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Author Topic:   Does Evolution Require Spreading The Word?
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Message 131 of 135 (342838)
08-23-2006 6:19 PM
Reply to: Message 128 by jaywill
08-23-2006 3:29 PM

Clearing up some misunderstandings
Annafan writes:
One should also always keep in mind that the mechanism is not thought to be teleological and/or progressive. I.e. "further evolved" is not thought to be synonymous to "higher animal". (I noticed you used the term 'less than human' at some point)
jaywill writes:
If the process took place I wonder why there is no ready equal "competitors" so to speak at the most evolved end of the scale.
In your reply to Annafan, who pointed out the mistake you made, you repeated that exact same mistake. Allow me to explain it to you.
There is no "most evolved end of the scale". Humans are not "further evolved" than chimpanzees. More generally speaking, not one living creature is "further evolved" than any other living creature. In principle, the theory of evolution says that all creatures living now share one common ancestor. Current evidence suggests that that ancestor lived approximately 3.5 billion years ago. Logically, the conclusion is that all creatures are equally "far" evolved, they all have a "mileage" of 3.5 billion years worth of evolution on their "odometers".
Since evolution has no preset goals, as Annafan pointed out, you cannot say that a microbe has evolved "less far" than a human. They each have an ancestry going back 3.5 billion years. The only difference is that they took different paths. We are used to speaking of ourselves as "modern humans", in contrast to earlier species of the genus Homo, which we call "ancient humans", or something like that. Likewise, you should think of the current chimpanzees as "modern chimpanzees" in contrast to earlier species of the genus Pan, which are then "ancient chimpanzees".
In other words: current chimpanzees are just as "modern" as humans.
Annafan writes:
part of some people's "disbelief" is caused by this idea that it would require such staggering innumerable amount of precise coincidences to exactly produce Homo Sapiens, while this is not much different from the "incredible coincidence" someone feels when winning a lottery. It's only an "a posteriori" coincidence or improbability (?)
jaywill writes:
Somehow Annafan, this doesn't do much for my sense of the "incredible coincidence" of life arising in the first place. I know that a mighty chorus will say "Evolution is not about origins". It use to be. I think they backed off from that. And Darwin did call his book "Origin" of Species.
Indeed, he did. That's because he wanted to explain where the diversity of life, i.e. species came from, not life itself. He did not call it "The Origin of Life", did he?
I hope this clears things up a bit.
Edited by Parasomnium, : Spelling
Edited by Parasomnium, : No reason given.
Edited by Parasomnium, : No reason given.

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 Message 128 by jaywill, posted 08-23-2006 3:29 PM jaywill has not replied

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