[ExI] Etymology of Critter's Dilemma

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Fri Aug 22 05:38:15 UTC 2008

BillK writes

> Lee wrote:
>> Honestly, a quick glance through this paper proves to
>> me with about 90% probability that the reasoning and
>> inferences drawn are completely fallacious.
>> The basic reason is quite simple: the authors fail to account
>> for a rather powerful theory developed in the late 1850's
>> by the English biologist Charles Darwin, who suggested that
>> species evolve to occupy "niches"...
> Heh! :)

Glad you saw the humor, thanks.

> Besides, your definition of niches, seems to be saying that after
> years of evolution everything is now fixed in its own niche in the
> best of all possible worlds. It's not like that at all. Evolution is
> ongoing now. The battle is a dynamic struggle that goes on every day.

Oh yes, I know.

>> We may very well in this paper see the unwholesome effects
>> of projecting human psychological processes into the minds
>> of, say, insects.
> No, they are studying populations and reporting what they find.

[out of textual order]
> Possibly your dismissal of a whole field of study is a reflection of
> your cursory scan of this article. Reread and Google?

Oh, that's quite possible. But would you mind supplying
a reason why this "excess fear" would be maintained in
that niche? 

Besides, can you explain in a single sentence to many who
may be wondering (as I am) just how they're able to 
assess the level of "fear" in these creatures?

> It is a dynamic process. Environments are 'slightly different' from day to day.
> Species rise and fall with changes in the weather, etc.

Why, sure, but species don't change their genetic characteristics
day by day, nor (unless the conditions are extreme and the
lifespan very short) even in months.


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