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Re: Re. Progress



I haven't been able to follow all of this debate, but
I know someone has already referred to Stephen Gould,
(who appeared in the background of the latest Simpsons
episode to air in Australia last night), and the
section of his book Life's Grandeur (as it was titled
in most Commonwealth countries) entitled The Modal
Bacter does make a good argument that life on Earth
was, is and will be predominately bacterial.

I do wonder if our belief in progress has more to do
with human needs and fears than with objective
reckoning. We desperately need to feel that there is
'some point' to our existence. I think this is
something that lies behind the 'multi-regional'
hypothesis for human evolution - there has to be
something special that absolutely seperates us from
every other living thing, so much so that we can't
have evolved like other animals, when of course we are
just another animal species subject to the same
contingent universe as everything else.

Garth



--- Dinogeorge@aol.com wrote:
> In a message dated 5/4/00 3:13:07 AM EST,
> chris.lavers@nottingham.ac.uk 
> writes:
> 
> << And the 'we started off with prokaryotes and
> ended up with elephants'
>  argument has never stood up (and certainly not as a
> bald assertion based on
>  opinion).  >>
> 
> This is, of course, emphatically not the situation.
> We started off with 
> prokaryotes and ended up with prokaryotes >and<
> elephants (and >lots< of 
> other kinds of organisms besides). The prokaryotes
> didn't just bow out when 
> the elephants arrived.

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