SETI Dawkins: New "Extended Phenotype" with Dennett! / July Book Pick... / Featured Links

Larry Klaes (
Tue, 06 Jul 1999 14:32:12 -0400

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>Date: Mon, 05 Jul 1999 11:44:07 -0400
>From: John Catalano <>
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>Subject: Dawkins: New "Extended Phenotype" with Dennett! / July Book
Pick... / Featured
> Links
> --== "The World of Richard Dawkins" Newsletter ==--
>The items below were selected from the current Headlines:
>A new edition of "The Extended Phenotype" by Richard Dawkins
>with a an afterword by Daniel Dennett (April 1999) ISBN:
>"It doesn't matter if you never read anything else of mine, please
>at least read this."
> -- Richard Dawkins
>Featured book for July 1999....
>"Evolutionary Design by Computers"
>edited by Peter J. Bentley
>with a Foreword by Richard Dawkins
>Hardcover 464 pages Book & CD-ROM edition (May 1999)
>The publisher's official book page where you can download Chapter
>1 in .pdf format!
>Lots of new Featured Links at:
>- DNA From the Beginning : a multimedia primer on the basics of
>DNA and heridity - Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
>- Cutting Edge Debates in HMS Beagle
>- Molecular Information Theory and the Theory of Molecular
>Machines from Tom Schneider
>- The Life Science Site
>- Elsevier Trends Journals - Elsevier Trends Journals are now
>available through BioMedNet. (About)
>- The Mencken Society Home Page
>- Agent of Darwin from Liberty Jaswal - essays & links.
>- Freedom From Religion Foundation Inc. - an educational group
>working for separation of state and church.
>- Feethinkers from from Jim Walker - with original essays.
>Includes News briefs: How religious, political and ideological
>beliefs spark violence, crime, intolerance and falsehoods
>- Sin City - The Web Home of Penn & Teller
>- The Truths Behind Religion - To advance humanistic values,
>restore self-value and protect freethought for the individual,
>family, and community.
>- Jhuger - from Rev. Jim Huber, Heretic - "Driving the Karma that
>runs over your Dogma since 1996" - parables, essays, parodies and
>- The Jack T. Chick Parody Archive (warning: may offend)
>- An Atheist Apology - © 1998-1999 Dennis Paul Himes
>05 July 99 Primatology & Physics
>Frans de Waal - World-renowned primatologist, C.H. Candler
>Professor of Primate Behavior and Director of the Living Links
>Center at Emory University Center, and author of several books,
>including "Bonobo, the Forgotten Ape", "Chimpanzee Politics", And
>"Good Natured" will talk about our closest relatives.
>Doug Osheroff (Part 1 of 2) - Stanford University physicist,
>popular educator, and winner of the 1996 Nobel Prize in Physics
>for his work on superfluidity in helium-3 talks about his work and
>other interests.
>John Catalano + + New York, USA
>'The World of Richard Dawkins' +
>'Gould flirts with the idea that evolution itself changes over the
>long haul, but he puts it in a topsy turvy way which has
>undoubtedly been widely misleading. It is more fully expounded in
>Wonderful Life but reprised in the present book. For Gould,
>evolution in the Cambrian was a different kind of process from
>evolution today. The Cambrian was a period of evolutionary
>‘experiment’, evolutionary ‘trial and error’, evolutionary ‘false
>starts’. It was a period of ‘explosive’ invention, before
>evolution stabilised into the humdrum process we see today. It was
>the fertile time when all the great ‘fundamental body plans’ were
>invented. Nowadays, evolution just tinkers with old body plans.
>Back in the Cambrian, new phyla and new classes arose. Nowadays we
>only get new species!...'
>'...It is as though a gardener looked at an old oak tree and
>remarked, wonderingly: "Isn’t it strange that no major new boughs
>have appeared on this tree for many years. These days, all the new
>growth appears to be at the twig level!'
>'"Phylum-level leaps" and "modest jumps, up to the class level"
>are the sheerest nonsense. Jumps above the species level don’t
>happen, and nobody who thinks about it for two minutes claims that
>they do. Even the great phyla, when they originally bifurcated one
>from another, were just pairs of new species, members of the same
>genus. Classes are species that diverged a very long time ago, and
>phyla are species that diverged an even longer time ago. Indeed it
>is a moot – and rather empty – question precisely when in the
>course of the step by step, gradual mutual divergence of, say,
>mollusc ancestors and annelid ancestors after the time when they
>were congeneric species, we should wish to say that the divergence
>had reached ‘Bauplan’ status. A good case could be made that The
>Bauplan is a myth, probably as pernicious as any of the myths that
>Stephen Gould has so ably combatted, but this one, in its modern
>form, is largely perpetuated by him.'
> -Richard Dawkins

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