On Jul 6, 2006, at 10:56 PM, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:

Destroying your species runs counter to evolution. I'll rephrase that: everything that happens in nature is by definition in accordance with evolution, but those species that destroy themselves will die out, while those species that don't destroy themselves will thrive. Therefore, there will be selection for the species that don't destroy themselves, and eventually those species will come to predominate. When you think about it, the theory of evolution is essentially a tautology: those species which succeed, succeed.
 
Stathis Papaioannou



As a biologist I can't let this go - this is a common misunderstanding of the theory of evolution.  It contains a lot more than just "those species which succeed, succeed".  From EvoWiki:

"Grabbing one statement out of the whole evolution argument and calling it a tautology is like looking at a mathematical proof where the statement (a+b)*c = (a*c) + (b*c) is used, then denouncing the whole proof on the basis that (a+b)*c = (a*c) + (b*c) is a tautology. Tautologies are true. Therefore one can draw true conclusions from them. What is wrong with that?"

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