Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0025961, Thu, 22 Jan 2015 22:24:18 -0500

Fwd: Re: [NABOKV-L] RES: [NABOKV-L] RES: [NABOKV-L] Darwin in Ada
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: [NABOKV-L] RES: [NABOKV-L] RES: [NABOKV-L] Darwin in Ada
Date: Thu, 22 Jan 2015 16:18:14 +0000
From: Fet, Victor <fet@marshall.edu>
To: Vladimir Nabokov Forum <NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU>

Dear Jansy:

I thank you for your kind words, for reiterating Colonel Vershinin who
is always nice to listen to, and for unexpected reposting of my "Three
Sisters" review on this list.

All these are wonderful questions, which I would be happy to discuss.
However, NABOKOV-L must stay focused on Nabokov, and I think we cannot
really open a broad discussion on natural sciences, evolution, Darwin
and Chekhov here.

It might belong on another forum or blog - if you or anyone else are
willing to launch one (I do not, since I do not like blogging, LJ and
especially Facebook).

One word on evolution. In my humble opinion, naturalistic (biological)
definition of evolution is inherited change (of anything an organism
has) over time (generations). Darwin defined this in old-fashioned words
as "descent with modification", clear enough to understand for us today.

"Progress" may be included, depending on definition and situation.
"Improvement" (of function and structure) is often observed, but again
depends on viewpoint.


Worm does not always strive to be a man: from human position, tapeworm's
evolution is degradation compared even to its free-living worm
ancestors. Yes, it lost guts completely--but why do you need guts if you
live inside someone's ?

Very often terms are confused, and they have many meanings.

There is no denying wonderful evolution of human sentience, although I
have seen opinions that primates are a dead-end due to their herd/leader
mentality (cf. Russia).

And other species (not only closest primates but especially birds and
octopi; don't count out your dog and my cat) have glimpses of sentience,
or alternative path to it (ants!!). Evolution tends to acquire
complexity over time. But be careful with shallow time we live in
(thrones and kings and powers): a living cell is 2 billion year old, and
more complex than any novel.

I stop here, lest I be preaching or spamming :)

Thank you (Rus. spasibo) to all listening,

Victor Fet

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