Re: Gould and complexity

From: fudley (
Date: Fri Feb 04 2005 - 09:25:12 MST

On Thu, 3 Feb 2005 "Phil Goetz"

> We are not discussins dogs, chimps,
> or humans. We are discussing how
> evolution works.

I donít know about you but I am discussing if evolution tends over time
to produce some animals with more complexity than before. I donít care
what Gould says I think it does; if in the process of making these
advances it also produces organisms with less complexity that is an
unimportant byproduct. Most would say Shakespeare was a great writer but
like any writer I am sure from time to time he also wrote junk, however
he recognized it as such and threw it away himself or time did and the
junk faded into oblivion and we are left only with the great stuff.
Because of this we are justified in saying he was a genius ever if some,
or ever most, of the stuff he wrote was crap.

> What species you care about are irrelevant
> to this discussion.

I donít think so. I wonít go so far as to say the drive toward
complexity is the only reason evolution deserves serious study but it is
a very important reason. If evolution had never been able to produce
anything more complex than Mycoplasma genitalium and its 480 genes then
on the theoretical level evolution might still be a little more
interesting than the chemical processes involved in the vulcanization of
rubber, but not much.

John K Clark


This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Jul 17 2013 - 04:00:50 MDT