[ExI] Morality Meme vs.Rationality

ben benboc at lineone.net
Sun Dec 16 20:33:06 UTC 2007

"Stefan Pernar" <stefan.pernar at gmail.com> wrote:

> > You aren't going to get people to take your ideas seriously while you make
> > howlers like: "Evolution is the gradual accumulation of complexity".
> >
> > Seeing that right at the beginning greatly discouraged me from bothering
> > to read the rest.

> Hi Ben, not sure how to interprete your critique. I am probably wrong to
assume that you reject evolution in favor of intelligent design. Can you
elaborate in a bit more depth please? With that senetnce I wanted to
emphazise the gradual nature of evolution:

> "Complexity cannot spring up in a single stroke-of chance: that would be
like hitting upon the combination number that opens a bank vault. But a
whole series of tiny chance steps, if non-randomly selected, can build up
almost limitless complexity of adaptation.

No argument about the gradual nature of Evolution (and no, i'm not a creationist  :-D ). What i was objecting to was the concept (which i think is a common misconception) that evolution is about the building up of complexity. Just think of parasitic worms, to take one example. Evolution has simplified them, not complexified them.

The reason i called the statement "Evolution is the gradual accumulation of complexity" a howler, is that it seems to betray a misunderstanding of evolution. It's not _about_ 'building up complexity'. That does happen, but it doesn't have to. Different environments lead to different evolved characteristics. I doubt that you can explain viruses with a conception of evolution that only increases complexity and never reduces it.

ben zed

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