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Ch. 1: Finding Your Inner Fish 
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DWill, what you say about stoicism reflects common usage, but I was talking about the philosophy: as http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stoicism puts it, "The core doctrine of Stoicism concerns cosmic determinism and human freedom, and the belief that virtue is to maintain a will that is in accord with nature." This stoic theme of coordination of will and nature is deeply evolutionary in character.

I would just say that the "natures" in the quoted part and your comment are different. I distinguish, as I think is common, between "the nature of things" and nature in the natural science sense, which is what evolution concerns. I also think the important feature of Stoicism is exactly the attitude toward circumstance that it teaches us to have. I see nothing less important about philosophy in the popular sense.

I should have made it clear that "unlawful" means not following natural law. Although evolution does proceed mechanically by lawful processes, some believe that it is led by a force or impetus that is not lawful in that sense, but creative.
DWill



Thu May 29, 2008 4:02 pm
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President Camacho wrote:
I was also wondering about the pressure to publish. The saying is "publish or perish." Does this have to do with ground-breaking work or with 'anything' that is published, so long as it is published?

The quote is about how professors have to publish something in order to survive. As you can guess, the quality of the publications suffers due to this.



Fri Jun 13, 2008 4:07 am
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Biomachine wrote:
I read a review of the book online and one of the things the review emphasized on was the fact Neil Shubin refused to get into it with creationists in his book.

It was refreshing to see a book published in 2008 dealing with a subject of this nature which doesn't even concern itself with the whole creationism vs. evolution debate. For me personally, it was a breath a fresh air to just read through the book without having to deal with this debate.

It entertains me to no end to see how this debate has garnered so much attention in the West. Out here in the East, evolution is what is taught in the books and creationism doesn't even enter the scientific picture. One reason for this might be that a lot of the Eastern religions and philosophies (Hinduism/Buddhism) donot believe in a Creator God or even in a God. So, even a fanatic Buddhist (is that an oxymoron? ;-) ) can believe in both Buddhism and evolution with no conflict between the two.



Fri Jun 13, 2008 4:14 am
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DWill wrote:
When I was much younger, I wanted to be an archeologist because I'd read about Heinrich Schliemann's excavation of Troy and I liked to dig up old bottles and artifacts everywhere I went. Shubin communicates to us some of this boyish joy in his vocation. It's good to see portrayed not just the science but the feeling for doing science.

My thoughts precisely! Even though palaeontologists appear a lot on TV and movies, I had always wondered how they would first hone in on a spot of land to start from. Shubin has cleared those doubts with the delightful explanation of his Arctic expedition.



Fri Jun 13, 2008 4:20 am
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President Camacho wrote:
The depth of science that Shubin immerses his readers in gets deeper and deeper throughout the book. It begins by, as you mention, bypassing creationism and then bursts right through evolution to in your face "slice and dice" type experiments on animal embryos of different species.

From what I can see the book uses the following techniques to explain and substantiate its findings:
1. Palaeontology
2. Comparative anatomy
3. Embryology
4. DNA analysis

It was scientifically comforting to see the findings from all these branches of science match with each other.



Fri Jun 13, 2008 4:24 am
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I can has reading?

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Yodha wrote:
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From what I can see the book uses the following techniques to explain and substantiate its findings:
1. Palaeontology
2. Comparative anatomy
3. Embryology
4. DNA analysis

It was scientifically comforting to see the findings from all these branches of science match with each other.


Yes, it makes this book and interesting read and one of the things I liked about the book.



Fri Jun 13, 2008 4:32 am
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