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Re: Unposted quotes: 2002-2004 #4 (was `The complexity of the organism was once the complexity of an ecosystem' ...)

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  • Stephen E. Jones
    Group ... CL Where is *Margulis s* definition? In the context she means that is hers also (since she doesn t disagree with it and offers none of her own). As I
    Message 1 of 4 , Jul 20, 2005
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      On Wed, 20 Jul 2005 19:52:38 -0700, Cliff Lundberg wrote:

      >SJ>"My colleague Daniel Botkin would probably define any ecosystem
      >>as a set of communities of different species of organisms, living
      >>in the same place at the same time, enjoying an influx of external
      >>energy and matter. " (Margulis L., "The Symbiotic Planet: A New Look at
      >>Evolution," Phoenix: London, 1998, p.133)

      CL>Where is *Margulis's* definition?

      In the context she means that is hers also (since she doesn't disagree with
      it and offers none of her own). As I said (which Cliff deleted), "for her
      definition she quotes a leading ecologist, Daniel Botkin: ... That could have
      come from any biology or ecology textbook."

      I don't have any more time to waste on this. If Cliff does not accept that
      he has misundersstood Margulis, then I regard that as *Cliff's* problen,
      not mine.

      >SJ>"And so, if you wish to ask the question of the ages-why do
      >>humans exist?-a major part of the answer, touching those aspects of the issue
      >>that science can treat at all, must be: because Pikaia survived the Burgess
      >>decimation. ... We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths
      >>in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes-one indifferent
      >>to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximal freedom to thrive, or to fail,
      >>in our own chosen way." (Gould S.J., "Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the
      >>Nature of History,"

      CL>A profound excursion starting from bad science. Gould has not the
      >least idea of how or whether Pikaia could be our ancestor. The thinking,
      >based on Pikaia's simplicity, is not distinct from that which would embrace the
      >biogenetic law.

      "Pikaia" was at the time (and still may be) the earliest chordate (i.e. of our phylum
      Chordata) found in the fossils of the Burgess Shale (immediately after the Cambrian
      Explosion). Gould's "Pikaia survived the Burgess decimation" is a shorthand way of
      saying that if the phylum Chordata had been wiped out (as others were) then we
      would not be here.

      CL>Enjoy the writing but let's not think that Gould has delivered the
      >evolutionary goods..


      Well, I certainly do "not think that Gould has delivered the *evolutionary*
      goods".

      CL>What the point is for the creationist who posted the
      >excerpt, I can't imagine.

      "What the point is for the creationist" (me) is the paleontological *facts*
      that Gould's writings and that "excerpt" contain.

      There is also the point (as the evolutionist Cartmill realised-see tagline)
      that from the evidence that "the evolution [sic] of human beings was
      fantastically improbable and that a host of unlikely events had to fall out
      in just the right way for intelligent life to emerge on this planet". Gould's
      "conclusion that that the universe is indifferent to our existence and that
      humans would never evolve a second time if we rewound time's
      videotape and started over" "One might well take this as a sign of God's
      hand at work in the evolutionary [sic] process", as in fact I do!

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      "In his book Wonderful Life, Stephen Jay Gould argues that the evolution
      of human beings was fantastically improbable and that a host of unlikely
      events had to fall out in just the right way for intelligent life to emerge on
      this planet. One might well take this as a sign of God's hand at work in the
      evolutionary process. Gould, however, bends his argument to the opposite
      conclusion that the universe is indifferent to our existence and that humans
      would never evolve a second time if we rewound time's videotape and
      started over. But to reach this conclusion, you have to assume the very
      thing that you are trying to prove: namely, that history isn't directed by
      God. If there is a God, whatever he wills happens by necessity. Because
      we can't really replay the same stretch of time to see if it always comes out
      the same way, science has no tests for the presence of God's will in
      history. Gould's conclusion is a profession of his religious beliefs, not a
      finding of science." (Cartmill M., "Oppressed by Evolution," Discover,
      Vol. 19, No. 3, March 1998.
      http://www.godlesshouston.com/library/darwin.htm)
      Stephen E. Jones, BSc (Biol). http://members.iinet.net.au/~sejones
      Blog: http://creationevolutiondesign.blogspot.com/ Book, "Problems of
      Evolution" http://members.iinet.net.au/~sejones/PoE/PoE00ToC.html
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