Re: Damn Darwinism Strikes Again!

  • From: Neil Doane <caine@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: technocracy@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 27 Mar 2002 08:59:02 -0800

Darwin would disagree. 

What you are talking about is the (mistaken) idea that physical variations that 
are caused by the environment can be inherited, they cannot.  This
"teleological" (or spawning from intent) evolutionary ideology was a view 
held by Darwin's contemporary, Lemark who had the idea that if a giraffe
stretched its neck up every day for a thousand days that it made the neck
longer, and moreover, that its longer neck would be passed on to its
children...which is patently not so.  Genetic mutations, people surviving 
longer or mating more successfully because they had larger, more dexterous 
thumbs than their friends and could use portable devices better...that'd be 
Darwinism.  That may happen someday, but this isn't it.

* M.K. Chatterji (chat@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx) on [03-27-02 07:59] did utter:
> Young people under the age of 25 who are avid users of handheld
> technologies such as mobile phones, GameBoys and PDAs, are exhibiting a
> physical mutation, according to research conducted by the Cybernetic
> Culture Research Unit at Warwick University in England. The study, carried
> out in nine cities around the world, indicates that the thumbs of younger
> people have taken over as the hand's strongest and most dexterous digit.
> Indeed, in Japan, where the trend is most noticeable, the under-25s refer
> to themselves as "oya yubi sedai" -- the thumb generation, or thumb tribe.
> The study's author, Dr. Sadie Plant, says: "The fact that our thumbs
> operate differently from our fingers is one of the main things that defines
> us as humans. Discovering that the generation has taken to using thumbs in
> a completely different way and are instinctively using it where the rest of
> us use our index fingers is particularly interesting." She cites examples
> of younger people using their thumbs exclusively and ambidextrously to type
> messages on a phone keypad, barely looking at the keys while doing so.
> "They used the absolute minimal movement -- simply exerting pressure with
> the thumb rather than tapping at the phone. There are many ways to input
> information into these devices, but for some reason kids under 25 most
> often choose to use their thumbs over any other digit. There is no question
> that choice is having a clear effect on their physicality: thumbs are the
> new fingers." (The Observer 24 Mar 2002)

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