Today is Charles Darwin's 200th birthday (the 150th anniversay of the
publication of "On the Origin of Species", and we Americans at least
are also celebrating the 200th birthday of Abraham Lincoln.
Perhaps at this milestone it would be good to bring up the question,
What bearing does Darwin's legacy have on the topic here on the
Everything List? Of course that begs the question, What is Darwin's
Yesterday I heard an interview on the radio regarding the many faces
of Lincoln, that there have been many interpretations of Lincoln's
life and accomplishments, and his legacy. I think the same is true of
One difference that I have observed, to put it in words sometimes used
on this List, is in whether or not the first person experience is
accepted as a reality that cannot be reduced to a third person view.
Perhaps on the "no first/third person disctinction" side of this fence
is Dennet, as in his book Darwin's Dangerous Idea, where he maintains
that the whole process of evolution, and in fact all of reality, can
be reduced to an algorithm. On the other side of the fence might be
Gould, or the biologist Carl Woese, as in his paper "A New Biology for
a New Century". Another way to state this difference is to say that
the mind/body problem is is/is not solvable. If it is, then perhaps
reductionism is valid, and this would shed a different light on the
Everything problem. It it is not, this would shed a different light
on the whole thing.
Any thoughts on this deep and wide arena?
P.S. I'm hoping this doesn't start a rant against anti-science views,
of which I am not a holder. There is something far deeper going on
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