Darwin, Skinner, Turing and the mind

Magyar Pszichologiai Szemle 57 (4):521-528 (2002)
Abstract
Darwin differs from Newton and Einstein in that his ideas do not require a complicated or deep mind to understand them, and perhaps did not even require such a mind in order to generate them in the first place. It can be explained to any school-child (as Newtonian mechanics and Einsteinian relativity cannot) that living creatures are just Darwinian survival/reproduction machines. They have whatever structure they have through a combination of chance and its consequences: Chance causes changes in the genetic blueprint from which organisms' bodies are built, and if those changes are more successful in helping their owners survive and reproduce than their predecessors or their rivals, then, by definition, those changes are reproduced, and thereby become more prevalent in succeeding generations: Whatever survives/reproduces better survives/reproduces better. That is the tautological force that shaped us
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