MWalker at gensym.com
Thu Sep 10 17:39:01 EDT 1998
Glad to know where Doug's hot button is. I'll have to try pushing it again
some day (I like the way you say that...).
If I was insulting, then Doug - you win the prize. Grade school argument
>By the same logic you are using to naysay evolution, you
can naysay life itself, which is ALL anti-entropic.
Yep, I totally agree. In fact, that is precisely my point. Life itself is
in conflict with entropy. Therefore there MUST be a guiding external force
at work to sustain it. Without this force, life would be nay-sayed. It's a
good thing that isn't the case, otherwise our email would stop working.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: dyanega at mono.icb.ufmg.br [SMTP:dyanega at mono.icb.ufmg.br]
> Sent: Thursday, September 10, 1998 2:38 PM
> To: LEPS-L at lists.yale.edu
> Subject: RE: Wings
> This will hopefully be my last comment on this thread:
> Mark Walker wrote:
> >I do think it to be a huge stretch to suggest that random mutations
> >are responsible for this process. Talk about blind faith!
> You have missed a rather large point here, as well. Mutations are not
> responsible for this process, they are the raw material upon which the
> process acts. The *process* is the differential extinction and propagation
> of mutations. If one in a billion mutations leads to a new structure being
> expressed, or an old structure having a new function, then is when the
> process is most visible.
> > Mutation a "creative force"? I think not. A decay of order, a
> >jumbling of information, a mistake of nature. Left to its own, the
> >would be chaos, an eventual decline of life as we know it. Isn't this a
> >scientific position? Aren't all of the laws of physics in agreement?
> Pardon me if I get a little harsh here, but this "entropy" argument is one
> of the oldest, tiredest, and BIGGEST fallacies of the Creationist Party
> Line, and has been discredited thoroughly by one physicist after another -
> if you don't TRULY understand about entropy or "closed" versus "open"
> systems, don't try applying this stuff to biology, please. At the very
> least, you are working at the wrong scale - drawing *analogies* which
> simply don't work. "Photosynthesis defies
> the Law of Thermodynamics!!". Fooey. There is nothing _contra_ physics
> inherent in locally anti-entropic processes. I have a list of links on my
> homepage which help put this grade-school pseudo-science stuff to rest. If
> you don't have the patience to read them, just consider this:
> MOST mutations are eliminated right away because they ARE jumbles
> and mistakes. It's the one in a billion mutations that result in an
> improvement that count, because they will occasionally survive and
> proliferate - and there's a heck of a lot of neutral variation that
> too, which can help bridge the gap between things which seem quite
> different. Think of mutation as something which sometimes - but very
> - moves a ratchet and you'll be a little closer to the ballpark, and don't
> forget that by definition, only *populations* evolve. Those 999,999,999
> mutants that represent a "decay" *can't* cause a problem for the
> because they are *eliminated*. The ratchet will almost never move
> "backwards" (and please note I use that term not in a literal sense, but
> the sense of mean relative fitness decreasing between generations), except
> when the population size gets very small and drift takes over.
> Doug Yanega Depto. de Biologia Geral, Instituto de Ciencias Biologicas,
> Univ. Fed. de Minas Gerais, Cx.P. 486, 30.161-970 Belo Horizonte, MG
> phone: 031-449-2579, fax: 031-499-2567 (from U.S., prefix 011-55)
> "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
> is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82
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