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Darwin-L Message Log 4:30 (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.


<4:30>From junger@samsara.law.cwru.edu  Thu Dec  9 13:40:32 1993

From: junger@samsara.law.cwru.edu (Peter D. Junger)
Reply-To: junger@samsara.law.cwru.edu
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re: Re: extinction and speciation

In message <Pine.3.87.9312090902.A2542-0100000@darkwing.uoregon.edu>
Scott DeLancey wrote:

>> And--a crucial difference vis-a`-vis biology I would think--the change
>> doesn't stick unless the community accepts it (see James Milroy's new book,
>> Language variation and change).
>
>Here is where we might go looking for an analogue to fitness.  The fly
>in the linguistic ointment (as I think you are suggesting here) is the
>sociological dimension, that communities may accept changes for
>social reasons (prestige of the originators, perceived need to
>distinguish one community or social group from another, etc.) that
>have nothing to do with the structural nature or effects of the
>change.  I can't imagine what a biological analogue of this could
>be.

How about sexual selection?

Peter D. Junger

Case Western Reserve University Law School, Cleveland, OH
Internet:  JUNGER@SAMSARA.LAW.CWRU.Edu -- Bitnet:  JUNGER@CWRU

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