Re: BIO: Help wanted explaining evolution to students

Max More (
Wed, 17 Sep 1997 23:20:02 -0700

At 11:18 AM 9/17/97 -0500, Eliezer wrote:
>TIERRA, which demonstrates complex evolution in a completely known
>(inside a computer), should be an integral part of any demonstration.

Yes, I did mention Tierra in my class tonight. Also Swarm and the Game of
Life as working examples of simple evolutionary processes observable within
a human timescale.

>> I'm also curious about something--how can one justify having any sort of
>> religious faith at all, if one takes a pancritical rationalist approach
>> to existence?
>Oh, come now, you should know better than that.
>"How many legs does a dog have, if you call a tail a leg?"
>"Four - calling a tail a leg doesn't make it a leg."
>If God exists, then a fully informed pancritical rationalist would have
>absolutely no choice but to believe in It.

If you are using "faith" simply to mean the content of a belief system,
Eleizer, then your response is correct. However, I take faith to more
usually refer to the *way* in which a belief is held, i.e, not in
accordance with or sensitive to evidence and reasons. In that sense,
pancritical rationalism is *not* compatible with religious faith.


Max More, Ph.D.
President, Extropy Institute:,