The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1322 Tuesday, 14 May 2002
From: Gabriel Egan <
Date: Tuesday, 14 May 2002 11:37:15 +0100
Subject: 13.1304 Re: Issues
Comment: Re: SHK 13.1304 Re: Issues
I was going to desist, but Martin Steward writes:
>The human eye is only more "orderly" than the
> light-sensitive spots on bacteria in terms of its
> adaptation to the environment in which humans
No, it's more orderly in the objective sense of requiring more energy to
make it. That's why Marcus introduced the apparent problem of the second
law of thermodynamics.
> If it were more "orderly" in itself, then light-sensitive
> bacteria would have been selected out for extinction.
The apparent problem is how to get from simple light-sensitive bacteria
which have been around for a long time to sophisticated eyes which are a
more recent development. I think you're comparing modern eyes to modern
light-sensitive bacteria whereas the point of this example was to
compare modern eyes to whatever existed in our distant ancestors.
> These spots are much simpler they human eyes,
> and in some sense or other one could equate simplicity
> with order.
There's an advantage to simple systems: they take less energy to build,
leaving more energy for reproduction. But complex systems have tended to
win the struggle to reproduce because, all other things being equal, a
creature with a sophisticated eye has a better chance than one with a
> There is no progress or regression in
> the natural world.
On the contrary, the world around us, for all its faults, is more
complex and admirable than the primeval soup.
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