Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Understanding Evolution, the Daniel Dennett Way


From Daniel C. Dennett's:
Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon

I'm sure he does it just as well other places, it is actually kind of fun the way he drops this whole well crafted paragraph completely parenthetically at the bottom of page 120:

(Evolution it's all about processes that almost never happened. Every birth in every lineage is a potential speciation event, but speciation almost never happens, not once in a million births. Mutation in DNA almost never happens--not once in a trillion copyings-- but evolution depends on it. Take the set of infrequent accidents--things that almost never happen--and sort them into the happy accidents, the neutral accidents, and the fatal accidents; amplify the effects of the happy accidents--which happens automatically when you have replication and competition--and you get evolution.)

2 comments:

Karl said...

So, I take it that you've given up reading for "pleasure" (or more precisely, reading fiction for pleasure) unless it's on your crackberry while waiting for the bus. That's your right, of course, but I worry about you, my friend. So much hard work!

daddy_phantom said...

I need to put this link on the blog proper, but I have been enjoying LOTS of (audio and free) Science Fiction short stories on Escape Pod

Really keeps the brain going. Use it or lose it!

:-Dan