David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Inquiry 36 (4):357 – 380 (1993)
Stephen Jay Gould's Wonderful Life is a study of the fossils of the Burgess Shale of British Columbia. My concern is with the morals that Gould draws, with the ?new picture of life? that, he says, the reinterpreted Burgess animals compel. I conclude that his case is not established. (1) There may have been reasons to do with ?fitness? why most of the Burgess animals left no descendants, even if we cannot guess exactly what they were. (2) We do not know that our past is dotted with the kind of mass extinctions that are needed for the random evolution that he proposes. (3) Even if what happened does rest on random variation and largely random selection, it does not follow that there are no standing forms that will be constantly re?instantiated. If Rational Life, in particular, is not special, then we have no right to think the world we experience bears any remote resemblance to a putative real world. (4) Even if there are no such forms, the fact that nothing in the state of things required us to exist is no good reason to say that No one requires us to. What Gould says does count against a simple progressivism, but not against an older and more orthodox theology. It also has implications for the Search for Extra?Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI)
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Keith Burgess-Jackson (1998). Doing Right by Our Animal Companions. Journal of Ethics 2 (2):159-185.
Donald Prothero (2009). Stephen Jay Gould: Did He Bring Paleontology to the "High Table"? Philosophy and Theory in Biology 1 (20130604).
James Rachels (1990/1991). Created From Animals: The Moral Implications of Darwinism. Oxford University Press.
Margaret Urban Walker (1993). Thinking Morality Interpersonally: A Reply to Burgess-Jackson. Hypatia 8 (3):167 - 173.
Matti Eklund (2012). Truth. [REVIEW] History and Philosophy of Logic 33 (1):106-108.
Chihara Charles (2006). Burgess's ‘Scientific’ Arguments for the Existence of Mathematical Objects. Philosophia Mathematica 14 (3):318-337.
Keynyn Brysse (2008). From Weird Wonders to Stem Lineages: The Second Reclassification of the Burgess Shale Fauna. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 39 (3):298-313.
Christian Baron (2009). Epistemic Values in the Burgess Shale Debate. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 40 (4):286-295.
Added to index2009-02-04
Total downloads2 ( #366,108 of 1,101,802 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #306,516 of 1,101,802 )
How can I increase my downloads?