Osborn on Buffon and Darwin in "... Letter to Semper, Life and Letters, Vol. III., p. 160.
- Life and Letters, Vol. III., p. 44.
" .... I have read Buffon : whole pages are laughably like mine. It is surprising how candid it makes one to see one's views in another man's words. . . . Nevertheless, there is a fundamental distinction between Buffon's views and mine. He does not sup- pose that each cell or atom of tissue throws off a little bud. ..."
"...Among Darwin's last words upon the factors of Evolution are those in the sixth edition of the Origin of Species (1880, p. 424). In the modification of species he refers as causes, successively to his own, to Lamarck's, and to Buffon's factor in the following clear language: "This has been effected chiefly through the natural selection of numerous, successive, slight, favourable variations; aided in an important manner by the inherited effects of the use and disuse of parts ; and in an un- important manner that is, in relation to adaptive structures, whether past or present by the direct action of external conditions, and by variations which seem to us in our ignorance to arise spontaneously."
Bring Buffon in a time machine to a museum of mainframes, IBM , PC, ZX Specturm and Commodore computers with the small computers stacked at the bottom (ZX Spectrum) and larger ones on top. Buffon then starts cataloging the wires,keypads and stuff trying to find correlations between how the ZX spectrum "evolved" into a modern PC , based on his assumption of progression being stacked in layers and assuming that larger means more complex. (The dinosaurs are closer to the surface as they were sorted that way in the Great Flood). He would be missing the point, the computer are symbolic representations an idea that existed in somebodies mind: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turing_machine
The same way Aristotelians are making a mistake with creatures implementing PID loops in carbon instead of copper. They symbolically represent an idea in somebodies mind, the algorithm existed before the animal existed. The Schrodinger equation existed before atoms existed(nobody know whether the atomic particles are actual objects). Osborn for example derived "Horse sequences" which today are discarded, in the same way Buffon would find capacitors in the ZX spectrum and in the IBM mainframe assuming the mainframe "evolved" form the ZX. So we have paleontologist cataloging dead bones trying to deduce how one creature evolved into another, begging the question: We don't know whether a single fossil is the ancestor of anybody. Buffon wouldn't know whether a single capacitor "evolved" into a range of better capacitors in the computers higher up the rack, he would merely assume his premise in his conclusion.
Instead each fossil should be viewed as a creature that had IOF - irreducible optimized functionality (Irreducible Functionality) . Flying birds of prey's bone like structures optimized their functionality, it wasn't some derived structure from ancestors.
From Commodore to a PC we have the implementation of an idea: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turing_machine. The idea came first then its symbolic representation. With frogs, horses , chickens , humans in whom is the breath of life" we have the symbolic representation of an idea: Life itself.
Buffon would then catalog the soft rubber keys of the ZX spectrum and finding the IBM mainframe stacked meters above with hard keys infer that through a battle for survival between the keyboards the IBM keyboard "evolved" from the soft keys. Just like biologists today he would be missing the point that animal movement and appendages are the symbolic manifestation of the underlying PID and IPC(Inverted pendulum control) algorithm. One animal didn't evolve from another, they are but different representations of the same universal underlying algorithms, ideas, Life, Truth and Language. This Language transcends space time and matter, knows everything and everything there is to know as he spoke the universe into existence 6000 years ago.
Tigers, elephants and humans in whom is the breath of life, symbolically represent an abstract idea that can't be reduced to matter: Life itself. The question is What is Life? How would we visualize Life as an abstract transcendent idea in the same way that the Turing machine idea isn't a physical location. The concept of a Turing machine transcend the universe itself, the concept isn't bound by space and time.
Nobody has ever seen an electron they are described in term of dense language of partial differential equations. The electron isn't a physical object but a language like abstraction, that exists , expresses and is held together by Language itself: The language of math. View an Atom as a Partial differential language equation and then view a metal table consisting of iron atoms as the symbolic representation in physical space of this invisible , unseen Language space.