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Darwin-L Message Log 1:207 (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.


<1:207>From TREMONT%UCSFVM.BITNET@KUHUB.CC.UKANS.EDU  Fri Sep 24 16:57:08 1993

Date: Fri, 24 Sep 1993 14:36:21 -0700 (PDT)
From: "Elihu M. Gerson" <TREMONT%UCSFVM.BITNET@KUHUB.CC.UKANS.EDU>
Subject: Re: Heritability and cultural evolution
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

Holsinger's summary of Darwin's natural selection model describes an efficient
cause of evolution (differential reproductive success due to heritable
differences). It is, of course, not the only one operating in nature.
So I take it that we are in agreement-- in order to have adequate
explanations, we need to know efficient and/or material, as well as
formal and/or final causes.

As a matter of historical fact, by the way, there was very little acceptance
of Darwin's natural selection model until some understanding of
the material causes of heredity began to develop early in the 20th century.

Elihu M. Gerson
Tremont Research Institute
458 29 Street
San Francisco, CA 94131
415-285-7837  tremont@ucsfvm.ucsf.edu

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