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From: "Roy C. Lackey" 
Subject: Re: (urth) Liev's Postpostulate
Date: Wed, 22 May 2002 02:12:59 -0500

 Jeff Wilson quoted and wrote:

>> Wolfe doesn't make many things any clearer than that. Victor is well
>> that it is his inability to control his thumb as a human does that is the
>> cause of his poor penmanship. It is also why Dollo's Law was cited
>> immediately after relating his writing woes. Dollo's Law does not address
>> recalcitrance or bad habits; it addresses lost function and the inability
>> regain it. The Annese, though otherwise quite human, somehow lost the
>> human usage of their thumbs. It's that simple.
>I thought we just worked out that Dollo's Law is =not= about function;
>dolphins swim just as good as fish if not better.

"if the offspring return to a mode of life in which the vestigial organ had
an important function, the organ does not return to its original state, but
the organism develops a substitute." (Ace, 231)

I wasn't really debating Dollo's Law but, yes, it is about function. An
organ which loses a function never regains that function. The organism may
develop another organ, or adapt an existing organ to compensate for the lost
functionality of the original organ, but once an organ loses a function it
is lost to that organ forever. The ability of a mammal to return to the sea
and thrive there does not contravene the law.



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