(urth) 5HC : Skinner, Turing (fwd)
iorweththomas at hotmail.com
Fri Feb 4 06:27:33 PST 2005
>From: "Andy Robertson" <andywrobertson at clara.co.uk>
>>Doesn't behaivour, and epiphenomenon arising from mechanisms
>>responsible for behaivour *have* to be enviromentally driven? Anything
>>else would have elements of randomness in it (with respect to
>>enivromental concerns; other behaivour driven by things other than
>>epiphenomenon or alternative, not enviromentally driven motives might
>>make perfect sense in its own scheme, but still at least somewhat
>>random from the enviromental point of view.) and so would selected
>>against evolutionarily, and by now, non-existent.
>This really doesn't mean any thing I can understand.
It sounds like version of Hume's fork (either my actions are determined [by
the laws of physics, or in this case, the environment] or not; if they
aren't, they are random, which is false; therefore they are determined) with
an adaptionist sting in its tail. The problems with this version are:
1) Why are random events (wrt the environment) selected against? There are
situations where being unpredictable is an advantage (an example from human
society that could be generalised are some forms of Cold War nuclear
2) It assumes that evolutionary selection is a fine mesh, not a coarse one
(it probably varies between the two extremes depending on the
circumstances). If something doesn't provide a significant advantage or
disadvantage _when all circumstances are taken into account_ (say,
compensating factors, low selection pressure and so forth) then it may be
passed on to the successive generation regardless.
3) What, exactly, do we mean by 'environment'? It's a lot less obvious than
Hence, it is possible that non-environmental (for some value of environment)
influences on behaviour exist.
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