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Darwin-L Message Log 1: 171–200 — 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: 171-200 -- 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.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<1:171>From LUKEMATT@macc.wisc.edu  Sat Sep 18 09:09:49 1993

Date: Sat, 18 Sep 93 09:10 CDT
From: J. Luke Matthews <LUKEMATT@macc.wisc.edu>
Subject: Re: Evolution and its mechanisms
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

can organisms evolve into simpler organisms? Aren't some parasites examples of
such simplifying processes?

Luke Matthews LUKEMATT@MACC.WISC.EDU

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<1:172>From loring@maroon.tc.umn.edu  Sat Sep 18 13:05:47 1993

Date: Sat, 18 Sep 1993 12:54:33 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Anne M Loring-1" <loring@maroon.tc.umn.edu>
Subject: Women, Fire and Dangerous Things
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

On Sat, 18 Sep 1993, Mary P Winsor wrote:

> 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.

Will do.  Lakoff is a linguist at UC Berkeley.  His book _Women, Fire and
Dangerous Things_ (U of Chicago Press, 1987) is subtitled "What categories
reveal about the mind".  Those of you interested in taxonomy might wonder
what any of this has to do with classifying ferns, lizards, minerals, or
the like.  Lakoff is interesting because he challenges us to look at our
(pre?)conceptions about categorization.  He quotes the passage from Borges
with the commentary that "people around the world categorize things in
ways that both boggle the Western mind and stump Western linguists and
anthropologists", going on to cite an actual classical system used by
speakers of Dyirbal (an Australian aboriginal language) that rivals the
list of categories in Borges for mind-bogglingness. (see pages 92-93 for a
quick read)
Get back to me if any of you want to discuss Lakoff further.

Anne Loring
<loring@maroon.tc.umn.edu>

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<1:173>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu  Sat Sep 18 16:50:25 1993

Date: Sat, 18 Sep 1993 17:21:06 -0400 (EDT)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: Phylogeny (history) is important, classification is not
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

We have had much discussion of classification.  Along with many other people in
evolutionary biology today, I don't find the topic of classification to be a
fruitful one, and I would like to make the strong claim that classification is
almost completely irrelevant to the contemporary practice of evolutionary
biology.  This is because much discussion of "classification" in fact fails to
make a very important distinction now made within evolutionary biology between
two different activities: (1) classifying (making groups), and (2)
reconstructing phylogeny (evolutionary history).  Until this distinction is
clearly made there really can't be any fruitful discussion of either
classification or phylogeny.  This whole subject has been _enormously_
clarified in the last 15 years or so, and all practicioners in the field now
make this distinction clearly.  Here's a sketch of my reading of the situation;
I'm sure my views are not universally held in all their details, but neither
are they unique.  Every paragraph below could easily be given monographic
treatment, and many have been; my aim here is just to give a broad sketch for
those who have an interest in the subject but have not followed the literature
closely.  We have among our members some leading historians of systematics and
some leading systematists, so I apologize if I do violence to any of their
views in the interest of brevity.  While my comments address evolutionary
biology, I like to think they have implications for historical linguistics and
stemmatics as well.

The last 25 years has seen an enormous growth in the study of phylogeny, the
evolutionary history of life.  This was one of the great fields of study in the
late 1800s, but for much of the early and mid-20th century phylogeny was
comparatively negleced in favor of studies of evolutionary mechanisms and
"species-level" problems.  (This species-level work was enormously important of
course, and it is still with us.)  Since the mid 1960s, however, interest in
phylogeny has grown enormously due to three factors: (1) the development of
computational methods for dealing with large quantities of data; (2) the
availability of data on comparative molecular anatomy, though this has not been
as important to the conceptual development of the phylogenetics revolution as
the popular press (and some molecular biologists) would have people believe;
and most importantly (3) a new conceptual understanding of the relationship
between the observed similarities and differences among organisms and the
histories that can be inferred from those similarities and differences.  This
last factor is behind the method of "cladistic analysis" which has effected a
revolution in the study of phylogeny, and which is now the standard method for
reconstructing evolutionary history.  The conceptual development of cladistic
analysis in the last 30 years or so has been as important to systematics as the
development of the law of superposition -- that upper strata are younger than
lower ones -- was long ago to geology.

The briefest sketch of the long view of this subject would go like this (many
of these statements could be qualified; there is an increasing body of
published literature on this).  Beginning in the 1600s and 1700s there was an
enormous increase in factual knowledge of natural diversity on the part of
European scientists.  The notion of a linear "chain of being" which had been
the principal organizing system for diversity up until that time came, as a
consequence, to be challenged in the late 1700s and early 1800s, and a variety
of other arrangements were conceived for the diversity of life, including maps,
stars, circles, nets, and trees.

Notice that I spoke here of _arrangements_.  It is entirely true that may
students of diversity engaged in classification and published classifications.
But many theorists even during this early period argued that "classification"
was not the right intellectual model for understanding and representing the
structure of living diversity.  In simplest terms, classifications are based on
group-within-group relations; _arrangements_ may be based on group-within-group
relations but also on some sort of positional relations in an abstract space:
taxa are not only contained within other taxa, they are also near and far,
between, above or below other taxa.  Think of the difference between a printed
listing of states, counties, and cities (group-within-group), and contrast that
with a map of those same places showing their positions in geographical space.
The chain of being is an example of a linear _arrangement_; it is not strictly
speaking a classification because it contains a linear axis along which taxa
must be placed.  The term "system" was often used as a synonym of
"arrangement", and people came to speak of "the natural system" -- that is, the
true arrangement of the diversity of life.  From this notion of system we
derive the term "systematics" which is used for the field today.  Many
important workers in the early 1800s directly contrasted classifications (which
they regard as inferior) with systems/arrangements, among them Macleay and
Alfred Russel Wallace.  One sometimes hears people say "a natural system of
classification", but to the workers in the past or the present who make the
distinction between classifications and systems/arrangements, a natural system
of classification is an oxymoron: the reason such people speak of natural
systems is because nature isn't arranged in classes.

A very special conflict arose once people accepted the notion of evolution and
it became clear that the true arrangement of living diversity (the natural
system) is a tree.  This conflict arose because there are two kinds of tree
diagrams: (1) "logical trees" representing classificatory relations, and (2)
historical, genealogical trees: "trees of history".  I can make a "logical
tree" showing the classification of furniture into chairs and tables, and then
into desk chairs, dining chairs, lounge chairs, etc.  Such a "tree" however is
purely a classificatory device that has nothing whatever to do with
evolutionary, genealogical, "trees of history", in which the root is an actual
organism or population that lived in the past.  One of the most troublesome
problems in the history of systematics has been the confusion of logical trees
and trees of history, that is, classifications and phylogenies.  It is an
empirical fact that people within and without the field of systematics have
found "group thinking" to be easy and intuitive, but "tree thinking"
(historical/genealogical tree thinking) to be extremely difficult.  It is
possible to see the seeds of this confusion in the classification chapter
(XIII) in the first edition of the _Origin of Species_ where Darwin
distinguishes precisely between classification and arrangement in several
places (and here he owes much to an earlier paper by Wallace, I believe) but
doesn't really develop all the consequences that result from this distinction,
especially in view of the fact that many traditional groups were clearly not
whole branches of the evolutionary tree (the logical and genealogical trees did
not match).  Because the full implications of the classification/phylogeny
distinction were not genuinely internalized in systematics until quite
recently, some people have spoken of the Darwinian revolution in systematics --
the idea that systematics is really about reconstructing evolutionary history,
and that the natural system is in fact the sequence of events (the "chronicle")
that make up the evolutionary past -- as being effected only within the last 20
years or so.  This is a view with which I agree.

Now, is classification per se a valuable thing to study from the point of view
of the history of systematics?  Absolutely it is, in precisely the same way
that phlogiston theory is important to study in the history of chemistry, and
astrology is important to the history of astronomy.  And it is certain that
there are elements of "group thinking" still present in systematics today that
need to be eliminated; study of classification will help us to understand why
these persist and how people regard them.  But theoretical considerations of
"classification" as a distinct intellectual practice are not relevant to the
contemporary _practice_ of systematics, which has as its task the
reconstruction of evolutionary history.  There is nothing that sounds more
utterly barren today than the debates of the 1970s over "my way of classifying
is better than your way of classifying."

Incidentally, I understood along with Margaret Winters that the famous "Chinese
classification" that has been posted here a couple times already, and which
comes from Foucault, was actually taken by Foucault from Borges.  I also
understood that Borges made the whole thing up (which makes attempts to
"analyze" it look pretty silly).  Whether or not Borges made it up, I have
always regarded that example as prima facie evidence that the whole subject of
classification is irrelevant to evolutionary biology, because that example has
nothing to do with reconstructing history.  Anyone who wants to look at a
literary example that _is_ relevant to historical reconstruction and
representation might try another Borges story, "The Garden of Forking Paths",
which is about branching histories and contingency.  It is anthologized in his
book _Labyrinths_, I believe, and should be available in most libraries.

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.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<1:174>From mhallbey@magellan.geo.usherb.ca  Sun Sep 19 18:34:47 1993

Date: Sun, 19 Sep 1993 19:32:50 -0400
From: mhallbey@magellan.geo.usherb.ca (Mryka Hall-Beyer)
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Classification in mineralogy

   The classification discussion has lured me out of
lurking! I was trained as a mineralogist, but have wandered
far afield into remote sensing. My interest in the historical
sciences, apart from multi-temporal satellite images, is
personal.

   I will throw in a few comments on classification in
mineralogy. Its relevance is the lack of involvment with any
idea of teleology, nor contamination with baggage about
"higher" and "lower" forms. Yet many of the issues are similar
to those raised.

   Minerals are grouped together in two ways. The true
classification system is a tree, and is based on the chemistry
of the mineral. There are sulfides, sulfates, oxides and
silicates. The silicates are subdivided according to the SI:O
ratio. Further subdivisions occur on the grounds of structure,
and the finest distinctions are then made by chemical for-
mulae, with "subspecies" being solution series between
interchangeable atoms (example: % Fe vs Mg in a certain
crystal site).

   An unknown or possibly new mineral would be placed in
this system strictly on the basis of observation: what is its
chemical formula and what is its structure? Since these two
factors determine macroscopic properties, we often tentatively
classify minerals on the basis of appearance in the field. But
we are often wrong, as impurities in the mineral can change,
for example, the colour. We have our splitters and lumpers,
depending on whether one considers impurities to be just that
or to indicate a separate mineral species.

   The second classification is by association of the
mineral, and is used to inquire about the mineral's history,
and ultimately about the history of larger geological units.
This seems similar to environmental variation. In mineralogy
I have not heard any discussion that a metamorphic garnet
should be classified differently from an igneous garnet. Many
chemical differences are typical of a certain environment,
some are even diagnostic, but the environment does not enter
into the classification of the mineral.

   Likewise, associations of minerals can go a long way to
telling us the environment at the time of mineral formation -
temperature, pressure, liquid and gas phases, etc. I wonder if
this is in any way related to the geographic variation debate?

   These are pretty random thoughts, hoping to stimulate
some ideas among those who know about biological classifica-
tion than I do. In sum,

1.history or geography do not influence the classification
system in mineralogy. The system is built entirely on features
observable in the isolated mineral. The study of history and
geography is informed by mineral classification, but not vice
versa.

2. The classification system is nested, tree-like, but it is
not necessary to see the tree as in any way heirarchical, but
only as the grouping together of increasing numbers of
similarities.

3. Simplicity and complexity are in no way interpreted as
"better" or "more developed" or even "commoner".

-Mryka  mhallbey@magellan.geo.usherb.ca

_______________________________________________________________________________

<1:175>From barryr@ucmp1.Berkeley.EDU  Sun Sep 19 21:39:48 1993

Date: Sun, 19 Sep 93 19:42:42 PDT
From: barryr@ucmp1.Berkeley.EDU (Barry Roth)
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re:  Classification in mineralogy

Thing about minerals, a species of silicate can come into being where and
whenever you have the right combination of atoms and environment.  But each
species of plant or animal has a unique history ...

br

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<1:176>From John_Wilkins@udev.monash.edu.au  Sun Sep 19 22:30:14 1993

Date: Fri, 17 Sep 1993 11:07:40 +0000
From: John Wilkins <John_Wilkins@udev.monash.edu.au>
Subject: Culture, evolution and Lamarck
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

Culture, evolution and Lamarck (LONG)
On 14 Sept, Morris Simon <msimon7@ua1ix.ua.edu> replied to something I wrote:
JW:
> Two issues concern me:
>
> 1. How much is cultural evolution REALLY affected by the so-called
> intentionality of social agents? Does this really introduce a lamarckian
> element (I think not)

MS:
The phrasing of your question suggests to me that you regard "cultural
evolution" as a "given" process. The monolithic view of social darwinism
is now a remote 'racial' memory, having been replaced by its very distant
decendants, "universal" and "multilinear" evolutionism. Both are oriented
toward the use of energy in food production, and both are mainly applicable
to cultural systems which no longer exist. In my view, there are certainly
no "Lamarckian" influences underlying more recent theories of cultural
evolution.

JW:
> 2. What are the close analogies and the disanalogies between cultural and
> biological evolution (Gould, eg, thinks that the term "evolution" ought to be
> restricted to biology -- I think because he thinks cultural change is a
> directed and staged process).

MS:
I share the thought you attribute to Gould. I seldom find theories of cultural
evolution to be very useful, either to explain well-documented cases of
culture change or to analyze ongoing change processes as they occur in
modern cultures. The "multilinear" model of Julian Steward, with its central
concept of "cultural ecology," is more interesting to me than the energy-based
constructs of the "universalists" after Leslie White, but neither of these
modern cultural evolution theories share essential analogies with biolgical
evolution to a degree which justifies labelling them as "evolutionary."

===============
While Anax wrote:
 While the mechanism of Lamarck was the inheritance of aquired
 characteristics (and I admit my example on dog breeding was a poor
 choice), the overall point that Lamarck tried to make was that
 'lower' forms of life arose from inanimate matter and progressed
 towards a level of greater complexity and perfection; that is, that
 all things had an inherent drive towards greater complexity.
 For lamarck, the environment operated as the guiding force, directing
 the increase in complexity towards some end that would create the
 'perfect' organism.  While this sounds logical, its a bit different
 from natural selection in which the environment just removes those
 forms which don't work, allowing a number of possible solutions to
 and environmental 'problem'.

   Thinking over your message and previos ones, I find it hard
 to see how society and culture could be modelled in terms of evolution
 and natural selection.  While society does change, and it would be
 interesting to be able to predict the changes, I don't think
 evolution would be quite the right word for it.  Half the discussion
 on this list seems to deal in one sense or another with clarifying
 the definition of the term evolution, as quite a number of people have
 been using it in  a sloppy sense. Maybe Gould was right - evolution
 should be restricted to the life sciences and another term sought for
 the mechanisms that guide human culture.
==================

I would like to take this up in a bit of detail.

Yes, I do take cultural evolution to be a given. That is -- I consider the
changes that occur in certain circumstances to be purely darwinian evolutionary
processes ["darwinian" means here generalised processes of the sort that in
biology are Darwinian evolutionary processes; typically, hereditary variation
that is random with respect to economic selection pressures]. The usual
disanalogies presented to cultural evolution are that it is intentional (and
therefore neo-lamarckian), that not all change is evolutionary, that history is
progressive or staged, and that much of culture is inadaptive (the persistence
of obviously wrong cosmologies, etc).

In response to this, I would answer that all the above objections have been
made to biological Darwinism (the neo-Lamarckists, pre-Synthetic geneticists,
romantic philosophers such as Shaw or Koestler, and the recent debates on
optimality, in order), and that no evidence has come to my attention to
establish without question that evolutionary theories in a sense that Gould
would be happy with cannot be generalised and applied to culture.

There are going to be strong and weak selective processes. A number of cultural
institutions will survive and even change simply because they have no adaptive
significance. The interesting cases will be those institutions that, like
science, have variations that are strongly selected in terms of differential
resource acquisition as well as having strong transmission of traits. The
gene-equivalents I call 'transmits' following Toulmin, rather than 'memes'
following Dawkins, since I do not wish to commit myself to a units-of-selection
debate in culture.

Culture is going to be at least as complex if not several orders of magnitude
greater than biology, since it is at least supervenient upon biological
processes. In my view, it is an emergent level on biology, and has several
levels within its domain.

Why cannot such strong processes be modelled darwinianly? Economics has obvious
evolutionary/ecological parallels, and is viewed anything but lamarkian by an
increasing number of economists (the "rational-man" theory seems to have had
its day, although even here I would argue that the parallel is with
game-theoretic analyses of genetic interest -- more a useful calculative
fiction than an echt account of how entities "choose" to gamble).

The real difficulty in modelling cultural evolution is to (a) determine what
counts as a 'transmit' (Dawkins instances a snatch of a tune or a form of
lyrics; Hull, a theory or professional citation; Cavalli-Sforza and Feldman use
economic examples and linguistic transformations, and so forth), and (b) to
establish what the selective advantages are -- ie, what the economic resources
the acquisition of which affect differential transmission are. I do not see why
we need to posit simple unary explanations for the entire range of cultural
process -- an example from science need not work in linguistics. If we can
model a restricted domain darwinianly, and rid ourselves of the myth of
rational change (where it is a myth), that is in itself useful.

Incidentally, there are three senses of Lamarckism -- the inheritance of
acquired characteristics (the usual sense applicable to cultural evolutionary
theories, which Darwin shared and was not invented by Lamarck); progressivist
perfectionism and/or a scale of being from lower to higher forms; and the view
that striving affects the evolutionary process in the direction striven. All
three senses are applied in criticism of cultural evolution models.

It is clear to me, at any rate, that history is *not* a series of predetermined
developmental stages, nor is it in the long term progressive. Societies and
cultures, schools and institutions, all wax and wane according to how well they
do compared with their competitors. They are populational entities, with
transmitted structures. There are transformation rules between the
developmental and economic spaces (to adapt a model of Lewontin's) in culture
as in biology.

So, why not?

John Wilkins, Monash University, Australia

_______________________________________________________________________________

<1:177>From John_Wilkins@udev.monash.edu.au  Sun Sep 19 22:38:24 1993

Date: Mon, 13 Sep 1993 11:04:32 +0000
From: John Wilkins <John_Wilkins@udev.monash.edu.au>
Subject: Cultural evolution
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

Reply to:
     Cultural evolution
J. Luke Matthews <LUKEMATT@macc.wisc.edu>noted:
it's interesting how the name Lamarck comes up anytime the word
'intentionality'
comes up when people talk about evolution. Changes in culture,
society aren't
different from changes in the non-human parts of the universe...their's plenty
of intentionality out there too...after all (and this is admittedly an
exaggeration) one reason there are no jellyfish on mountaintops is because
jellyfish just hate montane environments. Animals and plants, monera, protista,
and whatever else are squirming around out there do have some capacity to make
some (perhaps severely limited) choices.

And of course, there's plenty of irrational and nonrational nonintentionality
among us ever so sapient humans.

I reply:
Indeed. The existence of a "rational" choice (that is, an actual decision, as
opposed to game-theoretic descriptions of selection like Maynard Smith's and
Dawkins') merely adds more variation to fuel selection. Unless it is assumed
that "striving" somehow determines the success of the variation (the
neo-Lamarckian assumption), then the fact that a cultural variant arose from a
conscious decision to solve a problem is of no relevance to an evolutionary
model of cultural change, *even of science*, any more than artificial selection
somehow works differently to natural selection for the same reason (artificial
selection is a subset of natural selection).

John Wilkins - Manager, Publishing
Monash University, Melbourne Australia
Internet: john_wilkins@udev.monash.edu.au
Tel: (+613) 565 6009

Monash and I often, but not always, concur

_______________________________________________________________________________

<1:178>From LANGDON@GANDLF.UINDY.EDU  Mon Sep 20 10:47:21 1993

Date: Mon, 20 Sep 1993 10:47:21 -0500
From: "JOHN LANGDON"  <LANGDON@GANDLF.UINDY.EDU>
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re: Lamarkianism in linguistic change

In message <930918095527.26402829@FENNEL.WT.UWA.EDU.AU>  writes:
>  "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!).

To me, heritable implies genetic or some other biologically determined change.
Culture is not heritable and the evolution of culture is not better than an
analogy with organic evolution. What non-genetic systems do you have in mind?

  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).

Changes in allelic frequences are part of the definition of evolution, not
selection. Evolution may reflect selection, but may also reflect non-selected
changes. The two should not be interchanged.

Incidently, I disagree that evolution cannot be applied to systems that change
without selection for fitness-- e.g. geological change is evolution even though
there is nothing giving direction to it.

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

_______________________________________________________________________________

<1:179>From HOLSINGE@UCONNVM.BITNET  Mon Sep 20 12:19:25 1993

Date: Mon, 20 Sep 1993 08:36:33 -0500 (EST)
From: "Kent E. Holsinger" <HOLSINGE%UCONNVM.BITNET@KUHUB.CC.UKANS.EDU>
Subject: Re: Culture, evolution and Lamarck
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

It strikes me in reading the discussion about the possibility of cultural
evolution that an important distinction is being missed, viz. the distinction
between Darwin's theory of evolution and his theory of evolution by natural
selection.

Darwin's theory of evolution consists of the assertion that all of life's
diversity can be explained as a result of descent with modification from a
a single common ancestor.  Descent with modification is the _only_ process
specified.  It includes both the branching of lineages and transformation
within lineages.  It doesn't specify anything about the mechanism that
produces the branching or the transformation.  In fact, as Ernst Mayr is fond
of pointing out, Darwin mostly ignored the problem of how branching happens,
focusing instead on the mechanics of transformation within lineages.

Darwin's theory of natural selection is one mechanism by which evolutionary
change can happen.  It is the idea that types with a superior "fitness" will
be more greatly represented in succeeding generations than those with a
lesser fitness.  It is _not_ the only mechanism of evolutionary change, nor
is it the only mechanism that Darwin proposed.  Darwin envisioned both the
inheritance of acquired characteristics and use & disuse of parts as
important sources of evolutionary change.  We now know that additional
processes, like genetic drift, can lead to evolutionary change in a population
in the absence of natural selection.

Taking this distinction as a given, I can see no reason why we can't talk
about (at least certain forms of) cultural evolution.  It may be difficult
to define the characteristics that are changing, but ask any biological
taxonomist how they define a "character" of an organism and you'll see that
the problem is not unique to culture.  Given that we can identify some
characteristics of a culture, say language practices, and given that
those characteristics change over time it seems likely to me that the
changes can be understood in the broad framework of descent with modification.
In fact, my limited understanding of linguistics suggests that this is
precisely the case, the similarity of Romance languages being due to their
common heritage in classical Latin and the resemblance of Germanic, Romance,
and other languages being due to their common heritage in Indo-European.

There are, of course, interesting ways in which cultural evolution differs
from biological evolution, e.g., greater reticulation among lineages
(especially now) and the potential for inheritance of acquired characters
(what _is_ education, after all?).  These differences, however, have to do
with the _mechanisms_ responsible for producing descent with modification.
Thus, I see cultural evolution as a historical process that will share some
of the features of biological evolution, simply because both are a process of
descent with modification, even though the mechanisms underlying biological
and cultural evolution are very different.

-- Kent

_______________________________________________________________________________

<1:180>From GA3704@SIUCVMB.SIU.EDU  Mon Sep 20 12:36:05 1993

Date: Mon, 20 Sep 93 12:04:05 CST
From: "Margaret E. Winters" <GA3704@SIUCVMB.SIU.EDU>
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Lakoff

What Lakoff is doing in "Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things" - to
expand a little on what was said - is to propose that categorization
is not just used for things, but for mental objects as well (not a
new idea) including linguistic items (his contribution).  We categorize
grammatical constructions as well as words, all of this in terms
of `best instances' or prototypes (see the work of the psychologist
Eleanor Rosch) and better or worse instances which are arranged
around these prototypical examples.

Warning - the book is not easy to read since it is not as well
organized as one would wish (I've read it a couple of times and
worked through it with students).  I particularly recommend,
however, that you look at the case studies at the back which
are somewhat easier to follow and really give a sense of what
is so exciting about what Lakoff is doing.

           Margaret Winters
<ga3704@siucvmb.siu.edu>

_______________________________________________________________________________

<1:181>From SOSLEWIS@ACS.EKU.EDU  Mon Sep 20 14:48:32 1993

Date: Mon, 20 Sep 1993 15:50:26 -0400 (EDT)
From: SOSLEWIS@ACS.EKU.EDU
Subject: Re: Culture, evolution and Lama
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

  I am not certain how important any of you would view this comment
regarding cultural evolution, but I find it somewhat to separate the
biological completely from cultural evolution if for no other reason than
the fact Homo sapiens are biological organisms. As the culture changes it
must place some "stress" (for want of a better work) on the organisms.
Anyway, it may be something to talk about.
  Ray, EKU
  soslewis@acs.eku.edu

_______________________________________________________________________________

<1:182>From huh@u.washington.edu  Mon Sep 20 16:28:12 1993

Date: Mon, 20 Sep 1993 14:20:29 -0700 (PDT)
From: Mark Rushing <huh@u.washington.edu>
Subject: Re: Lakoff
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

On Mon, 20 Sep 1993, Margaret E. Winters wrote:

> What Lakoff is doing in "Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things" - to
> expand a little on what was said - is to propose that categorization
> is not just used for things, but for mental objects as well (not a
> new idea) including linguistic items (his contribution).  We categorize
> grammatical constructions as well as words, all of this in terms
> of `best instances' or prototypes (see the work of the psychologist
> Eleanor Rosch) and better or worse instances which are arranged
> around these prototypical examples.

margaret,

i'm curious -- perhaps you are aware of some Fact-based study, or perhaps
you might speculate -- how are these categorical groupings interconnected?
i suppose you could use, as analogy, a 'primitive' human who plays with a
club and cracks open a shell, then some cross-referential process occurs
where this same technique is applied to another human skull, then more
cross-referential processes occur, etc...

from a perspective which may be closer to Home, the 'creative' process in
which notions (or Observations) of biological evolutionary process is made
a metaphor for societal Institutions.  i'm not saying that i believe there
is anything wrong with this, but it seems that this sort of creative
process is what might 'propel' scientific thought.  after all, a dream
must occur (a hypothesis) before it can be put on Trial...

                   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

_______________________________________________________________________________

<1:183>From BROWNH@CCSUA.CTSTATEU.EDU  Mon Sep 20 18:53:23 1993

Date: Mon, 20 Sep 1993 19:54:47 -0400 (EDT)
From: BROWNH@CCSUA.CTSTATEU.EDU
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: RE: Classification in mineralogy

Mryka,

	As an amateur mineralogist, I can't resist reflecting upon your
comments.  I note that you stress observable characteristics.  Since
what is observed is a function of the instruments of observation (if
humans were color-blind, the color of the mineral would not be taken
into consideration), and what is considered to be significant is a
function of subjective bias (generally, a small crystal is not classi-
fied as a different mineral than a large crystal of the same substance).
	So, if I may, your "observable qualities" might be elaborated.
First, there is a tendency to classify persistent qualities as essential
and short range qualities as accidents.  The former serves to distin-
guish classes (mineral species) from individuals (two specimens of the
same species).  Also, there are entities that have non-observable quali-
ties, such as magnetic fields.  So perhaps we can say that there are
qualities that distinguish things, either as classes or individuals, and
these distinguishing things are what we call empirical qualities.
	But now the fun begins.  If we start out with the assumption
that what persists is essential and what changes is accidental, ephemeral,
insignificant, then we bring in a profound bias in favor of stability
and uniformity.  Obviously, persistence is a matter of scale.  At the
small scale of daily life, we must assume persistence of empirical quali-
ties so that we can function in a predictable environment and communicate
with others.  But in world history, diversity and change is far more
evident than continuity and uniformity.  Arguably, units such as "civili-
zation" is inappropriate in the study of world history because it makes
change and diveristy problematic for a reality that has them in its na-
ture.  The obvious unity in world history would be a "process," not an
empirically-defined unit such as culture, society, or civilization.  To
conceive things as processes can be done, but that takes me away from
the subject.
	I bring this up because various classifications may not be right
or wrong, but suited to our purposes to various degrees.  If the unit of
world history should be represented as a process rather than defined
soleyl in empirical terms, that is because we start with the knowledge
that world history is in fact complex and changing.  With minerals, that]
is quite a different situation.  Traditionally, our aim has not been to
explain why some beryl is green and some yellow, but to impose order on
a complexity; frankly, to arrange things on museum shelves (pace, curators,
I know this view is justly frowned on today); in long range processes
in which change and complexity is of their essence, what becomes signifi-
cant for us changes.  We seek to explain why things occurred as they did,
and for the historian, explanation is always tied time, place and cir-
cumstance (as Lenin used to say).  For the mineralogiest, general classi-
fication suffices.

Haines Brown (brownh@ccsua.ctstateu.edu)

_______________________________________________________________________________

<1:184>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu  Mon Sep 20 22:34:45 1993

Date: Mon, 20 Sep 1993 20:18:59 -0400 (EDT)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: September 20 -- Today in the Historical Sciences
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

SEPTEMBER 20 -- TODAY IN THE HISTORICAL SCIENCES

1811: PYOTR SIMON PALLAS dies at Berlin, Germany.  A natural historian and
geographer of great breadth, Pallas had spent most of his life in Russia,
and had investigated topics as diverse as the systematics of corals
(_Elenchus Zoophytorum_, 1766), the formation of mountain ranges (1777),
animal variation (1780), and phytogeography (_Flora Rossia_, 1784-1788).

1863: JACOB LUDWIG KARL GRIMM dies.  With his brother Wilhelm Carl, Jacob
Grimm will be remembered as one of the founding fathers of comparative
Indo-European philology.  Together they edited collections of fairy tales
(1812-1815), and Jacob produced one of the earliest comprehensive works on
comparative grammar (_Deutsche Grammatik_, 1819-1837).  In 1822 Jacob will
characterize what is today known as Grimm's law, the regular pattern of
consonantal replacement (the replacement of 'p' by 'f', for example) that
occurred during the history of the Indo-European languages.

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.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<1:185>From msimon7@ua1ix.ua.edu  Tue Sep 21 09:09:39 1993

Date: Tue, 21 Sep 1993 09:11:12 -0600 (CDT)
From: Morris Simon <msimon7@ua1ix.ua.edu>
Subject: Re: A reply to Ramsden
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

On Thu, 16 Sep 1993, Mark Rushing wrote:

> the problem with Epistomology is that it is easy to become lost in a
> categorical tangles. ....... [OMITTED MATERIAL]

You bet it's easy, Mark, as you can see from our current exchange. I think
we're talking about different things, or about the same thing from very
different perspectives. You speak of a "Power structure" [which] "is the
Tool we call Science." In fact, I simply spoke of pragmatics of empirical
science -- a "power structure" in C.P. Snow circles, perhaps, but not in
the ones most of my scientist colleagues and I move in.

> 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.

No anger here. Just curiosity.

> 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?

My clumsy way (science, not poetry) of distinguishing conscious thought
from unconscious physiological perception.

> 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.

No flames were intended, I assure you.

> 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....

Ouch! That burned! Was that a bullet, or a red-hot synthesis?

> end of appeal to the modern church.

Amen.

> 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?

I do think "Objective Analysis" exists within the epistemological paradigm
of "empirical methodology." In fact, it becomes a self-defined objective in
the statement of the methodology. Such tautologies are common in
philosophical systems. Perhaps this would be a good moment to switch the
subject of the thread to one which is more directly pertinent to the list.

To what degree did the Deism movement in the West provide an epistemological
basis for the empirical study of evolution, as opposed to the idealistic one
sanctioned by earlier theological traditions? We have all learned about
the influence of William Paley and other Deistic theologians on the young
Charles Darwin. How much influence did Deism have upon other scientists of
the late 18th and 19th centuries?

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

_______________________________________________________________________________

<1:186>From ahouse@hydra.rose.brandeis.edu  Tue Sep 21 12:55:46 1993

Date: Tue, 21 Sep 1993 14:02:24 -0500
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
From: ahouse@hydra.rose.brandeis.edu (Jeremy John Ahouse)
Subject: Re: Classification in mineralogy

>   Minerals are grouped together in two ways. The true
>classification system is a tree, and is based on the chemistry
>of the mineral. There are sulfides, sulfates, oxides and
>silicates. The silicates are subdivided according to the SI:O
>ratio. Further subdivisions occur on the grounds of structure,
>and the finest distinctions are then made by chemical for-
>mulae, with "subspecies" being solution series between
>interchangeable atoms (example: % Fe vs Mg in a certain
>crystal site).

    It isn't clear to me why this would necessarily generate a strictly
dichotomous tree.  If you had something that was 1/2 sulfide and 1/2 oxide
where would it go?

    Thanks,

    - Jeremy

_______________________________________________________________________________

<1:187>From huh@u.washington.edu  Tue Sep 21 16:21:52 1993

Date: Tue, 21 Sep 1993 12:40:20 -0700 (PDT)
From: Mark Rushing <huh@u.washington.edu>
Subject: Re: A reply to Ramsden
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

On Tue, 21 Sep 1993, Morris Simon wrote:

> You bet it's easy, Mark, as you can see from our current exchange. I think
> we're talking about different things, or about the same thing from very
> different perspectives.

yes -- it's interesting -- and thank you for acknowledging multiple
perspectives -- perhaps even the Subjective experience, to use a
Categorical term.  now maybe we can move somewhere...  by the way, i'm
very glad to hear from you again, non-categorically speaking, of course.

> You speak of a "Power structure" [which] "is the
> Tool we call Science." In fact, I simply spoke of pragmatics of empirical
> science -- a "power structure" in C.P. Snow circles, perhaps, but not in
> the ones most of my scientist colleagues and I move in.

pragmatics (historically speaking) once Dictated that the earth was the
center of the universe.  i believe it was last year that this was admitted
as a 'misunderstanding'.  as out sense of pragmatics changed through the
growing acceptance of Empiricism (dialectic?), the Old Hold On The Mind
was forced to change -- to expand -- to encompass further horizons.  this
was a result of the inherent Power of Science.  i believe it is important
to acknowledge this Power.  i am not attempting to reconcile academic
disciplines, nor societal disparity.  i speak only from my own being.  but
i don't want to wander too far from a pseudo-dialectic...

i find the notion of Trees relevant when considering the methodological
(Now, at least) 'progress' of science.  Trees have branches, but there
exists perhaps infinite space between the branches.  many people adhere
rigidly to their Disciplines.  many people adhere rigidly to many things.
this is fine, as long as we remember the 'spaces inbetween'.  i'm
wondering if this makes sense to you.

when you speak here, as above when you Invoke the Snow image to encompass,
or at least parallel what i am trying to say, you return to the notion of
the ancient Cannon (Tradition).  you link yourself in a group unit, a pack
of Scientists banded together in Circles, moving within them.  this is a
power structure.  it has effects.  a old-boys network.  a pristine
framework of purely logical synthesis.  it is their commonly held Image,
their Icon, which exists externally from their individual being.  this
exerts a force in the world, like all groupings of minds.  i am not a
scientist.  yet i have seen much of its effects.  i enjoy the academics
universal saying that there is good and bad in just about everything.  but
machines cannot weigh costs -- not necessarily in flesh and blood, but
perhaps in what some might call Spirit (i mean nothing Theological)

indulge me for a moment to waxe grandly --  Mother Church was a wild
creature, heart, passion -- EXPAND, at all costs -- unite the west, cross
boundaries -- irrational, driven by the winds and wholly unpredictable in
its generosity, and in its horror.  academia springs THROUGH her (in the
west) and rational faculties previal.  logic, reason, books, printing,
this leads to that, leads to this, comes from that -- observe, analyze,
categorize -- it left it's Mother behind.  a whirling mechanism, shiny and
razor sharp -- and it began slicing away at a very fat Mom.

of course, that's not all science has done.  but Science, not the
Scientists, but rather the manifestation of Scientific 'progress' lacks a
Spirit -- a Heart that can bleed.  it was removed because it was not
logical.  i feel that although this is no new news, it is not yet
Realised.  you cannot write a computer progam to simulate a heart <--
metaphor, morris, not the actual Heart as Mechanism.

population analysis (mean deviation) does it Relect or does it Shape?  the
implications of data on flesh.  psychology -- aberrant behavior (thought)
-- Institutionalize (or drug).  Evolution -- heirarchy, some better than
others? -- good question...  Evolution -- only the STRONG will survive.
only the most well-adapted.  implications -- power and perhaps
enlightening if you can figure out what you mean by well-adapted when
considering societal parallels.  anyway...  sorry for spewing...

> > 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?
>
> My clumsy way (science, not poetry) of distinguishing conscious thought
> from unconscious physiological perception.

whatever you mean by conscious and unconscious.  i'm not so sure i accept
that distinction.  perhaps it will result in my being Institutionalized
some day, who knows?

> > 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....
>
> Ouch! That burned! Was that a bullet, or a red-hot synthesis?

sorry, didn't mean it to hurt.  but i AM very glad that you're trying to
understand me.  a lot of people who feel similarly are unable to
express themselves well in Institutional terms.  it's my not-humble-at-all
opintion that the Institutions need to open their eyes and ears a little
more to what goes on Beyond the Walls.

> > end of appeal to the modern church.
>
> Amen.

i lied....

> > 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?
>
> I do think "Objective Analysis" exists within the epistemological paradigm
> of "empirical methodology." In fact, it becomes a self-defined objective in
> the statement of the methodology. Such tautologies are common in
> philosophical systems. Perhaps this would be a good moment to switch the
> subject of the thread to one which is more directly pertinent to the list.
>
> To what degree did the Deism movement in the West provide an epistemological
> basis for the empirical study of evolution, as opposed to the idealistic one
> sanctioned by earlier theological traditions? We have all learned about
> the influence of William Paley and other Deistic theologians on the young
> Charles Darwin. How much influence did Deism have upon other scientists of
> the late 18th and 19th centuries?

tautologies!!  thank you!!  that reassures me immensely.  i would like to
know, also, how not only God influenced darwin (through human
interpretations of perhaps human Ideals), but also why that is of any more
significance, if it is, than how God, Deism, Flagellants, WHATEVER
monotheistically-oriented Organization of thought, has influenced our
Fundamental Foundations in Scientific thought.  perhaps i should take this
to some philosophical forum, but it seems a shame for philosophers to
just talk amongst themselves when there's a whole petri dish full of
cutting-edge scientists here.  (sleight posturing to hopefully exploit an
old Challenge instinct resulting in Disciplinary self-exploration
concurrently with in Outsider's viewpoint)

           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

_______________________________________________________________________________

<1:188>From mhallbey@magellan.geo.usherb.ca  Tue Sep 21 18:20:30 1993

Date: Tue, 21 Sep 1993 19:20:07 -0400
From: mhallbey@magellan.geo.usherb.ca (Mryka Hall-Beyer)
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: RE: Classification in mineralogy

	Interesting reply about minerals. I think we are defining "observable"
in slightly different manners. I quite agree that a phenomenon such as colour
is not appropriate in a classification scheme. Noting the colour or the range
of possible colours or the most common colour of a mineral is useful in a rough
identification key, but that is as far as it goes. I guess the fact that I work
in remote sensing biases me into thinking of things as "observable" that are
not accessible to our senses. The main "observable" bases underlying the
standard mineralogical classification scheme are weight percents of the 14
or so most common elements, Si:O ratios, and crystallographic structure. The
structure may be observable to the extent to which it influences crystal
shape, but of course most minerals one sees do not have well-developed crystal
faces. That's what makes mineral-hounding fun, trying to find those few that
_do_ have such structure. The structure usually has to be observed using
x-ray crystallography to be really sure.
	I find your ideas about persistence and process interesting. I had not
thought of these concepts in relation to classification. Yet in some ways it
is the process of mineralogical change that underlies metamorphic petrology.
The question about chemical equilibria on various scales is crucial to using
chemical mineralogy to interpret paleopressures and temperatures. The presence
or absence of certain mineral species, or the state of transition between them,
is how we define metamorphic isograds. My master's work looked at partitioning
of Mg and Fe between coexisting minerals (on the mm scale) as a geobarometer.

	I'm not sure where this fits into your ideas - it just occurred to me
as I read them and I thought I'd toss it out.  Thanks for the discussion.
Lurking around a different but kindred field gets the brain cranking!
-Mryka

_______________________________________________________________________________

<1:189>From mhallbey@magellan.geo.usherb.ca  Tue Sep 21 18:58:38 1993

Date: Tue, 21 Sep 1993 19:58:12 -0400
From: mhallbey@magellan.geo.usherb.ca (Mryka Hall-Beyer)
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re: Classification in mineralogy

	If you had something that was half sulfide and half oxide it would be
two different minerals. If the sulfur were combined with the oxygen it would
be a sulfate, which is another mineral altogether, on another tree branch.

	I'm not sure if I'm answering the question you're asking: if not,
reply and I'll try again. Perhaps the problem is in the subdivision of
minerals using the main anions or aions groups (not sure if that's a technical
term, even if I had spelled it right!). The solution series, like the sub-
stitutions of Fe for Mg, or of Al for Si for that matter, are among the
cations of the formula. The cation content is not the basis for the main
tree branches, but rather comes in farther along the branching when separating
different minerals within the same anion group (sulfides, silicates, etc.).
For example, a Mg pyroxene and an Fe pyroxene are two differently named
minerals, end members of a solution series called pyroxenes. Pyroxenes are
in turn a member of the silicates. An Mg oxide and an Fe oxide are not
pyroxenes at all, since they are not silicates. You put silica in their
formula and they turn into silicates, maybe pyroxenes if the structure is
right.

	Interesting question.
-Mryka

_______________________________________________________________________________

<1:190>From @VTVM1.CC.VT.EDU:RMBURIAN@VTVM1.CC.VT.EDU  Tue Sep 21 23:34:31 1993

Date: Wed, 22 Sep 93 00:18:34 EDT
From: "Richard M. Burian" <RMBURIAN@VTVM1.CC.VT.EDU>
Subject: John Langdon on heritability and cultural evolution
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

 On September 20, replying to Holsinger, John Langdon wrote that he
considered a trait to be heritable only if it involved a genetic or other
biologically determined change.  At least one standard account of heri-
tability makes a trait heritable if there is higher [or, for that matter,
different] correlation between parent and offsping than between random
members of the parental and offspring generations.  On such an account
[which IS used in quantitative genetics!], (a) a heritable trait may not
change over a long series of generations (e.g. if it remains at a selec-
tively determined optimum), and (b) there is no requirement that the
basis of the correlation be biological.  Thus consider a stable dialect
of a language.  There is a higher correlation between parent and off-
spring dialect than between random parental generation and random off-
spring generation dialect.  The trait is, on this definition, heritable.
The dialect may [indeed, probably will] change with generational time,
but that is not guaranteed by the definition of heritability.
 All of this removes one potential obstacle to theories of cultural
evolution.  But as Holsinger points out, without a serious account of
mechanism of (cultural) evolutionary change, we don't really have such
a theory.  And as Rob Boyd and Pete Richerson argue in fairly interes-
ting (first approximation) detail in _Culture and the Evolutionary
Process_ (Chicago UP, 1985), no good theory of cultural evolution is
likely unless it is a theory of the interaction of cultural and bio-
logical evolution (the latter more narrowly conceived than the former)
because of the interaction of quite different modes of inheritance.
For reasons such as these, I happen not to be a fan of any of the theo-
ries of cultural evolution at which I have glanced (I am NOT widely
read in this area), but I want to argue against such (semi)apriori
arguments blocking attempts to forge theories of cultural evolution
such as the one about heritability put forward by Langdon.
Richard Burian
Science and Technology Studies, Virginia Tech
rmburian@vtvm1.cc.vt.edu.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<1:191>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu  Tue Sep 21 23:46:18 1993

Date: Tue, 21 Sep 1993 17:19:16 -0400 (EDT)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: "Witness" and "testimony" in the historical sciences
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

In civil history our knowledge of past events is often based on the testimony
of witnesses.  By "witnesses" we ordinarily mean persons who observed the
events in question.  But the terms "testimony" and "witness" have been used
for a very long time in the historical sciences with reference to _objects_
rather than persons.  For example, one of the great popular geological works
of the nineteenth century was Hugh Miller's _The Testimony of the Rocks_.
(What does it mean to say that a rock "testifies"?)  Students of textual
transmission speak of the manuscript copies of a work -- the many different
manuscript copies of the _Canterbury Tales_, for example -- as the "witnesses
to the tradition" of that particular text.

My questions are these:

(1) How widely are these terms used in the historical sciences?  Can anyone
think of other examples of their use?  When, for example, did textual
scholars first start referring to individual manuscripts as "witnesses" to a
tradition?

(2) Are there any historical or theoretical analyses of the notions of
"witness" and "testimony" as they apply to historical _objects_ rather than
persons?  I have seen one very interesting book called _Testimony: a
Philosophical Study_ (C.A.J. Coady, 1993, Oxford University Press), but it is
a work in the philosophy of law and is devoted exclusively to the testimony
of persons.

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.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<1:192>From GANEVE@Vm1.rice.ucl.ac.be  Wed Sep 22 07:48:18 1993

Date: Wed, 22 Sep 93 14:41:15 CET
From: Gabriel NEVE <Neve@ecol.ucl.ac.be>
Organization: Universite Catholique de Louvain
Subject: TH & JS Huxley's Romanes lectures
To: darwin-L@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

  TH & JS Lectures entitled EVOLUTION AND ETHICS

Dear Fellow Networkers,

In 1893 Thomas Henry Huxley delivered, as an invited speaker at the
"Romanes Lecture", a lecture on "Evolution and Ethics".
Fifty years later, his grandson Julian was invited to celebrate the
anniversary by giving  a lecture with the same title, also at a
"Romanes Lecture". Julian Huxley's lecture was published in 1946, together
with his grandfather's lecture in a book.
As this year marks the hundredth anniversary of TH Huxley's lecture, I
wonder if this has been (or will be) celebratred in any way.
By the way, does anybody know what the "Romanes Lectures" were
(and, may be, still are)?

I would welcome any information on follow ups from the Huxley's
lectures.
     Gabriel

=======================================================================
Gabriel NEVE
Unite d'Ecologie et de Biogeographie   EMAIL: NEVE@ECOL.UCL.AC.BE
Universite de Louvain
Croix du Sud 5                         Fax  : +32/10/473490
B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve                Tel  : +32/10/473495
Belgium

_______________________________________________________________________________

<1:193>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu  Wed Sep 22 10:10:12 1993

Date: Wed, 22 Sep 1993 10:51:54 -0400 (EDT)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: September 22 -- Today in the Historical Sciences
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

SEPTEMBER 22 -- TODAY IN THE HISTORICAL SCIENCES

1711: THOMAS WRIGHT, author of _An Original Theory or New Hypothesis of
the Universe, Founded upon the Laws of Nature, and Solving by Mathematical
Principles the General Phaenomena of the Visible Creation; and Particularly
the Via Lactea_, is born at Byers Green, near Durham, England.  In his
contemplation of cosmological time he will write: "In this great Celestial
Creation, the Catastrophe of a World, such as ours, or even the total
Dissolution of a System of Worlds, may possibly be no more to the great
Author of Nature, than the most common Accident in Life with us, and in all
Probability such final and general Doom-Days may be as frequent there, as
even Birth-Days, or Mortality with us upon the Earth." (An Original
Theory_, 1750, p. 76.)

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.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<1:194>From GA3704@SIUCVMB.SIU.EDU  Thu Sep 23 09:33:19 1993

Date: Thu, 23 Sep 93 09:31:52 CST
From: "Margaret E. Winters" <GA3704@SIUCVMB.SIU.EDU>
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: interconnections

Mark Rushing asked a couple of days ago about the
interconnection between mental categories and, it
seems to me, an even wider question about creativity.
I don't know of any empirical studies (though surely
there must be in the psychological literature - perhaps
Eleanor Rosch is the place to start), but I can recommend
a very good article which appeared in `Language' vol. 49
(1973) on abductive and deductive change, where its
author, Henning Andersen, explores the nature of abductive
reasoning, roughly the same as analogical thought.  I've
been thinking about the problem from the point of view
of language change as well, and believe that the key lies
here.
 Mark, I hope this gets you somewhere.
         Margaret Winters
         <ga3704@siucvmb.siu.edu>

_______________________________________________________________________________

<1:195>From ahouse@hydra.rose.brandeis.edu  Thu Sep 23 09:53:22 1993

Date: Thu, 23 Sep 1993 11:01:40 -0500
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
From: ahouse@hydra.rose.brandeis.edu (Jeremy John Ahouse)
Subject: alternate classifications ref

    I didn't see this book mentioned in our discussions of alternate
categorizations and I wanted to pass it along.

    _Cognitive foundations of natural history - Toward and anthroplogy
of science_ by Scott Atran.

    And thanks to all for the references back to Borges, it has little
to do with the immediate discussion, but is wonderful to read.

    - Jeremy

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<1:196>From @KENTVM.KENT.EDU:SBROWN@KENTVM.KENT.EDU  Thu Sep 23 11:33:08 1993

Date: Thu, 23 Sep 1993 12:29:07 -0500 (EST)
From: Steven R Brown <SBROWN%KENTVM.BITNET@KUHUB.CC.UKANS.EDU>
Subject: Re: interconnections
To: Multiple recipients of list <darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu>

On Thu, 23 Sep 1993 11:13:15 -0500 Margaret E. Winters said:
>......................................... I can recommend
>a very good article which appeared in `Language' vol. 49
>(1973) on abductive and deductive change, where its
>author, Henning Andersen, explores the nature of abductive
>reasoning, roughly the same as analogical thought....

To which I would add Andersen's "Perceptual and Conceptual Factors in
Abductive Innovations," _Recent Developments in Historical Phonology_,
1978.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<1:197>From huh@u.washington.edu  Thu Sep 23 17:20:54 1993

Date: Thu, 23 Sep 1993 15:10:54 -0700 (PDT)
From: Mark Rushing <huh@u.washington.edu>
Subject: Re: interconnections
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

On Thu, 23 Sep 1993, Margaret E. Winters wrote:

> author, Henning Andersen, explores the nature of abductive
> reasoning, roughly the same as analogical thought.  I've
> been thinking about the problem from the point of view
> of language change as well, and believe that the key lies
> here.
>  Mark, I hope this gets you somewhere.

thanks very much for the Direction, margaret -- it sounds like a very
interesting path to follow for a while.  i'm very curious about what you
mean by language change.  does it involve degrees of Abstraction, perhaps?
by this i mean, and forgive me for being unfamiliar with linguistic
terminology, as Knowledge grows within a society (and perhaps this is a
very Western viewpoint), specific details are lumped into Categories (or
new words which encompass 'greater' meaning) and people Evolve their
language to a new 'level' of abstraction?  this is particularly
fascinating to me, as a wordsmith.  it seem to allow a a good deal of room
for Error, by losing the initial sub-elements of a Classification which
created the Classification (or word) to begin with.

           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

_______________________________________________________________________________

<1:198>From TREMONT%UCSFVM.BITNET@KUHUB.CC.UKANS.EDU  Thu Sep 23 17:39:49 1993

Date: Thu, 23 Sep 1993 13:38:20 -0700 (PDT)
From: "Elihu M. Gerson" <TREMONT%UCSFVM.BITNET@KUHUB.CC.UKANS.EDU>
Subject: Heritability and cultural evolution
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

On Thu, 23 Sep 1993 09:59:32 -0500 Richard M. Burian said:
>...At least one standard account of heri-
>tability makes a trait heritable if there is higher [or, for that matter,
>different] correlation between parent and offsping than between random
>members of the parental and offspring generations.

This way of looking at it puts us squarely in the middle of the ancient
correlation-is-not-causaton discussion. Most usages of "heritability" (and
similar terms that I've seen) assume or describe some causal connections
between the characteristics of one generation and those of another, not just
association. Correlations don't tell us anything about the cause of
resemblances between parents and children. Thus, for example, if many
people come down with an illness simultaneously, it may be impossible
to determine from correlational data if the cause is contagion, heritable
susceptibility, exposure to an irritant in the water supply,
some combination of these, or something else altogether.

> All of this removes one potential obstacle to theories of cultural
>evolution.  But as Holsinger points out, without a serious account of
>mechanism of (cultural) evolutionary change, we don't really have such
>a theory.

True-- and we don't have any plausible theories of cultural evolution.

Moreover, I think using the term "heritability" to refer to both biological
and cultural transmission runs the risk of confusing
processes which are very different in important respects. So I  think we
need a different term for the more general and abstract process which
includes heritability on the one hand (i.e., biological transmission) and
heritage or tradition (i.e., cultural transmission) on the other. And it
will also be well to keep in mind that there are clearly many subkinds
of each kind of transmission.

I am particularly concerned to avoid arguments like: the contents of the second
draft of my manuscript looks like the first draft of my manuscript,
THEREFORE, keyboards (or maybe word processors) are what shapes the
contents of manuscripts. Arguments of this form, in which lower-level
(often genetic, often psychological) processes are awarded causal
efficacy, and higher level (i.e., organizational, political) processes are
ignored, are extremly common. They can be, and often are, used to
justify the most terrible crimes, including genocide. So I think we should
be very very clear in what we say and what we mean
when we are dealing with these cross-level problems.

I also think it is a good idea to keep in mind that the analysis of
cross-level processes is very complex, and cannot be divided into a
"so much of this, so much of that" way.  Susan Oyama has done an
outstanding analysis of nature-nurture controversies from this perspective:
"The ontogeny of information", Cambridge U Press, 1985.

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

_______________________________________________________________________________

<1:199>From HOLSINGE@UCONNVM.BITNET  Fri Sep 24 07:44:59 1993

Date: Fri, 24 Sep 1993 08:25:42 -0500 (EST)
From: "Kent E. Holsinger" <HOLSINGE%UCONNVM.BITNET@KUHUB.CC.UKANS.EDU>
Subject: Re: Heritability and cultural evolution
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

Gerson makes a reasonable point in his reply to Burian.  Using the term
"heritability" to refer to both biological transmission and cultural
transmission runs a risk.  By failing to distinguish between them, on the basis
of the _very_ different mechanisms underlying them, we may unwittingly make use
of evolutionary principles that depend on biological heredity when trying to
understand cultural evolution.

It is important, however, to realize that there will be _some_ commonality
between the processes, no matter how different the mechanisms underlying the
transmission.  Darwin's theory of natural selection, for example, requires only
that offspring resemble their parents, i.e., that there is a _correlation_
between parental and offspring phenotypes.  It does _not_ require any that
any particular mode of transmission underly that correlation.  In fact, Darwin
got the mode of inheritance completely wrong.  To the extent that we can make
inferences about the characteristics of an evolutionary process from the fact
of transmission alone, there are bound to be similarities between biological
and cultural evolution.

There are two aspects of cultural transmission that seem to have no
counterpart in biological transmission (that I have been able to think of, at
least).  First, transmission isn't strictly unidirectional, from parent to
offspring, in cultural transmission.  Second, there is considerable horizontal
transmission among individuals.  Take attitudes towards homosexuality as an
example.  (I should note before proceeding that this entire discussion is
based only on my _perception_ of attitudes, not on any actual data about them.
Still, it serves to illustrate the point.)  Attitudes among college-age
students towards homosexuality seem clearly influenced by the environment in
which they were raised, i.e., by their parents (at least in part).  That's
classical vertical transmission.  However, students' attitudes are also
influenced by the attitudes and behavior of their peers.  I'm sure we all
know of cases where a student who was adamantly anti-homosexual discovers
that a friend is gay and, as a result, changes his attitude about
homsexual behavior.  (Of course, many times attitudes don't change.)  That's
an example of horizontal transmission.  Similarly, parents sometimes change
their attitudes about homosexual behavior as a result of learning that their
son or daughter is gay/lesbian/bisexual.  That's reverse vertical transmission.

One of the significant questions in my mind is whether the extent of these
alternative modes of transmission is so great that cultural and biological
evolution share few interesting properties or if their extent is limited
enough that there are significant similarities.  Another is whether there
are certain classes of cultural evolution, e.g., linguistic evolution, that
are more similar to biological evolution than others, e.g., changes in
sexual mores.

-- Kent

+--------------------------------------------------------------------+
|  Kent E. Holsinger    Internet: Holsinge@UConnVM.UConn.edu |
|  Dept. of Ecology &     BITNET: Holsinge@UConnVM     |
|  Evolutionary Biology, U-43              |
|  University of Connecticut               |
|  Storrs, CT 06269-3043               |
+--------------------------------------------------------------------+

_______________________________________________________________________________

<1:200>From mayerg@cs.uwp.edu  Fri Sep 24 08:17:53 1993

Date: Fri, 24 Sep 1993 07:59:44 -0500 (CDT)
From: Gregory Mayer <mayerg@cs.uwp.edu>
Subject: Re: Heritability and cultural evolution
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

	In his posting of 23 September, Elihu Gerson cautions us against
using the one term heritability for both biological and cultural
transmission, for while they are similar, calling them the same thing
might obscure important differences.

	I would like to endorse his call for careful use of language and
terminology in discussing these phenomena.  While heritability could be
expanded in meaning to include cultural transmission, it might well be
best to restrict it to its well defined biological meaning.  It is not
quite right to define heritability (in the quantitative genetics sense),
as Richard Burian has, as the correlation of parents and offspring.  It is
indeed true that parent/offspring correlation is a common experimental
design for estimating heritability, but it is not the definition of
heritability, nor the best experimental design.  Heritability is defined
as the proportion of the total variance among individuals (= the
phenotypic variance) that is due to genetic variance among individuals.
The phenotypic variance also has an environmental component, and the
genetic variance can be further decomposed into additive, dominance and
interaction components.  More complex analyses of the variance to include
further complications such as, e.g. genotype/environment correlation, are
possible.  The key point is that heritability is not just a correlation
among parents and offspring (which can be similar for all sorts of
reasons), but, by definition, a genetic (in the biological sense)
phenomenon.  Quantitative geneticists design their experiments so as to be
able to estimate the various components, genetic and non-genetic, of the
phenotypic variance.  Thus if we were interested in the heritability of
dialect, the first experiment a quantitative geneticist would think of
would be to raise offspring from one dialect group in a different dialect
group.  Experiments much like this have been done to study song dialects
of birds.  If we did such an experiment with humans, we would find the
heritability to be zero: an American child, raised from birth by a
Brazilian family in Brazil, would speak Portuguese.  The same, I would
wager, would be true of dialects.  There is, of course, an interesting
cultural transmission of language in our American/Brazilian gedanken
experiment, but it does not involve a non-zero quantitative genetic
heritability.

The second point worth mentioning about this is that heritabilty
is an analysis of _variance_, i.e. of differences among individuals, and
says nothing about mean values.  If we did Richard Burian's study of
heritability within a stable dialect, we would again find zero
heritability.  This time it would not be zero contingently, as in the case
of the American child in Brazil (it _could_ have been the case that
language was inherited genetically in man, as it is, in part, in some
birds; it just happens that it isn't).  It would in this case be zero by
definition, because there would be no differences among individuals,
since, by the setup of the example, they all spoke the same dialect.
Again, there would be an interesting cultural transmission of language,
but the quantitative genetic concept of heritability would not be a useful
analytic tool.  Heritability is a way of relating differences among
individuals to differences in their genes, environment etc.

Those interested in the details of heritability in the
quantitative genetic sense should look at D.S. Falconer, 1989,
_Introduction to Quantitative Genetics_, Longman, Harlow, Essex, and for
an account of the limitations of this approach at R.C. Lewontin, 1974, The
analysis of variance and the analysis of causes, _Amer. J. Hum. Gen._
26:400-411.

Gregory C. Mayer
mayerg@cs.uwp.edu

_______________________________________________________________________________
Darwin-L Message Log 1: 171-200 -- September 1993         End

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