Download Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life by Daniel C. Dennett PDF

By Daniel C. Dennett

In a ebook that's either groundbreaking and obtainable, Daniel C. Dennett, whom Chet Raymo of The Boston Globe calls "one of the main provocative thinkers at the planet," focuses his unerringly logical brain at the thought of usual choice, exhibiting how Darwin's nice inspiration transforms and illuminates our conventional view of humanity's position within the universe. Dennett vividly describes the speculation itself after which extends Darwin's imaginative and prescient with impeccable arguments to their usually awesome conclusions, difficult the perspectives of a few of the main well-known scientists of our day.

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Extra resources for Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life

Example text

Osborn. Baldwin was an enthusiastic Darwinian, but he was oppressed by the prospect that Darwin's theory would leave Mind with an insufficiently important and originating role in the (redesign of organisms. So he set out to demonstrate that animals, by dint of their own clever activities in the world, might hasten or guide the further evolution of their species. Here is what he asked himself: how could it be that individual animals, by solving problems in their own lifetimes, could change the conditions of competition for their own offspring, making those problems easier to solve in the future?

It is logically possible that all the life forms in South America were created independently of all the life forms in the rest of the world, but this is a wildly extravagant hypothesis that would need to be demonstrated, piece by piece. Suppose we discover, on some remote island, a novel species of bird. 4 So the fact that organisms—and computers and books and other artifacts—are effects of very special chains of causation is not, after Darwin, a merely reliable generalization, but a deep fact out of which to build a theory.

After all, societies are composed of human beings, who, as mammals, must fall under the principles of biology that cover all mammals.

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