RE: virus: Re:MS Flip Software Price

Robin Faichney (
Wed, 22 Oct 1997 08:12:45 +0100

> From: David McFadzean[]
> >The only sensible explanation for phototaxic
> >behaviour is an evolutionary biological one, not a
> >logical one -- except to the extent that evol bio
> >is logical, but then we can take that forgranted,
> >can't we?
> If evol bio is logical (and I agree it is) then that
> just means the scientist practicing it will be logical.
> Why should that automatically extend to the objects
> of study?
Sorry, don't understand the question. Logic is
embedded in evol bio, and therefore has some
place in explaining phototaxic behaviour. What
I'm saying is, that's as far as it goes, logic has
no more direct application than this. Truth,
falsehood, consistency, etc, are of use only in
evaluating the behaviour of rational agents, i.e.
those with the intelligence to abide by the rules
of logic *at*that*level*.

I have an analogy for you: at low levels, all
computer programs have to be perfectly
logical, they depend on logic in absolute
terms. But at higher levels, program design
can be quite illogical, especially, eg, the
user-interface. The fact that,
fundamentally, the physical word operates
logically, as do genetics and memetics,
does not mean that complex creatures must
behave logically. Logic works at the lower
levels, but you can't use it in any rigorous
way at the higher ones. In theory, you
can always reduce higher level phenomena
to lower level ones, but in practice that's
rarely possible. In theory, given reduction
and maybe other things such as
generalisation (to move between actual
individual behaviours and genetically-
determined tendencies), logic should
always apply, but I say that fact (?) has
few or no practical implications.

> >> Evolution does behave as if
> >> it is a rational designer without forethought (if you can
> >> imagine such a beast).
> >>
> >That's like saying a genius behaves like an extraordinarily
> >intelligent idiot.
> You lost me. How is it an oxymoron?
Because a rational designer without forethought
is not a designer, and even less a rational one.
"Designed" normally means, did not come about
through sheer chance, unless you want to redefine
*that* word too! :-)