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Darwin-L Message Log 1:111 (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.


<1:111>From msimon7@ua1ix.ua.edu  Mon Sep 13 08:00:19 1993

Date: Mon, 13 Sep 1993 08:02:45 -0600 (CDT)
From: Morris Simon <msimon7@ua1ix.ua.edu>
Subject: Re: Evolution in linguistics?
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

On Sun, 12 Sep 1993, pgriffiths@gandalf.otago.ac.nz wrote:

> D Penny, E.E. Watson, & M.A. Steel, "Trees from languages and genes are
> very similar",  Systematic Biology, XLII (1993):  in press.

The phylogenetic "tree" is a linguistic model which has profound impacts
upon cognition during the 'making' of evolutionary scientists. It is
virtually impossible to avoid visualizations of evolution in "tree" forms
no matter what books one reads in college. Because language is an active
rather than passive element in the formation of cognitive structures, "trees"
tend to predispose interpreters of fossil records toward more trees. Thinking
of evolutionary systematics without a tree becomes almost as difficult as
imagining writing without a word processor. 8*}

Morris Simon <msimon7@ua1ix.ua.edu>
International Studies Program
Stillman College

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