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Darwin-L Message Log 1:147 (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.


<1:147>From LANGDON@GANDLF.UINDY.EDU  Thu Sep 16 13:42:32 1993

Date: Thu, 16 Sep 1993 13:42:32 -0500
From: "JOHN LANGDON"  <LANGDON@GANDLF.UINDY.EDU>
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re: Re: Lamarkianism in linguistic change

In message <26360@samsara.law.cwru.edu>  writes:
> In message <Pine.3.07.9309151636.A6382-b100000@irwin.cs.uoguelph.ca>
> Anax writes:
>
> > The organic sense of evolution is a change
> > in the allele frequencies of a population...  the other senses of
> > evolution I don't feel are really 'evolution' for a variety of
> > reasons.
>
> Did Darwin knnow about allele frequencies?  If he didn't, doesn't this
> statement imply that Darwin was not writing about that which is "really"
> evolution?

In Darwin's defense, we must understand him to be writing about allele
frequencies as well as he was able to understand them. All he knew about them
was their phenotypic expression; thus he described evolution on that basis.

Our formal definition of evolution has changed (evolved) since Darwin's time.
However, the first statement above merely states that it is no longer to
acceptable to speak formally about evolution as naively as Darwin did.

JOHN H. LANGDON         email  langdon@gandlf.uindy.edu
DEPARTMENT OF BIOLOGY       phone (317) 788-3447
UNIVERSITY OF INDIANAPOLIS      FAX   (317) 788-3569
1400 EAST HANNA AVENUE
INDIANAPOLIS, IN 46227

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