Re: 100% Natural

Sarah Marr (
Wed, 18 Sep 1996 09:57:21 +0100

At 00:16 17/09/96 -0700, you wrote:
>>>Nature is a far better engineer than any of us. Nature
>>>engineers more complex and exotic stuff although much slower. We engineer
>>>quickly but bulky and we will eventually completely surpass nature's
>>>engineering strengths but not now. The reason nature is a greater engineer
>>>is because it looks at a problem in infinite directions. Human engineers
>>>look to accomplish a certain task with a few variables but nature looks at
>>>infinite variables...
>>This is an interesting, and common, angle on nature: anthropomorphization
>>coupled with linguistic personification. Within a Darwinian framework I find
>>it hard to consider the workings of nature as a gestalt entity;
>I don't consider it a entity the concept is merely metaphorical.

See below.

>>rather, it
>>seems to be a series of interacting events in which there is no prior
>>assessment of effect, no plan. So 'nature' doesn't look at a problem in any
>>direction at all.
>But it does shape life to the laws of physics so the laws shape the physical
>structure of the organisms. There are organisms we could never possibly
>grasp how they existed until we ran into them face to face. This I believe
>will be true of any life we discover out in space because the humanoid shape
>is a direct molded evolution of tree swinging primates.

Sure. But there's nobody 'looking' ahead, as you originally suggested. It's
just trial and error.

>>If 'nature' could be personified, since 'she' does not care about effect,
>>'her' approach to engineering and it's environmental effects seems
>>remarkable similar to that of humankind in many ways: do something and see
>>what happens, it'll sort itself out in to a balance point after a while.
>Yeah but nature knows everything already, we must learn everything first.

It's hard to reconcile you statement about not seeing nature as an entity
with a statement that 'nature knows everything already': unless you're
assigning knowledge to a metaphor?

Besides, if 'nature' could be personified, I'd say she knows absolutely
nothing, just blindly throws dice until she finds something that works: the
great crap-shoot of evolution.


Sarah Kathryn Marr