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Jerry Fodor’s Enduring Critique of Neo-Darwinism | The New Yorker
Fodor attacked neo-Darwinism on a purely conceptual and scientific basis—its own turf, in other words. He thought that it suffered from a “free rider” problem: too many of our phenotypic traits have no discernible survival value, and therefore could not plausibly be interpreted as products of adaptation. “Selection theory cannot distinguish the trait upon which fitness is contingent from the trait that has no effect on fitness (and is merely a free rider),” he wrote. “Advertising to the contrary notwithstanding, natural selection can’t be a general mechanism that connects phenotypic variation with variation in fitness. So natural selection can’t be the mechanism of evolution.”
yesterday by zryb
Our development process: 10 years of evolution
Is it easy to document all major process changes in a company for 10 years? This articles includes real data and complete honesty about agile, kanban, organization structure and development processes.
agile  kanban  experience  evolution  programming 
3 days ago by gilberto5757
Jerry Fodor was a skeptic, including in his own ideas about how cognition works. He was treated as a crank — a beloved crank
When I reread “What Darwin Got Wrong,” there were two sentences that I paused over longest. “What trait did evolution select for when it selected creatures that protect their young? Was it an altruistic interest or a selfish interest in their genes?” The oddity is asking the question in the first place. What sort of creature is it, after all, that must first ideate its own function before being able to fulfill it? We are not the ghostly adjuncts of our own natures, and loving our children isn’t false consciousness; if I discovered my distant progeny would one day teem the surface of the earth like so many roaches, it wouldn’t put a spring in my step today. Neo-Darwinism “affronts a robust, and I should think salubrious, intuition that there are lots and lots of things that we care about simply for themselves.”

Fodor’s politics were never evident from his writing, and he regarded the idea that we are meaning-seeking creatures, telling ourselves stories in order to live, as English-department blah-blah. He was a naturalist, and he believed that with a proper understanding of Darwin we would never ask nature to tell us who or what to be. “We are artifacts designed by natural selection,” Daniel Dennett wrote, to which Fodor said no. “Darwin’s idea is much deeper, much more beautiful, and appreciably scarier: We are artifacts designed by selection in exactly the sense in which the Rockies are artifacts designed by erosion; which is to say that we aren’t artifacts and nothing designed us. We are, and always have been, entirely on our own.”
philosophy  evolution 
3 days ago by ayjay

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