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Darwin-L Message Log 2:77 (October 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.


<2:77>From SMITGM@hawkins.clark.edu  Tue Oct 12 17:02:41 1993

To: Darwin-L@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
From: "Gerard M. Smith (HUM)"  <SMITGM@hawkins.clark.edu>
Organization: Clark College, Vancouver WA, USA
Date: 12 Oct 93 15:01:09 PST8PDT
Subject: manuscript polymorphism

A fruitful case study would be Bible translation.  Each scribe's
aesthetic sensibility, ideology, and political affiliations and
loyalties parallel sex chromosomes.  I hope I am not being
sacrilegious in my comparison. The Hebrew Bible passes through
several versions (Greek, Latin, English) finally reaching King James,
at each translation, the succeeding generation will take on
characteristics of its male parent.  Ironic that the church becomes
male in this analogy and The Bible becomes the female which is
manipulated to fit a preconceived vision. Genetic engineering?

The strength of each scribe's paradigm (gene pool) competes with
the manuscripts inherent paradigm.  That which does not fit current
ideology is under-represented in the next Bible generation. That which
fits the current religious fervour is systematically over-represented.
For example the three versions of Genesis.  In the middle-ages, when
the Catholic Churches fear of women had reached a fever pitch, the
version which placed the blame for man's fall completely on woman
becomes dominant, while versions which stress equality are suppressed,
not passed on.

I hope I've got the analogy correct.  If not, please correct me.

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