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Darwin-L Message Log 1:80 (September 1993)

Academic Discussion on the History and Theory of the Historical Sciences

This is one message from the Archives of Darwin-L (1993–1997), a professional discussion group on the history and theory of the historical sciences.

Note: Additional publications on evolution and the historical sciences by the Darwin-L list owner are available on SSRN.


<1:80>From DCHARLES@EAGLE.WESLEYAN.EDU  Thu Sep  9 08:04:24 1993

Date: 9-SEP-1993 08:44:06.85
From: DCHARLES@EAGLE.WESLEYAN.EDU
Subject: Re: Ordered Change
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

To clarify:  I was referring to the structure and history of the system,
gene pool, whatever.  A population exists at one level as a collection of
operational organisms, each with a more or less coordinated pattern of
functional interrelationship of body parts, processes, etc.; ontogenetic
pathways; and genetic correlations--the structure.  These patterns have been
built up through contingent evolutionary processes (and thus often jury-rigged,
e.g., mammalian eggs leaping across the peritoneal cavity to be caught by the
fimbria of the ovarian tube)--the history.  Evolution defined as a change in
gene frequency is inadequate to address these aspects of the process, which I
am not sure what to call if the term evolution has been co-opted.  Selection
provides a direction of change over the short term, but the question is whether
the response of the population is actually in that direction.

Doug Charles
Wesleyan U.

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