evolution [was Re: An assessment of the Unicode standard]

r rt8396 at gmail.com
Wed Sep 2 19:34:06 CEST 2009

On Sep 2, 4:41 am, Steven D'Aprano
<ste... at REMOVE.THIS.cybersource.com.au> wrote:
> > No evolution awards those that benefit evolution. You make it seem as
> > evolution is some loving mother hen, quite the contrary! Evolution is
> > selfish, greedy, and sometimes evil. And it will endure all of us...
> > remember the old cliche "Nice guys finish last"?
> This is Not Even Wrong. Evolution isn't a *thing*, it is a *process*.
> Nothing exists to "benefit evolution", that's like saying that horses
> have long legs to "benefit running" or people have lungs to "benefit
> breathing".

Well horses do have long and well evolved legs for running and humans
lungs for breathing, and they have them because it benefits them which
in turn benefits evolution. the buck stops with evolution.

> "R" is utterly confused if he thinks species live or die according to
> because they're benefiting evolution. Species live or die according to
> whether or not they reproduce,

Dear God i hate the current "progress" of evolution if reproduction
guaranteed survival. I think it is just a "wee" bit more complicated
than that Steven. *wink*

> (This sort of nonsense, anthropomorphizing the process of evolution,
> seems to be unique to those on the right-wing of politics. Go figure.)

Uh? let's not go there. Leave politics corrupting influence out of

> Steve (the other Steve) is right -- species which are incapable of
> dealing with the complexity and dynamism of the world are doomed to
> extinction. Biologists have a word for stasis: "dead". The most vigorous,
> lively ecosystems are those that are complex, like rain forests (what
> used to be called "jungles" when I was a lad), coral reefs and mangroves.
> Messy, complicated, complex ecosystems are successful because they are
> resilient to damage -- a plague comes along and even if it kills off
> every individual of one species of fruit, there are a thousand different
> species unharmed.
> The sort of monoculture which "r" sings the praises of are fragile and
> brittle. Look at the Cavendish banana, nearly extinct because a disease
> is wiping the plants out, and there's not enough genetic variability in
> it to survive. (Fortunately there are dozens of varieties of bananas, so
> when the Cavendish becomes extinct, we'll still have bananas.)

You cannot draw parallels between bio diversity and language
diversity. Bio diversity is fundamental to all species survival, even
a virus. I am quite sure that the adoption of Universal World language
will not usher in the apocalypse for human kind, quite the contrary!

Ok a Jew, a Catholic Priest and a Chinese man walk into a bar.... Now
if the bar suddenly catches fire and only one of them notices, how
should this person convey the danger to the others. Well he could jump-
up-and-down-yelling-oh!-oh!-oh!-with-arms-failing-in-the-air, but i
think human evolution has presented a far more elegant way to
communicate than that of the chimpanzee.

> Or the Irish Potato Famine: millions of Irish dead from famine because
> 90% of their food intake came from a *single* source, potatoes, which in
> turn came from not just a single variety but just a handful of closely
> related individuals.

OMG! human kind will be utterly wiped out by the universal language.
Somebody please jump-up-and-down-with-flailing-arms we must warn
everyone of this impending doom before it is too late! </chicken

(snip: more political innuendo)
> As for the idea "nice guys finish last", that's a ridiculous over-
> simplification. Vampire bats share their food with other vampire bats who
> otherwise would be hungry.

...could be they are fatting them up for the kill!

> Remoras stick to sharks, who carry them around
> for years without eating them.

...Well yes sharks share a personality trait with cab drivers but...?
And i wonder if they really *know* they are back there? Sharks aren't
exactly evolutions shining jewel.

> There's those little birds which climb
> into the mouths of crocodiles to clean their teeth while the crocodile
> sits patiently with it's mouth wide open.

...Hmm, i have thought about clamping down hard while my dentist pokes
around with his fingers in there. But who then would clean my teeth?
And it could be that those crocs are just slightly vain?

> Wolves and wild dogs and hyenas
> hunt cooperatively. Baboons and chimpanzees form alliances. Penguins
> huddle together through the freezing months of darkness, and although the
> winds are so cold that the penguins on the outside would freeze to death,
> few of them do, because they all take their share of time in the centre.

...birds of a feather flock together!

> Monkeys cry out warnings when they see a leopard or a hawk, even though
> it puts them personally at risk. Meercats post sentries, who expose
> themselves to danger to protect the rest of the colony.

...they could be expendable to the community!

> And the most successful mammal on the planet, more successful than any
> other large animal, is also the most cooperative, least selfish species
> around. It is so unselfish, so cooperative, that individuals will rush
> into burning buildings to save complete strangers

I always found it a funny (but sad irony) of human our "supposedly"
advanced civilization when public warning systems must be read in
multiple languages. I guess the best you can hope for is that yours
will be the read first. ;-)

How do say... "BREAKING NEWS!: There has been a deadly cloud of gas
released from a nearby chem plant, Currently the winds are moving
south-south-west at 10 miles per hour. If you are in the downwind path
of this cloud, move cross wind and up wind immediately or die!"....in
all the languages of the world?

"""Oh evolution thou art very old and wise, save us from the polluting
corruption of stupidity, save us now!"""

I'd like to present a bug report to evolution, obviously the garbage
collector is malfunctioning.

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