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Darwin-L Message Log 5:65 (January 1994)

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.


<5:65>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu  Wed Jan 12 17:41:59 1994

Date: Wed, 12 Jan 1994 18:47:58 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: Status of anti-neo-Darwinism?
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

The following comes from John Wilkins, who was having trouble posting
it from his site.    -- Bob O'Hara (darwin@iris.uncg.edu)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

I recently read _Evolution as entropy_ by Brooks and Wiley (second edition
1988). As much as my abysmal lack of math will permit, I understand that they
are making a fairly strong non-neo-Darwinian claim: to wit, that selection is
not the most important factor in directional change; but instead that the
possibility spaces created by the present configuration of a system
(organism, species, population, ecology) constrains the direction in which
that system may develop. This is overtly orthogenetic, although not
neo-Lamarkian in the sense that there is no anticipatory mechanism for
variation.

Not being a biologist, I am interested to hear from them what the status of
these views is, whether the strong selectionist program is now withering or
if we now have two strong competitors for evolutionary explanation.

Cheers

John Wilkins - Manager, Publishing, Monash University,
Wellington Road, Clayton, Victoria 3168 [Melbourne] Australia
Internet: john.wilkins@udev.monash.edu.au
Tel: (+613) 905 6009; fax: 905 6029
*******
Monash neither knows, nor approves, of what I say

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