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View Diary: Many Critics of Creationism are Stupid, Hypocritical, Intellectually Inconsistent, or all Three (20 comments)

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  •  Considering Evolution in other contexts (0+ / 0-)

    i.e., culture and language, it makes perfect sense.  Many, if not most, linguistic changes have no real inherent value.  Catalan is in no way clearly superior or inferior to French, or that matter Japanese as a means of communicatian (at least in the spoken form--I would argue that written Japanese is just a catostrofuck--but maybe that's because it is a constant source of aggravation in my own life.

    Similarly, as Ben Franklin noted, the tendency of American English speakers to turn progressively more nouns into verbs as generations pass has not materially impaired our ability to communicate (except of course for the use of "transition"--It's just a personal pet peeve of mine, but "-tion" is a nominalizing suffix.  Using a word like that as a verb is just a bridge too far where I'm concerned).

    Of course, one could point out that this evolution is a likely a result of selection as language is one of the ways that we define and redefine our identities as members of a group of conspecifics, which, as I argued above, was one of the driving forces in the creation of the human brain.

    Nested layers of evolution always struck me as very cool.  The idea that there could be both selection and drift operating on different levels makes it even cooler.  And of course, we've just been talking about natural selection so far, but there is sexual selection, which would seem to have a bit of drift working in its function.

    Bottom line?

    Nature is subtle, complex and awesome -- in both the original and slang senses of the word.

    Thanks for your comments.  They were thought-provoking.

    I'm from the government and I'm here to help. Oh, yeah, and Ronald Reagan was an idiot and a lousy president.

    by journeyman on Thu Sep 29, 2011 at 12:56:06 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

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