On Jun 28, 3:24 pm, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com
> On Jun 28, 2:50 pm, Burkhard <b.scha...@ed.ac.uk
> > On Jun 28, 2:42 pm, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com
> > > On Jun 28, 1:28 pm, Klaus Hellnick <khelSPAMln...@sbcglobal.net
> > > wrote:
> > > > On 6/27/2012 2:37 PM, backspace wrote:
> > > > > p.117 ...Who, before Darwin, could have guessed that something so
> > > > > apparently designed as a dragonfly's wing or an eagle's eye was really
> > > > > the end product
> > > > > of a long sequence of non-random but purely natural causes?....
> > > > > Doesn't parse on grammatical grounds. His was should be wasn't . In
> > > > > anycase Dawkins isn't using a dictionary from 1850 where non-random
> > > > > was the semantic opposite of random. Fun these word games ain't it?
> > > > Nope. You have been spending too much time studying Uranus Companion's
> > > > goofy word game posts. Darwin was quite clear in his implication that
> > > > evolution is NOT RANDOM. People have been trying to teach creatards for
> > > > decades that evolution is not based on pure chance, and the idiots keep
> > > > coming back with the "tornado in a junkyard" argument. "Selection", as
> > > > in "natural selection", is the essentially opposite of random.
> > > > Klaus
> > > Do you mean that @not random@ is the synonym of directed?
> > No, "not random" is the synonym of "deterministic", or if you use it
> > in the epistemic sense, of "predictable"
> Are you using epistemic as the dissimilar term for falsifiable?
No, I use it like everyone else, as a term for "statement about our
knowledge". It is in that sense possible to call certain processes
random, because given our imperfect knowledge, they can only be
described statistically - that does not necessarily mean that they are
non-deterministic, just that I don't have enough information to
predict for each individual instance the outcome with hundred percent
certainty. This is different from "ontological randomness" that we
may or may not find on the level of quantum events.
> Deterministic , predictable, random, non-random etc. are either
> synonymous or dissimilar terms used to represent a Platonic binary
> opposite. Namely a pattern with a purpose or pattern without a
> > >From a
> > > dictionary of 1850 this was the reading. The issue is how did
> > > dictionaries define the terms, not whether they were correct or not.
> > For a text written now, the question how a term was defined in the
> > 19th century is pretty much irrelevant.
Why not? When I describe from an outsider perspective what people
believe, I use my own vocabulary. It is perfectly intelligible to say
things like "the ancient Egyptians worshipped the sun" even though the
way we define sun now is very different from what they would have
understood under that term.