Re: Gould and complexity

From: fudley (fuddley@fastmail.fm)
Date: Thu Feb 03 2005 - 08:54:33 MST


On Wed, 2 Feb 2005 "Phil Goetz"

> It seems to me that you haven't read the book.

It seems to me you are wrong.

> it is as likely that a simpler organism will be
> better-adapted, as that a more complex organism
> will be better-adapted.

I donít have a problem with that, but itís the ones that do lead to
complexity that interest me.

> Most species, and most organisms, are near
> this left wall.

The simplest organism is tiny even by bacteria standards and is called
Mycoplasma genitalium; it only has 480 genes. The phenomena you describe
is significant for this animal because any change that brought on less
complexity would likely not be compatible with life outside of a test
tube. But nobody gives a damn about Mycoplasma genitalium and all other
organisms are far far more complex; yeast are astronomically more
complex as are most bacteria.

> Dogs and horses and chimps and humans are only a tiny,
> tiny fraction of the great mass of species

And a they huge fraction of the species I care about, you too Iíll
wager.

John K Clark



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