cause-and-effect

Cathy Woodgold woodgold at seismo.emr.ca
Mon Jun 20 10:42:41 EST 1994


In article 9Ky at mozo.cc.purdue.edu, barani at cc.purdue.edu (barani) writes:
> ...
> Many statements like the following appear in these articles:
> 
> "a cell becomes cancerous because it can lead to ageing..."
> "certain genes are turned off or turned on because the future 
> generation baby can be healthy..."
> etc.
> ...
> Please do not make arguments which seemingly imply that 
> there are Supernatural Reasons which is why we age, or, for that matter, 
> "Nature Found a better way to recycle by killing us and producing babies" 
> and so on.

I don't know about the first quoted statement, but the second seems to
be an attempt to approximate what I wrote, so I'm responding.  I did not
make any statement meaning quite the same as either of the quoted statements,
and I don't think anybody else did, either.  If you're going to criticize
what people say, please try to quote them exactly;  criticize what they
said, not what they didn't say!
   If you think I was implying that there are Supernatural Reasons or that
being killed by Nature is "better", you have misunderstood me.  Perhaps I
didn't express my ideas clearly enough.  (Why do people keep misunderstanding
me?  I think this is the second time I've been misunderstood while trying to
explain the same concept.  Am I not explaining it very well, or is it a
very difficult concept to grasp?)

   Basically, the concept I was working with was that there are a lot
of fertilized human eggs.  A lot of these grow into babies, and a lot
of them don't.  A lot of the ones that don't grow into babies don't grow
into babies because they have seriously defective genes.  It is "natural
selection" that decides which genes are so seriously defective that a
baby can't result.  If you don't understand the concept of "natural selection":
ask me or somebody else to explain it.  Anyway, "natural selection" is NOT
a "Supernatural Reason".  It's a scientific concept.

  And once again, I DON'T THINK IT'S A GOOD THING FOR PEOPLE TO DIE!! and please
stop saying that I'm saying that when I'm not!!

   By the way, somebody asked what TISSATAAFL meant, and I forgot to answer.
It's my answer to TANSTAAFL, which stands for "There Ain't No Such Thing
As A Free Lunch" (from The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, by R. Heinlein).  Ask
again if you still can't figure it out.

Cathy              TISSATAAFL






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