The edifice that has been built on Szilard's (in my opinion invalid) argument, and on similar arguments by others, will continue, I fear, to grow; and we will continue to hear that “entropy-like probability-measures the lack of information”, and that machines can be driven by knowledge, like Szilard's machine. Hot air and entropy, I imagine, will continue to be produced for as long as there are some subjectivists about to provide an equivalent amount of nescience.


37.

DARWINISM AS A METAPHYSICAL RESEARCH PROGRAMME

I have always been extremely interested in the theory of evolution, and very ready to accept evolution as a fact. I have also been fascinated by Darwin as well as by Darwinism-though somewhat unimpressed by most of the evolutionary philosophers; with the one great exception, that is, of Samuel Butler. 276

My Logik der Forschung contained a theory of the growth of knowledge by trial and error-elimination, that is, by Darwinian selection rather than Lamarckian instruction; this point (at which I hinted in that book) increased, of course, my interest in the theory of evolution. Some of the things I shall have to say spring from an attempt to utilize my methodology and its resemblance to Darwinism to throw light on Darwin's theory of evolution.

The Poverty of Historicism277 contains my first brief attempt to deal with some epistemological questions connected with the theory of evolution. I continued to work on such problems, and I was greatly encouraged when I later found that I had come to results very similar to some of Schrödinger's. 278

In 1961 I gave the Herbert Spencer Memorial Lecture in Oxford, under the title “Evolution and the Tree of Knowledge”. 279 In this lecture I went, I believe, a little beyond

-194-

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