Can reductionistic physical laws explain life, evolution and consciousness?

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z@z

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Dec 8, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/8/99
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Can physical laws, as conceived by modern science, explain the
emergence of life and consciousness? Doesn't panpsychism, advocated
by Cusanus, Bruno, Kepler (who could be, apart from Aristotle, the
most revolutionary scientist of all times), Spinoza, Leibniz and
many others, provide a simpler, more elegant and more consistent
explanation of life than reductionistic materialism?


Wolfgang Gottfried G.


Relevant extracts from my posts of July on evolution:
http://members.lol.li/twostone/E/deja4.html

Here some examples:

Despite many contradicting claims, it is a (logical) fact that
abiogenesis is a prerequisite for neo-Darwinism. If abiogenesis can
be proven impossible, the whole neo-Darwinian house of cards folds
up, leaving a lot of valuable stuff for alternative paradigms.

Simple bacteria turned out to be (almost) as complex as Darwin
and his contemporaries thought animals and plants are. One must
not forget that the complexity of life was once considered so low
that even spontanous generation of simple macroscopic organisms
seemed reasonable.

One can compare the formation of cells by enzymes with the
formation of complex cities by humans. There never has existed
a first city all other cities derive from. There has been a lot
of horizontal technological transfer between villages and cities
(of different cultures).

Let's talk about time. Do you know the results of McDougall's
Lamarckian experiments on training rats which were carried out
during decades? That these experiments (in the same way as several
adverse selection experiments) clearly refuted Darwinims, is
simply ignored by neo-Darwinian orthodoxy.

"He found an improvement, irregularly progressive through 14
generations of an experiment in which training was combined with
adverse selection (breeding from the slowest learners in each
generation). The improvement in this stock was immediate and
its rate actually faster than in the main experiment in spite
of the adverse selection." (Agar, Drummond & Tiegs, 1935, Report
on a McDougall's Lamarckian Experiment on Training of Rats,
J. Exp. Biol. 12, p.209)

There are cases where bacterial resistance to an antibiotic depends
on one single point mutation. It is very suprising how easy it is for
an enzyme that is inhibited by an antibiotic to become an enzyme that
hydrolyzes that antibiotic.

One single point mutation and the enzymes defends itself by attacking
the aggressor!

One single point mutation and the enzyme carries out in addition to
its normal tasks the task of hydrolyzing its own aggressor!

One single point mutation resolving all biochemical problems involved
in adding such a complex function to a protein without spoiling its
normal functions!

To explain all this by a lucky conformational change resulting from
the substitution of one amino acid by another defies common sense,
logical reasoning and simple probability estimates.

The psychon theory also can explain why genes, even in the case of
large populations, do not drift apart into uncountable alleles but
rather converge to a few or even to one single allele. It's not
selection, it's MUTATION!

Because of the huge number of animals it is impossible to explain
by genetic drift the fact that there is only one single allele of
ubiquitin in all animals. Drift only works for little populations,
but certainly not for all animals [if] considered as one species.

If one takes into account all facts and tries to be consistent,
then one concludes that the many highly conserved regions of
genomes cannot be the result of continuous selection, but must
be the result of low rates of mutations.

In any case, the fact that pigs, cows and sheep all have the same
cytochrome-c is a huge ENIGMA within neo-Darwinism, I even dare to
say that it's a further knockout blow to pure materialism. Think
about the odds!

1444 different alleles can emerge from animal ubiquitin by a single
point mutation. The fact that none of these alleles actually can be
found (with a reasonable frequency?) in animals must be explained
somehow.

The claim that "drift works in arbitarily large populations" is
simply wrong. That genes have converged to only very few or even
one single allele during evolution is an empirical fact. Its
explanation by genetic drift, however, is rather a typical case
of the "ordinary unintentional scientific dishonesty".

Because neither selection nor genetic drift can explain that human
and chimp [cytochrome c] DNA-sequences did not drift apart by random
mutations, neo-Darwinism is definitively dead !!!

That the achondroplasia mutation occurs at a rate of about 10^-6
and "with a couple of exceptions, always involves a particular
nucleotide change and amino acid change" is certainly not
consistent with the principle of random mutations. In a similar
way also mutations leading to cancer are far from being totally
random!

The psychon theory explains substantially increased mutation
probabilities by the existence of psychons corresponding to
alternative alleles. In such a way, alleles can survive even
if they lead to death before reproduction.

And what about domesticated species becoming wild. After a few
generations individuals with reduced domestication traits can appear.
How can this happen in a few generations if the necessary mutations
do not occur? Also in the case of extremely inbred rats, having
undergone prolonged gene purgation, genetic variability can reemerge
rather quickly.

It is a logical consequence of neo-Darwinism that all possible DNA
sequences coding for a given amino acid sequence are equivalent.
Therefore this theory predicts the existence of lots of different DNA
sequences for a given amino acid sequence (and in addition to that also
the existence of lots of more or less functionally equivalent alleles
for all gene loci).

There have been a lot of innovations in humans after their separation
from chimps several hundered thousand generations ago. If all what makes
us different from chimps depends on random mutations and selection then
mutations must occur with a certain frequency. But if not even the
many possible neutral mutations leaving amino acid chains unchanged
occur then it becomes highly improbable that mutations are the primary
cause of evolution or at least that mutations are random.

NEO-DARWINISM DOES REMAIN DEAD because it predicts either huge numbers
of functionally equivalent alleles and coding sequences or so many
constraints on non-deleterious mutations that evolution becomes
impossible (at least in the case of species having long replication
cycles).

John Burton

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Dec 8, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/8/99
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Possibly, but what is the significance of "simpler, more elegant and more
consistent" ? One could probably say the same thing about creationism.
Relativity is certainly neither simple nor consistent, in my view, and its
elegance is debateable, but few deny its veracity.

John


Uncle Al

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Dec 8, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/8/99
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"z@z" wrote:
>
> Can physical laws, as conceived by modern science, explain the
> emergence of life and consciousness? Doesn't panpsychism, advocated
> by Cusanus, Bruno, Kepler (who could be, apart from Aristotle, the
> most revolutionary scientist of all times), Spinoza, Leibniz and
> many others, provide a simpler, more elegant and more consistent
> explanation of life than reductionistic materialism?

Did they provide the lightbulb, the fluorescent light, the LED, or the
Cyalume stick? One presumes they would be equally efficacious in
other venues compared to "reductionistic materialism," re Kansas.

--
Uncle Al
http://www.mazepath.com/uncleal/
http://www.ultra.net.au/~wisby/uncleal/
http://www.guyy.demon.co.uk/uncleal/
(Toxic URLs! Unsafe for children and most mammals)
"Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" The Net!


wf...@ptd.net

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Dec 8, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/8/99
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On 8 Dec 1999 19:48:10 -0500, "z@z" <z...@z.lol.li> wrote:

>
>Despite many contradicting claims, it is a (logical) fact that
>abiogenesis is a prerequisite for neo-Darwinism

why?

.. If abiogenesis can


>be proven impossible, the whole neo-Darwinian house of cards folds
>up, leaving a lot of valuable stuff for alternative paradigms.

why?

>
>Simple bacteria turned out to be (almost) as complex as Darwin
>and his contemporaries thought animals and plants are. One must
>not forget that the complexity of life was once considered so low
>that even spontanous generation of simple macroscopic organisms
>seemed reasonable.

several centuries ago perhaps. science has, believe it or not,
advanced a bit since then.

>
>To explain all this by a lucky conformational change resulting from
>the substitution of one amino acid by another defies common sense,
>logical reasoning and simple probability estimates.

ah, the argument from incredulity...a classic. 'i cant believe it so
it cant be so'. gee dontcha just love the classics, even when they're
wrong?!

>
>In any case, the fact that pigs, cows and sheep all have the same
>cytochrome-c is a huge ENIGMA within neo-Darwinism, I even dare to
>say that it's a further knockout blow to pure materialism. Think
>about the odds!

uh, the odds? i notice you dont calculate them, accounting for the
physical and chemical forces involved...no surprise. those whose
arguments are based on ignorance typically make the very same claims
you do.

>
you're confused. you've equated darwinism with materialism. you think
poking holes in darwin's views invalidates a material approach to
science.

your proof? none. none at all

thanks very much.

next player please.


David Iain Greig

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Dec 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/9/99
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z@z <z...@z.lol.li> wrote:
>Can physical laws, as conceived by modern science, explain the
>emergence of life and consciousness?

Sure. Life is an emergent property of the self-organizing tendencies
of matter.

Conciousness is an emergent property of the self-organizing tendencies
of living organisms.

>Doesn't panpsychism, advocated
>by Cusanus, Bruno, Kepler (who could be, apart from Aristotle, the
>most revolutionary scientist of all times), Spinoza, Leibniz and
>many others, provide a simpler, more elegant and more consistent
>explanation of life than reductionistic materialism?

Who'se a reductionist? Life is emergent.

--D.


David B. Hedrick

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Dec 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/9/99
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wf3h:

Let me hit him.


> On 8 Dec 1999 19:48:10 -0500, "z@z" <z...@z.lol.li> wrote:

> .. If abiogenesis can


> >be proven impossible, the whole neo-Darwinian house of cards folds
> >up, leaving a lot of valuable stuff for alternative paradigms.

For all your proclamation of logic, you don't know much about it. In
general, it is impossible to prove a negative, so your statement is a
house of cards that collapses.


> >Simple bacteria turned out to be (almost) as complex as Darwin
> >and his contemporaries thought animals and plants are. One must
> >not forget that the complexity of life was once considered so low
> >that even spontanous generation of simple macroscopic organisms
> >seemed reasonable.

People also used to believe in the divine right of kings, phlogiston,
and the Laffer curve (remember that one?). Christians used to believe
in the Inquisition, trial by water or by combat, and the sale of
indugences. So?
Evolutionists do not speak of spontaneous generation, that's a myth
from the middle ages disproven by Pasteur, amongst others. Evolution
is, for the most part, very gradual. So there would have been simpler
organisms than bacteria that appeared first. They have now, probably,
all been eaten by their more sophisticated descendents.


> >To explain all this by a lucky conformational change resulting from
> >the substitution of one amino acid by another defies common sense,
> >logical reasoning and simple probability estimates.

The sharp sword of your ignorance certainly gives the illusion of
cutting. But I'm over here, and you're just stirring air. What "simple
probability estimates"? There is an extensive literature on the
measurement of evolutionary relationships from DNA sequences, of which I
have read some. If anybody found that it simply couldn't work, they
would publish it.
Common sense says that man can not fly, but airplanes work. Common
sense says that I can not see someone a thousand miles away, but TV
works. Common sense is vastly over-rated.


> >In any case, the fact that pigs, cows and sheep all have the same
> >cytochrome-c is a huge ENIGMA within neo-Darwinism, I even dare to
> >say that it's a further knockout blow to pure materialism. Think
> >about the odds!

Dare to say what you will. Freedom of speech protects all kinds of
crap. Pigs, cows, and sheep have the same cytochrome c because they
have a common ancestor. Wow, never thought of that possibility, did
you? A further blow to materialism? What were the others? Outside of
fuzzy wishful thinking and dogmaticly clutching to ancient myth-systems,
of course.


--
~DBH

Technical writing, literature search, and data analysis at the interface
of chemistry and biology.

davidb...@icx.net

David B. Hedrick
P.O. Box 16082
Knoxville, TN 37996

David Lloyd-Jones

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Dec 13, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/13/99
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David Iain Greig <gr...@ediacara.org> wrote

> z@z <z...@z.lol.li> wrote:
> >Can physical laws, as conceived by modern science, explain the
> >emergence of life and consciousness?

> Sure. Life is an emergent property of the self-organizing tendencies
> of matter.

Now how in the name of Cthulhu does "self-organizing tendencies" get to be
less mystical mumbojumbo than "panpsychism, advocated by Cusanus, Bruno,
Kepler..."

> Who'se a reductionist? Life is emergent.

David,

Nobody is suggesting that you are a reductionist. On the evidence of this
post you're a half-witted mystic qualified to teach in a New Age version of
Kansas.

-dlj.

Matt Silberstein

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Dec 13, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/13/99
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In talk.origins I read this message from "David Lloyd-Jones"
<ico...@netcom.ca>:

|
|David Iain Greig <gr...@ediacara.org> wrote
|> z@z <z...@z.lol.li> wrote:

|> >Can physical laws, as conceived by modern science, explain the
|> >emergence of life and consciousness?

|> Sure. Life is an emergent property of the self-organizing tendencies
|> of matter.

|Now how in the name of Cthulhu does "self-organizing tendencies" get to be

|less mystical mumbojumbo than "panpsychism, advocated by Cusanus, Bruno,
|Kepler..."

Because we can measure self-organizing tendencies. Read _Origins of
Order_ by Kauffman.

|> Who'se a reductionist? Life is emergent.

|Nobody is suggesting that you are a reductionist. On the evidence of this


|post you're a half-witted mystic qualified to teach in a New Age version of
|Kansas.

Now that is a high quality argument. Tell him that he needs a shave,
too. That always works.

Matt Silberstein
-------------------------------------------------------
In the old days, it was not called the Holiday Season;
the Christians called it "Christmas" and went to church;
the Jews called it "Hanukka" and went to synagogue;
the atheists went to parties and drank.
People passing each other on the street would say
"Merry Christmas!" or "Happy Hanukka!"
or (to the atheists) "Look out for the wall!"

[Dave Barry, "Christmas Shopping: A Survivor's Guide"]


David Lloyd-Jones

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Dec 13, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/13/99
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Matt Silberstein <mat...@ix.netcom.com>

> In talk.origins I read this message from "David Lloyd-Jones"
> <ico...@netcom.ca>:
> |David Iain Greig <gr...@ediacara.org> wrote
> |> z@z <z...@z.lol.li> wrote:
> |> >Can physical laws, as conceived by modern science, explain the
> |> >emergence of life and consciousness?
>
> |> Sure. Life is an emergent property of the self-organizing tendencies
> |> of matter.
>
> |Now how in the name of Cthulhu does "self-organizing tendencies" get to
be
> |less mystical mumbojumbo than "panpsychism, advocated by Cusanus, Bruno,
> |Kepler..."
>
> Because we can measure self-organizing tendencies.

You can't. You can measure organization, then you can assert falsely that it
happened by its "self," (as opposed to being the result of an increase of
entropy accompanying a throughput of energy) and then you can cap off the
whole miserable performance by inventing a reified "tendency" to be in
charge of this bogosity.

>Read _Origins of
> Order_ by Kauffman.

I have, and even worse I have read his dreadful "At Home In The Universe"
twice. The man is an intellectual crook of the first water, and my paragraph
above is a tight and accurate description of what he does with great bombast
and at greater length in both books. Still you've got to give the guy credit
for one thing, inadvertent humor: "At Home In The Universe" indeed! Where
else?

> |> Who'se a reductionist? Life is emergent.

"Life is emergent." The best thing one can say about this is that it's
content free. Like it's happening. Yeah. But probably to call it
content-free is to flatter it: as with the rest of this fatuity, Greig
probably wants to convince us that there is real content here -- that
"emergence" is an actual mechanism, rather than a word assigned ex post
facto to something claimed to have emerged.

> |Nobody is suggesting that you are a reductionist. On the evidence of this
> |post you're a half-witted mystic qualified to teach in a New Age version
of
> |Kansas.
>
> Now that is a high quality argument. Tell him that he needs a shave,
> too. That always works.

I don't know whether he needs a shave. It's clear, though, that his argument
does.

-dlj.


David B. Hedrick

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Dec 14, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/14/99
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Only sent to sci.bio.microbiolgy, too much cross-posting. And I don't
want to encourage the wacko's at sci.talk.origins.

Nothing like stepping into a cat-fight.

David Lloyd-Jones wrote:
> Matt Silberstein <mat...@ix.netcom.com>
> > In talk.origins I read this message from "David Lloyd-Jones"
> > <ico...@netcom.ca>:
> > |David Iain Greig <gr...@ediacara.org> wrote
> > |> z@z <z...@z.lol.li> wrote:

> > |> >Can physical laws, as conceived by modern science, explain the
> > |> >emergence of life and consciousness?

Many different belief systems "explain" life and consciousness. Each
religion either has an explanation, or will come up with one on
request. The question is whether the explanation is testable and
useful. A hypothesis that can not be tested is a waste of time.
Science attempts to prove or disprove testable hypotheses. Assuming
that the results of experiment have something to do with the real world,
then proven hypotheses have some relation to the real world (inserted in
case a philosopy grad student is reading). The relation of a proven
hypothesis to the real world is predictive power.
Based upon the fossil record, sedimentology, and isotopic dating of
rocks, an evolutionary tree of the vertibrates was constructed showing
which species were more closely related to each other. As the science
got better, more detail was added. There were mistakes and false
starts, we had no divine intervention.
The same evolutionary tree was found by physiology. And by enzyme
studies. Now with molecular biology.
Evolution happened. So we know that earlier life forms evolved into
what is here now. By induction, there had to be a beginning. There is
a rich and interesting literature on how life originated, and on the
nature and origin of consciousness. Sadly, I don't believe I will live
to see those issues settled, and I'm hoping for another 40 years.
As an example of how complex the questions you asking are, I have a
simple test: define consciousness. Go ahead.

Jim

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Dec 14, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/14/99
to

> Only sent to sci.bio.microbiolgy, too much cross-posting. And I don't
> want to encourage the wacko's at sci.talk.origins.
>
> Nothing like stepping into a cat-fight.
>
> David Lloyd-Jones wrote:
> > Matt Silberstein <mat...@ix.netcom.com>
> > > In talk.origins I read this message from "David Lloyd-Jones"
> > > <ico...@netcom.ca>:
> > > |David Iain Greig <gr...@ediacara.org> wrote
> > > |> z@z <z...@z.lol.li> wrote:

> > > |> >Can physical laws, as conceived by modern science, explain the
> > > |> >emergence of life and consciousness?
>

> Many different belief systems "explain" life and consciousness. Each
> religion either has an explanation, or will come up with one on
> request. The question is whether the explanation is testable and
> useful. A hypothesis that can not be tested is a waste of time.
> Science attempts to prove or disprove testable hypotheses. Assuming
> that the results of experiment have something to do with the real world,
> then proven hypotheses have some relation to the real world (inserted in
> case a philosopy grad student is reading). The relation of a proven
> hypothesis to the real world is predictive power.
> Based upon the fossil record, sedimentology, and isotopic dating of
> rocks, an evolutionary tree of the vertibrates was constructed showing
> which species were more closely related to each other. As the science
> got better, more detail was added. There were mistakes and false
> starts, we had no divine intervention.
> The same evolutionary tree was found by physiology. And by enzyme
> studies. Now with molecular biology.
> Evolution happened. So we know that earlier life forms evolved into
> what is here now. By induction, there had to be a beginning. There is
> a rich and interesting literature on how life originated, and on the
> nature and origin of consciousness. Sadly, I don't believe I will live
> to see those issues settled, and I'm hoping for another 40 years.
> As an example of how complex the questions you asking are, I have a
> simple test: define consciousness. Go ahead.

Yeah, right. It's oneathem "emergent" attributes. ;-)

--
Jim Naylor
jrna...@concentric.net

"I want to know how God created the world. I am not interested in
this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element;
I want to know His thoughts; the rest are details."
-- Albert Einstein

David Iain Greig

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Dec 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/23/99
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wooo. missed seeing the followups.

David Lloyd-Jones <ico...@netcom.ca> wrote:
>
>Matt Silberstein <mat...@ix.netcom.com>
>> In talk.origins I read this message from "David Lloyd-Jones"
>> <ico...@netcom.ca>:
>> |David Iain Greig <gr...@ediacara.org> wrote
>> |> z@z <z...@z.lol.li> wrote:

>> |> >Can physical laws, as conceived by modern science, explain the
>> |> >emergence of life and consciousness?
>>

>> |> Sure. Life is an emergent property of the self-organizing tendencies
>> |> of matter.
>>
>> |Now how in the name of Cthulhu does "self-organizing tendencies" get to
>be

>> |less mystical mumbojumbo than "panpsychism, advocated by Cusanus, Bruno,
>> |Kepler..."

Okay, life is the result of ordinary chemical reactions. 'Emergent'
in the same way that the human mind is an emergent function of the huge
degree of organization of the human brain. Neurons don't think. Similarly,
cAMP isn't alive. 'Self-organizing' is evident. Unless you're a theist.
Or a Xordaxian. So life is 1) emergent, from 2) self-organizing
matter. No mysticism, no vitalism, just chemistry. Change 'tendencies'
to 'properties'. Less anthropomorphic.

Life is an emergent property of ordinary matter, produced by simple
chemical reactions. These reactions do not require external
manipulation; they are self-organizing.

>> Because we can measure self-organizing tendencies.
>
>You can't. You can measure organization, then you can assert falsely that it
>happened by its "self," (as opposed to being the result of an increase of
>entropy accompanying a throughput of energy) and then you can cap off the
>whole miserable performance by inventing a reified "tendency" to be in
>charge of this bogosity.

Fine, 'property' instead.

>>Read _Origins of
>> Order_ by Kauffman.
>
>I have, and even worse I have read his dreadful "At Home In The Universe"
>twice. The man is an intellectual crook of the first water, and my paragraph
>above is a tight and accurate description of what he does with great bombast
>and at greater length in both books. Still you've got to give the guy credit
>for one thing, inadvertent humor: "At Home In The Universe" indeed! Where
>else?

Makes sense to me; similar to 'A l'aise dans sa peau' (sp?) lit. 'at ease
in his skin' -- comfortable with himself. But then, that's just my spin
on the title, I haven't read the book.

>> |> Who's a reductionist? Life is emergent.


>
>"Life is emergent." The best thing one can say about this is that it's
>content free. Like it's happening. Yeah. But probably to call it
>content-free is to flatter it: as with the rest of this fatuity, Greig
>probably wants to convince us that there is real content here -- that
>"emergence" is an actual mechanism, rather than a word assigned ex post
>facto to something claimed to have emerged.

Amazing how my small amount of 'fatuity' evoked such a longer, vitriolic
'content-free' response from your estimable self.

>> |Nobody is suggesting that you are a reductionist. On the evidence of this
>> |post you're a half-witted mystic qualified to teach in a New Age version
>of
>> |Kansas.
>>
>> Now that is a high quality argument. Tell him that he needs a shave,
>> too. That always works.

I probably do. Nu?

>I don't know whether he needs a shave. It's clear, though, that his argument
>does.

Now, that's witty. I almost believe you intended it. But then, I'm
accused of thinking well of strangers.

And I would even think we've met; Unix Unanimous?

--D.


Kristofer D. Dale

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Dec 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/23/99
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: Life is an emergent property of ordinary matter, produced by simple

: chemical reactions. These reactions do not require external
: manipulation; they are self-organizing.

all of the life I have observed is exceedingly manipulated by the
external environment to the point of dependancy, without a matrix,
there are no actual reactions, even though theoretically possible

: And I would even think we've met; Unix Unanimous?

or perhaps it was Lurkers Synonymous...


Kristofer Dale,
ragged individualist,
statistic at large...


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