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Darwin-L Message Log 4:23 (December 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.


<4:23>From mcglynn@cheshire.oxy.edu  Wed Dec  8 15:16:19 1993

From: mcglynn@cheshire.oxy.edu (Terrence Peter McGlynn)
Subject: extinction and speciation
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu (Darwin-l mailing list)
Date: Wed, 8 Dec 93 13:15:55 PST

Points of clarification:

It appears that the analogy of biological extinction has a tighter fit
than those of speciation analogies.

The two types of lingual extinction are equivalent to those in evolution,
although biologists rarely refer to anagenesis as an extinction event,
even though in effect it is.

I invoked the types of speciation to describe how anagenesis=extinction
in both the lingual and ecological fields.  Regarding the _H.erectus_
matter, there clearly are better examples of anagenesis. Although at
this branch in the tree there may have been cladogenesis, the gradual
brain size increase over the last few million years is a good argument
for gradualists.

Basically, the analogy works for extinction, but not as well for
speciation.

for consideration: Does gene flow (exchange among groups) have the same
type of role in evolutionary biology as inter-language exchange has
in linguistics?

Terry McGlynn
mcglynn@oxy.edu

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