[Taxacom] Teleology Revisited
aphodiinaemate at gmail.com
Tue Mar 12 07:39:29 CDT 2013
Nobody is banning panbiogeography John. Try and relax a bit, enough
blood has been spilt.
On 12 March 2013 11:36, John Grehan <calabar.john at gmail.com> wrote:
> It's not such a rhetorical question. After banning words and sentences one
> can go for banning entire research programs. This has actually happened as
> Waters et al have recently published an article in Systematic Zoology
> calling for the banning of panbiogeography. Another example is a molecular
> biologist (Stoneking) making a similar assertion about the publication of
> non-molecular reconstructions that call into question what has been deemed
> settled science by molecular theorists (in this case the supposed fact of
> chimps as our nearest living relatives). This brave new science world is
> already upon us (probably always has).
> John Grehan
> On Mon, Mar 11, 2013 at 9:26 AM, <Robinwbruce at aol.com> wrote:
>> For my part I have found this a fascinating thread.
>> The idea of banning words would have perplexed Alice. Just which
>> rabbit-hole did she go down she must wonder! And after banning words, do
>> we ban
>> sentences? And then......?
>> The problem to me seems to be just what is the theory of evolution? Is it
>> science, belief or metaphysics, or a combination of two or three, or yet
>> more unstated categories?
>> Popper some time ago categorized evolution as a 'metaphysical research
>> programme'. This categorization did not last I believe, for reasons I do
>> know, but I have not pursued its demise.
>> To me evolution seems to be a cosmology or a cosmogony, or perhaps more
>> precisely a geo-gony, as we have no empirical evidence for life beyond the
>> Earth. Life seems to be immanent on Earth. And how does life present
>> itself on
>> Earth? Always, it seems to me, as organisms, not as liquids, gasses,
>> compounds, molecules, ideas, information or dreams, but as concrete
>> And organisms - what is their nature? Well they come into being from
>> previously existing organisms, and go out of being, hopefully leaving
>> issue in
>> the form of... well you have guessed it........organisms. One can of course
>> take a gene-centric view of the organism, but equally one can take an
>> organism-centric view of the gene. The world of organisms revolves around
>> exclamation of 'the king is dead, long live the king'; this is true for
>> houses but also kingfish and king snakes, otherwise no kings........... no
>> It is easy (and fun) to parody excessive pan-selectionism, Dr. Pangloss
>> again. But what would excessive pan-structuralism look like? Would it be a
>> world where nothing changes? This suggests to me that we are looking at
>> problem from the wrong viewpoint.
>> All of this reminds me of the conversation between Wittgenstein and
>> Anscombe, about the shift from a geocentric world view of the heavens to a
>> heliocentric one, based on analyses by three-dimensional geometry. What had
>> changed in the change of world view..........the heavens, or our
>> perception of
>> the heavens?
>> In 1916, E. S. Russell wrote; 'It may well be that the intransigent
>> materialism of the 19th century is merely an episode, an aberration
>> rather, in
>> the history of biology - an aberration brought about by the over-rapid
>> development of a materialistic and luxurious civilisation, in which man's
>> material means have outrun his mental and moral growth.' Form and
>> Function, a
>> Contribution to the History of Animal Morphology. Well, 100 years on we
>> in the same hole, and still digging..............time methinks to look
>> the edge of the hole, perhaps?
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