Re: Transhuman tech: incubators

Damien Broderick (
Sat, 19 Dec 1998 21:38:04 +0000

At 09:57 PM 12/18/98 EST, EvMick wrote:

>> Luckily we're now devolving to this point.

>It annoys me when this happens.
>what's a de-volve? How is it possible to de-volve?

Good point. `Devolve' actually has a perfectly good use, which has (almost) nothing to do with denoting evolution in the `wrong' or `primitive' direction (in Darwinian terms almost meaningless anyway). It means `to pass [something, e.g. decisive power] to a lower - or perhaps more `authentic' - level in a hierarchy', as when political authority is devolved from the central state to smaller units within it. (I suspect Damien S. might have been employing a version of this correct usage; he is usually impeccable.)

I suggest using words such as `regress' and `regression' to convey what people regularly mean when they misuse `devolve' and `devolution'.

Damien Broderick