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Darwin-L Message Log 5:82 (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.


<5:82>From DEWAR%UCONNVM.BITNET@KU9000.CC.UKANS.EDU  Sat Jan 15 18:58:18 1994

Date: Sat, 15 Jan 1994 19:41:48 -0500 (EST)
From: Bob Dewar <DEWAR%UCONNVM.BITNET@KU9000.CC.UKANS.EDU>
Subject: Re: Neodarwinism, and the attribution of "importance" to historical
 events
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

Bob O'Hara asked about "key events" in the historical sciences in general, and
in historical linguistics in particular.  As an archaeologist, I must note that
archaeology and paleoanthropology have often seemed to focus on little else.
Paleoanthropological accounts have long focussed on such events : the first use
of tools, the origin of language, the origin of bipedalism, the "Agricultural
Revolution", the "Urban Revolution", etc.  What is interesting about these
proposed key events is that their interpretation differs to the extent that
they are predicated to belong to a single, ancestral population, or are
sufficiently recent to have evolved in parallel in differing populations. The
"Agricultural Revolution" was initially defined forthe Near East, at a time
when that area was regarded as the "Cradle of Civilization".  Now that
agriculture is known to have developed in several places at different times,
and probably through some what different circumstances, it is less common to
hear of it described as a "revolution", and in fact it is more often described
as a process, and not an event.

ROBERT E. DEWAR                   OFFICE PHONE 203 486-3851
DEPARTMENT OF ANTHROPOLOGY        OFFICE FAX   203 486-1719
UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT         BITNET:  DEWAR@UCONNVM
STORRS, CT 06269                  INTERNET: DEWAR@UCONNVM.UCONN.EDU

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