Reader Comments

functional possibilities vs. theoretical possibilities

by Douglas Axe (2011-03-14)

In response to Domain combinations vs. probabilistic resources


It's not clear to me what you mean by "theoretically possible variations of any two existing domains," but I certainly agree that the possibilities are sparsely sampled whenever they greatly outnumber the events that sample them. As argued in the paper, though, we also have to examine the proportion of the possibilities that are functional before we can conclude that the sparse sampling is a problem for the selectionist (Darwinist) explanation.

If that proportion were high enough, then sparse sampling could still produce functional combinations. But the experiment described in connection with Figure 9 and the accompanying discussion suggests that the functional proportion is apt to be quite low. When you combine this with the rarity of the combining events themselves, there does appear to be a problem with domain combination, on top of the considerable problem of domain origination.


ISSN: 2151-7444