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Go to: An Open Letter to Bill Maher on Vaccinations

Shifty Gray's Avatar Jump to comment 102 by Shifty Gray

Comment #424598 by Jos Gibbons

Agreed. It is simply a matter of which definition to use, the specific one or the more abstract one (mechanism only, replicators in general, etc). In this particular case, the specific one arguably matters more due to Shermer's argument. But yar, enough said.

Sun, 18 Oct 2009 07:35:00 UTC | #406402

Go to: An Open Letter to Bill Maher on Vaccinations

Shifty Gray's Avatar Jump to comment 96 by Shifty Gray

Comment #424522 by Jos Gibbons

I got that, and doesn't add anything to what I said.

Sat, 17 Oct 2009 21:25:00 UTC | #406336

Go to: An Open Letter to Bill Maher on Vaccinations

Shifty Gray's Avatar Jump to comment 81 by Shifty Gray

[quote]Many still insist that it “doesn’t count” as evolution, presumably because evolution has to be of unicellular organisms or of multicellular organisms rather than cells within multicellular organisms.[/quote]

No, that's not the objection. Taking the definition of evolution literally, it is simply not true of the immune system (Change in the genetic composition of a population during successive generations, as a result of natural selection acting on the genetic variation among individuals, and resulting in the development of new species.)

Someone else phrased it well already. You simply don't have to believe in the efficacy of vaccinations if you believe in the theory of evolution. Although, and possibly this is how Shermer meant it, if you do believe in evolution, it might make it more likely to also believe in vaccinations, due to similar mechanisms (somewhat abstractly speaking).

Sat, 17 Oct 2009 17:42:00 UTC | #406271

Go to: An Open Letter to Bill Maher on Vaccinations

Shifty Gray's Avatar Jump to comment 24 by Shifty Gray

I think it is a bit ridiculous to call Bill Mayer an anti-evolutionist just because he doesn't believe in vaccinations. It's not like we have reproducing anti-pathogen cells that mutate and the bacteria or virus we get acts as natural selection and determines which ones live or die. Yes there is adaptation and evolution in the sense that our immune system can become better and succeed, but there are many other things that do that as well. I adapt and evolve to some situational stressors so I can perform better or simply deal with the stressor, does that make me an example of the validity of the theory of evolution?

Sat, 17 Oct 2009 06:37:00 UTC | #406167

Go to: The Greatest Show on Earth, By Richard Dawkins

Shifty Gray's Avatar Jump to comment 10 by Shifty Gray

Kohn was merely observant, not negatively criticizing Dawkins' book for it's lack of new content. He probably has read a lot on the subject (like previous Dawkins books and Coyne at least) so, having read that, this new book is lacking in new content. Well, not per se content since there's a whole lot of new data in there that is very interesting to read, but, as Kohn said, Dawkins is known for his insightful books. And this book lacks that.

Which was the point.

And about the chapter on embryology, yeah, it is perhaps less often used when it comes to evolution, but it's merely a chapter and not the whole book.

Personally, when I was reading Coyne's book, I was stunned by it. It was like I once again found the truth of evolution. I am not reading The Greatest Show on Earth like that. It's different. I can't put my finger on what the difference really is. Perhaps it's because I read Coyne's book first and it satiated me. But I don't think that's the whole story.

Either way, you gotta read both. =p

Sat, 19 Sep 2009 14:48:00 UTC | #398964

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