Wednesday, December 10, 2008

page 4

“Any material system is technological if it filters information useful to its survival, if it memorizes and processes that information and makes inferences based on the regulating effect of behavior, that is, if it intervenes on and impacts its environment so as to assure its perpetuation at least (Lyotard 12).” Every species uses its own evolutionary novelties as an ability to control and adapt to its environment. Take, for instance, the Aye-Aye, a pro-simian (monkey-like primate) from the jungles of Madagascar. It has developed a long spindly finger with which it collects ants and various other insects from holes in trees (Fleagle). It uses this specialized finger as a “tool” to get what it wants (dinner). Similarly, the deep sea Anglerfish uses its rod-like appendage to lure prey toward it, which are attracted to the pulsing light at the tip. It does this by moving its “rod” in much the same way a fly-fisherman uses his (same motion, same effect, same means to the same end… dinner). These are just a couple of an infinite number of examples of technology in nature. They arose out of evolutionary novelty and stuck around because they allowed their owners to control and adapt to its environment. They use their tools the same way we use ours. The only difference is that our “tool” allows us to create new technology without waiting for evolution to help us.
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