RE: Books on rationality

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Thu Jun 06 2002 - 18:28:46 MDT

eliezer wrote:
> But evolution makes very specific
> > predictions which are not made by the alternate hypotheses of either
> > intelligent design or Lamarckian adaptation about what *kind* of
> > designs we
> > expect to see - incrementally evolvable ones - and very tightly
> constrains
> > the space of what we expect to see relative to alternative
> > hypotheses. Each
> > and every time new observations fall within that very tight space
> > and unique
> > design signature predicted by evolution, and not the spaces and
> signatures
> > predicted by Lamarckian inheritance or intelligent design, the theory of
> > evolution racks up another successful ante facto prediction.

You should read the book "Evolution without Selection" by A. Lima de Faria
(who is not a scientific creationist).

He makes a good case for the plausibility of the origin of species as a
purely self-organization-driven phenomenon, with no fitness-based selection.

Wolfram, in the chapter on evolution in his recent book, makes a much weaker
argument in the same direction.

I tend to think Lima de Faria and Wolfram both overstate the case (and that
both self-organization and natural selection play huge roles), BUT, Lima de
Faria's careful analysis of evidence definitely contradicts your assertion
that observed species and fossils bear a "unique design signature" of
evolution. Self-organization would have about the same design signature,
unlike Lamarckian evolution or intelligent design.

-- ben g

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