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On Thu, 4 May 2000 17:20:53 -0400, John Cowan <[log in to unmask]>
wrote:

>Patrick Dunn wrote:
>
>> Darwin never used the phrase "survival of the fittest."
>
>True; it was Wallace and Spencer who did.
>
>> "Fittest" implies
>> a standard, an ideal, of fittness.  The truth is, there is none.
>
>ObLogLang: "Fit", like "large", may not meet scientific standards of
>precision (just how large does something have to be to count as "large",
>anyway?).

Depends on the context. That's one of the reasons that the later versions
of Eklektu (Ludireo and the short-lived Mega-Eklektu) have a separate part
of speech for adjectives (treated as intransitive verbs, actually) rather
than trying to fit those kind of concepts into noun roots. So a "large
gerbil" is large relative to the average size of gerbils, but even a large
gerbil is a "small mammal". (In general, an "adjective" "noun" is
"adjective" with respect to the typical or average "noun".)

(IIRC, Darwin did *quote* the phrase "survival of the fittest" in one of
the later editions of _The Origin of Species_, but the phrase he used was
"struggle for existence".)

>For this reason, Loglan does not have "red" as a primitive term, but
>only "redder than".  Lojban undid this decision by providing a general
>mechanism for attaching "in system X" and "by standard Y" to any
>predicate claim whatsoever, so that "G is red" is sensible under the
>interpretation that the standard of redness is implicit between the
>speaker and the listener; if it is not implicit, it can be made
>explicit.

Interesting. Jarrda uses essentially the same solution as Loglan, in the
case of words such as "large". But "red" is specifically defined as a
particular frequency of light. If you claim that something is "red" in
Jarrda, what that basically means is that it is more similar to the
definition of "red" than it is to any of the other words in the same
category.

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