RE: Books on rationality

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Thu Jun 06 2002 - 20:27:52 MDT

Eliezer wrote:
> Speciation at least partially caused by genetic drift within
> isolated demes
> is already a known phenomenon in evolutionary theory. Please bear in mind
> that in modern culture - including modern scientific culture -
> there seem to
> be an amazing number of people, including the late Stephen J. Gould, who
> make their living attacking strawman versions of evolutionary theory.

I think that only a very small % of Stephen Jay Gould's work can fairly be
categorized that way.

Nearly all the "straw man" versions of evolutionary theory he attacked, were
versions that were actually published by evolutionary biologists in esteemed
journals. They became "straw man" versions, in many cases, AFTER Gould's
critiques were published and the biologists shifted their views accordingly!

> I am talking about design signatures such as a complex design necessarily
> having an incremental pathway of useful intermediates leading up to it.

Yeah, but this is not always true. Gould's work is the source for
counterexamples, e.g. a snake's detachable jaw. What's the intermediate?
No one knows, or has a good hypothesis...

The self-organization view of Lima de Faria explains speciation a little
better, but doesn't explain progressive improvement within a species as
well, in my opinion

-- Ben G

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