Diamond, Miller, Gould, Darwin was:followers/leaders

From: Spike Jones (spike66@ibm.net)
Date: Mon Jun 26 2000 - 20:43:02 MDT

> > Diamond's book -- it's gotten strong pro and con reviews from
> > people I respect, which means I ought to read it, I suppose. Put another
> > round in the clip!
> Lee Daniel Crocker wrote: Add me to the "pro" side. Sure, a lot of it is
> pretty speculative, but good speculations can be pretty compelling...

Add me to the mildly con side. Much better is The Mating Mind, by
Geoffrey Miller, which covers some of the same ground, but the
speculation is more compelling. This is the first work of his I have
seen, but already the evolution material in there is more thought-
provoking than the excellent (my opinion) work of Steven Jay Gould.

Miller affirms a notion I have had for some time regarding the two
mechanisms for evolution: survival selection and sexual selection.
Gould likes to insert a third mechanism for change: contingency
(which is really dumb luck). I have long suspected mechanisms
are at work that allow human brains to evolve more quickly than
those of similar mammals, a notion supported by Miller, and first
introduced by Darwin himself.

Punchline: sexual selection as a mechanism for evolution creates
a positive feedback loop, which predicts what electrical engineers
would call a pole, but extropians might refer to as...
the singularity.

I hope other extropians read this volume so we can discuss it. spike

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