RE: virus: Belief and Knowledge (was: The truth about faith)

David McFadzean (
Fri, 05 Sep 1997 11:09:08 -0600

At 04:18 PM 03/08/97 -0700, Richard Brodie wrote:

>I believe the source of your frustration, and the reciprocal frustration
>of those of us in the Church who are debating this issue with you, is
>that you take as a given that instinctive behavior in animals and humans
>is in accordance with reason.

I take nothing as a given. Evidence suggests that animals have reasonable
goals such as survival and reproduction and their behavior is in
accordance with those goals. I asked several biologists at the Digital
Burgess if animals' behavior is generally reasonable and they
unanimously concurred. They did say that it was possible to put animals
in situations where their behavior seemed unreasonable, but this is to
be expected because evolution, for all its power, can't predict every
possible situation.

>To get around this, I invite you to believe for the next week that
>instinct has nothing to do with reason, that it is chaotic behavior,
>that "reason" is just a label we put on things and not a real thing.

You seem to know enough about complexity theory to realize that
chaotic is not the opposite of reasonable. In fact chaotic behavior
can be generated by a deterministic algorithm. Of course "reason" is
a label we put on things, just like any other name. I don't see how
that in any way makes animal's instincts unreasonable.

David McFadzean       
Memetic Engineer      
Kumo Software Corp.