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Re: gack!

Posted by Scott L. Schofield on November 27, 1999, at 16:40:26

In reply to gack!, posted by Bob (check the email add. if you can't tell which) on November 26, 1999, at 9:30:25

> Adam, maybe you could fill me (and the rest of us) in on something else here.
> That was a great description of the traditional view of evolution*. The thing about it, tho, is that it suggests a rather gradual change in species over the course of millions of years. I guess there's evidence that sometimes evolution makes great leaps over the course of rather short periods (in the geoligical sense of terms ... thousands or years, perhaps only hundreds, but certainly not millions). How does that notion of "punctuated equilibrium" fit in theoretically?

I really do regret using the word "fact" regarding "evolution", if for no other reason than to have avoided the Wrath of Bob. I guess the word evolution may need to be defined first before any discussion can proceed. I'll leave that to greater minds than my own.

I once saw a PBS interview with Stephen Jay Gould, whose name has been mentioned here a few times. After his requisite description of his undying love for the New York Yankees, he began to address evolution along with other topics. Perhaps he was purposely overstating to make a point, but he kept referring to evolution as being a "fact". What remained as theory, he said, was not if, but how.

Are the appearances of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria an example of evolution or not? If not, then the hell with it. If so, it certainly happened rather quickly. It might even qualify as an example of punctuated-equilibrium.

Monkey business. I was forced to re-examine Bob's infinite monkey (chimpanzee?) scenario, seeing as how I've been wrong about everything else this week. Interesting. I'm beginning to appreciate some of its points. I think what set me off was his choice of the monkeys over the appearance of life. Don't get me wrong - I thought of ways in which the monkeys could do it.
Although I didn't spend too long at it, I found that most of them (the ones *I* thought of) required evolution and/or God. The King James Bible bit really threw a monkey-wrench into the works.

Others I came up with while writing this:
(These may not necessarily depend on evolution/God - I haven't thought them through).

1. Extraterrestrial beings invoking mental telepathy/telekinesis
2. Time machine/paradox
3. Transport of individuals from one of the other "Many Worlds"
4. A clone of P. T. Barnum tricking the world into believing it

As far as truth is concerned - that there may be more than one truth, or that the truth may be unknowable, or that there may be no truth at all, still all represent one Truth?

Just a question.

- Scott




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