Tuesday, May 24, 2005


Happy Birthday Dad

(Listen to Outfit by The Drive By Truckers) It's been a C-R-A-Z-E-E weekend and I haven't got a lot of time to chat with y'all. I just wanted to get a few things out: - It's my Pa's birthday today. Happy birthday Pa! The song - written by Jason Isbell for his dad - is for you (I'm not sure you'll like it, but I have no pipe music...sorry). - I know I promised a review of Thursday's Bright Eyes show but a combination lack of time (my buddy's wedding festivities this weekend were WAY too much fun...my apologies to anyone for anything insulting I may have said, it was the vodka's fault) and lack of inspiration (despite my repeated attempts to give Conor the benefit of the doubt, Digital Ash keeps striking me as musically muddled and emotionally distant; kinda Radiohead lite. Somehow there's enough data coming through the music for you to tell he's horny/sad/lonely or angry - remember LASH is GOOD - but the arrangements are so needlessly full of STUFF, that you're separated from the emotional impact.) the sound at Metropolis was great, though. Pregnant Pause: - "Daniel Larusso, is gonna fight" (warning: Sound) - Was Darwin wrong?...No.
Thanks for the link to the Darwinism vs. ID article. I'm following all this a little more closely, since I'm heading down to the belly of the beast in the fall, and will be co-teaching a course on the Darwinian revolution. The deep links the author pointed out between ID and the "culture wars" in the States frighteningly echo the cover stories in this month's Harper's.

One counterargument to the ID theorists, and an important element of Darwin's theory not always remembered by its defenders, is its profound historical contingency. As Stephen Jay Gould pointed out in his book Wonderful Life (using the history of B.C.'s Burgess Shale fossil find to illustrate his point), mutation is not a goal-directed process, but rather a random function of genetics occuring within a dynamic and highly unpredictable environment. As he points out, if you turned the clock back on evolution, we can be virtually certain that it would not play out the same way again. In that sense, our "design" reflects only the gradual adaptations (and maladaptations: ask homo sapiens neanderthalensis) to the changing environmental history of the planet. An asteroid hits a million years ago... we're done.
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