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Re: Unposted quotes: 2002-2004 #7 (was Unposted quotes: 2002-2004 #6 ...)

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  • Stephen E. Jones
    Group On Thu, 21 Jul 2005 02:58:02 -0700, Cliff Lundberg wrote: CL Without education, just working on his own, Spencer wrote Social ... You really cannot
    Message 1 of 2 , Jul 21, 2005
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      Group

      On Thu, 21 Jul 2005 02:58:02 -0700, Cliff Lundberg wrote:

      CL>Without education, just working on his own, Spencer wrote Social
      >Statics, a pioneering sociology text. Then he sat down cold and wrote
      >Principles of Psychology, which served as a standard text in the beginning years
      >of that science. Spencer learned science by scanning popular
      >magazines at his club, when not playing billiards. All he needed was to just
      >get the drift of new ideas--no point in scholarly drudgery. My kind of
      >guy. George Sand commented on his smooth brow, and he told her it was
      >because he had never been puzzled by anything.

      You really cannot "learn... science by scanning popular magazines." But
      you can be a science populariser/philosopher of science, which is what
      Spencer was (amongst other things).

      Spencer deserves credit for getting as far as he did, given his humble
      beginning. He was obviously highly intelligent and filled a niche with the
      public, but the growing professionalism of science overtook him.

      Interestingly, having coined the term "survival of the fittest" for natural
      selection, which Darwin adopted in later editions of his Origin of Species,
      Spencer came to regard "natural selection" as "an "untenable hypothesis":

      "Struggling to differentiate himself from Darwin, Spencer said that
      the concept of natural selection was an "untenable hypothesis,"
      basically because of what he called the assumption that it could
      "pick out and select any small advantageous trait; while it can, in
      fact, pick out no traits, but can only further the development of
      traits which, *in marked ways*, increase the general fitness for the
      conditions of existence." Spencer argued that it was not shown
      how the slight variations posited by Darwin actually were
      providing an advantage." (Spencer H., "The Inadequacy of Natural
      Selection," Popular Science Monthly, Vol. 42, April 1893, pp.799-
      813, in Caudill E., "Darwinian Myths: The Legends and Misuses of
      a Theory," The University of Tennessee Press: Knoxville TN,
      1997, p.71. Emphasis in original)

      BTW Cliff, there is a lot about Spencer in Caudill's book. He had a large
      following in the USA through the pages of Popular Science Monthly. IIRC
      Spencer was a major influence (bad) on the USA eugenics movement.
      Also IIRC he was a right-wing extremist who had a major influence (bad)
      in Britain in welfare and mental health.

      Here is what the atheist Simon Blackburn thinks of Spencer (I like
      Huxley's comment "that Spencer's definition of a tragedy was a deduction
      killed by a fact":

      "Spencer, Herbert (1820- 1903) English philosopher of evolution.
      Spencer was born in Derby of radical Wesleyan parents, and
      suffered a sporadic education, leaving him largely self-taught. His
      early individualism is recorded in the story that, having been sent
      to school with an uncle in Somerset at the age of thirteen, he ran
      away, returning to Derby in three days, by walking 48 miles the
      first day, 47 the second, and about 20 the third, with little food and
      no sleep. He became involved in radical politics, and from 1848
      worked in London on the journal the Economist, becoming known
      in literary- and narrowly failing to become a suitor of the novelist
      George Eliot. His health growing precarious, he lived on small
      legacies and then on the considerable proceeds of his writings. His
      first major work was the book Social Statics (1851), which
      advocates an extreme Political *libertarianism. The Principles of
      Psychology was published in 1855, and his very influential
      Education advocating natural development of intelligence, the
      creation of pleasurable interest, and the importance of science in
      the curriculum, appeared in 1861. In 1857 he began to plan a vast
      system of philosophy, which, after Darwin's publication of the
      Origin of Species in 1859, turned into a scheme for a synthesis of
      the whole of scientific knowledge based upon the principles of
      evolution. His First Principles (1862) was followed over the
      succeeding years by volumes on the Principles of biology,
      psychology (recasting the earlier work of the same title), sociology,
      and ethics. Although he attracted a large public following and
      attained the stature of a sage, his speculative work has not lasted
      well, and in his own time there were dissident voices. T. H. Huxley
      said that Spencer's definition of a tragedy was a deduction killed by
      a fact; *Carlyle called him a perfect vacuum, and *James wondered
      why half of England wanted to bury him in Westminster Abbey,
      and talks of the `hurdy-gurdy monotony of him ... his whole system
      wooden, as if knocked together out of cracked hemlock boards'
      (Pragmatism, p. 39)." (Blackburn S., "The Oxford Dictionary of
      Philosophy," [1994], Oxford University Press: Oxford UK, 1996,
      p.359)

      Steve

      PS: Here is another ~30K of unposted quotes!

      --------------------------------------------------------------------------
      "Teleology in nature is the idea that organisms have a final end toward
      which they aim; and that the development of the organism can be
      explained in terms of its final form. This doctrine is immediately
      appealing when we look at the natural world, and still dominates the way
      in which most people speak about nature. Why do birds have hollow
      bones? So that they are light enough to be able to fly Why do plants have
      flowers? So they can germinate. This kind of explanation, which has been
      commonly accepted since ancient Greek times, has traditionally been seen
      to fit nicely with Christian theology. Since plants need to germinate, it
      made sense that God would make them with flowers; and the efficient
      functioning of the flowers was taken to be evidence of God's wisdom in
      planning and designing nature. Darwin, however, denied design, or the
      force of any intelligence or purpose behind the development of new organs
      and separate species." (Birkett K., "Darwin and the fundamentalists," in
      Birkett K., ed., "The Myths of Science," Matthias Media: Kingsford NSW,
      Australia, 2003, pp.113-114)

      "An important reason Crick changed to biology, he said to me, was that he
      is an atheist, and was impatient to throw light into the remaining shadowy
      sanctuaries of vitalistic illusions. `... I looked around for fields which
      would illuminate this particular point of view, against vitalism. ... The
      particular field which excites my interest is the division between the living
      and the non-living, as typified by, say, proteins, viruses, bacteria and the
      structure of chromosomes. The eventual goal, which is somewhat remote,
      is the description of these activities in terms of their structure, i.e. the
      spatial distribution of their constituent atoms, in so far as this may prove
      possible. This might be called the chemical physics of biology.'" (Judson
      H.F., "The Eighth Day of Creation: Makers of the Revolution in Biology,"
      Simon and Schuster: New York NY, 1979, pp.109-110)

      "A particular trouble with organic molecules is that they only self-
      assemble properly when they are fairly large. Only then will there be a
      sufficient overall cohesion between the molecules, or between the parts of
      a foldable molecule. ... But large molecules are difficult to come by,
      especially at the kinds of concentration and purity needed for precise self-
      assembly processes. The massive objections that there are to the idea that
      good supplies of nucleotides could have been pre-arranged by the
      primitive Earth (chapter 6) apply with a similar force to almost any organic
      molecule of that sort of size - the sort of minimum size needed for organic
      molecules to be able to self-assemble in water into higher-order
      structures." (Cairns-Smith A.G., 2000, "Seven Clues to the Origin of Life:
      A Scientific Detective Story", Cambridge University Press: Cambridge
      UK, pp. 72-3)

      "From the study of planetary atmospheres, we have learned that a habitable
      planet like ours is an improbable object. Small differences in planetary
      origins led to widely divergent evolutionary paths. A planet a little too
      close to the Sun becomes hot and dry like Venus; a planet a little too far
      away grows cold and dry like Mars. Too large a planet captures a massive
      atmosphere like those of Jupiter and Saturn; too small a planet ends up
      with no atmosphere at all, like Mercury and the Moon. The requirements
      for habitability are stringent indeed." (Skinner B.J. & Porter S.C., The
      Dynamic Earth: An Introduction to Physical Geology," [1989], Wiley:
      New York, Third Edition, 1995, p.522)

      "... communication should also be considered when theorizing on the
      origin of life. Coding: Even the `origin of life biologists' cannot now
      conceive that the smallest piece of protein was independent of an
      equivalent piece of code instruction, so that coding was there at the
      beginning. They would say indeed, In the beginning was the Code.' We
      have demonstrated that the smallest working unit of life could not be `bits'
      of the machinery, perhaps not even of something bigger like the virus,
      because it is not complete in itself but has to practise symbiosis with
      bacteria. Therefore the first code for the production of the simplest form of
      life must have been a DNA tape of considerable length. The subjects
      covered by chapters of technology must have been almost as many at they
      first appearance of life as with us, because all the basics of the machinery
      had to be coded for. It is only the elaboration of those chapters which has
      been the feature of what some call evolution. Recoding: we have seen that
      the more recent knowledge of fossils demonstrates that ... there was a long
      line of `common ancestors' before Homo sapiens and before each of the
      other types, whose fossils have not been discovered. [This] ... is in itself a
      difficulty, especially now that it is known that each of the known types of
      fossil-men had a worldwide spread, and was also associated with certain
      stone-tool cultures. There are no tool cultures associated with any
      undiscovered and supposed common ancestor. It would seem more
      reasonable to suppose that the DNA of the cells had been recoded for
      Homo sapiens at least. This would explain the common unity of Adam's
      cells with all other life. It would also explain the existence of
      specializations in the various earlier types of men, for it is these
      specializations which were not passed on to the other types which make
      anthropologists think that they could not be genetically linked in a linear
      fashion. When we look at the fossil record of plants and animals we see a
      similar picture." (Pearce E.K.V., "Who Was Adam?," Paternoster: Exeter:
      Devon UK, 1969, pp.128-129).

      "The basis of biological design (again, creationist and evolutionist agree)
      is coding. The biological world is packed with intricate, cooperative
      mechanisms that depend on encoded instructions for their development,
      functioning and mutual interaction. Were the codes designed, or did they
      evolve? Information theorists know that complex, meaningful codes do
      not occur spontaneously. Intelligent input is needed; spontaneity breeds
      randomness, and randomness destroys both order and meaning. Engineers
      too know that their designs are not the product of chance, but of that most
      powerful anti-randomizer - thought. The logic, says the creationist, runs
      strongly counter to the self-contradictory notion of chance-built design. No
      law of physics or chemistry has yielded a single principle of naturalistic
      innovation, information increase or functional integration. Left to
      themselves, things become more random and less tidy. The more complex
      the system, the more elaborate the design needed to keep randomness at
      bay. Reason tells us to accept the straightforward argument and the simple
      interpretation. For creationists, teleology, the doctrine of design or
      preordained purpose, has the merit of simplicity. They accept it with grace,
      and shamelessly flout the taboo that forbids biologists to acknowledge
      purpose and deliberate design in nature." (Pitman M., "Adam and
      Evolution," Rider & Co: London, 1984, pp.27-28)

      ".... even if the conditions under which life originated could be known, this
      information would shed no light on the nature of life. Assuming it could
      be demonstrated, for example, that the first living organisms arose from
      non-living chemical aggregates, or 'hypercycles' of chemical processes, in
      a Primaeval Broth, this would not prove that they were entirely
      mechanistic. Organicists would always be able to argue that new
      organismic properties emerged, and vitalists that the vital factor entered
      into the first living system precisely when it first came to life. The same
      arguments would apply even if living organisms were ever to be
      synthesized artificially from chemicals in a test tube." (Sheldrake R., "A
      New Science of Life: The Hypothesis of Morphic Resonance," [1981],
      Park Street Press: Rochester VT, 1995, reprint, p.25)

      "Limitations of physical explanation. The mechanistic theory postulates
      that all the phenomena of life, including human behaviour, can in principle
      be explained in terms of physics. Apart from any problems that might arise
      from the particular theories of modern physics, or from conflicts between
      them, this postulate is problematical for at least two fundamental reasons.
      First, the mechanistic theory could only be valid if the physical world were
      causally closed. In relation to human behaviour, this would be the case if
      mental states either had no reality at all, or were in some sense identical to
      physical states of the body, or ran parallel to them, or were epiphenomena
      of them. But if on the other hand the mind were non-physical and yet
      causally efficacious, capable of interacting with the body, then human
      behaviour could not be fully explained in physical terms. ... Second, the
      attempt to account for mental activity in terms of physical science involves
      a seemingly inevitable circularity, because science itself depends on
      mental activity. This problem has become apparent within modern physics
      in connection with the role of the observer in processes of physical
      measurement; the principles of physics 'cannot even be formulated without
      referring (though in some versions only implicitly) to the impressions -
      and thus to the minds - of the observers'" (Sheldrake R., "A New Science
      of Life: The Hypothesis of Morphic Resonance," [1981], Park Street Press:
      Rochester VT, 1995, reprint, pp.25-26)

      "One could still argue that, unlikely as it is, RNA did emerge by chance.
      after all, a billion years is a long time. But the arguments against RNA
      emerging first are certainly strong enough to look at another possibility:
      that proteins came before both RNA and DNA. The idea here is that the
      long road to humans began with the formation of chains of amino acids
      long enough to do something interesting - that is, to form proteins big
      enough to act as enzymes to catalyse reactions. Miller-type experiments,
      using more realistic simulations of the primordial Earth, can produce tiny
      amounts of some amino acids. The question now arises of how many
      amino acids we need to put together to produce an enzyme. Not many at
      all seems to be the answer - even single amino acids can to some extent act
      as catalysts. However, the odds against even forming a small number of
      enzymes, each made up of its own complement of amino acids, is so huge
      it seems unlikely to have come about at random within the billion years we
      have allotted ourselves. But if we turn a blind eye to this problem, the idea
      of proteins coming first seems to have quite a lot going for it." (Matthews
      R.A.J., "Unravelling the Mind of God: Mysteries at the Frontier of
      Science," [1992], Virgin Books: London, 1993, pp.60-61)

      "Some origin-of-life researchers believe that current thinking is not radical
      enough. For example, Dr Graham Cairns-Smith of Glasgow University has
      put forward a theory based on the idea that crystals may have a crude form
      of replicating ability. Here 'genes' would consist of particular arrangements
      of crystal structure, and it is these patterns that would be passed on,
      generation to generation. Cairns Smith's ideas centre on the crystalline
      character of clays but, so far `crystal genes' have yet to be demonstrated
      even in the laboratory." (Matthews R.A.J., "Unravelling the Mind of God:
      Mysteries at the Frontier of Science," [1992], Virgin Books: London,
      1993, p.61)

      "I should also say here that I have no professional qualifications of any
      kind for writing about Darwinism. I am not a biologist: merely a former
      professional philosopher, who happens to have both 40 odd years'
      acquaintance with Darwinian literature, and a strong distaste for ridiculous
      slanders on our species. These are evidently not ideal qualifications for
      criticising Darwinian views of man. But on the other hand, Darwinism is
      not yet so arcane a branch of science that criticism of it by an outsider can
      be automatically assumed to he incompetent." (Stove D.C., "Darwinian
      Fairytales," Avebury: Aldershot UK, 1995, p.viii).

      "The Uniqueness of Man. Even if Davis's argument were valid, it would
      still imply that man is in a special relation to God, since, from among all
      possible creatures, Christ chose to take on the specific nature of man. This
      brings us to a further argument against ETs: the special position of man in
      the universe. According to Genesis 1, man alone was created in the image
      of God, and man alone was appointed to have dominion over creation.
      Even stars were created primarily to serve as lights and signs for man.
      Finally, at the end of times, Christ returns to the earth, the abode of man,
      to judge living and dead. Man is to judge the angels (1 Cor. 6:3). The New
      Jerusalem comes down from heaven to earth [Rev. 3:12; 21:2]. All this
      reinforces the special place of man in God's creation." (Byl J., "God And
      Cosmos: A Christian View of Time, Space, And The Universe," Banner of
      Truth: Edinburgh UK, 2001, pp.123-124)

      "It is the heritage of terrestrial life that violent events and truly hostile
      environments preceded it. The violent events of these times may have
      determined the final abundance of water and carbon dioxide, two
      compounds that play crucial roles in the ability of Earth to maintain an
      environment where we can survive. It is interesting to speculate about
      what would have happened if the final abundance of these had varied. If
      Earth had had just a little more water, continents would not extend above
      sea level. Had there been more CO2, Earth would probably have remained
      too hot to host life, much like Venus." (Ward P.D. & Brownlee D., "Rare
      Earth: Why Complex Life is Uncommon in the Universe," Copernicus:
      New York, 2000, p.51-52)

      "He made another discovery: the species differed from island to island,
      even though many of the islands were only fifty or sixty miles apart. His
      attention was first drawn to this by comparing the mocking-thrushes shot
      on various islands, but then Mr Lawson, an Englishman who was acting as
      vice-governor of the archipelago, remarked that he could tell by one look
      at a tortoise which island it came from. Thus the tortoises of Albemarle
      Island had a different sort of shell from those on Chatham, and both
      differed again from those on James. With the little finches these effects
      were still more marked. The finches were dull to look at, and made dreary
      unmusical sounds; all had short tails, built nests with roofs, and laid white
      eggs spotted with pink, four to a clutch. Their plumage varied within
      limits: it ranged from lava black to green, according to their habitat. (It
      was not only the finches that were so dully feathered; with the exception of
      a yellow-breasted wren and a scarlet-tufted flycatcher none of the birds
      had the usual gaudy colouring of the tropics.) But it was the number of
      different species of finch, and the variety of their beaks, that so amazed
      Darwin. On one island they had developed strong thick beaks for cracking
      nuts and seeds, on another the beak was smaller to enable the bird to catch
      insects, on another again the beak was adjusted to feeding on fruits and
      flowers. There was even a bird that had learned how to use a cactus spine
      to probe grubs out of holes. .. Somewhere here a great principle was
      involved. Naturally Darwin did not grasp the full implications of it all at
      once; for instance, he makes little mention of the finches in the first
      published edition of his journal, yet the subject of their diversity and
      modification later became one of the great arguments in his theory of
      natural selection." (Moorehead A., "Darwin and the Beagle," [1969],
      Penguin: Harmondsworth UK, 1971, pp.201-202)

      "One consequence of misconceiving science as dealing in fact, or as
      capable of dealing in fact, is that science or scientists get criticized when
      they fail to deliver certainty or when they change their minds. The
      fundamentalist extremists who maintain the Earth to be only about 10,000
      years old have committed this absurdity: science's current estimate of the
      Earth's age, they have suggested, is not to be relied upon because scientific
      estimates have changed so much over the years; why then should the latest
      estimate be thought trustworthy? Now as a point of principle that cannot
      be gainsaid. But the point is not the absolute reliability of the latest
      scientific estimate; rather, it is to compare the creationists' estimate with
      the scientific one. The latter was envisaged, in the nineteenth century, as
      hundreds of millions of years or more (except for the overly simplistic
      calculation of between 20 and 100 million years by the physicist Kelvin,
      toward the end of the century). For at least the past 80 years the Earth's age
      has been gauged in billions of years, largely consistent with evidence
      about the universe as a whole, as well as with information about the solar
      system as a whole, as well as with many indications of the Earth's own
      history. A rather coherent story, then, suggests billions of years; and that
      estimate has varied by no more than a factor of four over several decades;
      and the likelihood that it will change by as much as another factor of ten in
      the future, let alone by a factor of a hundred, is very small indeed. By
      contrast, the creationists have no direct evidence to support their assertion
      of about 10,000 years: all their arguments are negative ones, aimed
      principally at discrediting what science says." (Bauer H.H., "Scientific
      Literacy and the Myth of the Scientific Method," [1992], University of
      Illinois Press: Urbana & Chicago IL, 1994, reprint, p.66)

      "The probability is clearly very high that the scientific view is more correct
      than the creationist one *on this particular point* for the sort of reasons
      just given. But that does not make it legitimate to assert that no one should
      take the creationist view. If a person wants to believe something that is
      exceedingly improbable, it would seem to be an in alienable human right
      to be permitted to do so, just so long as it does not harm others; and
      creationist belief hardly threatens to do that. (It must be noted, however,
      that the actions of some creationists are admittedly intended to influence
      the education of children-harmfully, in the view of a number of people.
      But there can be dispute over what actions should be taken about
      education without ruling as illegitimate the beliefs of one of the parties.)
      Quite in general, it is not the case that, because science has changed its
      mind in the past, therefore it might change its mind again *in any direction
      and by any amount*. But it is also not the case that scientific opinion is
      necessarily always better than popular belief." (Bauer H.H., "Scientific
      Literacy and the Myth of the Scientific Method," [1992], University of
      Illinois Press: Urbana & Chicago IL, 1994, reprint, p.66. Emphasis in
      original)

      "Popular belief and anthropology texts alike agree that slow, even change
      over millions of years gradually transformed the ape-man of the African
      savanna into our present selves; but let us look briefly at the fossil record
      itself. ... We do not see constant progressive brain enlargement through
      time, or a climb to a more completely human posture. We see instead new
      `ideas,' like upright posture, developed fully from the outset." (Eldredge N.
      & Tattersall I., "The Myths of Human Evolution," Columbia University
      Press: New York NY, 1982, pp.7-8)

      "Darwin then touches a very important problem: `It may be well here to
      remark that with all beings there must be much fortuitous destruction,
      which can have little or no influence on the course of natural selection. ...
      If the numbers be wholly kept down by the causes just indicated, as will
      often have been the case, natural selection will be powerless in certain
      beneficial directions ... 29 (Darwin C., "The Origin of Species," John
      Murray: London, Sixth Edition, 1872, pp.68-69). By `fortuitous
      destruction' Darwin means elimination before the individual has had the
      possibility to hold their own in the competition for reproduction. And at
      must apply not only to eggs and seeds, but also to the young ones until
      they have reached maturity. So Darwin was right: the overwhelming part
      of the elimination which (Lovtrup S., "Darwinism: The Refutation of a
      Myth," Croom Helm: London, 1987, p.115)

      "Development or evolution, then, definitely implies the culmination of a
      process of change in the establishment of a state of things which is
      relatively *new*, and implies, further, that the relatively new state of
      things may truly be regarded as the end or completion of this special
      process of change. Thus the fundamental peculiarity of all evolutionary
      ideas is that they are essentially *teleological*; the changes which are
      evolutions are all changes thought of as throughout relative to an *end* or
      *result*. Except in so far as a process of change is thus essentially relative
      to the *result* in which it culminates, there is no sense in calling it a
      development. ... This essentially teleological character of development is
      emphasised in the language of the biological sciences by the constant use
      of the concepts of progress and degeneration. For biology an evolution is
      essentially a process either in the progressive or in the regressive direction.
      Every evolution is an advance to a "higher" or a decline to a "lower" state
      of development. Now progress and regress are only possible where the
      process of change is regarded as throughout relative to the *end* to be
      attained by the process. Exactly how we conceive this end, which serves
      us as a standard for distinguishing progress from degeneration, is a
      secondary question; the point of fundamental importance is that, except in
      reference to such an end, there can be no distinction at all between
      progressive and retrogressive change. Thus, unless there are really ends in
      the physical order which determine the processes of change that culminate
      in their actual establishment, evolution cannot be real. If the ends, by the
      establishment of which we estimate progress in development, are merely
      arbitrary standards of our own to which nothing in external reality
      corresponds, then the physical order must really be a mere succession of
      changes which are in no true sense developments, and the whole concept
      of nature as marked by development will be a mere human delusion. And,
      on the contrary, if there is any truth in the great scientific conceptions of
      evolution, there must be real ends in the physical order." (Taylor A.E.,
      "Elements of Metaphysics," [1903], Methuen: London, 1961, reprint,
      pp.268-269. Emphasis in original)

      "I have been trying to think of the earth as a kind of organism. but it is no
      go. I cannot think of it this way. It is too big, too complex, with too many
      working parts lacking visible connections. The other night, driving
      through a hilly, wooded part of southern New England, I wondered about
      this. If not like an organism, what is it like, what is it most like? Then,
      satisfactorily for that moment, it came to me: it is *most* like a single
      cell." (Thomas L., "The Lives of a Cell: Notes of a Biology Watcher,"
      [1974], Futura: London, 1976, reprint, p.4. Emphasis in original)

      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
      --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    • Cliff Lundberg
      From: Stephen E. Jones ... A valid criticism, given the then current model of blending inheritance. Spencer didn t try to protect
      Message 2 of 2 , Jul 21, 2005
      • 0 Attachment
        From: "Stephen E. Jones" <sejones@...>

        > "Struggling to differentiate himself from Darwin, Spencer said
        > that
        > the concept of natural selection was an "untenable hypothesis,"
        > basically because of what he called the assumption that it could
        > "pick out and select any small advantageous trait; while it can,
        > in
        > fact, pick out no traits, but can only further the development
        > of
        > traits which, *in marked ways*, increase the general fitness for
        > the
        > conditions of existence." Spencer argued that it was not shown
        > how the slight variations posited by Darwin actually were
        > providing an advantage." (Spencer H., "The Inadequacy of Natural
        > Selection," Popular Science Monthly, Vol. 42, April 1893,
        > pp.799-
        > 813, in Caudill E., "Darwinian Myths: The Legends and Misuses of
        > a Theory," The University of Tennessee Press: Knoxville TN,
        > 1997, p.71. Emphasis in original)

        A valid criticism, given the then current model of blending
        inheritance.
        Spencer didn't try to protect evolution against logical arguments.

        > "... narrowly failing to become a suitor of the novelist
        > George Eliot. (Blackburn S., "The Oxford Dictionary of
        > Philosophy,"

        I erroneously said it was George Sand, the other female George,
        who
        inspired Eliot enough to copy the name. I can understand being a
        suitor
        and narrowly failing, but it seems odd to 'narrowly fail to become
        a suitor'.
        IIRC they had a conversation on a boat, but Spencer didn't care
        for her looks, which he admitted was something vitally important
        to him.
        (I hope he didn't tell her this to her face).

        > (Sheldrake R., "A New Science of Life: The Hypothesis of
        > Morphic Resonance," [1981], Park Street Press: Rochester VT,
        > 1995,
        > reprint, p.25)

        I like Sheldrake and had some correspondence with him in the 80's.
        He understood that there were problems, but his solutions were not
        interesting to me. But 'morphic resonance' is reminiscent of
        Bateson's
        'vibratory' theory of morphological shape-generation.

        Cliff
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