[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]
Re: Re. Progress
In a message dated 5/4/00 3:13:07 AM EST, email@example.com
<< This is a thorny philosophical problem that's been batted around for
years, and no one has come up with a satisfactory defense of the idea that
evolution is inherently progressive. >>
This is probably because nobody has >wanted< to deal with this issue, or
cannot face the fact that it really is just as simple as you describe.
Philosophers, like lawyers, get more joy (or, in the case of lawyers, more
money) out of circling around a position endlessly and in complicating it
beyond all reason than in actually disposing of an issue and going on to
something else. Indeed, you cannot get much simpler than bacteria, and that's
the ultimate reason evolution must inevitably generate more complicated life
forms, a situation that is easily understood as >progress<: there's basically
no place else to go. I find this a quite compelling explanation of the
inherence of progress in evolutionary lineages.
One of the beauties of natural selection as the driving mechanism behind
evolution is its utter simplicity as an explanation. Philosophers have spent
decades trying to find something more complicated, but so far they have
failed. The same is true of the notion of evolutionary progress and the
simple explanation behind it.