In article 2nq at infa.central.susx.ac.uk, bafa1 at central.susx.ac.uk (Sydney Shall) writes:
> Unlike mental processes, evolutionary processes are NOT goal-directed.
This is a matter of semantics, of how we think and talk about it. It's not
a matter of fact. It's all in how we define words like "goal". I prefer
the goal-oriented language: for example "This tulip is trying to push
through the layer of dead leaves to get up to the sunlight". It's a way
of thinking. All the time I know that it`s really just natural selection
at work. Thinking about evolution can be clearer, more concise, more
efficient if I allow myself this kind of semantics.
I say that evolutionary processes are indeed goal-directed. Natural selection
tends to move in the direction of the goal of creating organisms that survive well.
But it all depends on how you define the concept "goal-directed".
I could claim that mental processes aren't goal-directed, either, but that's
getting somewhat off topic. I like R. Hofstadter's ideas about this sort
of thing. (e.g. in Metamagical Themas.)