Dawkin's God delusion ungrammatical sentences

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Jun 27, 2012, 3:37:52 PM6/27/12
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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?

John Harshman

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Jun 27, 2012, 4:22:05 PM6/27/12
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The solution to your conundrum is that a normal person is capable of
parsing that sentence quite easily.

Kermit

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Jun 27, 2012, 4:51:10 PM6/27/12
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On Jun 27, 12:37 pm, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> 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.

Yes it does.

>   His was should be wasn't .

Not for grammatical reasons. If one want ed to lie, for example, or
deomonstrate ignorance of simple scientific ideas, one might say that.

> In anycase   Dawkins isn't using a dictionary from 1850

Who would, in ordinary conversation?

> where non-random
> was the semantic opposite of random.

The "non-" prefix does not mean "the opposite of", but rather "not".

For example, non-Christian does not mean Satanic, nor atheist. It
could be those, or it could be Hindu, secular, or any number of
unrelated subjects.

> Fun these word games ain't it?

Only if they are clever, true, or funny.

Kermit

Mitchell Coffey

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Jun 27, 2012, 5:06:27 PM6/27/12
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On Jun 27, 3:37 pm, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> 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 .

It's difficult to believe that you think your was/wasn't is an
grammatical issue.

> 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?

There's not reason on Earth why Dawkins should be using a 1850s
dictionary. Had Darwin written in French, Dawkins would have been
obliged to transate and, if necessary, bring the science up to modern
understanding.

And, once again, this is not a grammatrical issue. You do know what
"grammatical" means, don't you?

Mitchell Coffey

backspace

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Jun 27, 2012, 5:04:42 PM6/27/12
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Well, then maybe my English is not that good, I don't get it.

This makes more sense:
Who, before Darwin, could have guessed that something so apparently
designed as a dragonfly's wing ..... wasn't really the end product
of .... non-random but purely natural causes?....

This version Dawkins is saying that before Darwin it was believed that
non-random directed intervention
generated a dragonfly as opposed to random undirected forces.

Where am I misreading him?

wiki trix

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Jun 27, 2012, 5:24:15 PM6/27/12
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On Jun 27, 3:37 pm, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> 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.

I parse it with no trouble. Problem must be with the parser.

UC

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Jun 27, 2012, 5:58:55 PM6/27/12
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On Jun 27, 3:37 pm, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
It's not particularly good, but then he's American and a scientist.
What can you expect. Oliver Sacks is a much better writer, as are most
medical men.

http://www.oliversacks.com/

Bruce Stephens

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Jun 27, 2012, 6:22:21 PM6/27/12
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UC <uraniumc...@yahoo.com> writes:

> On Jun 27, 3:37 pm, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> 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?
>
> It's not particularly good, but then he's American and a scientist.

Dawkins is American? When did that happen?

(I also find the sentence reads fine, but then I'm English so what do I
know about the language?)

UC

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Jun 27, 2012, 6:27:35 PM6/27/12
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On Jun 27, 6:22 pm, Bruce Stephens <bruce+use...@cenderis.demon.co.uk>
wrote:
Oh, damn, I was thinking about Sacks when I wrote that. Sorry!

Slow Vehicle

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Jun 27, 2012, 6:31:56 PM6/27/12
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On Jun 27, 4:22 pm, Bruce Stephens <bruce+use...@cenderis.demon.co.uk>
wrote:
Given the fact that Dawkins correctly refers to humans as apes, it is
clear that his argument is superior to those of the loonies who would
edit him to their tastes and agenda. Y'all do know that "editing" a
writer's words to disagree with the writer's stated position is
dishonest, right?
Disagree all you want to, but don't presume to speak for Dawkins'
intent.

chris thompson

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Jun 27, 2012, 6:42:19 PM6/27/12
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Starting at "W" and ending at "?"

Chris

John Harshman

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Jun 27, 2012, 6:45:24 PM6/27/12
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backspace wrote:
> On Jun 27, 9:22 pm, John Harshman <jharsh...@pacbell.net> wrote:
>> 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?
>> The solution to your conundrum is that a normal person is capable of
>> parsing that sentence quite easily.
>
> Well, then maybe my English is not that good, I don't get it.

Exactly. Now you're getting it.

> This makes more sense:
> Who, before Darwin, could have guessed that something so apparently
> designed as a dragonfly's wing ..... wasn't really the end product
> of .... non-random but purely natural causes?....
>
> This version Dawkins is saying that before Darwin it was believed that
> non-random directed intervention
> generated a dragonfly as opposed to random undirected forces.
>
> Where am I misreading him?

Everywhere. Evolution isn't random. Evolution is non-random. He's
talking about evolution. In fact he's asking who, before Darwin, could
have supposed that natural selection could produce something that looks
designed. Before Darwin, apparent design was most often attributed to
God, who, though supposed also to be non-random, is assumed not to be a
natural cause.

John Harshman

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Jun 27, 2012, 6:46:36 PM6/27/12
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Less than UC, who is the acknowledged world expert on all languages.

Frank J

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Jun 27, 2012, 6:49:24 PM6/27/12
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And avoiding the incorrect "Dawkin's."

chris thompson

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Jun 27, 2012, 7:02:08 PM6/27/12
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On Jun 27, 5:58 pm, UC <uraniumcommit...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> On Jun 27, 3:37 pm, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> 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?
>
> It's not particularly good,

Make it better.

Chris

wiki trix

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Jun 27, 2012, 7:14:50 PM6/27/12
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On Jun 27, 7:02 pm, chris thompson <chris.linthomp...@gmail.com>
wrote:
> On Jun 27, 5:58 pm, UC <uraniumcommit...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
> > On Jun 27, 3:37 pm, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> 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?
>
> > It's not particularly good,
>
> Make it better.

I really do not see any problem with it. Grammar checks out. Point is
made clearly. How would one make it better?

UC

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Jun 27, 2012, 6:01:35 PM6/27/12
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On Jun 27, 3:37 pm, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
Here's my edit:

Before Darwin, who could have guessed that something so seemingly the
product of design as a dragonfly's wing or an eagle's eye was really
the result of a long sequence of non-random but purely natural
causes?...

William Hughes

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Jun 27, 2012, 8:14:51 PM6/27/12
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On Jun 27, 7:22 pm, Bruce Stephens <bruce+use...@cenderis.demon.co.uk>
wrote:
> UC <uraniumcommit...@yahoo.com> writes:
> > On Jun 27, 3:37 pm, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> 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?
>
> > It's not particularly good, but then he's American and a scientist.
>
> Dawkins is American? When did that happen?

He was actually born in St Louis, but moved to Britain and faked his
birth certificate so he could become a British academic.

raven1

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Jun 27, 2012, 10:55:40 PM6/27/12
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On Wed, 27 Jun 2012 12:37:52 -0700 (PDT), backspace
<steph...@gmail.com> 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.

Sure it does.

> 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?

What's the point of this one?

---
raven1
aa # 1096
EAC Vice President (President in charge of vice)
BAAWA Knight

nick_keigh...@hotmail.com

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Jun 28, 2012, 5:14:47 AM6/28/12
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um. except they *were* the end product etc. You can (if you wish) claim Dawkins is wrong but that doesn't give you carte blanche to rewrite his sentances to change the meaning from the intended one.

Reentrant

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Jun 28, 2012, 5:37:12 AM6/28/12
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Yes - not because "were" is factually correct but because it should be
the plural form.

"... wing or eye WERE ..." not "... wing or eye WAS ...". So the OP is
right; there is a grammatical error.

--
Reentrant

Burkhard

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Jun 28, 2012, 5:47:08 AM6/28/12
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On Jun 28, 10:37 am, Reentrant <nos...@nospam.invalid> wrote:
My grammar book from school said that "Two singular subjects connected
by either/or or neither/nor require a singular verb" - i did a quick
check for online sources, this one says the same:
http://www.grammarbook.com/grammar/subjectVerbAgree.asp

Not being a native speaker, my intuitions are not the best guide, they
would have been with you though.

Ernest Major

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Jun 28, 2012, 7:24:40 AM6/28/12
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In message <a52mts...@mid.individual.net>, Reentrant
<nos...@nospam.invalid> writes
The subject is "something ...", which is singular, therefore the
singular form of the verb is correct, and there is no grammatical error.
One might mutter about the length of the subject and object phrases, but
with my tendency to resort to overly parenthesised complex and compound
sentences of sesquipedalian length and abstruse and polysyllabic
vocabulary I wouldn't cast the first stone.
--
alias Ernest Major

Ernest Major

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Jun 28, 2012, 7:30:25 AM6/28/12
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In message
<d52dcb71-ae59-4d6a...@n5g2000vbb.googlegroups.com>,
Burkhard <b.sc...@ed.ac.uk> writes
I agree on the grammar (e.g. "neither YEC nor OEC is factually correct",
but "both YEC and OEC are factually false"), but not on the analysis -
in this case there is only one singular subject - "something ...
dragonfly's wing or eagle's eye".
>
>Not being a native speaker, my intuitions are not the best guide, they
>would have been with you though.
>

--
alias Ernest Major

nick_keigh...@hotmail.com

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Jun 28, 2012, 5:19:58 AM6/28/12
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On Wednesday, June 27, 2012 11:22:21 PM UTC+1, Bruce Stephens wrote:
> UC <uraniumc...@yahoo.com> writes:
> > On Jun 27, 3:37 pm, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> 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?
> >
> > It's not particularly good, but then he's American and a scientist.
>
> Dawkins is American? When did that happen?

Dawkins like Hawkins is American on the basis that all famous scientists are American.

(Hawkins was famously given as an example of someone who wouldm't be alive today if they'd had to depend on the Britsh National Health Service and its infamous "Death Boards". Death Boards are NICE-ly newspeaked.)

Robert Carnegie: Fnord: cc talk-origins@moderators.isc.org

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Jun 28, 2012, 7:48:36 AM6/28/12
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A dragonfly's wing or an eagle's eye appear
to be designed for their function. Before Darwin,
who could have guessed that such things are really
the end product of a long sequence of non-random
but purely natural causes?

Jean-Baptiste Lamarck for one, I dare say.

Ernest Major

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Jun 28, 2012, 7:54:32 AM6/28/12
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In message <643f9d97-003b-4b12...@googlegroups.com>,
nick_keigh...@hotmail.com writes
>On Wednesday, June 27, 2012 11:22:21 PM UTC+1, Bruce Stephens wrote:
>> UC <uraniumc...@yahoo.com> writes:
>> > On Jun 27, 3:37 pm, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> 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?
>> >
>> > It's not particularly good, but then he's American and a scientist.
>>
>> Dawkins is American? When did that happen?
>
>Dawkins like Hawkins is American on the basis that all famous
>scientists are American.

s/Hawkins/Hawking/
>
>(Hawkins was famously given as an example of someone who wouldm't be
>alive today if they'd had to depend on the Britsh National Health
>Service and its infamous "Death Boards". Death Boards are NICE-ly
>newspeaked.)
>

--
alias Ernest Major

Klaus Hellnick

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Jun 28, 2012, 8:28:30 AM6/28/12
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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

backspace

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Jun 28, 2012, 8:56:24 AM6/28/12
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On Jun 27, 11:22 pm, Bruce Stephens <bruce
+use...@cenderis.demon.co.uk> wrote:
The sentence doesn't read fine because it equates non-
randomness(directed,volition) with randomness. The non is the prefix
that provides random with a semantic opposite. This is in terms of
Platonic binary contrasts.

Robert Carnegie: Fnord: cc talk-origins@moderators.isc.org

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Jun 28, 2012, 7:43:34 AM6/28/12
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Actually, the subject is "something". I could
say that "I have, in my pocket, something
as green as a cypress tree, or a freshly
mowed lawn." The something isn't a tree or
a lawn.

Instead of "something", Professor Dawkins
could have written "things" or "such things",
and "were" plural instead of "was".

I'm not sure, but a shift in grammar from
"It is not green, but if it were green, ..."
to, "It is not green, but if it was green, ..."
might apply here. The first nowadays
is correct but showy-offy; the second is
acceptable and normal. I've forgotten what
the first one is called.

backspace

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Jun 28, 2012, 9:03:19 AM6/28/12
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On Jun 28, 12:48 pm, "Robert Carnegie: Fnord: cc talk-
Your are should be an aren't from the premise that non-random isn't
the same thing as natural,undirected or random.

Note from the premise, not whether the premise is incorrect or not.

backspace

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Jun 28, 2012, 9:04:45 AM6/28/12
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They were the end product of what non-random or random processes? A
random process like tornadoes only represents itself, while a non-
random process represents something other than itself like books,
cars, bridges etc.

Slow Vehicle

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Jun 28, 2012, 9:22:09 AM6/28/12
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In that light, the OP's title "should have been", "I admit that I am
an idiot and have no understanding".

backspace

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Jun 28, 2012, 9:42:18 AM6/28/12
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On Jun 28, 1:28 pm, Klaus Hellnick <khelSPAMln...@sbcglobal.net>
wrote:
Do you mean that @not random@ is the synonym of directed? 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.

backspace

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Jun 28, 2012, 9:48:40 AM6/28/12
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On Jun 28, 10:37 am, Reentrant <nos...@nospam.invalid> wrote:
Would you rewrite the sentence for me than? Here are the facts:
1) Before Darwin the view was that animals were the product of non-
random directed guidance or creation.
2) During DArwin's time it was the view of blind chance, random. This
was affirmed by Osborn in his NYTimes article around 1921 I think. The
reference is on my http://tautology.wikia.com under the Osborn
entry.

Thus we went from non-random to random and now seemingly back to non-
random as Dawkins and Wikipedia revises history. An additional
problems is that the non-random was the opposite of random during
Darwin's time, it was understood as such. The Newspeak that non-random
no longer is the opposite of random I identified in the Osborn article

Burkhard

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Jun 28, 2012, 9:50:49 AM6/28/12
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On Jun 28, 2:42 pm, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
> 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"

>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.


Slow Vehicle

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Jun 28, 2012, 9:54:43 AM6/28/12
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No, "the issue" raised by your post, is whether you have the moral
right to try to change an author's words to make the author seem to
support your sectarian agenda. Dawkins said what he meant, using the
terms he meant to use, to support the point he meant to make. "Non-
chocolate" does NOT mean "vanilla", but any flavor that is not
chocolate, out of the myriad alternatives. "Not random" does NOT mean
"directed", but any process that is not random, out of the myriad
alternatives.

backspace

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Jun 28, 2012, 10:00:17 AM6/28/12
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On Jun 27, 10:04�pm, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Jun 27, 9:22�pm, John Harshman <jharsh...@pacbell.net> wrote:
>
> > 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?
>
> > The solution to your conundrum is that a normal person is capable of
> > parsing that sentence quite easily.
>
> Well, then maybe my English is not that good, I don't get it.
>
> This makes more sense:
> Who, before Darwin, could have guessed that something so apparently
> designed as a dragonfly's wing ..... wasn't �really �the end product
> of .... non-random but purely natural causes?....
>
> This version Dawkins is saying that before Darwin it was believed that
> non-random directed intervention
> generated a dragonfly as opposed to random undirected forces.
>
> Where am I misreading him?

The way this Afrikaner from South-Africa understand English is that
the @but@ gives us a delineation between two choices either random/non-
random or pattern/design or natural/directed. Thus the was must be a
@was not@ or wasn't to indicate a choice between two semantic
opposites.

If Dawkins meant to formulate a sentence with just one choice, not
contrasting to anything else , then he has entered his own type of
Wittgenstein @private language@ that makes no sense. Language only
functions to describe contrasts we understand light as the contrast to
darkness.

His usage of @before@ indicates a difference or contrast between
concepts,the once concept before Darwin and the other concept after
Darwin. Historically this was non-random/random.

Greg Guarino

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Jun 28, 2012, 10:13:06 AM6/28/12
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On 6/28/2012 9:48 AM, backspace wrote:
> Thus we went from non-random to random and now seemingly back to non-
> random as Dawkins and Wikipedia revises history.

Nope. Natural Selection never, ever meant "random".

An additional
> problems is that the non-random was the opposite of random during
> Darwin's time, it was understood as such.

Where did Dawkins use the word "random" in the sentence you quote? I
only see the word "natural". Random and non-random are antonyms still;
Natural and non-random are not. Earth's orbit both natural and non-random.





backspace

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Jun 28, 2012, 10:14:05 AM6/28/12
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Is there any alternative to the light / darkness contrast established
by Christ himself.

Slow Vehicle

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Jun 28, 2012, 10:17:51 AM6/28/12
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"...non-chocolate, but still delicious...", still does not mean,
"vanilla"

backspace

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Jun 28, 2012, 10:24:51 AM6/28/12
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On Jun 28, 2:50 pm, Burkhard <b.scha...@ed.ac.uk> wrote:
> On Jun 28, 2:42 pm, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> > 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?
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
purpose.



>
> >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?

backspace

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Jun 28, 2012, 10:35:06 AM6/28/12
to
Natural in the context used by Darwin was meant as the contrast to non-
random as indicated by his usage of @before@. He was describing a
situation ***before*** Darwin and after Darwin. Thus Natural should be
the dissimilar term by Dawkins to project this contrast to the concept
conveyed by non-random, namely random. Therefore his was is
incorrect , it should either be wasn't or weren't . With wasn't the
contrasts between a concept before and after is indicated. Thus from
my KJV YEC Creationism Platonic opposites, Dawkins sentence doesn't
parse within my grammatical reference frame: he bastardized syntax.

Greg Guarino

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Jun 28, 2012, 11:26:47 AM6/28/12
to
Hard to believe the irony above could be unintended.

UC

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Jun 28, 2012, 11:30:29 AM6/28/12
to
On Jun 27, 3:37 pm, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> 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?....


Oh, the ancient Greek philosophers, among others...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_evolutionary_thought#Greeks

Robert Carnegie: Fnord: cc talk-origins@moderators.isc.org

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Jun 28, 2012, 11:31:27 AM6/28/12
to
You're mixing up Darwin and Dawkins now. But that
isn't the problem.

Darwin's evolution is non-random /and/ natural,
because natural events produce design-like
adaptations to "purpose", which I put into quotes
because I suppose nobody /intended/ that there
should be eagles. There just are.

If I throw a stone, it is random because I can
choose any direction to throw the stone, but it
is non-random because the stone will certainly
fall to the ground, because of the non-random
force of gravity.

A natural genetic variation in an individual
eagle's eye may be random, with some individuals
able to see better, and some not so well, but,
in a process that I personally don't rule out
calling /partly/ random, the individuals with
better sight tend to prosper and successfully
reproduce, and the less well adapted individuals
tend not to prosper, and the next generation
tends to be descended from the better-adapted
birds, and to inherit the better characteristics.

At least, that's what I think Professor Dawkins
meant to say, there.

Slow Vehicle

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Jun 28, 2012, 11:34:52 AM6/28/12
to
Your Christ intentionally set up a dichotomy: light/darkness. had he
said, "light/non-light", there would not be a dichotomy.

Matchstick

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Jun 28, 2012, 11:36:17 AM6/28/12
to
In article <ee74fff1-7f24-4022-b6a4-1a43dcf1c091
@m3g2000vbl.googlegroups.com>, steph...@gmail.com says...
> The sentence doesn't read fine because it equates non-
> randomness(directed,volition) with randomness. The non is the prefix
> that provides random with a semantic opposite. This is in terms of
> Platonic binary contrasts.

The only possible way you could ever interpret the statement that way is
if you believe natural = random, so I suspect you are now just arguing
for arguments sake after you saw your initial post get shot down in
flames.

--
The wages of sin are death... but the hours are good and the perks are
fantastic

UC

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Jun 28, 2012, 11:43:58 AM6/28/12
to
On Jun 28, 5:19 am, nick_keighley_nos...@hotmail.com wrote:
> On Wednesday, June 27, 2012 11:22:21 PM UTC+1, Bruce Stephens wrote:
I agree the English is a bit awkward, but clear enough. In any case,
the Greeks already had such a notion.

Attila

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Jun 28, 2012, 12:29:51 PM6/28/12
to
Reentrant wrote:


>
> Yes - not because "were" is factually correct but because it should be
> the plural form.
>
> "... wing or eye WERE ..." not "... wing or eye WAS ...". So the OP is
> right; there is a grammatical error.
>
The following sentence is grammatical for me:
"John or Matilda is the one who killed Christopher"
The following sentence is ungrammatical for me:
*"John or Matilda are the one who killed Christopher."
The verb shouldn't be plural, at least in my dialect. Let me know if this
is not clear.

Burkhard

unread,
Jun 28, 2012, 12:22:31 PM6/28/12
to
On Jun 28, 3:24 pm, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Jun 28, 2:50 pm, Burkhard <b.scha...@ed.ac.uk> wrote:
>
>
>
> > On Jun 28, 2:42 pm, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > > 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
> purpose.
>
>
>
> > >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?

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.


backspace

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Jun 28, 2012, 12:27:57 PM6/28/12
to
On Jun 28, 4:36�pm, Matchstick <matchst...@deadspam.com> wrote:
> In article <ee74fff1-7f24-4022-b6a4-1a43dcf1c091
> @m3g2000vbl.googlegroups.com>, stephan...@gmail.com says...
>
> > The sentence doesn't read fine because it equates non-
> > randomness(directed,volition) with randomness. The non is the prefix
> > that provides random with a semantic opposite. This is in terms of
> > Platonic binary contrasts.
>
> The only possible way you could ever interpret the statement that way is
> if you believe natural = random, so I suspect you are now just arguing
> for arguments sake after you saw your initial post get shot down in
> flames.
>
> --
> The wages of sin are death... but the hours are good and the perks are
> fantastic

1) A natural event took place as the tornado hit the mountain.
2) A random event took place as the tornado hit the mountain.

In a sentence the majority metaphor for is natural <=> random ,
whether synonymous or dissimilar.
There is no such thing as a literal meaning, only majority and
minority metaphor. Dictionaries document the majority metaphor. When I
use literal I mean the majority dictionary type metaphor.

What was the view before Darwin and what was the view after Darwin?
Dawkins is trying to make this distinction and was fails, it must be

Bob Casanova

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Jun 28, 2012, 1:01:29 PM6/28/12
to
On Wed, 27 Jun 2012 12:37:52 -0700 (PDT), the following
appeared in talk.origins, posted by backspace
<steph...@gmail.com>:

>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.

Yes, it does.

> His was should be wasn't .

Only if you wish to reverse the meaning. Which, of course,
is your intent.
--

Bob C.

"Evidence confirming an observation is
evidence that the observation is wrong."
- McNameless

Bob Casanova

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Jun 28, 2012, 1:03:26 PM6/28/12
to
On Wed, 27 Jun 2012 14:58:55 -0700 (PDT), the following
appeared in talk.origins, posted by UC
<uraniumc...@yahoo.com>:

>On Jun 27, 3:37�pm, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> 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?
>
>It's not particularly good

....but it does parse correctly...

>, but then he's American

Really? When did he convert?

backspace

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Jun 28, 2012, 1:17:53 PM6/28/12
to
On Jun 28, 4:26 pm, Greg Guarino <gdguar...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On 6/28/2012 10:35 AM, backspace wrote:
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> > On Jun 28, 3:13 pm, Greg Guarino <gdguar...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >> On 6/28/2012 9:48 AM, backspace wrote:
>
> >>> Thus we went from non-random to random and now seemingly back to non-
> >>> random as Dawkins and Wikipedia revises history.
>
> >> Nope. Natural Selection never, ever meant "random".
>
> >> An additional
>
> >>> problems is that the non-random was the opposite of random during
> >>> Darwin's time, it was understood as such.
>
> >> Where did Dawkins use the word "random" in the sentence you quote? I
> >> only see the word "natural". Random and non-random are antonyms still;
> >> Natural and non-random are not. Earth's orbit both natural and non-random.
>
> > Natural in the context used by Darwin was meant as the contrast to non-
I mistyped, I meant Dawkins not darwin.

backspace

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Jun 28, 2012, 1:30:05 PM6/28/12
to
Does ontological randomness represent itself or something other than
itself.

Slow Vehicle

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Jun 28, 2012, 1:40:21 PM6/28/12
to
...which has noting to do with parsing Dawkins' correct sentence...

Greg Guarino

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Jun 28, 2012, 1:48:02 PM6/28/12
to
On 6/28/2012 1:17 PM, backspace wrote:
> On Jun 28, 4:26 pm, Greg Guarino <gdguar...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> On 6/28/2012 10:35 AM, backspace wrote:
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>> On Jun 28, 3:13 pm, Greg Guarino <gdguar...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>>> On 6/28/2012 9:48 AM, backspace wrote:
>>
>>>>> Thus we went from non-random to random and now seemingly back to non-
>>>>> random as Dawkins and Wikipedia revises history.
>>
>>>> Nope. Natural Selection never, ever meant "random".
>>
>>>> An additional
>>
>>>>> problems is that the non-random was the opposite of random during
>>>>> Darwin's time, it was understood as such.
>>
>>>> Where did Dawkins use the word "random" in the sentence you quote? I
>>>> only see the word "natural". Random and non-random are antonyms still;
>>>> Natural and non-random are not. Earth's orbit both natural and non-random.
>>
>>> Natural in the context used by Darwin was meant as the contrast to non-
> I mistyped, I meant Dawkins not darwin.

That was the least incomprehensible part

Mark Isaak

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Jun 28, 2012, 1:53:12 PM6/28/12
to
On 6/28/12 6:04 AM, backspace wrote:
> On Jun 28, 10:14 am, nick_keighley_nos...@hotmail.com wrote:
>> On Wednesday, June 27, 2012 8:37:52 PM UTC+1, 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?
>>
>> um. except they *were* the end product etc. You can (if you wish)
>> claim Dawkins is wrong but that doesn't give you carte blanche to
>> rewrite his sentances to change the meaning from the intended one.
>
> They were the end product of what non-random or random processes? A
> random process like tornadoes only represents itself, while a non-
> random process represents something other than itself like books,
> cars, bridges etc.

Tornadoes are not random. If they were random, they would occur about
as often in the winter as in the summer, and they would be about as
common in Oregon, France, and Peru as they are in Oklahoma and Kansas,
and they would not always be circular in cross-section.

Consider this a clue that your understanding of "random process" is many
degrees off course.

--
Mark Isaak eciton (at) curioustaxonomy (dot) net
"It is certain, from experience, that the smallest grain of natural
honesty and benevolence has more effect on men's conduct, than the most
pompous views suggested by theological theories and systems." - D. Hume

Bruce Stephens

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Jun 28, 2012, 1:58:03 PM6/28/12
to
backspace <steph...@gmail.com> writes:

> On Jun 28, 10:14 am, nick_keighley_nos...@hotmail.com wrote:
>> On Wednesday, June 27, 2012 8:37:52 PM UTC+1, 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?
>>
>> um. except they *were* the end product etc. You can (if you wish) claim Dawkins is wrong but that doesn't give you carte blanche to rewrite his sentances to change the meaning from the intended one.
>
> They were the end product of what non-random or random processes? A
> random process like tornadoes only represents itself, while a non-
> random process represents something other than itself like books,
> cars, bridges etc.

The "non-random but purely natural causes" aren't described further in
the sentence in question. That doesn't change the question of whether
it's grammatical or not. (I think it is.)

Burkhard

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Jun 28, 2012, 1:56:15 PM6/28/12
to
Do green triangles sleep furiously?

Tim Norfolk

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Jun 28, 2012, 2:37:21 PM6/28/12
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And 'random' doesn't mean equally likely, which seems to be the way that most people internalize the phrase.