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Darwin-L Message Log 1: 141–170 — September 1993

Academic Discussion on the History and Theory of the Historical Sciences

Darwin-L was an international discussion group on the history and theory of the historical sciences, active from 1993–1997. Darwin-L was established to promote the reintegration of a range of fields all of which are concerned with reconstructing the past from evidence in the present, and to encourage communication among scholars, scientists, and researchers in these fields. The group had more than 600 members from 35 countries, and produced a consistently high level of discussion over its several years of operation. Darwin-L was not restricted to evolutionary biology nor to the work of Charles Darwin, but instead addressed the entire range of historical sciences from an explicitly comparative perspective, including evolutionary biology, historical linguistics, textual transmission and stemmatics, historical geology, systematics and phylogeny, archeology, paleontology, cosmology, historical geography, historical anthropology, and related “palaetiological” fields.

This log contains public messages posted to the Darwin-L discussion group during September 1993. It has been lightly edited for format: message numbers have been added for ease of reference, message headers have been trimmed, some irregular lines have been reformatted, and error messages and personal messages accidentally posted to the group as a whole have been deleted. No genuine editorial changes have been made to the content of any of the posts. This log is provided for personal reference and research purposes only, and none of the material contained herein should be published or quoted without the permission of the original poster.

The master copy of this log is maintained in the Darwin-L Archives (rjohara.net/darwin) by Dr. Robert J. O’Hara. The Darwin-L Archives also contain additional information about the Darwin-L discussion group, the complete Today in the Historical Sciences calendar for every month of the year, a collection of recommended readings on the historical sciences, and an account of William Whewell’s concept of “palaetiology.”


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DARWIN-L MESSAGE LOG 1: 141-170 -- SEPTEMBER 1993
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DARWIN-L
A Network Discussion Group on the
History and Theory of the Historical Sciences

Darwin-L@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu is an international network discussion group on
the history and theory of the historical sciences.  Darwin-L was established
in September 1993 to promote the reintegration of a range of fields all of
which are concerned with reconstructing the past from evidence in the present,
and to encourage communication among academic professionals in these fields.
Darwin-L is not restricted to evolutionary biology nor to the work of Charles
Darwin but instead addresses the entire range of historical sciences from an
interdisciplinary perspective, including evolutionary biology, historical
linguistics, textual transmission and stemmatics, historical geology,
systematics and phylogeny, archeology, paleontology, cosmology, historical
anthropology, historical geography, and related "palaetiological" fields.

This log contains public messages posted to Darwin-L during September 1993.
It has been lightly edited for format: message numbers have been added for ease
of reference, message headers have been trimmed, some irregular lines have been
reformatted, and error messages and personal messages accidentally posted to
the group as a whole have been deleted.  No genuine editorial changes have been
made to the content of any of the posts.  This log is provided for personal
reference and research purposes only, and none of the material contained herein
should be published or quoted without the permission of the original poster.
The master copy of this log is maintained in the archives of Darwin-L by
listserv@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu.  For instructions on how to retrieve copies of
this and other log files, and for additional information about Darwin-L, send
the e-mail message INFO DARWIN-L to listserv@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu.

Darwin-L is administered by Robert J. O'Hara (darwin@iris.uncg.edu), Center for
Critical Inquiry in the Liberal Arts and Department of Biology, University of
North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, North Carolina 27412 U.S.A., and it
is supported by the Center for Critical Inquiry, University of North Carolina
at Greensboro, and the Department of History and the Academic Computing Center,
University of Kansas.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<1:141>From wis@liverpool.ac.uk  Thu Sep 16 08:23:52 1993

From: Bill <wis@liverpool.ac.uk>
Subject: Re: Lamarkianism in linguistic change
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Date: Thu, 16 Sep 93 14:23:12 BST

Animals tend to become more complicated, do they? Take a look at some of
the marvellously wierd creatures in the Burgess Shale sometime. They
look every bit as complicated as modern forms to me.

Just a thought!

Bill Sellers

--

Remember, it's never too late to have a happy childhood!

__________wis@liverpool.ac.uk______________ ( )_( )
               / \. ./
        __________________/ __=.=__
              \  m " m

_______________________________________________________________________________

<1:142>From junger@samsara.law.cwru.edu  Thu Sep 16 10:09:27 1993

Date: Thu, 16 Sep 93 11:06:00 EDT
From: junger@samsara.law.cwru.edu (Peter D. Junger)
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re: Re: Lamarkianism in linguistic change

In message <Pine.3.07.9309151636.A6382-b100000@irwin.cs.uoguelph.ca>
Anax writes:

> The organic sense of evolution is a change
> in the allele frequencies of a population...  the other senses of
> evolution I don't feel are really 'evolution' for a variety of
> reasons.

Did Darwin knnow about allele frequencies?  If he didn't, doesn't this
statement imply that Darwin was not writing about that which is "really"
evolution?

Peter D. Junger

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

_______________________________________________________________________________

<1:143>From msimon7@ua1ix.ua.edu  Thu Sep 16 10:37:14 1993

Date: Thu, 16 Sep 1993 10:39:47 -0600 (CDT)
From: Morris Simon <msimon7@ua1ix.ua.edu>
Subject: Re: A reply to Ramsden
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

On Tue, 14 Sep 1993, Mark Rushing wrote:

that my response to Ramsden's post indicated that I [have]

> ...a deeply-rooted Belief in the Systematics of Science.

Not so at all. While I appeciate the use of Mark's upper-case "Belief ..."
humor, I tend to regard western empirical science as an advanced pragmatic
system of knowledge, one that derives its value from predictability. Based
as it is in pragmatism, its explanatory strength is best seen in
applications to short-term phenomena like medical conditions. Attempts to
apply empirical methodologies to evolutionary data cannot be expected to
have the kind of predictive accuracy. We can only refine our descriptive
schema in a "systematic" manner to reflect whatever processes we think have
actually occurred. "Belief" has little to do with it.

> it is possible to nit-pick over Epistomology indefinately.  to dismiss a
> viewpoint because it appears "Theological" since its foundation exists
> outside of your personal Framework is, perhaps, somewhat hasty.  i believe
> the question asked by peter is extremely valid for our time, and
> especially in an interdisciplinary setting.  to say that a scientific
> System exists independently of human perception or construction is to
> almost have a belief in God.  to believe that we take part in a somewhat
> defined System of perception and categorization focused in very specific
> areas is, i believe, closer to understanding what Science is.

If I understand this paragraph correctly, epistemological "nitpicking" is
decribed as a futile process. I disagree. The subject of this thread has to
include an epistemological discussion of what constitutes "knowledge" among
evolutionary scientists and theorists. I also disagree with the contention
that some "defined System of perception and categorization" even exists for
us to "take part in." As we refine our models of evolutionary systematics, we
will hopefully approach a "natural" classification, but it always be
fragmentary and abstract because of the data we use.

<OMITTED MATERIAL ......>

> unless you are willing to 'take a leap of Faith' into believing in
> Absolute Constructs, we remain rooted in subjectivity, no matter how nicely
> you might have your scientific Categories and logical Pathways arranged.
> to quote morris:
>
> 	A perceiver never "creates" a perception, but the
> 	perceiver's cortex might modify the perception in order
> 	to force it into a learned category.  "Will" is such a
> 	higher order process of mentation than either perception
> 	or cognitive processing that I find it difficult to use
> 	in this context.
>
> if i might presume to comment upon this well-plummed diagram -- a perceiver
> perceives a perception.  that much i am certain we can agree upon, well,
> more certain than i usually am... the cortex might modify the perception
> and force it into a learned category?  what?  this sounds as much a "higher
> order process" as the term "Will" which was singled out in morris's
> polite attack.  is it a mechanical process?  where do the "categories"
> exist?  are they created by external stimuli, therefore learned?  or are
> they shaped by the Individual who perceives?  is it out of the Perceiver's
> control?

It might have sounded better if I had said "A person uses his/her cortex to
modify sub-cortical perceptions ...." The comment about "will" is out of
context. My original remark was directed toward the use subjective "Will" in
lieu of objective analysis. I don't intend to shift the subject of the
thread to solipsism or idealist/nominalist discussions.

Morris Simon <msimon7@ua1ix.ua.edu>
Stillman College

_______________________________________________________________________________

<1:144>From af763@freenet.carleton.ca  Thu Sep 16 12:12:30 1993

Date: Thu, 16 Sep 93 13:14:39 EDT
From: af763@freenet.carleton.ca (John V Matthews Jr.)
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re: DARWIN-L digest 15

At the risk of interrupting some very interesting conversations, I wish to
make an announcement.

The Geological Survey of Canada has an active program of studies dealing
with Global Change and paleoenvironmental reconstruction.  The bulk of our
work concerns environmental change over the last five million years.

Recently, an outline of our program and various short documents have
become available on the National Capital Freenet.  Please feel free to
look in, copy what you want and comment or ask a question or two.  We are
very anxious to link with other groups doing Global Change research, and I
know some of the subscibers to this list are involved in such activity.

We can be reached by telneting "freenet.carleton.ca".  Logon as a visitor
and type "go gsc" at the ==> prompt.  Or look for us under the Science,
Engineering and Technology menu.

Thanks...
John

--
     *****************************************
           JOHN MATTHEWS
    matthews@cc2smtp.emr.ca; af763@freenet.carleton.ca

_______________________________________________________________________________

<1:145>From ahouse@hydra.rose.brandeis.edu  Thu Sep 16 12:13:19 1993

Date: Thu, 16 Sep 1993 13:19:44 -0500
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
From: ahouse@hydra.rose.brandeis.edu (Jeremy John Ahouse)
Subject: Re: Re: Lamarkianism in linguistic change

>Anax writes:
>> The organic sense of evolution is a change
>> in the allele frequencies of a population...  the other senses of
>> evolution I don't feel are really 'evolution' for a variety of
>> reasons.

Peter replies:
>Did Darwin knnow about allele frequencies?  If he didn't, doesn't this
>statement imply that Darwin was not writing about that which is "really"
>evolution?

    I agree with Peter's thrust.  This would be an unfortunate
definition of evolution.  And really it sounds more like propaganda for the
new synthesis population geneticists.  I think it would serve better to
claim (a claim that may well be frequently demonstrated) that changes in
allele frequencies are strongly correlated with morphological and other
changes rather than to make the 2 isomorphic and drop evolution into the
allele frequency only basket.

    - Jeremy

_______________________________________________________________________________

<1:146>From barker@unixg.ubc.ca  Thu Sep 16 12:36:11 1993

Date: Thu, 16 Sep 1993 10:35:31 -0700 (PDT)
From: John Barker <barker@unixg.ubc.ca>
Subject: Re: Neanderthals and Rhetoric!
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

Your project sounds very interesting.  You appear to be mostly interested
in scientific representations.  If you decide to look at popular
representations of Neanderthals, I would certainly suggest reviewing Gary
Larsen's use of "cave men" in his Far Side cartoons.  They tend to play on
the ambiguity of Neanderthals as "like us" and "different".

John Barker
Department of Anthropology and Sociology
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, B.C., Canada V6T 1Z1

Barker@unixg.ubc.ca

_______________________________________________________________________________

<1:147>From LANGDON@GANDLF.UINDY.EDU  Thu Sep 16 13:42:32 1993

Date: Thu, 16 Sep 1993 13:42:32 -0500
From: "JOHN LANGDON"  <LANGDON@GANDLF.UINDY.EDU>
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re: Re: Lamarkianism in linguistic change

In message <26360@samsara.law.cwru.edu>  writes:
> In message <Pine.3.07.9309151636.A6382-b100000@irwin.cs.uoguelph.ca>
> Anax writes:
>
> > The organic sense of evolution is a change
> > in the allele frequencies of a population...  the other senses of
> > evolution I don't feel are really 'evolution' for a variety of
> > reasons.
>
> Did Darwin knnow about allele frequencies?  If he didn't, doesn't this
> statement imply that Darwin was not writing about that which is "really"
> evolution?

In Darwin's defense, we must understand him to be writing about allele
frequencies as well as he was able to understand them. All he knew about them
was their phenotypic expression; thus he described evolution on that basis.

Our formal definition of evolution has changed (evolved) since Darwin's time.
However, the first statement above merely states that it is no longer to
acceptable to speak formally about evolution as naively as Darwin did.

JOHN H. LANGDON         email  langdon@gandlf.uindy.edu
DEPARTMENT OF BIOLOGY       phone (317) 788-3447
UNIVERSITY OF INDIANAPOLIS      FAX   (317) 788-3569
1400 EAST HANNA AVENUE
INDIANAPOLIS, IN 46227

_______________________________________________________________________________

<1:148>From huh@u.washington.edu  Thu Sep 16 14:05:04 1993

Date: Thu, 16 Sep 1993 11:03:13 -0700 (PDT)
From: Mark Rushing <huh@u.washington.edu>
Subject: Re: A reply to Ramsden
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

morris,

the problem with Epistomology is that it is easy to become lost in a
categorical tangles.  when speaking from a sense of the Absolute, even if
you Believe we are in a Process which "will hopefully approach a 'natural'
classification" <-- indeed, taken out of context when considering the
Origins of your Argument --> you speak from a Power structure, which will
"always be fragmentary and abstract because of the data we use."

this Structure is the Tool we call Science.  but it seems to me that many
people do not realize the inherent Power of this Tool upon the organisms
who created and continue to use it.  their Systemics, in whatever form
they take within the Individual, the Discipline, the Society -- are fed
data which is digested one way, then digested another, the results being
eventually shaped into an Ideal (which you might call a hypothesis based
on available evidence).  lovely.  it has brought us to where we are now,
most likely -- the good and the bad.  which brings me back to my point --
which is why i embarked upon a traipse into the hallowed halls of Science
to begin with.  there are many echos here, by the way...  (do you find
that 'cute' or 'humorous'?  perhaps you would like me to Define the Meaning?)

well, i'm a poet, not a scientist.  i would say that the meaning you find,
if any, is more relevant that anything i could tell you.  i simply supply
the words, like a woodcutter shaping small, lettered cubes.  maybe they're
made for children.  maybe they're like casting runes.  maybe they make you
feel angry because this should be Science.

when you say, "a person uses his/her cortex to modify sub-cortical
perceptions" do you notice that Person is outside of his own mind?  as if,
a Person will fiddle with the workings of his own mind from some distant,
or perhaps Other location.  where are you?  this, along with all of what
you've said, and along with all of what i've said, is unimportant.  we all
have the desire for unattainable Absolute Answers seared into our flesh --
does that ring a bell?  what Propels us?  but as you are well aware,
hopefully, people have been crushed under this Absolute weight for centuries.

so when you look into the world, when you look into the mind of another
person, through their messages (in their eyes, on your screen, in the
vibrational waves through aether), i Believe it is important to attempt to
understand what you are hearing and seeing (perceiving) before you so
abruptly return to the Inner Sanctum to grab the clubs and instruments of
Dialectic Warfare.

so when you encounter something Outside of your terms, like what peter
wrote, or like what i have written (i presume much, peter) if you would
truly like to venture on to new Discoveries -- we have to get there
together.  Nothing is familiar outside of our own Terms.  but it's pretty
large out there.  it just bothered me that you were a rifle-toting
Dialectician in an interdisciplinary setting.  we have the opportunity to
be so much more....

end of appeal to the modern church.

what you said about refining our Schema in a "systematic" manner was
interesting.  epistomology is fine with me, as long as it remains
understood that there will never be an Epistomological basis for it, other
than self-reference.  is mathematics the same way?  by the way, it seems
to me that the notion of Objective Analysis in science is very relevent to
the consideration of evolution.  do you believe that such a thing exists
(Objective Analysis), or do we simply get infinitely close?

                mark

           mark rushing
          post office box 85267
        seattle, washington  98145-1267

           206.329.8070
         huh@u.washington.edu
         rushing@battelle.org
       Mark.Rushing@f157.n343.z1.fidonet.org

_______________________________________________________________________________

<1:149>From msimon7@ua1ix.ua.edu  Thu Sep 16 14:26:44 1993

Date: Thu, 16 Sep 1993 14:29:25 -0600 (CDT)
From: Morris Simon <msimon7@ua1ix.ua.edu>
Subject: Re: Re: Lamarkianism in linguistic change
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

On Thu, 16 Sep 1993, JOHN LANGDON wrote:

> > Did Darwin knnow about allele frequencies?  If he didn't, doesn't this
> > statement imply that Darwin was not writing about that which is "really"
> > evolution?
> >
> In Darwin's defense, we must understand him to be writing about allele
> frequencies as well as he was able to understand them. All he knew about them
> was their phenotypic expression; thus he described evolution on that basis.

I agree. Darwin's overview of the process lacked specific mechanisms, much
in the way that Freud's view of the unconscious lacked neurophysiological
details which are commonplace today. Just as Freud's overview remains more
or less current in the light of electron microscopy, modern population
genetics supplies many of the molecular processes which contribute to the
gross observations of 19th century naturalists like Darwin and Wallace. It
is fairly typical in the empirical sciences to proceed from general theory
to particular causal discoveries. The theoretical natural selection of Darwin
is much the same 'natural selection' of today - we just know more about its
dynamics.

Morris Simon <msimon7@ua1ix.ua.edu>
Stillman College

_______________________________________________________________________________

<1:150>From sullivan@platte.unk.edu  Thu Sep 16 14:38:09 1993

Date: Thu, 16 Sep 1993 14:29:33 -0500
From: sullivan@platte.unk.edu
To: Darwin-L@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Nemesis

>From Dale Sullivan

I have a request.  I would like to sample opinion of the subscribers
to L-Darwin on the question of extraterrestrial causes of mass
extinctions.  I'm not in the field myself; instead, I'm a rhetorician
who has been studying the rhetoric of science for about five years.
Last year I wrote a paper on two of David Raup's articles, one appearing
before the Alvarez, et. al., article in _Science_  June 1980 (you'll
recall that article hypothesized an extraterrestrial cause of
mass extinctions because of an iridium anomaly) and one appearing
after that article.  I want to return to that issue in the coming
months, but I would like to know how firmly established the theory
of extraterrestrial causes is.  I hope this request will convince
some of you to quit lurking long enough to explain what you think on
this subjet, what theory you presently hold, and how convinced you
are of it.  You might say this is an attempt to see the evolution of
an idea by digging into the strata of opinion in September 1993.

sullivan@platte.unk.edu

_______________________________________________________________________________

<1:151>From tclarke@uoguelph.ca  Thu Sep 16 14:48:45 1993

Date: Thu, 16 Sep 1993 15:45:54 -0400 (EDT)
From: Tom Clarke <tclarke@uoguelph.ca>
Subject: Re: Re: Lamarkianism in linguistic change
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

  Darwin used the term evolution only once or twice in his book
 'origin of the species'.  Instead he talked about descent through
 modification.  The term evolution came into use later, after a bit
 was known about the mechanisms.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<1:152>From jlipps@ucmp1.Berkeley.EDU  Thu Sep 16 14:53:18 1993

Date: Thu, 16 Sep 93 12:56:03 PDT
From: jlipps@ucmp1.Berkeley.EDU (Jere Lipps)
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re: Lamarkianism in linguistic change

The Burgess animals are just as complicated as modern ones, in my opinion.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<1:153>From junger@samsara.law.cwru.edu  Thu Sep 16 16:13:18 1993

Date: Thu, 16 Sep 93 17:10:14 EDT
From: junger@samsara.law.cwru.edu (Peter D. Junger)
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: A Selection of Passages from Ernst Mayr--for discussion purposes only

Here are some extracts from:  Ernst Mayr, TOWARD A NEW PHILOSOPHY OF
BIOLOGY, Observations of an Evolutionist.  Harvard University Press,
Cambridge: 1988.  I find much of this objectionable, but shall not raise
my objections at this time, other than to say that in Mayr it seems that
his Physics envy has become fixated upon the fact that almost all
"philosophies of science" are, in fact, philosophies of physics.

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

>From Essay 2, "Cause and Effect in Biology"

{*29} . . . .

        _The Problem of Teleology_

    No discussion of causality is complete which does not come to
grips with the problem of teleology.  This problem had its beginning with
Aristotle's classification of causes, one of the categories being
"final" causes.  This category is based on the observation of the
orderly and purposive development of the individual from the egg to the
"final" state of the adult.  Final cause has been defined as "the cause
responsible for the orderly reaching of a preconceived ultimate goal."
All goal-seeking behavior has been classified as "teleological," but so
have many other phenomena that are not necessarily goal-seeking in
nature.

    Aristotelian scholars have rightly emphasized that Aristotle--by
training and interest--was first and foremost a biologist, and that it
was his preoccupation with biological phenomena which dominated his
ideas on causes and induced him to postulate final causes in addition to
the material, formal, and efficient causes.  Thinkers from Aristotle to
the present have been challenged by the apparent contradiction between a
mechanistic interpretation of natural processes and the seemingly
purposive sequence of events in organic growth, reproduction, and animal
behavior.  Such a rational thinker as Bernard (1885) has stated the
paradox in these words:

    There is, so to speak, a preestablished design of each being and
    of each organ of such a kind that each phenomenon by itself
    depends upon the general forces of nature, but when taken in
    connection with the others it {*30} seems directed by some
    invisible guide on the road it follows and led to the place it
    occupies.

      We admit that the life phenomena are attached to
    physicochemical manifestations, but it is true that the
    essential is not explained thereby; for no fortuitous coming
    together of physicochemical phenomena constructs each organism
    after a plan and a fixed design (which are foreseen in advance)
    and arouses the admirable subordination and harmonious agreement
    of the acts of life . . .  Determinism can never be [anything]
    but physicochemical determinism.  The vital force and life
    belong to the metaphysical world.

    What is the _x_, this seemingly purposive agent, this "vital
force," in organic phenomena?  It is only in our lifetime that
explanations have been advanced which deal adequately with this paradox.

    The many dualistic, finalistic, and vitalistic philosophies of
the past merely replaced the unknown _x_ by a different unknown _y_ or
_z_, for calling an unknown factor _entelechia_ or _e'lan vital_ is not
an explanation.  I shall not waste time showing how wrong most of these
past attempts were.  Even though some of the underlying observations of
these conceptual schemes are quite correct, the supernaturalistic
conclusions drawn from these observations are altogether misleading.

    Where, then, is it legitimate to speak of purpose and
purposiveness in nature, and where it is [_sic_] not?  To this question
we can now give a firm and unambiguous answer.  An individual who--to
use the language of the computer--has been "programmed" can act
purposefully.  Historical processes, however, _cannot_ act purposefully.
A bird that starts its migration, an insect that selects its host plant,
an animal that avoids a predator, a male that displays to a female--they
all act purposefully because they have been programmed to do so.  When I
speak of the programmed "individual," I do so in a broad sense.  A
programmed computer itself is an "individual" in this sense, but so is,
doing reproduction, a pair of birds whose instinctive and learned
actions and interactions obey, so to speak, a single program.

    The completely individualistic and yet also species-specific DNA
program of every zygote (fertilized egg cell), which controls the
development of the central and peripheral nervous systems, of the sense
organs, of the hormones, of physiology and morphology, is the _program_
for the behavior computer of this individual.

    Natural selection does its best to favor the production of
programs guaranteeing behavior that increases fitness.  A behavior
program that guarantees instantaneous correct reaction to a potential
food source, to a potential enemy, or to a potential mate will certainly
give greater fitness {*31} in the Darwinian sense than a program that
lacks these properties.  Again, a behavior program that allows for
appropriate learning and the improvement of behavior reactions by
various types of feedback gives greater likelihood of survival that a
program that lacks these properties.

    The purposive action of an individual, insofar as it is based on
the properties of its genetic code, therefore is no more nor less
purposive than the actions of a computer that has been programmed to
respond appropriately to various inputs.  It is, if I may say so, a
purely mechanistic purposiveness.

    We biologists have long felt that it is ambiguous to designate
such programmed, goal-directed behavior "teleological," because the word
_teleological_ has also been used in a very different sense, for the
final stage in evolutionary adaptive processes (see Essay 3).

    The development or behavior of an individual is purposive;
natural selection is definitely not.  When MacLeod (1957) stated, "What
is most challenging about Darwin, however, is his re-introduction of
purpose into the natural world," he chose the wrong word.  The word
_purpose_ is singularly inapplicable to evolutionary change, which is,
after all, what Darwin was considering.  If an organism is well adapted,
if it shows superior fitness, this is not due to any purpose of its
ancestors or of an outside agency, such as "Nature" or "God," that
created a superior design or plan.  Darwin "has swept out such
finalistic teleology by the front door," as Simpson (1960) has rightly
stated.

    We can summarize this discussion by stating that there is no
conflict between causality and teleonomy, but that scientific biology
has not found any evidence that would support teleology in the sense of
various vitalistic or finalistic theories (Simpson 1960; 1950; Koch
1957).  All the so-called teleological systems which Nagel discusses
(1961) are actually illustrations of teleonomy.

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

>From Essay 3, "The Multiple Meanings of Teleological"

{*39}

_Traditional Objections to the Use of Teleological Language

    Criticism of the use of teleological language is traditionally
based on one or several of the following objections.  In order to be
acceptable teleological language must be immune to these objections.

{*40} _(1)  Teleological statements and explanations imply the
endorsement of unverifiable theological or metaphysical doctrines in
science._  This criticism was indeed valid in former times . . . .
Contemporary philosophers reject such teleology almost unanimously.
Likewise, the employment of teleological language among modern
biologists does not imply adoption of such metaphysical concepts (see
below).

    _(2)  The belief that acceptance of explanations for biological
phenomena that are not equally applicable to inanimate nature
constitutes rejection of a physicochemical explanation._  Ever since the
age of Galileo and Newton it has been the endeavor of the "natural
scientists" to explain everything in nature in terms of the laws of
physics.  To accept special explanations for teleological phenomena in
living organisms implied for these critics a capitulation to mysticism
and a belief in the supernatural.  They ignored the fact that nothing
exists in inanimate nature (except for man-made machines) which
corresponds to DNA programs or to goal-directed activities.  As a matter
fact, the acceptance of a teleonomic explanation (see below) is in no
way in conflict with the laws of physics and chemistry.  It is neither
in opposition to a causal interpretation, nor does it imply an
acceptance of supernatural forces in any way whatsoever.

    _(3)  The assumption that future goals were the cause of
current events seemed in complete conflict with any concepts of
causality._  Braithwaite (1954) stated the conflict as follows:  "In a
[normal] causal explanation the explicandum is explained in terms of a
cause which either precedes it or is simultaneous with it; in a
teleological explanation the explicandum is explained as being causally
related either to a particular goal in the future or to a biological end
which is as much future as present or past."  This is why some logicians
up to the present distinguish between causal explanations and
teleological explanations.

    _(4)  Teleological language seemed to represent objectionable
anthropomorphism._  The use of terms like _purposive_ or _goal-directed_
seemed to imply the transfer of human qualities such as intent, purpose,
planning, deliberation, or consciousness, to organic structures and to
subhuman forms of life.

{*41} Intentional, purposeful human behavior is, almost by definition,
teleological.  Yet I shall exclude it from further discussion because
use of the words _intentional_ or _consciously premeditated_, which are
usually employed in connection with such behavior, runs the risk of
getting us involved in complex controversies over psychological theory,
even though much of human behavior does not differ in kind from animal
behavior.  The latter, although usually described in terms of stimulus
and response, is also highly "intentional," as when a predator stalks
his prey or when the prey flees from the pursuing predator.  Yet,
seemingly "purposive," that is, goal-directed behavior in animals can be
discussed and analyzed in operationally definable terms, without
recourse to anthropomorphic terms like _intentional_ or _consciously_.

    . . . .

    The teleological dilemma, then, consists in the fact that
numerous and seemingly weighty objections against the use of
teleological language have been raised by various critics, and yet
biologists have insisted that they would lose a great deal,
methodologically and heuristically, if they were prevented from using
such language.  It is my endeavor to resolve this dilemma by a new
analysis, and particularly by a new classification of the various
phenomena that have been traditionally designated as teleological.

    . . . .

{*44} . . . .

      _SEEMINGLY OR GENUINELY GOAL-DIRECTED PROCESSES_

    Nature (organic and inanimate) abounds in processes and
activities that lead to an end.  Some authors seem to believe that all
such terminating processes are of one kind and "finalistic" in the same
manner and to the same degree.  Taylor (1950), for instance, if I
understand him correctly, claims that all forms of active behavior are
of the same kind and that there is no fundamental difference between one
kind of movement or there is no fundamental difference between one kind
of movement or purposive action and any other.  Waddington (1968) gives
a definition of his term _quasi-finalistic_ as requiring "that the end
state of the process is determined by its properties at the beginning."

    Further study indicates, however, that the class of end-directed
processes is composed of two entirely different kinds of phenomena.
These two types of phenomena may be characterized as follows:

    _Teleomatic processes in inanimate nature._  Many movements of
inanimate objects as well as physicochemical processes are the simple
consequences of natural laws.  For instance, gravity provides the
end-state for a rock which I drop into a well.  It will reach its
end-state when it has come to rest on the bottom.  A red-hot piece of
iron reaches its end-state when its temperature and that of its
environment are equal.  All objects of the physical world are endowed
with the capacity to change their state, and these changes follow
natural laws.  They are end-directed only in a passive, automatic way,
regulated by external forces or conditions.  Since the end-state of such
inanimate objects is automatically achieved, such changes might be
designated as _teleomatic_.  All teleomatic processes come to an end
when the potential is used up (as in the cooling of a heated piece of
iron) or when the process is stopped by encountering an external
impediment (as a falling stone hitting the ground).  Teleomatic
processes simply follow natural laws, i.e. lead to a result
consequential to concomitant physical forces, and the reaching of their
end-state is not controlled by a built-in program.  The law of gravity
and the second law of thermodynamics are among the natural laws which
most frequently govern teleomatic processes.

    _Teleonomic_ processes in living nature._  Seemingly goal
-directed behavior by organisms is of an entirely different nature from
teleomatic processes.  {*45} Goal-directed _behavior_ (in the widest
sense of this word) is extremely widespread in the organic world; for
instance, most activity connected with migration, food-getting,
courtship, ontogeny, and all phases of reproduction is characterized by
such goal orientation.  The occurrence of goal-directed processes is
perhaps the most characteristic feature of the world of living
organisms.

    For the last 15 years or so the term _teleonomic_ has been used
increasingly often for goal-directed processes in organisms.  I proposed
in 1961 the following definition for this term:  :It would seem useful
to restrict the term teleonomic rigidly to systems operating on the
basis of a program, a code of information" (Mayr 1961)  Although I used
the term _system_ in this definition, I have since become convinced that
it permits a better operational definition to consider certain
activities, processes (like growth), and active behaviors as the most
characteristic illustrations of teleonomic phenomena.  I therefore
modify my definition, as follows:  _A teleonomic process or behavior is
one which owes its goal-directedness to the operation of a program._
The term teleonomic implies goal direction.  This, in turn, implies a
dynamic process rather than a static condition, as represented by a
system.  The combination of teleonomic with the term system is, thus,
rather incongruent (see below).

    All teleonomic behavior is characterized by two components.  It
is guided by a "program," and it depends on the existence of some end,
goal, or terminus which is foreseen in the program that regulates the
behavior.  This endpoint might be a structure, a physiological function,
the attainment of a new geographical position, or a "consummatory"
(Craig 1918) act in behavior.  Each particular program is the result of
natural selection, constantly adjusted by the selective value of the
achieved end-point.

    My definition of _teleonomic_ has been labeled by Hull (1974) as
a "historical definition."  Such a designation is rather misleading.
Although the genetic program (as well as its individually acquired
components) originated in the past, this history is completely
irrelevant for the functional analysis of a [sic] given teleonomic
processes.  For this it is entirely sufficient to know that a "program"
exists which is causally responsible for the teleonomic nature of a
goal-directed process.  Whether this program had originated through a
lucky macromutation (as Richard Goldschmidt had conceived possible) or
through a slow process of gradual selection, or even through individual
learning or conditioning as in open programs, is quite immaterial for
the classification of a process as "teleonomic."  On the other {*46}
hand, a process that does not have a programmed end does not qualify to
be designated as teleonomic (see below for a discussion of the concept
_program_).

    All teleonomic processes are facilitated by specifically
selected executive structures.  The fleeing of a deer form a predatory
carnivore is facilitated by the existence of superlative sense organs
and the proper development of muscles and other components of the
locomotory apparatus.  The proper performing of teleonomic processes at
the molecular level is made possible by highly specific properties of
complex macromolecules.  It would stultify the definition of
_teleonomic_ if the appropriateness of these facilitating executive
structures were made part of it.  On the other hand, it is in the nature
of a teleonomic program that it does not induce a simple unfolding of
some completely preformed gestalt, but that it always controls a more or
less complex process which must allow for internal and external
disturbances.  Teleonomic processes during ontogenetic development, for
instance, are constantly in danger of being derailed even if only
temporarily.  There exist innumerable feedback devices to prevent this
or to correct it.  Waddington (1957) has quite rightly called attention
to the frequency and importance of such homeostatic devices which
virtually guarantee the appropriate canalization of development.

    We owe a great debt of gratitude to Rjosenblueth et al. (1943)
for their endeavor to find a new solution for the explanation of
teleological phenomena in organisms.  They correctly identified two
aspects of such phenomena:  (10) that they are seemingly purposeful,
being directed toward a goal, and (2) that they consist of active
behavior.  The background of these authors was in the newly developing
field of cybernetics, and it is only natural that they should have
stressed the fact that goal-directed behavior is characterized by
mechanisms which correct errors committed during the goal seeking.  They
considered the negative feedback loops of such behavior as its most
characteristic aspect and stated "teleological behavior, yet it misses
the crucial point:  _The truly characteristic aspect of goal-seeking
behavior is not that mechanisms exist which improve the precision with
which a goal is reached, but rather that mechanisms exist which
initiate, i.e. "cause" this goal-seeking behavior.  It is not the
thermostat which determines the temperature of a house, but the person
who set the thermostat.  It is not the torpedo which determines toward
what ship it will be shot and at what time, but the naval officer who
releases the torpedo.  Negative feedback only improves the precision of
goal-seeking, but does not determine it.  {*47} Feedback devices are
only executive mechanisms that operate during the translation of a
program.

    Therefore it places the emphasis on the wrong point to define
teleonomic processes in terms of the presence of feedback devices.  They
are mediators of the program, but as far as the basic principle of goal
achievement is concerned, they are of minor consequence.

    . . . .

Peter D. Junger

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

_______________________________________________________________________________

<1:154>From jlipps@ucmp1.Berkeley.EDU  Thu Sep 16 17:34:46 1993

Date: Thu, 16 Sep 93 15:37:38 PDT
From: jlipps@ucmp1.Berkeley.EDU (Jere Lipps)
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re: Nemesis

My view is that the geochemical, mineralogical, and perhaps even field
geological evidence is compelling that there was an impact(s) at the
K/T boundary.  It was not the killing mechanism, however, because no
scenario proposed by anyone takes into account the selectivity, paleo-
biogeographic patterns, etc. of the surviving biotas.  I think it
possible that such an impact could result in readjustments in oceanographic
and atmospheric circulation patterns that can explain all of the above.

There are now probably thousands of papers dealing with all of this.

Jere H. Lipps
Museum of Paleontology
UC Berekeley

_______________________________________________________________________________

<1:155>From D.Oldroyd@unsw.edu.au  Thu Sep 16 17:46:34 1993

Date: Fri, 17 Sep 1993 08:54:33 +1000
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
From: D.Oldroyd@unsw.edu.au
Subject: Neanderthals and rehetoric!

My thanks to the various correspondents who kindly sent some suggestions
for refernces on this topic.  We were already familiar with the works of
Trinkaus and Shipman, Landau, Stringer and Gamble, Harraway, and Moser.
(Stephanie Moser is a colleague in Sydney, so we know her personally as
well.)  But the more 'obscure' suggestions (novels, cartoons, etc.) were
all new to us, and are therefore most welcome.  Any further suggestions
will be most gratefully received.
    Sincerely,
    David Oldroyd
David Oldroyd,
School of Science and Technology Studies,
University of New South Wales

_______________________________________________________________________________

<1:156>From SOSLEWIS@ACS.EKU.EDU  Thu Sep 16 18:51:12 1993

Date: Thu, 16 Sep 1993 19:53:18 -0400 (EDT)
From: SOSLEWIS@ACS.EKU.EDU
Subject: Re: Neanderthals and Rhetoric!
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

Recently on "The Learning Chanel" there was an interesting program on the
Neanderthals. One side argued they were fully Homo sapien and another side
claimed they were not and that is why their line ended. I may have a copy of
the program in my file. I'll look and see if you are interested.
  Ray, EKU
  soslewis@acs.eku.edu

_______________________________________________________________________________

<1:157>From John_Wilkins@udev.monash.edu.au  Thu Sep 16 18:57:11 1993

Date: Thu, 16 Sep 1993 09:21:06 +0000
From: John Wilkins <John_Wilkins@udev.monash.edu.au>
Subject: RE>Evolution and its mechan
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

Reply to:
     RE>Evolution and its mechanism
Jeremy Ahouse asked about progressionism in evolution.

I hold the view that evolutionary processes are inherently Markov Chains; that
is, the next stage of the selection process is not determined by the last
stage's selective direction. Directionality in evolutionary processes are
therefore to be explained in terms other than natural selection and random
variation. There are two alternatives in the main that I can see:

1. Directionality is a side effect of ordinary microevolution (it will
sometimes occur, sometimes not, but there is no real cause)

2. Directionality is the result of macro-level economic trends, such as changes
in climate, biotic/abiotic resources etc.

As I believe that cultural change is at least in large part an evolutionary
process, and a darwinian one at that, I therefore believe that cultural change
is neithre inherently directional nor in any other relevant sense progressive.
There are directional changes that occur in cultural change, but they are not
the result of any evolutionary tendency, just as they are not in biological
evolution. Instead they are the result of extra-cultural trends.

In particular, I hold to the view that intellectual traditions such as science
are strongly darwinian processes that tend to adapt to changes in the
intellectual resource availability -- ultimately but not exclusively processing
time in human brains.

Eldredge's _Macroevolutionary dynamics_ has a good roundup of the issues in
biology.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<1:158>From TREMONT%UCSFVM.BITNET@KUHUB.CC.UKANS.EDU  Thu Sep 16 20:04:52 1993

Date: Thu, 16 Sep 1993 17:58:13 -0700 (PDT)
From: "Elihu M. Gerson" <TREMONT%UCSFVM.BITNET@KUHUB.CC.UKANS.EDU>
Subject: Evolution as allele frequencies
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

The implication of Junger's question was, I think, that Darwin was
able to develop a pretty good theory of evolution without any notion
of allele frequencies, and hence, that allele frequences are not very
important to understanding evolution.

Certainly this seems very plausible if one thinks of evolution as
involving adaptation and/or speciation. Have the population geneticists
given us a good definition or example of either phenomenon in population
genetics terms yet? Or are we still relying on "isolation mechanisms"
which never actually appear in the equations?

Elihu M. Gerson
Tremont Research Institute
458 29 Street
San Francisco, CA 94131
415-285-7837  tremont@ucsfvm.ucsf.edu

_______________________________________________________________________________

<1:159>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu  Thu Sep 16 22:14:46 1993

Date: Thu, 16 Sep 1993 23:15:32 -0400 (EDT)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: September 16 -- Today in the Historical Sciences
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

SEPTEMBER 16 -- TODAY IN THE HISTORICAL SCIENCES

1725: NICOLAS DESMAREST is born at Soulaines-Dhuys, France.  He will
study the prismatic basalt formations of Auvergne in central France,
and will realize in 1763 that they are of volcanic origin.

Today in the Historical Sciences is a feature of Darwin-L@ukanaix.cc.
ukans.edu, a network discussion group on the history and theory of the
historical sciences.  E-mail darwin@iris.uncg.edu for more information.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<1:160>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu  Thu Sep 16 22:48:13 1993

From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: Signatures and mail volume
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

Greetings to all subscribers.  A few people have written to me saying that
they aren't able to determine the original senders of some of the messages
posted to Darwin-L because they use mail systems that delete most of the
header information from incoming messages.  This is just a reminder that
people should always sign their posts with name and e-mail address so that
everyone can tell where each message is coming from.

I'd also like to remind people that, since the volume of mail the group is
generating is quite high, not every reply to a posted message need be sent to
the group as a whole.  If you have a one or two line response to a post, or a
personal query, or a simple vote on some issue, please consider sending it
privately rather than publicly.  We are already getting a few cancellations
from people who have written to me saying that they like the list very much,
but can't keep up with the volume of mail we send out.

The recently-revised welcome message contains a number of useful hints on
posting and dealing with mail volume.  You can retrieve a copy of it by
sending the message:

   INFO DARWIN-L

to the usual address: listserv@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu.

Bob O'Hara, Darwin-L list owner

Robert J. O'Hara (darwin@iris.uncg.edu)
Center for Critical Inquiry and Department of Biology
100 Foust Building, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Greensboro, North Carolina 27412 U.S.A.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<1:161>From HOLSINGE@UCONNVM.BITNET  Fri Sep 17 06:40:37 1993

Date: Fri, 17 Sep 1993 07:29:21 -0500 (EST)
From: "Kent E. Holsinger" <HOLSINGE%UCONNVM.BITNET@KUHUB.CC.UKANS.EDU>
Subject: Re: Re: Lamarkianism in linguistic change
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

Even though I am a population geneticist, I tend to agree with Peter Junger
that the definition of organic evolution as "a change in the allele frequencies
of a population..." (to quote Anax) is too restrictive.

Inbreeding, for example, doesn't change the frequency of any alleles, but it
does change the relative frequencies of different genotypes, making homozygotes
more common and heterozygotes less common.  Similarly, recombination breaks
down non-random associations of alleles within gametes, changing the frequency
of multi-locus genotypes.

The definition of organic evolution I have always preferred is "a change in
the genetic composition of a population over time..."  I realize, of course,
that Darwin wouldn't have recognized this definition in this form, but if we
were to change the words "genetic composition" to "hereditary characteristics"
or some similar phrase I suspect he would agree immediately.  (It's always
nice to invoke the dead because they can't disagree with us.)

Including some notion of genetic or hereditary change is important.
Evolution hasn't happened unless there is some difference between the
characteristics of ancestors and descendants.  If the differences in
appearance between ancestors and descendants are purely environmental
modifications, then what we see is organisms developing in a different
environment, not organisms with different characteristics.

-- Kent

_______________________________________________________________________________

<1:162>From LANGDON@GANDLF.UINDY.EDU  Fri Sep 17 09:04:39 1993

Date: Fri, 17 Sep 1993 09:04:39 -0500
From: "JOHN LANGDON"  <LANGDON@GANDLF.UINDY.EDU>
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re: Neanderthals and rehetoric!

In message <199309162248.AA21465@usage.csd.unsw.OZ.AU>  writes:
> My thanks to the various correspondents who kindly sent some suggestions
> for refernces on this topic.  We were already familiar with the works of
> Trinkaus and Shipman, Landau, Stringer and Gamble, Harraway, and Moser.
> (Stephanie Moser is a colleague in Sydney, so we know her personally as
> well.)  But the more 'obscure' suggestions (novels, cartoons, etc.) were
> all new to us, and are therefore most welcome.  Any further suggestions
> will be most gratefully received.
>   Sincerely,
>   David Oldroyd

I would be very interested if you would publish the compilation of references
on this list. Thanks.

JOHN H. LANGDON         email  langdon@gandlf.uindy.edu
DEPARTMENT OF BIOLOGY       phone (317) 788-3447
UNIVERSITY OF INDIANAPOLIS      FAX   (317) 788-3569
1400 EAST HANNA AVENUE
INDIANAPOLIS, IN 46227

_______________________________________________________________________________

<1:163>From GA3704@SIUCVMB.SIU.EDU  Fri Sep 17 11:02:07 1993

Date: Fri, 17 Sep 93 10:56:20 CST
From: "Margaret E. Winters" <GA3704@SIUCVMB.SIU.EDU>
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re: Progress and Taxonomies

Two, partly disjoint, comments:

1. That "Old Chinese" taxonomy is somewhere in the writing of the
surrealist, Borges.  I wouldn't swear to it since I read the original
years ago, but I have always understood it as a parody (among other
things) of scientific taxonomies.

2.  In the 19th century, linguistics worried about progress in
language evolution, given a basic typology of languages as
isolating (each form is a separate meaning like Chinese), agglutinating
(forms may be strings of meanings, but each is clearly separable from
the others) and inflecting (like Latin, English... where multiple
meanings may be encoded in one form - Latin -o is first person,
singular, present tense, active, etc.).  The question of progress
was argued in two directions: either movement toward isolating was
progress since one form = one meaning was the preferred state, or
movement toward inflecting was progress since western
languages were inflected and more sophisticated things were
stated in such languages.  I'm not claiming that all of this,
obviously, is system-internal as argumentation, but that these
conflicting views of progress in evolution of languages competed.

By the way, since I am new on the list, let me introduce myself.
I'm a historical linguist interested in syntax and semantics, and
also do some work in the history of the field of linguistics

           Margaret Winters
           <ga3704@siucvmb.siu.edu>

P.S.  My apologies if the linguistics point has already been
made.  As I said, I'm new to the list - and enjoying it|

_______________________________________________________________________________

<1:164>From SOSLEWIS@ACS.EKU.EDU  Fri Sep 17 12:49:20 1993

Date: Fri, 17 Sep 1993 13:51:10 -0400 (EDT)
From: SOSLEWIS@ACS.EKU.EDU
Subject: Re: Progress and Taxonomies
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

TO; Margaret Winters:  Your remarks on language has had more meaning for
this lurker than any of the others. It sounds as if you know your material!
Ray,EKU
soslewis@acs.eku.edu

_______________________________________________________________________________

<1:165>From @VTVM1.CC.VT.EDU:RMBURIAN@VTVM1.CC.VT.EDU  Fri Sep 17 19:23:31 1993

Date: Fri, 17 Sep 93 20:20:48 EDT
From: "Richard M. Burian" <RMBURIAN@VTVM1.CC.VT.EDU>
Subject: Re: DARWIN-L digest 17
To: A reply to Kent Holsinger <darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu>

Even the improved definition of organismic evolution as "a change
in the genetic composition of a population over time..." is not ade-
quate to all of the phenomena that we need to encompass in the study
of orgainic evolution, for it does not handle cladogenesis [a techni-
cal term for splitting of lineages, e.g., in speciation].  the radical
increase in the diversity of living beings requires cladogenesis and
not just anagenesis (changes in the features of a population over time)
which, I happily grant, is better captured by your definition than the
more standard one of change in gene frequencies.  Richard Burian
                  Science Studies
                  Virginia Tech
P.S. This comment reflects back on a lot of prior discussions over
the last few days.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<1:166>From ARKEO4@FENNEL.WT.UWA.EDU.AU  Fri Sep 17 20:52:29 1993

Date: Sat, 18 Sep 1993 9:55:27 +0800 (SST)
From: ARKEO4@FENNEL.WT.UWA.EDU.AU
Subject: Re: Lamarkianism in linguistic change
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

 "Kent E. Holsinger" <HOLSINGE%UCONNVM.BITNET@KUHUB.CC.UKANS.EDU>
noted in a very good anaylsis of the danger of purely allelic defintions of
evolution that
> Including some notion of genetic or hereditary change is important.
				  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> Evolution hasn't happened unless there is some difference between the
> characteristics of ancestors and descendants.

As a biologist/archaeologist who works with evolution in a purely
phenotypic system (human culture), I think the "or" in his statement is
exceedingly important.  Non-genetic hereditary stytems are quite as
amenable to Darwinian analysis as genetic ones (which is no surprise given
that the model was developed well before we knew anything about genetic
systems!).  The important factor in ALL systems capable of evolution, of
course, is selection in terms of fitness (something that seems to have been
a tad overlooked in the "definitions" of evolution posted thus far).  Seen
in these terms, evolution is the result of the selection of hereditable
traits over time (hence, changes in allelic frequencies, etc., are merely
CONSEQUENCES of selection and therefore provide a fairly poor basis for a
definition of it).  Passing note probably should also be made, in this
context,  of the fact that genes, and hence genetic systems, themselves
evolved, no doubt by means of natural selection of pre-genetic hereditable
systems, so selection has temporal precedence over genetics in the
evolution of life itself, and changes in "genetic" systems, as well as genes
as known today, were also a consequence of natural selection.

> If the differences in
> appearance between ancestors and descendants are purely environmental
> modifications, then what we see is organisms developing in a different
> environment, not organisms with different characteristics.

Within my sub-field, this statement would have to be modified to take
account of the fact that variants in pheotypic behaviour can be subject to
selection (and therefore evolve).  Given that culture is THE major
environment which differes between human cultural demes, and given that
differences in traits are both hereditable and subject to fitness values,
then these modifications DO represent organisms with "different
characteristics", not just the "same" organism developing in different
environments.

This relates back to a previous thread on the separation of germ and soma.
I think we should recall that only a small proportion of life on earth
really has this kind of a genetic system: plants, for example, given that
they generate reproductive organs from a somatic meristem, do NOT two cell
lineages.  Hence, somatic mutations in a meristem which have clear
phenotypic advantage, may be selected (as a branch, for example) and the
somatic mutation WILL be heritable.  A nice hueristic here is a non-
variegated branch appearing from a bud in a normally variegated cultivated
tree or shrub: given the increased photosynthetic abilities of the branch,
one will see the green-leafed branch "take over".

In a sense, the evolution of culture is very much representative of the
kind of events which occur in a botanical "tree of life."  I have been
attempting, on and off, to pull together references on studies of somatic
selection in plants and its influence on the kind of evolutionary
opportunities it can create: are there any botanists out there who can help
me with this?

Dave Rindos
*************************************************************************
*    Dave Rindos                        20 Herdsmans Parade             *
*    RINDOS@FENNEL.WT.UWA.EDU.AU        Wembley  6014                   *
*    Ph:  +61 9 387 6281  (GMT+8)       Western Australia               *
*    FAX: +61 9 380 1051  (USEDT+12)    AUSTRALIA                       *
*************************************************************************

_______________________________________________________________________________

<1:167>From CRAVENS@macc.wisc.edu  Fri Sep 17 21:35:22 1993

Date: Fri, 17 Sep 93 21:35 CDT
From: Tom Cravens <CRAVENS@macc.wisc.edu>
Subject: Re: Progress and Taxonomies
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

Two remarks and I'll be quiet. 1) Margaret Winters most definitely knows
her stuff. 2) I'm a(n historical) linguist and find the LINGUIST list
generally much less interesting and informative than DARWIN-L. Please keep
it coming!

Tom Cravens
cravens@macc.wisc.edu
cravens@wismacc.bitnet

_______________________________________________________________________________

<1:168>From dasher@netcom.com  Sat Sep 18 00:09:45 1993

Date: Fri, 17 Sep 93 22:12:13 -0700
From: dasher@netcom.com (D. Anton Sherwood)
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re: Progress and Taxonomies

> That "Old Chinese" taxonomy is somewhere in the writing of the
> surrealist, Borges.  I wouldn't swear to it since I read the original
> years ago, but I have always understood it as a parody (among other
> things) of scientific taxonomies.

I think I have a copy of the Borges essay.  If I find it, shall I upload it?

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<1:169>From loring@maroon.tc.umn.edu  Sat Sep 18 00:24:53 1993

Date: Sat, 18 Sep 1993 00:25:24 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Anne M Loring-1" <loring@maroon.tc.umn.edu>
Subject: Re: Progress and Taxonomies
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

On Sat, 18 Sep 1993, D. Anton Sherwood wrote:

> > That "Old Chinese" taxonomy is somewhere in the writing of the
> > surrealist, Borges.  I wouldn't swear to it since I read the original
> > years ago, but I have always understood it as a parody (among other
> > things) of scientific taxonomies.
>
> I think I have a copy of the Borges essay.  If I find it, shall I upload it?

Folks, read "Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things", by George Lakoff, for
more on this subject.

Anne Loring
U. of MN grad student, linguistics

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<1:170>From mwinsor@epas.utoronto.ca  Sat Sep 18 07:55:49 1993

From: mwinsor@epas.utoronto.ca (Mary P Winsor)
Subject: to Anne Loring
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Date: Sat, 18 Sep 1993 08:57:34 -0500 (EDT)

To Anne M. Loring-
You suggest that those interested in the supposed Chinese taxonomy
found in Borges should read Lakoff "Women, fire and dangerous things"
from which I assume you have read it.  I'm sure others in the list
besides me would be helped if you would tell us in a sentence or three
what Lakoff is about.
Your message came across to my system with only the darwin list
address; it would be nice if you would give your own email address as
part of signing your note.
I'm Polly Winsor, historian of biological systematics
mwinsor@epas.utoronto.ca

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Darwin-L Message Log 1: 141-170 -- September 1993         End

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