Re: Stephen Jay Gould and progress

The Low Willow (
Mon, 13 Jan 1997 11:57:54 -0800 (PST)

On Jan 12, 9:33pm, Tony Csoka wrote:

} At the atomic level, from which we must assume life arose in the first
} place, what are (were) the forces operating to generate complexity and
} what is (was)
} the form of selection operating on the atoms? How can it be "survival of

None; you've reduced too far. Some combination of RNA bases (e.g.)
happens to be self-replicating in primordial soup. Shake enough bases
long enough and this replicator is found. Statistical randomness is the
'force'. Mutation and differential replication take over from there.
We start with something complex enough to reproduce and simple enough to
arise by accident. (We haven't proved such a thing can exist yet, but
it requires less faith than the alternatives.)

Merry part,
-xx- Damien R. Sullivan X-) <*>

But 'twas beyond a mortal's share/To wander solitary there:
Two paradises 'twere in one,/To live in Paradise alone.
-- Marvell, "The Garden"