Euthalia aconthea gurda

John Grehan jrg13 at
Sun Oct 18 22:21:27 EDT 1998

Doug Yanega wrote

>Okay, to stem the possible set of responses, how about this:
>"I, the undersigned, do hereby solemnly swear never again to use the word
>"purpose" in an evolutionary/ecological context, but henceforth shall
>substitute the word "function", which lacks the connotations that some
>people find objectionable in said context."
>Is that an acceptable compromise? I can live with it, how about you?

If function is used to mean reason for being, then function is simply another
way of stating purpose. If function is used to describe any
organism-environment interaction or relationship then the purpose
implications may be lacking. So it
all depends on how the term is applied. As for swearing, I never swear to
anything in science so to leave room for potential growth in outlook.

John Grehan

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