Mar. 4th, 2009

Science!

Mar. 4th, 2009 09:14 pm
caffeine: (Default)
I saw Richard Dawkins this evening at the U. He was introduced by PZ Myers.
It was very interesting.

The basis is this:
We have uniquely large brain for our bodies which allows us flexibility, creativity, etc.
We can be programmed with an inflexible goal, even if that goal runs contrary to most everything else (even our own survival).
We then use our flexibility and creativity to achieve that inflexible goal.

But he started off with something else very cool.
For human-created artifacts, we often ask "Why?" or "What is the purpose?" and those are valid questions. For items that are not human artifacts, it is an inappropriate question - "What is the purpose of stars?" or "What is the purpose of cows?" He also discussed a large distinction between neo-purpose (designed) and archi-purpose (ancient) such as the tail of a plane (designed to keep the plane stable) and the tail of a bird (evolved for flight).

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