Sunday, October 23, 2005

Life's Solution: Inevitable Humans in a Lonely Universe? by Simon Conway Morris


At least we'll always have each other. Having read Richard Dawkins, we all know that evolution is driven by 'random' chance mutations - but that individuals live or die for particular non-random reasons.
Random mutations are the engine of the evolutionary car... but it is steered into one of an infinite number of ecological garages. The history of the human race is dependent more on accident of history than on anything that could be scientifically analysed. To paraphrase:"..go back 1 million years and move a single primate 2 feet to the left ..."
According to Morris, however, convergent evolution indicates that some phenotypes are more 'likely' than others (the eye has evolved independently 6 times).
Perhaps 'intelligence' is a predictable outcome? ... but i'm not sure if i'm any happier knowing i'm an inevitable outcome of the universe rather than a random blip in it.
Well done Simon Conway Morris for a great and awe-inspiring book!

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0521603250/002-8421460-5319254?v=glance

1 comment:

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