[Taxacom] teleology example

Richard Zander Richard.Zander at mobot.org
Fri Mar 8 15:33:25 CST 2013

Clearly most of us think that the author did not write "purpose" on

But then, do even humans really have purpose? Or are we just neurons
firing in concert following some higher pattern in the universe, and we
pretend we have free-will and . . . purpose? Perhaps we are all just
organic machines, and what we think is purpose is just reflex
machination? Or are we living in a big video game following the higher
purpose of a multidiminsional Xbox? 

This thread is actually quite bizarre. Whether you think about it . . .
or not.


Richard H. Zander
Missouri Botanical Garden, PO Box 299, St. Louis, MO 63166-0299 USA  
Web sites: http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/resbot/ and
Modern Evolutionary Systematics Web site:
UPS and FedExpr -  MBG, 4344 Shaw Blvd, St. Louis 63110 USA

-----Original Message-----
From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
[mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Curtis Clark
Sent: Wednesday, March 06, 2013 9:43 PM
To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] teleology example

On 2013-03-06 6:12 PM, John Grehan wrote:
> Here's a nice explicit example: "it's hard to see how these hair-like
> processes would evolve if they didn't serve a purpose."

"Purpose" is often used as an unfortunate substitute for "function" by 
biologists. Sloppy writing doesn't always mean sloppy thinking.

Curtis Clark        http://www.csupomona.edu/~jcclark
Biological Sciences                   +1 909 869 4140
Cal Poly Pomona, Pomona CA 91768

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