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J Shafagh's picture

Evolution, Mistakes, Perfection, Sagan Etc.

            Wow! That’s my response to the Carl Sagan quote Prof. Dalke just posted: "I think if we ever reach the point where we think we thoroughly understand who we are and where we came from, we will have failed.....[The search for who we are] goes with a courageous intent to greet the universe as it really is, not to foist our emotional predisposition on it but to courageously accept what our explorations tell us."  I couldn’t agree any more! I think that is what we are doing together in this class, I think that’s what science does, and I think that that is how we are constantly searching, and re-creating stories that are less wrong, to help us understand the universe and world.

            I also woke up in the middle of the night (last night), thinking about some things…One was from someone’s comment in class yesterday.  It was on the topic that evolution makes mistakes, and the fact that some of us are mistakes.  My view on this is that if evolution’s goal is to reproduce, then would people who are not able to reproduce mistakes?  I think that’s a really harsh way to think of things.  And what exactly is a mistake?? It seems to be too subjective and arbitrary….

            And to add to the evolution bit, I really don’t think it is driven towards being better or towards perfection.  I’m inclined to think that all of this is a figment of the human imagination and creation, and because it is our creation, we are the ones who are striving for the idea of being better and perfected….otherwise, there is clear evidence that the process of evolution does NOT always lead to perfection. 

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