lynn Margulis' theory of endosymbiosis as a driver of evolution. In simple popularising mode, sperm were originally free swimming wriggly things that got inside us and found a niche. The gut was originally a worm and mitochondia and chloroplasts were once independent bugs.


Parabellum said...

I think that all who believe in this "punctuated equilibrium" "theory", as narrated by a certain Dawkins, are missing a bit in the "common sense" department.

I'm sure, it sounds a lot more convincing when you here it from the horse's mouth and without any Stefian comment, yet, it is brontosaurusshit.

I think if Dawkins wants to follow his delusional cognitive dissonance, well, fine, it is his right to believe in whatever he wants to believe. Yet, I have to ask: Why are so few calling out bullshit on this?

(captcha: fordist)

Parabellum said...

here = hear

Stef said...


A very amusing link, thank you

It's a very dear wish of mine to be around on this Earth long enough to see Darwinism outcompeted and thrown into the dustbin, and witness all the entertaining confusion that would ensue

And if and when that day happens all the established voices will claim that no-one saw it coming and that there were no dissenting voices worth speaking of

Just like all of us who saw the economic crash coming. Apparently, we didn't exist...

Why couldn't we see the big picture?

anon 22:41 said...

The problem with Dawkins is that he is not using Darwinism as a basis but as a monolithic dogma, which is actually just as anti-science as creationism. And also sometimes just as ridiculous.

There are many other theories of evolution which do not involve complete randomness nor some imaginary friend in the sky.

A good paper here about the end of the tree of life model, mentioned in the video of Armand Marie le Roi.

Stef said...

I'd like to know what your specific objections are to traditional Darwinian evolutionary theory though Stef?

I've pretty much given them

1. Random mutation is an inadequate mechanism for producing useful novelty in living things. Mutation is damage to existing functional systems and does not deliver improved systems. A beneficial mutation is theoretically possible but in practice would be ludicrously rare, and more unlikely the more complicated the organism

2. The is no usable definition of evolutionary fitness. Given that this is the factor which supposedly organises all those mutations into workable organisms the fact that no-one is quite sure what it is buggers up Darwinism just a little

3. Not strictly Darwinism but no-one has the faintest idea how Life got started in the first place

For the reasons given above, Darwinism sounds like theoretical bollocks

It also empirical bollocks

There is no seamless gradation between different groups of living things (species) either in the present of the past. Dogs are Dogs, Cats are cats, Brontosauri are Brontosauri. Species appear, they show some variation in their physical attributes - size, pigmentation, strength - then they die off, essentially unchanged

anon 22:41 said...

Why are so few calling out bullshit on this?

Political correctness, and fear. It's actually very similar to giving an opinion on the Israel - Palestine thing, only worse.

The research on evolution is heavily polluted by creationists and other pseudo-religious nuts/crooks. There is a lot of pressure and lobbying from these groups to impose the teaching of intelligent design as a science at school.

On the other hand, Darwinism ala Dawkins has become synonymous to evolution for the general public, whereas it is only one amongst many other theories. The consensus within the scientific community is mainly darwinian but not necessarily Darwinist. Darwin's theory of evolution is the only one to be admitted as true until something better is discovered.

Scientists are afraid to criticize/debunk Darwinism in public because they run the risk of being accused of being loons by some, and having their opinion or discovery distorted into a criticizm/debunking of evolution as a whole by others.

Stef said...

Some evolutionists admit that yes, species don't evolve very much most of the time

Which is pretty big of them given that the mass of evidence supports this

They go on to hypothesize that evolution is periodically given a kick by sudden and severe changes in the environment which increase competitive pressure

One of the many problems with that is that if a species' environment changes that badly it either

a) moves off somewhere else


b) dies

what it doesn't have the time to do is

c) hang around for a few thousand generations whilst it supposedly evolves into something else

Stef said...

There are many other theories of evolution which do not involve complete randomness nor some imaginary friend in the sky.

Yes, but my problem is that stasis and the persistence of discrete species does not support any kind of gradualistic mechanism

The jumps are big and episodic

Cue the Hopeful Monsters

anon 22:41 said...

If after some sort of environmental big bang, the changes are permanent, a species:

b)Remains more or less the same if they are somehow sheltered away, and/or extremely resilient (cue coelacanths and roaches)
c)Mutates dramatically and permanently into something else

Stef said...

The research on evolution is heavily polluted by creationists and other pseudo-religious nuts/crooks. There is a lot of pressure and lobbying from these groups to impose the teaching of intelligent design as a science at school.

even if I became a rooting tooting theist, as opposed to agnostic, tomorrow I'd still want to understand the mechanism the Creator put in place to drive Life along

The idea that It would put together a consistent, Law-based universe and then just magic up some Life forms out of thin air, which rely on further doses of magic for their continued existence and proliferation, strikes me as being a bit of a silly idea

I believe an All Powerful Creator would create something more elegant and consistent than that

Some ID proponents try and work within the rules of science but until they develop their generalised hypothesis into a few testable theories they're not adding very much to our understanding of Existence

Some other ID proponents, of course, believe that the world was created in Seven Days because a man wrote that in a book once

Not something I adhere to personally

but given that Richard Dawkins also writes bollocks in books which believers then take as Gospel, and he definitely knows he's bending the truth, it's not something I get too hot under the collar about either

Stef said...

@anon 22:41

I've already mentioned this a few times in the distant past but a former lecturer of mine did rather well for himself identifying ancient climates on archaeological and paleontological sites using beetles

Beetles constitute about 2/3rds of all known insect species and, more to the point, many (I don't know for sure if all, there are a lot of beetles out there) have evolved fuck all in at least hundreds of thousands of years. They just moved up down and around as climate shifted.

They died or they moved

They did not evolve

Stef said...

...though I am not discounting the possibility of dramatic mutation at some point

for reasons given above, I'm not about to stick God into any gaps, and species have to come from somewhere

paul said...

As someone who previously deplored the inappropriate application of survival of the fittest, reductionist neodarwinism to the moulding of humanity, I didn't really question or think about the theory at all.

I still feel pretty much the same, except I won't take the theory seriously until the missing links are consistently produced.
If given an honest chance the science will hopefully sort itself out and that,quite rightly, is one of the benign pursuits we can while away our time on earth with.

Unfortunately, the academy is not really geared up for honest endeavour right now, or more than usual.
The endless stream of ridiculous breakthroughs that fill our mainstream media reflect the desperate struggle for restricted funding and individual reward. Sometimes it reminds me of early 20th century dock workers, massing at the gate, jostling to get picked that day.
This degraded academy is perfectly illustrated by a current story of how scientists (though they seem more like clerics) admit their failure to find a place for an empirical fact within their theory, but the good news is, they're working on it.
They haven't even discovered, let alone explained, anything. Yet the measure of their worth is the (column) inches they can display.

Neodarwinism, as has been pointed out, has no demonstrable utility in the physical world, but it is an almost perfect fit for the platonic neoliberal order that has been evolved (or rather cultivated). It's a powerful foundation myth for the way things are, which points the finger away from human agency and towards a natural order.

That is why simple minded, proselytising mediocrities such as Dawkins are tirelessly promoted above others.

All part of the fascinating,ubiquitous fluoridation of our(?) culture.

<ramble over/>

Anonymous said...

Putin speaks out at Davos' opening

gyg3s said...

Interesting podcast from Charon - Podcast 93: US District Judge, John L. Kane on The War on Drugs

Stef said...

Neodarwinism, as has been pointed out, has no demonstrable utility in the physical world, but it is an almost perfect fit for the platonic neoliberal order that has been evolved (or rather cultivated). It's a powerful foundation myth for the way things are, which points the finger away from human agency and towards a natural order.

Well, yes, and the reason why talk of Darwinism is appropriately set next to much of the other stuff that gets posted about here

Stef said...

@anon/ gyg3s

thanks for the linkage, heading there now...

Stef said...

"Actress Rene Zellweger played the red-cheeked Bridget Jones who blushed when she made mistakes. Scientists argue blushing means honesty gives humans an evolutionary advantage"

oh dear, oh dear oh dear...

Anonymous said...

Stef have you seen this yet?I know you like photography and zhis I think is rather cool.

yozu need to download phototsynth to view.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Stef said...

Cheers, I appreciate the link

I tried downloading this when it was first released but the server kept crashing, for weeks...

gyg3s said...

Continuing on the drugs theme - the Germans are upset about a relatively new (to the streets, as it were) cannabis analogue.

May or may not be of interest.

jon doy said...

thoughts on panspermia, Stef ?

i should make it clear i am not an adherent to any theory of how we're here, but i find the concept that drifting-on-oceans and in-the-air seeding of life are not the limit to how life might be 'seeded' quite intriguing - no, it doesn't answer the question of how it all began, but it does open up the possibility that simple, space surviving organisms float around in space, like space seeds, rarely, but now and then, landing somewhere that they might come to life and then the process of nature's terraforming another world begins

sort of like how the bugs in Starship Troopers colonise a world, only passive and accidental

there have been reports of 'space viruses' and so on floating down to earth - too small to burn up - and of course the reports have often taken a scary tone, but it seems to me that assuming panspermia has something useful to add to the discussion, a bit more of what kicked things off in the first place, and what has been coming out of orbit through the entire life of the planet, is probably not something to be concerned about

this is close to being in the area of intelligent design, but what if the simple things that can survive in space can, given enough time, turn out to have been the seeds of complex life - even life evolved enough to create reality television and pokemon ?

who knows, perhaps in all the soup of living things there is the blueprint for just about any environment, perhaps biped human like beings are somewhat inevitable ?

jon doy said...

word verification = "nistific"

The Wanderer said...

Hah! Darwin saw a few gears poking out of the most magnificent clockwork ever assembled and thought he'd figured out what the machine was for.

Put it this way - if we keep fooling around, ignoring our duty to the peotry of history, we'll get fired. Signals more complex than any network protocol will pass between the Mother's organelles (we call them 'species' and assume they're like football teams, much the way a kitten assumes your hand is a separate beast from you for purposes of play), and we'll be in the gutter, unable to reproduce accurately and with suicide rates approaching infinity, while the crows are looking at each other, shaking their heads, and saying ' Awwwk!'.

The Wanderer

The Wanderer said...

@Jon Doy: I'm with Hoyle. Bugs are aliens. The Mother made the rest of us, sort of accidentally on purpose.

BTW, she's been known to drown her unwanted offspring. Think the Flood was aimed at us? We can swim, son. What lives in a cave? Hiss, bubble.

The Wanderer said...

@Self: Peotry! Hahaha!

F*^&*hjK & typos.

The Wanderer said...

@Stef: As to what might evolve in the future...well, if all those awful wars and grinding social abuses and horrible general monkeyshines we get up to were all just to make missile steering systems so complex that they can enjoy the sunrise they've created...well, more Power to the Mother. As long as we're here for some reason or another.

Little silver eggs eyes googling out at the world in new ways...after all, the Mother's top servants have to be top-notch.

Maybe we'll get to keep playing too. Sort of like the great lizards got to keep playing...ever seen a battery farm? Heh. Ever seen the Matrix? (which is a ripoff of a great story from way back whose name and author I don't recall, but who certainly wrote the background for that movie long before its makers were born, much like Phil Dick and Terminator's premise - read 'New Variety', you'll see what I mean).

Battery farm. Eggs or mammalian D-cells, much the same. Be total karma on us, too.

Heh. Karmageddon. Eggs. Little silver eggs. Like spider eggs, only not. Wonder which research facility will accidentally (kind of on purpose) be the one to lose their containment nut on, say, conscious, self-constructing nanobeast things?

Merkin said...

'No-one's explained to me how, if Darwinism was at play, why all species don't just merge into and overlap with each other, all mushy like. That's not going on today and there's no evidence of it in the fossil record'.

Aha, but think about Sheepshagging.

Parabellum said...

If you ever need another fish of the month:

Shape-shifting fish fools scientists

Parabellum said...

It's a aquatic vertebrate quagmire!

It's a trap!

Anonymous said...

"now scientific orthodoxy" - The 1st bit of BS.

The arrogance of some westerners (and their wannabes) claiming to speak for science and the small number of western(homogenised) scientists themselves, in general, stink worse then the squeezed out fermented juice of bin-lorry water after the weeklong British summer (yes, that was one of the good summers)

It is quite amazing how, in almost all parts of out transient lives that a major piece of bollocks tries to implant intself into your mind.

Reading the BBC lobbox, I have never been happier to be a grouchy old near friendless loon. Someone before 'mentioned shouting at empty bustops' - which, given the aforementioned lashings of crap, is an very honourable persuit indeed.

And I've not even finished the first paragraph yet!

Parabellum said...

I begin to doubt whether this "New Scientist" publication is serious:
Our world may be a giant hologram? Loonery!

Anonymous said...

2nd bit of bollocks: "from fellow scientists as well as religious people." like the two are mutually exclusive. Another attempt to hijack your mind. As a scientist and theist I laugh at your Dorkins attempts (and that of his disciples) to portray science as something it most certainly isn't.

The words "It's simple if you look at the singularities" still resonate in my memory when a practicing atheist PhD 'explained' the origin of the universe to me in my early postgrad life. Yeah it was simple alright, simply ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

"Oh yeah, and no-one has the faintest idea how life started in the first place" - Interesting that. Nomine atheo padre: potent and splendid life came about from lifenessness not via mutation but by chance. Since then life hasn't done anything anywhere near as spectular, only doing some miserable mutation. Fancy that!

Anonymous said...

Funny to see the Physics found in the 'Morse Energy Well' once again being employed to explain the origin of all things physical. Sure warms my little theist heart. Yee haa!

And even that, given Godel proved Mathematics is fundamentally flawed, hence ALL science, well who gives a toss, there's lobbox to be told I tell ya! Lets believe in it all anyway.

Anonymous said...

BS 3 "Darwin argued successfully that the tree of life was a fact of nature" NS No he freaking well didn't. What crap! What lies.

paul said...

And then theres the curious phenomenon of ooparts, which throws another spanner into the "where did we come from?" machinery.

jon doy said...

and another thing - what's all this about (assuming i understand darwinianism correctly) the 'aim' being for ever more complex forms of life - as though this were some sort of accidental design competition run by nature ?

i think it's far more reasonable to think in terms of life staying as simple as possible, but if it's forced to do things in a more complicated way - and be more complicated as a creature - in order to survive (as opposed to "make a niche for itself"), then it'll do so

i wonder if the 'evolution' of animals can be best expressed by the behaviour of the sloth, or characterised by the actions of the classic 'lazy teenager'

frankly, it'd really rather not be bothered, but if it has to

the counter argument that we disprove such a theory with our ever more complex existence is itself countered by the fact that the sheer complexity of our existence is an expression of the fact that to be 'us' we've had to go to the extreme of complexity, as opposed to our being an exemplar of what this accidental design competition is likely to award some first prize for wanton complexity

if 'evolution' is inherently lazy, then doesn't that suggest that you'd have pretty clever dolphins who have no technology before wage slave-sapiens ?

...which is the way it happened, right ?

jon doy said...

/doggy paddles back to the shallow end of the pool

Stef said...

I think doggie might have been paddling around this