virus: PHIL: Maxims

Twirlip of Greymist (
Mon, 6 Nov 1995 12:06:14 -0800 (PST)


In his _Lectures_ Feynman suggested that if he had to choose one
sentence to pass on to future generations it would be one stating the
atomic principle. In a local newsthread it occurred to me that Feynman
was just this physicist writing in the 1960s, and the principle of
natural selection is probably at least as important. Atomism tells us
what the universe is made of; Darwinian selection tells us how it starts
getting organized. So perhaps we could hash out one (complex!) sentence
encompassing both ideas. Uh-oh, it just occurred to me that "pan-
critical rationalism" would be good too, but I'll ignore that for now.

"The universe consists of void and atoms, teeny and mostly indivisible
particles which are constantly in motion and somewhat attracted to each
other, and which are spontaneously ordered into complex patterns by the
selection of mutated generations, the selection being by the criteria of
which patterns can successfully reproduce the most.

The rest is details."

Yeah, it's kind of dogmatic, but anything of this nature will be. I
think this might center people much more than "everything is

-xx- Damien R. Sullivan X-) <*>

"You don't think he's smart enough to be in kindergarten? When I cash
my Social Security he counts the money perfect and he knows the ABC's
and a lot of Hebrew songs...what does he do wrong?"
- -"He doesn't cut straight."
"Who cares, if he's not gonna be a tailor?"
-- Grandfather and pre-school teacher, _Roommates_

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