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Darwin-L Message Log 8: 1–30 — April 1994

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 April 1994. 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 8: 1-30 -- APRIL 1994
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_______________________________________________________________________________

<8:1>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu  Fri Apr  1 00:27:34 1994

Date: Fri, 01 Apr 1994 01:27:20 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: List owner's monthly greeting
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

Greetings to all Darwin-L subscribers.  On the first of every month I send
out a short note on the status of our group with a reminder of basic commands.
Darwin-L is seven months old, and we have more than 550 members from about
30 countries.  I am grateful to all of you for your interest and your many
contributions.

The Darwin-L gopher archive is open to all subscribers on rjohara.uncg.edu
(numeric address 152.13.44.19); it contains the logs of our past discussions,
several bibliographies of interest to historical scientists, and gateways to
a variety of other interesting network resources.  Pay a visit and bring your
friends.  A recent addition to the Darwin-L gopher archive is Geoff Read's
list of natural history book dealers.

The following are the most frequently used listserv commands that Darwin-L
members may wish to know.  All of these commands should be sent as regular
e-mail messages to the listserv address (listserv@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu),
not to the address of the group as a whole (Darwin-L@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu).
In each case leave the subject line of the message blank and include no
extraneous text, as the command will be read and processed by the listserv
program rather than by a person.  To join the group send the message:

     SUBSCRIBE DARWIN-L <Your Name>

     For example: SUBSCRIBE DARWIN-L John Smith

To cancel your subscription send the message:

     UNSUBSCRIBE DARWIN-L

If you feel burdened by the volume of mail you receive from Darwin-L you
may instruct the listserv program to deliver mail to you in digest format
(one message per day consisting of the whole day's posts bundled together).
To receive your mail in digest format send the message:

     SET DARWIN-L MAIL DIGEST

To change your subscription from digest format back to one-at-a-time
delivery send the message:

     SET DARWIN-L MAIL ACK

To temporarily suspend mail delivery (when you go on vacation, for example)
send the message:

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To resume regular delivery send either the DIGEST or ACK messages above.

For a comprehensive introduction to Darwin-L with notes on our scope and
on network etiquette, and a summary of all available commands, send the
message:

     INFO DARWIN-L

To post a public message to the group as a whole simply send it as regular
e-mail to the group's address (Darwin-L@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu).

I thank you all for your continuing interest in Darwin-L.

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.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<8:2>From toomey@denr1.igis.uiuc.edu  Fri Apr  1 07:48:41 1994

Date: Fri, 1 Apr 1994 07:48:27 -0600
From: Rick Toomey <toomey@denr1.igis.uiuc.edu>
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re: cladistics & distance data

In answer to Paul DeBenedictis question:

"What makes a technique cladistic?"

Robert J. O'Hara (darwin@iris.uncg.edu) answered

> have come around to the view that Greg Mayer has expressed here once or
>twice (he taught me everything I know), that we should take the terms
>cladistic" and "phenetic" to refer to intentions rather than particular
>procedures, types of data, or algorithms.  A technique is cladistic if it is
>used for the purpose of estimating phylogeny.  Sibley's intention in his DNA
>hybridization work is clearly to estimate phylogeny, and so he is using
>distance data in a cladistic manner.  Now whether the phylogenetic estimates
>he produces are good ones is a separate issue.  I have been critical of them
>here before.  But the fact that they may be poor estimates in some cases
>does not, in my view, make them non-cladistic.

I am going to have to respectfully disagree.  If intentions are all that is
required for a technique to be cladistic, then much of the post
acceptance of Darwin (Charles, that is) systematic work is cladistic.
At least this would be the case in vertebrate paleontology (my field).
The goal and purpose of much of the research has been to reconstruct
the phylogeny of organisms.  However, I would be hard-pressed to
describe the gestalt based hypotheses of relationships popular in the
nineteenth and early twentieth century as cladistic.  (This is not to
say that the proposed relationships were necessarily incorrect, only
that the basis for the phylogenies were not explicitly stated.)

Instead, I would say that cladistic refers to a procedure rather than an
intention.  I think that there is a feature necessary and sufficient for a
method to be considered cladistic (the synapomorphy of cladistic
methods, if you will).  This feature is that cladistic methods must make
an explicit evaluation of whether features shared by organisms are
uniquely shared or part of a primitive suite of features.  In jargon -- the
explicit rejection of plesiomorphic characters in the evaluation
of phylogeny.

While I'm at it I should probably introduce myself.  I am a
vertebrate paleontologist at the Illinois State Museum.  I work
as a post-doctoral research associate studying the changes in
small mammal faunas over the last 200,000 years and what these
changes tell us about changing environmental and climatic conditions.

Rickard S. Toomey   Illinois State Museum
toomey@denr1.igis.uiuc.edu

_______________________________________________________________________________

<8:3>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu  Sat Apr  2 00:24:51 1994

Date: Sat, 02 Apr 1994 01:24:41 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: April 2 -- Today in the Historical Sciences
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

APRIL 2 -- TODAY IN THE HISTORICAL SCIENCES

1747: JOHANN JACOB DILLENIUS dies at Oxford, England, after an attack of
apoplexy.  Born in Germany in 1687, Dillenius studied medicine at Giessen and
was eventually appointed doctor to the town.  His interest in botany won him
election to the Caesare Leopoldina-Carolina Academia Naturae Curiosum, and
he soon published a flora of the region around Giessen, _Catalogus plantarum
circa Gissam sponte nascentium_ (Frankfurt am Main, 1718).  Because Dillenius
was critical of Bachmann, whose botanical system was then popular, he did not
find favor in German systematic circles, and he emigrated to England in 1721
at the invitation of William Sherard, who hired Dillenius to work on his
botanical encyclopedia.  In England Dillenius was elected a fellow of the
Royal Society, and in 1724 he oversaw the publication of the final edition
of John Ray's _Synopsis plantarum_ (London, 1724).  He played host to Linnaeus
in 1736 when the Swedish botanist visited Oxford, and published _Historia
muscorum_, an influential study of the cryptogams, in 1741.  His herbarium
will be preserved in the collections of Oxford University.

Today in the Historical Sciences is a feature of Darwin-L, an international
network discussion group on the history and theory of the historical sciences.
For more information about Darwin-L send the two-word message INFO DARWIN-L to
listserv@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu, or gopher to rjohara.uncg.edu (152.13.44.19).

_______________________________________________________________________________

<8:4>From Kim.Sterelny@vuw.ac.nz  Sat Apr  2 23:58:55 1994

Date: Sun, 3 Apr 1994 17:58:38 +1200
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
From: Kim.Sterelny@vuw.ac.nz
Subject: Re: cladistics & distance data

While being somewhat wary of reproducing the typological fallacies in
discussing evolutionary theory that were so hard to remove from that theory
itself, I find myself in mild disagreement both with Bob O'Hara and with
the dissident Toomey on the identification of cladism. Toomey writes:

>I am going to have to respectfully disagree.  If intentions are all that is
>required for a technique to be cladistic, then much of the post
>acceptance of Darwin (Charles, that is) systematic work is cladistic.
>At least this would be the case in vertebrate paleontology (my field).
>The goal and purpose of much of the research has been to reconstruct
>the phylogeny of organisms.  However, I would be hard-pressed to
>describe the gestalt based hypotheses of relationships popular in the
>nineteenth and early twentieth century as cladistic.  (This is not to
>say that the proposed relationships were necessarily incorrect, only
>that the basis for the phylogenies were not explicitly stated.)
>
>Instead, I would say that cladistic refers to a procedure rather than an
>intention.  I think that there is a feature necessary and sufficient for a
>method to be considered cladistic (the synapomorphy of cladistic
>methods, if you will).  This feature is that cladistic methods must make
>an explicit evaluation of whether features shared by organisms are
>uniquely shared or part of a primitive suite of features.  In jargon -- the
>explicit rejection of plesiomorphic characters in the evaluation
>of phylogeny.

Myself, I think there are three elements that are essentially cladistic.
The first is an idea are about the goals of systematics: that its sole aim,
as Bob has once put it, is "telling the tree". Of course I agree with
Toomey that one of the aims of taxonomy since Darwin has been to
reconstruct evolutionary history, but that aim has been mixed up with all
sorts of other issues; for example about the degree and kinds of divergence
necessary to warrant a valid use of higher taxonomic categories. I take it
that one of the basic lessons of cladism is that, for example, the various
debates about when in human evolution true hominids appeared are wastes of
time. I realize that many pre-cladistic systematicists were somewhat
sceptical about the status of higher taxonomic units, but in my view its
the cladists who really rammed this home. The second is the methodological
idea that Toomey I think is right to emphasize: that characters that are
primative to a group can tell you nothing about relations within that
group. Third, I think there is a metaphysical idea: that only monophyletic
chunks of the tree are biologically real entities. I doubt whether all this
has to be a package deal; in particular, one could clearly accept the
methodological moral about the reconstruction of history whilst accepting
the biological reality of some non-monophyletic chunks of that tree.

Kim Sterelny, Philosophy,
Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

_______________________________________________________________________________

<8:5>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu  Sun Apr  3 00:38:48 1994

Date: Sun, 03 Apr 1994 01:38:38 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: April 3 -- Today in the Historical Sciences
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

APRIL 3 -- TODAY IN THE HISTORICAL SCIENCES

1683: MARK CATESBY is born at Castle Hedingham, Essex, England.  The son of a
lawyer and public official, the young Catesby will develop an early interest
in botany and will become a friend of the prominent English naturalist John
Ray.  From 1712 to 1719 Catesby will live with his sister in the Virginia
colony, and the plants he will collect during his stay in America will bring
him to the attention of a number of other prominent naturalists, including
Sir Hans Sloane.  Catesby will be commissioned to return to America for the
purpose of natural history exploration and collecting, and from 1722 to 1726
he will travel through South Carolina, Florida, and the West Indies.  Upon his
return to England he will publish the acclaimed _Natural History of Carolina,
Florida, and the Bahama Islands_ (1731-1743), a work that will be used by
Linnaeus as the source for his descriptions of North American birds.

Today in the Historical Sciences is a feature of Darwin-L, an international
network discussion group on the history and theory of the historical sciences.
For more information about Darwin-L send the two-word message INFO DARWIN-L to
listserv@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu, or gopher to rjohara.uncg.edu (152.13.44.19).

_______________________________________________________________________________

<8:6>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu  Mon Apr  4 21:27:22 1994

Date: Mon, 04 Apr 1994 23:27:14 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: Re: cladistics & distance data
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

Rick Toomey's and Kim Sterelny's comments on the original question "What
makes a technique cladistic?" have given me pause, and I'm starting to step
back from my original answer.  I had said that intention is what makes a
technique cladistic, rather than the particular type of data used, etc.
Let's see what I can make of the question now.

First I take it that we are agreed on Paul DeBenedictis's first question,
that distance data can be used to estimate phylogeny.  In any particular
case it may be a good way or a bad way to estimate phylogeny, but it is a
way.

The question at issue is his other one: "What makes a technique cladistic?"
This of course is a matter of definition, but it is interesting to consider
nontheless. <-- (Note clever deployment of classic rhetorical strategy: "OK,
so maybe I am wrong, but it doesn't really matter that much anyway.")  ;-)

One thing I failed to do in my original answer was distinguish between
present-day prescription and historical description (shame on me), and that
is what Rick and Kim both picked up on.  Paul had asked his question in the
specific context of a review of a modern work, and I was trying to make the
point that it didn't really matter whether the author was using distance
data or character data: what he was trying to do was make trees, and hence
he was doing something cladistic.

Rick and Kim point out that there were people making trees ever since the
_Origin_ and that it doesn't seem right to say that they were all doing
cladistics.  There certainly were, and no, it doesn't seem right to call
their work cladistic.  I find myself wanting to distinguish between
"phylogeneitc" and "cladistic" now, however.  Many systematists since the
late 19th century have tried to reconstruct phylogeny.  (As Kim points out,
though, they often had other interests mixed in with that activity in a
somewhat confused manner from the modern standpoint.)  If I say that
"cladistic analysis" is a particular method of reconstructing phylogeny,
then maybe Rick and Kim will be satisfied -- it would be that method of
reconstructing phylogeny which is based on the idea that only innovations
(derived character states) can be used to identify clades, and that a
"character" is a difference among taxa from which we infer an evolutionary
event, the states of the character being the different "sides" of the event
(before and after).

Under this definition, "cladistics" is reduced to more or less traditional
(Hennigian) character-based studies of the sort that really didn't exist
much before the 1950s or '60s.  But the enterprise of (non-cladistic)
phylogenetic reconstruction goes back much farther.  Modern distance methods
of phylogenetic reconstruction would thus be "phylogenetic" but not
"cladistic".  (For our next lesson I will explain the difference between
"tomato" and "tomato".)

I'm sure the eyes of all the non-systematists are starting to glaze over at
this point.  These disputes about shades of meaning of technical terms can
look very odd from the outside, I know.  This discussion is a bit like the
discussion we were having a while ago on the word "structuralism", though.
In linguistics we might ask what makes a technique "structuralist" (as I did
a while ago, and Sally Thomason replied very helpfully), or "typological" or
"historical".  "Typology" is another word that is used in both linguistics
and systematics; in linguistics it is a legitimate mode of inquiry (so I
understand), but in systematics "typology" usually considered a term of
abuse ("he is a typologist" is kind of like saying "he is a communist").

An excellent book came out a couple years ago: _Keywords in Evolutionary
Biology_, edited by Evelyn Fox Keller and Elisabeth Lloyd (Cambridge:
Harvard University Press).  It is a collection of chapters devoted to terms
like "selection", "fitness", species", etc.  Glancing at my copy I see
chapters by _four_ Darwin-L members: Richard Burian on "Adaptation", Robert
Brandon on "Environment", Michael Donoghue on "Homology", and Peter Stevens
on "Species".  (We are in very good company here.)  Perhaps an expanded
version of the book or another similar collection of chapters could be made
that would extend beyond evolutionary biology to key terms used in all the
historical sciences.

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.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<8:7>From KIMLER@social.chass.ncsu.edu  Tue Apr  5 10:59:59 1994

From: KIMLER@social.chass.ncsu.edu
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Date: Tue, 5 Apr 1994 12:03:16 EST5EDT
Subject: re: gopher

Just a quick note to save some of you time if you're looking for the
DARWIN-L gopher.  If you, like me, get to gophers through your
campus's library system or through the Mama Gopher at the University
of Minnesota, you'll find DARWIN-L's gopher listed under "UNCG
Favorite Gopher Holes" when you get to the menu for the gopher at
University of North Carolina at Greensboro.  On my system, at least,
a search didn't find it; but there it is, and quite useful, too.

William Kimler
History
North Carolina State University

_______________________________________________________________________________

<8:8>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu  Tue Apr  5 13:53:26 1994

Date: Tue, 05 Apr 1994 15:50:18 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: "Cladistics" and "typology"
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

This comes from Sally Thomason, who was having temporary mail problems.

Bob O'Hara (darwin@iris.uncg.edu)

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

   Bob O'Hara suspects that the eyes of us non-systematists will be
glazing over at the discussion of what is & isn't cladistics, and
why: not so, at least for this non-systematist -- I'm finding this
discussion really educational, and if I keep reading long enough I
might actually understand what's going on in that area.  Understanding
the biological systematists is crucial for figuring out the
relationships between the tree-building enterprises in biology and
linguistics (and elsewhere), after all.  Bob's revised definition
of cladistic analysis -- the method based on the idea that only
innovations count in identifying clades -- is THE obvious link between
systematics and historical linguistics: shared innovations has always
("always" = since the late decades of the 19th century, when the
comparative method got into high gear) been the primary criterion for
subgrouping languages in a family tree.  (And since the comparative
method, which most of us believe is the only tried & true method for
establishing language families, hasn't been shown to be valid for
time depths anywhere near the presumed origin of human language, our
numerous language families are each, for all practical purposes, the
equivalent of the systematists' single tree.)

   A brief comment on Bob's mention of the different connotations of
typology in linguistics and systematics (and apologies if this repeats
comments made in earlier discussions of typology): typology is absolutely
respectable in linguistics, but NOT as a historical methodology.  It is
in a synchronic field of study that seeks to identify common, not so
common, and nonexistent structural patterns in languages of the world,
with a view toward understanding the functionally and/or genetically
determined (or at least influenced) properties of human language.  It's
true that typological arguments have been brought to bear, by a number
of scholars, on the question of what to reconstruct, for a parent language,
from the patterns found in a bunch of daughter languages.  One line of
argumentation (maybe the main line) goes like this: (almost) no language in
the world has pattern X; therefore, we cannot reconstruct pattern X
for the ancestor of these languages.  Arguments of this strong type
are highly controversial and have not been generally accepted.  The best-
known instance, probably, is the Glottalic Theory, a typological proposal
for the reconstruction of Proto-Indo-European stops.  But in a weaker
form, typology IS used by all of us in reconstructing bits of proto-
languages: when, for instance, you have two sounds that correspond
regularly in the only two daughter languages of a family -- say, h and
p -- and you have to make a guess about which (if either) of these two
sounds represents the parent language's sound...or, more precisely,
phoneme...you guess the p, essentially on typological grounds: we all
know of quite a few sound changes of the type *p > h, but we know of
few or no changes of the type *h > p; since, therefore, *p > h seems
a more likely change, we reconstruct *p for the proto-language's
phoneme.  [Some historical linguist who is more knowledgeable than I
am will promptly post fifteen examples of sound changes from *h to p!
So I'll respond to that posting now: the methodological point is valid,
even if the particular example is no good.  Pretty weak answer, eh?
But I think most historical linguists would agree with it.]

  Notice, though, that using typology in this way in reconstructing
proto-languages has nothing to do with establishing language families.
Probably no current historical linguist would argue that shared
structural features in themselves provide evidence for language-family
grouping.

   Sally Thomason
   sally@pogo.isp.pitt.edu

_______________________________________________________________________________

<8:9>From @SIVM.SI.EDU:SIPAD002@SIVM.SI.EDU  Wed Apr  6 07:58:14 1994

Date: Wed, 06 Apr 1994 09:52:21 -0400 (EDT)
From: Peter Cannell <SIPAD002%SIVM.BITNET@KUHUB.CC.UKANS.EDU>
Subject: "Cladistics" and "typology"
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

In response to Sally Thomason's note:

Sally, just as you hope to learn about systematics from the obscure
cladistic discussions here, perhaps we systematists can learn about
linguistic analysis by reading those various responses - so keep 'em
coming.

One problem with reconstructing phylogeny of various organisms has been
the fear that convergences, reversals, etc. may have swept clean the trail
of phylogeny.  We optimistically assume parsimony, but as eminent a soul
as Dave Swofford has cast doubt on our actually ability to reconstruct
phylogeny from what we know now.  Isn't this trail even more dubious
in language and other cultural or behavioral studies?  I don't mean
to discourage striving.  But do linguists feel nervous about the
prospects of ever succeeding?

Secondly, what actually is a language "family."  Is it analogous to so-called
"subspecies" in zoology - a fuzzy non-monophyletic, varying concept?

Thanks, Peter C.

Peter F. Cannell
Science Editor, Smithsonian Institution University Press
sipad002@sivm.si.edu
voice: 202/287-3738 ext. 328    fax: 202/287-3637

_______________________________________________________________________________

<8:10>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu  Wed Apr  6 14:40:06 1994

Date: Wed, 06 Apr 1994 16:40:00 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: April 6 -- Today in the Historical Sciences
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

APRIL 6 -- TODAY IN THE HISTORICAL SCIENCES

1732: JOSE CELESTINO BRUNO MUTIS Y BOSSIO is born at Cadiz, Spain.  A student
of medicine at Seville and Madrid, Mutis will be appointed physician to the
viceroy of the Spanish colony of Nueva Granada, and he will sail to America in
1760.  He will travel extensively, collecting plants throughout Nueva Granada,
and will correspond with many botanists in Europe including Linnaeus.  He will
die in Santa Fe de Bogota (later Bogota, Colombia) in 1808, but the principal
report of his explorations, _La Flora de la real expedicion botanica del Nuevo
Reino de Granada_, will remain unpublished until 1954.

Today in the Historical Sciences is a feature of Darwin-L, an international
network discussion group on the history and theory of the historical sciences.
For more information about Darwin-L send the two-word message INFO DARWIN-L to
listserv@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu, or gopher to rjohara.uncg.edu (152.13.44.19).

_______________________________________________________________________________

<8:11>From KIMLER@social.chass.ncsu.edu  Wed Apr  6 15:11:26 1994

From: KIMLER@social.chass.ncsu.edu
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Date: Wed, 6 Apr 1994 16:10:44 EST5EDT
Subject: Re: Cladistic taxonomies

I was intrigued by the recent comments on the history of taxonomy
and the use of cladistic and phylogenetic taxonomic schemes.  I have
a graduate student, Randy Jackson, working on the history of fish
systematics, in particular comparing the work of Cope, Gill, and
Guenther.  He tells me that the system developed by Gill in 1871 uses
principles or technique that we would today call cladistic.  Of
course, seeing an identity of ideas is fraught with difficulty.  As
a historian, it does not surprise me that we would find, in an
earlier period, various pieces of a later research program.  We
should resist the temptation of having to see everything in the
invention of cladistics as radically new.  However, the hunt for
piecemeal "precursors" of an idea is very out of fashion, for good
reason, in the history of science.  Recognizing that Gill is
working within the problems and assumptions of the 1870s, Randy is
trying to determine how/if each taxonomist's reaction to evolutionism
affects the system he produces.

If any List members who are conversant in fish systematics and/or
the history of systematics would be willing to provide comments on
his work, please let me know.

William Kimler
History - Box 8108
North Carolina State University
Raleigh, NC  27695-8108
e-mail:  kimler@ncsu.edu

_______________________________________________________________________________

<8:12>From jrc@anbg.gov.au  Wed Apr  6 15:46:45 1994

From: jrc@anbg.gov.au (Jim Croft)
Subject: Re: "Cladistics" and "typology"
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Date: Thu, 7 Apr 1994 07:46:26 +1000 (EST)

Geez - what a depressing post to read first thing in the morning...
All my life I have had severe doubts about the worth and merit of
getting out of bed each day and now these are confirmed...

Peter Cannell wrote:

> In response to Sally Thomoson's note:
>
> Sally, just as you hope to learn about systematics from the obscure
> cladistic discussions here, perhaps we systematists can learn about
> linguistic analysis by reading those various responses - so keep 'em
> coming.

Funny - I thought it was the linguistic posts that were obscure...  But
yes, the parallels(?) are very interesting to follow...

> One problem with reconstructing phylogeny of various organisms has been
> the fear that convergences, reversals, etc. may have swept clean the trail
> of phylogeny.  We optimistically assume parsimony, but as eminent a soul
> as Dave Swofford has cast doubt on our actually ability to reconstruct
> phylogeny from what we know now.

Now, this is real wrist-slashing stuff!  Like most biologists, I have
girded loins to face each day in the belief, beaten into us with the
tablets of stone they are engraved on, that a) phylogeny and
phylogenetic relationships are important for some reason, and
b) reconstructon of a believable chain of events is ultimately
possible.  Thus we are able to suppress the overwhelming desire to
put all the reds ones in one heap and blue ones in another and divide
each heap into big ones and little ones just because such a
classification easy to understand...

> Isn't this trail even more dubious
> in language and other cultural or behavioral studies?  I don't mean
> to discourage striving.  But do linguists feel nervous about the
> prospects of ever succeeding?

But how do you know if you have succeeded?  Is convincing a few others
to believe our hair-brained stories sufficient?  Will that remove the
possibility that nature/language may not have been parsimonious?

> Secondly, what actually is a language "family."  Is it analogous to so-called
> "subspecies" in zoology - a fuzzy non-monophyletic, varying concept?

I do not know about your subspecies, but mine are immutable, god-given
evidence of singular truth in the cosmos.

Gotta go now - there is a bus coming by in a few minutes that needs to
be fallen under...

-- jim                    URL=http://155.187.10.12:80/people/croft.jim.html
___________________________________________________________________________
Jim Croft         [Herbarium CANB & CBG]          internet: jrc@anbg.gov.au
Australian National Herbarium &                      voice:  +61-6-2509 490
Australian National Botanic Gardens               faxmodem:  +61-6-2509 484
GPO Box 1777, Canberra, ACT 2601, AUSTRALIA            fax:  +61-6-2509 599
______Biodiversity Directorate, Australian Nature Conservation Agency______
_________________Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research____________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

<8:13>From idavidso@metz.une.edu.au  Wed Apr  6 17:32:36 1994

Date: Thu, 7 Apr 1994 09:32:30 +0700
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
From: idavidso@metz.une.edu.au (Iain Davidson)
Subject: Re: "Cladistics" and "typology"

Jim Croft wrote:

>I do not know about your subspecies, but mine are immutable, god-given
>evidence of singular truth in the cosmos.

It would have been nice to have some sort of indication of the jocular
intent of this remark.  Otherwise I mght phone the bus company and tell
them to "hurry up, Jim's waiting"!!! (That is my mark of jocular intent).
What does the propensity for Eucalypts to hybridise *mean*?

Iain Davidson
Archaeology and Palaeoanthropology
University of New England
Armidale NSW 2351
AUSTRALIA
Tel (067) 732 441
Fax (International) +61 67 73 25 26
    (Domestic)       067 73 25 26

_______________________________________________________________________________

<8:14>From sally@isp.pitt.edu  Wed Apr  6 18:40:40 1994

To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re: "Cladistics" and "typology"
Date: Wed, 06 Apr 94 20:40:37 -0400
From: Sally Thomason <sally@isp.pitt.edu>

   Peter Cannell asks what a language family is -- good question!
I've been avoiding using our standard term, which is "genetic
relationship", for fear of confusing and/or annoying people who
deal with literal rather than metaphorical genes.  Anyway, the
concept of a language family is pretty clear, although -- not
surprisingly -- it's fuzzy around the edges: if one language
diverges over time into two or more daughter languages, that's
a language family.  The daughter languages are changed later
forms of their single parent language.  There are some methodological
assumptions which, though clearly invalid most of the time in
real life, are useful nevertheless; the major one is that, when
a lg. splits into two or more daughters, the split is CLEAN: that
is, no more contact between the daughters after the split.  You
don't get a split at all unless there's some breakdown/reduction
in communication between speakers of two or more dialects; but
cases like Romani, whose speakers had no more contact at all with
other Indic languages after they left India in ?1500 A.D.?, are
pretty rare, as far as we know.

   At shallow enough time depths, when there's still a lot of
evidence left (not too many changes in the daughter languages to
obscure the regularities of descendent lexical and grammatical
features), it's fairly easy to separate inherited material from
borrowed material (i.e. convergences), IFF the borrowing isn't
occurring between very closely related languages.

   But that's at shallow enough time depths.  Once you're several
thousand years away from the source, things get more difficult;
that's why historical linguists make an informal guess of ca. 10,000
years as the upper limit for establishing genetic relationships
among languages.  (Most historical linguists, anyway.)  After that
too many changes have left so few systematic traces that it can
be impossible to distinguish borrowed from inherited features, even
when you're pretty sure that there is SOME historical connection
between two or more languages.  So historical linguists don't expect
ever to construct a family tree for ALL human languages, assuming
that there was once one single original language; we have some
hundreds of language families currently, and though that number
will undoubtedly shrink as the laborious historical study of different
groups progresses, it's unlikely to shrink to just a few huge language
families -- not at the time depths that, to judge by the level of
diversity in the world's several thousand languages, must be
reckoned with.

   Language is significantly different from other cultural or
behavioral studies, though: language change is largely, though not
entirely, independent of speakers' or societies' desires and
intentions; language changes willy-nilly, which is why (for instance)
pundits who rail against the sloppiness of, say, modern English
speakers have been thriving for hundreds of years.  There are fads
in language, to be sure (like teen-age slang), but they are quite
superficial: the structure of the language tends not to be affected
by fads.  Other cultural and behavioral studies have nothing like the
regularity hypothesis of sound change, which is our main means of tracing
language history back through time.

     Sally Thomason
     sally@isp.pitt.edu

_______________________________________________________________________________

<8:15>From BENEDICT@VAX.CS.HSCSYR.EDU  Thu Apr  7 08:35:34 1994

Date: Thu, 07 Apr 1994 10:33:14 -0500 (EST)
From: BENEDICT@VAX.CS.HSCSYR.EDU
Subject: Distance method for linguistics
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

  I've been thinking about distance methods for areas other than biology, and
I've come up with the following idea that might work in linguistics. If
someone wants to (or has) tried it, post a response.
  The goal is to get a mass comparison of two languages without being bogged
down by grammar, vocabulary and phonetics. That's not quite possible, because
without some consideration you'll be comparing arbitrary segments of human
speech. In biology, physical chemistry takes care of aligning "same" thing in
different organisms, and we need a linguistic equivalent to physical
chemistry. So here's the proposal.
  First, construct a lot of simple sentences (child speech) that talk about
fairly universal things - environmental constants like night, day, sun, rain,
clouds; human constants - basic anatomy, gender, physiology; social constants
- biological family relationships, generic activities like singing and
talking, and whatever else you decide. Part of the experiment will be to
decide how much you need. Examples:  Two men are sleeping.  I am thirsty.  My
mother gives me drink.  His wife is singing.
  Second, you need to record (in a constant voice and rate) each of the
sentences in a fixed order. It might be helpful to use a computer to generate
the records, to minimize variation due to voice and timing.
  Third, now do spectral correlations between the different recordings. The
correlation coefficients are the distance values. A correlation between
phonemes might also do the job without the requirement for constant voice and
rate, if you can devise an a priori value to measure the differnce between
phonemes. And decide on a "universal" system of phonemes (hope this is the
right word - I mean a basic unit of sound in speech).

Note that this proposal detects two types of change without distinguishing
between them - phoneme shifts and grammar shifts. But it does yeild a mass
comparison. An interesting subquestion would be - how extensive should the
sentence list be to give meaningful results.

If I were doing this, I'd start with something like Romance languages and if
it produces anything reasonable, see how different things have to be before it
"blows up" if it ever does.  But I'm not a linguist, so the idea is free for
anyone who wants to give a try (if it's great, I'd appreaciate at least
partial credit - if it's a disaster, forget I had anything to do with it).

Paul DeBenedictis
SUNY Health Science Center at Syracuse

_______________________________________________________________________________

<8:16>From CRAVENS@macc.wisc.edu  Thu Apr  7 10:06:09 1994

Date: Thu, 07 Apr 94 11:05 CDT
From: Tom Cravens <CRAVENS@macc.wisc.edu>
Subject: Re: Distance method for linguistics
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

Paul, I'm not sure if I understood. Let's see, with just one utterance,
in three Romance languages, 'I'm hungry'.

Fr. J'ai faim.
It. Ho fame.
Sp. Tengo hambre.

We record these in speech, and they come out (blessed ASCII! -- excuse
the fake phonetic alphabet):

[zhefe~]
[ofame]
[tengoambre]

I'm not sure how your proposal would proceed at this point. Traditional
analysis (pretending no a priori knowledge) might go something like this:
it would catch that the first syllable in Fr. and It. is different,
and that it seems to correspond to two (unrelated) syllables in Sp. Then
we'd work to sort out what's going on in those cases, and it would fall
out that we have three distinct forms of 'I have', and that French uses
the subject pronoun. Depending on the type of analysis, we may continue,
to figure out that the 'have' of Fr. and It. are historically related, and
Sp. 'have' is another item altogether. Or we may jump to the syllables
following 'have', and find that to Fr. and It. [f] corresponds Sp. null
(I'm thinking in Romance and the syntax shows it; sorry!), and that all
three then have vowel + [m] (or in French, nasalization suggesting something
m-ish). Somehow we'd have to account for French ending with a (remnant of)
/m/, but Italian having [e] following it, and Sp. with a mouthful, [bre].
Synchronic analysis wouldn't take us much further than finding that It.
and Sp. disfavor (some would claim, don't allow) final [m], but an
historical examination would eventually reveal that the two variants
[fe~], [fame] are derivable from the same proto-form by regular
sound change evinced in other words, and that Sp. fits into this except
for the [bre] part. If we're looking for "family" relationships, we could
say, then, that the 'hunger' word is either a very early borrowing
(early enough to have been run through all the expected historical
changes of each language), or it's a form inherited in all three from the
"mother" language. If we assume that the mother is Latin, we will,
in fact, find what looks like [fame] there, confirming
the commonly inherited origin. (Further work would show that Sp. [bre]
requires a source [famine], but enough; I fear eyes are glazing as I
write!)

Can you say how your suggestion is different from this?

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

_______________________________________________________________________________

<8:17>From BENEDICT@VAX.CS.HSCSYR.EDU  Thu Apr  7 13:37:17 1994

Date: Thu, 07 Apr 1994 15:35:03 -0500 (EST)
From: BENEDICT@VAX.CS.HSCSYR.EDU
Subject: Re: Distance method for linguistics
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

What I'd do is get a sound analysis program, like Canary from Cornell U. Lab
of Ornithology, load up the recordings, and do a spectral correlation. Once I
have sounds that are "homologous" (and I got homology by "saying the same
thing in each language") all I'm interested in is some objective means of
specifying how different/similar they are. Talk to electrical engineers who do
more of this stuff than I about the gory details. As I said I'm not a
linguist. It's just an idea to chew on.

Paul DeBenedictis
SUNY Health Science Center at Syracuse

_______________________________________________________________________________

<8:18>From jrc@anbg.gov.au  Thu Apr  7 17:07:07 1994

From: jrc@anbg.gov.au (Jim Croft)
Subject: Re: "Cladistics" and "typology"
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Date: Fri, 8 Apr 1994 09:06:32 +1000 (EST)

Iain Davidson wrote:

> Jim Croft wrote:
> >
> >I do not know about your subspecies, but mine are immutable, god-given
> >evidence of singular truth in the cosmos.
>
> It would have been nice to have some sort of indication of the jocular
> intent of this remark.  Otherwise I mght phone the bus company and tell
> them to "hurry up, Jim's waiting"!!! (That is my mark of jocular intent).
> What does the propensity for Eucalypts to hybridise *mean*?
> >
> >Gotta go now - there is a bus coming by in a few minutes that needs to
> >be fallen under...

I have only ever described and named two subspecies (names witheld to
protect the innocent) in my life and they have not been collected,
mentioned, looked at or even thought about by the biological or general
community in the decade and a half since the protologue was smeared on
wood pulp.  Such is the impact of science, but it seemed important at
the time...

What does the propensity for anything to hybridize mean?  In our gardens
(with over 30% of the Australian vascular flora in cultivation) we have
all manner of indecent and unnatural acts going on with things
hybridizing all over the place, events that would never happen in
nature because the taxa would never come into contact with other.  It is
because we can not trust the parentage of seeds in the gardens that we
do not produce a seed list or repropagate from our own seeds if at all
avoidable.  The catch-cry 'but they hybridize' is often used to cast
doubt and aspersion on the distinction of two taxa, but should it?
There are taxa here that are morphologically virtually indistinguishable,
have similar habitat requirements but produce pheremones that attract a
particular species of insect pollinator and their gene pools are
totally isolated - any sane person would give them the same name and put
them in the same folder in the herbarium - but should they?

For Iain, the following is serious %^|

These days I am not game to recognize the genus _Eucalyptus_, let alone
talk about species, subspecies and hybrids.  For *one* definitive (or
one *definitive*) view on the systematics and phylogeny of the
genus/genera, contact Ken Hill at the herbarium of Royal Botanic Gardens
Sydney (ken_hill@rbgsyd.gov.au - I don't think Ken reads Darwin-l).  As
can be expected, there is a diversity of strongly held ideas as to how
this group of plants with hundreds of taxa are to be arranged, how
nature got them to where they are (phylogenetically and biogeographically)
and what does it all mean? - and it not worth my life to venture an
opinion...

cheers

-- jim                    URL=http://155.187.10.12:80/people/croft.jim.html
___________________________________________________________________________
Jim Croft         [Herbarium CANB & CBG]          internet: jrc@anbg.gov.au
Australian National Herbarium &                      voice:  +61-6-2509 490
Australian National Botanic Gardens               faxmodem:  +61-6-2509 484
GPO Box 1777, Canberra, ACT 2601, AUSTRALIA            fax:  +61-6-2509 599
______Biodiversity Directorate, Australian Nature Conservation Agency______
_________________Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research____________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

<8:19>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu  Thu Apr  7 18:59:38 1994

Date: Thu, 07 Apr 1994 20:59:31 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: April 7 -- Today in the Historical Sciences
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

APRIL 7 -- TODAY IN THE HISTORICAL SCIENCES

1727: MICHEL ADANSON is born at Aix-en-Provence, France.  Following study at
the Plessis Sorbon, the College Royal, and the Jardin du Roi, Adanson will
travel to Senegal where he will spend four years collecting natural history
specimens.  The report of this expedition will appear in 1757 as _Histoire
naturelle du Senegal_, and it will contain a novel systematic arrangement of
mollusks that will win Adanson some notoriety in zoological circles.  He will
be best remembered, however, for his comprehensive _Familles des plantes_
(Paris, 1763-64), in which he will reject systems (such as those of Linnaeus)
that are based on only a few selected characters, in favor of an arrangement
that takes all features of the plant into account.  As an associate of Buffon,
Adanson will be a significant contributor to the _Historie naturelle_, and his
own herbarium, numbering about 30,000 specimens, will come to rest in Paris at
the Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle.

Today in the Historical Sciences is a feature of Darwin-L, an international
network discussion group on the history and theory of the historical sciences.
For more information about Darwin-L send the two-word message INFO DARWIN-L to
listserv@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu, or gopher to rjohara.uncg.edu (152.13.44.19).

_______________________________________________________________________________

<8:20>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu  Thu Apr  7 20:01:40 1994

Date: Thu, 07 Apr 1994 22:01:26 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: March log file available on Darwin-L gopher
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

William Kimler made an important observation about the Darwin-L gopher
a couple days ago that I should have mentioned before.  The gopher runs
on my own machine, and can be located by typing GOPHER RJOHARA.UNCG.EDU
on most mainframes.  If that form of the address doesn't work it is also
possible to type GOPHER 152.13.44.19, which is the same thing but in a
computer-friendly numeric form.

Until recently the Darwin-L gopher was not linked to any other gopher sites,
but a connection has now been made between the UNCG main gopher and the
Darwin-L gopher, so those of you who like to browse for your gopher holes
geographically may follow the gopher hierarchy that is available at many
Internet sites thus: North America -> United States -> North Carolina ->
University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and look there in the directory
"UNCG_Favorite_Gopher_Holes".  I know there are some folks who still don't
have gopher access; if you can persuade your local computing center to
set up the proper software it will be worth the effort.  Gopher will make
available to you a wide variety of data archives around the world, all in
a very convenient and easy-to-use format.

I also take this opportunity to announce that the Darwin-L message log
for the month of March is now available on the Darwin-L gopher in the
directory Monthly Darwin-L Logs, along with all the other logs of our
past discussions.  If you have any trouble retrieving this file or any
other files from the Darwin-L gopher please let me know and I will see
what I can do to help.

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.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<8:21>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu  Thu Apr  7 22:40:57 1994

Date: Fri, 08 Apr 1994 00:40:50 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: History of systematics
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

William Kimler mentions a student of his who is working on the history
of systematics:

>I have a graduate student, Randy Jackson, working on the history of fish
>systematics, in particular comparing the work of Cope, Gill, and
>Guenther.  He tells me that the system developed by Gill in 1871 uses
>principles or technique that we would today call cladistic.

I don't know Gill's work (great name for an ichthyologist, ay?), but
the claim is plausible.  In my experience, however, one must be very
careful in making such judgments about past systematists.  Arthur Garrod,
for example, a nineteenth-century ornithological systematist, published
a diagram that looks an awful lot like a modern cladogram, but when you
study his text carefully you can see that it is not.  He was, however,
trying to figure out how one should go about reconstructing trees, and
made many interesting theoretical proposals.  The earliest work that I
have seen which I would be comfortable calling cladistic in the modern
sense (i.e., one that recognizes clearly the distinction between ancestral
and derived character states, and recognizes that only derived character
states [innovations] identify clades) is that of Peter Chalmers Mitchell
around 1900.  If there are other such works I would be most interested to
hear about them.  One highly recommended paper is:

  Craw, Robin.  1992.  Margins of cladistics: identity, difference and
  place in the emergence of phylogenetic systematics, 1864-1975.  Pp. 65-107
  in: Trees of Life: Essays in Philosophy of Biology (Paul Griffiths, ed.).
  Australasian Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, 11.

(Paul Griffiths is a Darwin-L member!)  You could also check the "Trees of
History" bibliography on the Darwin-L gopher, which lists several papers
on the history of systematics that cover the evolutionary transition period
of the mid- to late-1800s.

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.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<8:22>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu  Sat Apr  9 13:27:55 1994

Date: Sat, 09 Apr 1994 15:27:46 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: April 9 -- Today in the Historical Sciences
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

APRIL 9 -- TODAY IN THE HISTORICAL SCIENCES

1739: WILLIAM BARTRAM, son of Ann Mendenhall and the botanist John Bartram, is
born at Kingsessing, Pennsylvania.  As a young man Bartram will accompany his
father on his botanical travels through the Catskill Mountains and Connecticut
in the early 1750s, and he will become a skillful natural history illustrator.
His drawings will be sent to Peter Collinson in London, the elder Bartram's
scientific patron, and Collinson and the British naturalist George Edwards
will commission Bartram to produce some of the illustrations for Edwards's
_Gleanings of Natural History_.  After a series of unsuccessful business
ventures, the elder and younger Bartrams will travel to Florida in 1765, and
William will remain there to try his hand, unsuccessfully again, at farming.
A new London patron, the physician John Fothergill, will offer to support
Bartram on a collecting expedition across southeastern America, and the report
of this trip, _Travels Through North & South Carolina, Georgia, East & West
Florida, the Cherokee Counntry, the Extensive Territories of the Muscogluges
or Creek Confederacy, and the Country of the Chactaws_ (Philadelphia, 1791),
will be soon reprinted in London and translated into French, German, and
Dutch, and will win Bartram fame throughout Europe.  Bartram's vivid and
graceful descriptions of American natural history in the _Travels_, as well as
his accounts of the native peoples of the region, will influence the European
Romantic writers of the early 1800s, and he will act as a teacher to a whole
generation of American naturalists including Thomas Nuttall, Thomas Say, and
Alexander Wilson.

Today in the Historical Sciences is a feature of Darwin-L, an international
network discussion group on the history and theory of the historical sciences.
For more information about Darwin-L send the two-word message INFO DARWIN-L to
listserv@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu, or gopher to rjohara.uncg.edu (152.13.44.19).

_______________________________________________________________________________

<8:23>From mwinsor@epas.utoronto.ca  Sun Apr 10 08:29:56 1994

From: mwinsor@epas.utoronto.ca (Mary P Winsor)
Subject: species definitions
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu (bulletin board)
Date: Sun, 10 Apr 1994 10:29:32 -0500 (EDT)

   Jim Croft, Ian Davidson recently exchanged comments on reality of
subspecies, including example of genus Eucalyptus.  For my money the
freshest clarification in many years to the age-old problem of
defining species is the recent article by our list-owner, Bob O'Hara -
but I don't have my reprint at hand.  Robert, please don't be so
modest, but give everyone the citation.
   The effect of understanding evolution is not to provide a final
definition of taxonomic categories, including the particularly
important category around the gene-pool level, but to make it obvious
why a certain percentage of cases will always be elusive and require
artificial (but not arbitrary) lines to be drawn.  Dr. O'Hara provides
and detailed and helpful analogy to the problem of detail resolution
in cartography, plus explaining how events that lie in the future as
well as past phylogeny are built into the problem.  Too much of
previous discussions has called upon the authority of formal
philosophy, for my money, whereas O'Hara's analysis is practical and
realistic.
   The result, of course, is not a neat formula or criterion, but
understanding of the nature of the problem.  When Darwin said the
result of his theory would be an end to the endless disputes over
whether this or that was in essence as true species, he didn't
mean the disputants would have a key to the right answer in every
case, but that they would see that the concept of "essence" was crazy.
   Bob, copy this and put it in your tenure file too, can you? cheers,

Polly Winsor
(Mary P. Winsor, Univ. of Toronto)
mwinsor@epas.utoronto.ca

_______________________________________________________________________________

<8:24>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu  Sun Apr 10 12:20:05 1994

Date: Sun, 10 Apr 1994 14:19:56 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: "Natural history" vs. "botany": a follow-up
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

A few weeks ago we had a discussion of the different connotations of "natural
history" and "botany", with the suggestion that for some reason "botany" was
sometimes excluded from the broader category "natural history".  I just came
across another example of this: the Library of Congress Subject Headings, used
by many libraries to assign call numbers and subject classes to their books,
has a heading "Paleontology" which includes general works on fossils _and also
works on animal fossils_, and then a separate heading "Paleobotany" for works
on plant fossils; there is no corresponding heading "Paleozoology" because
animal fossils are taken to be covered by "Paleontology".  (I also noted that
they spell "paleontology" with an 'e' and spell "archaeology" with an 'ae', but
that's another story.)

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.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<8:25>From KMURRAY@pitvax.xx.rmit.edu.au  Sun Apr 10 22:59:28 1994

Date: Mon, 11 Apr 1994 14:00:59 +1000
From: KEVIN MURRAY <KMURRAY@pitvax.xx.rmit.edu.au>
Subject: Darwin and Freud
To: Darwin-L@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

I am currently working on a short piece about Darwin's influence on
Freud. The most quoted instance is probably from the _Introductory
Lectures to Psychoanalysis_ (1917), when Freud locates himself in a
line of descent from Copernicus to Darwin. A more theoretical link
is contained in _Totem and Taboo_, where Freud draws on Darwin's
hypothesis of the primal horde.

In a letter to Jung (14/5/1912), Freud writes:

  Many authors regard a primordial state of promiscuity as highly
  unlikely. I myself, in all modesty, favour a different hypothesis
  in regard to the primordial period -- Darwin's.

I presume this is the idea of the horde lead by a dominant male who
expelled rivalrous males, thus enforcing a kind of exogamy. Freud,
of course, proposed a second stage when the expelled sons return
to kill the leader/father.

I am curious to know how seriously Freud's participation in this argument
have been taken within the Darwinist tradition. Were there any Darwinists
who agreed with Freud's own positioning as the successor to Dawrin?

Kevin Murray
RMIT Australia
kmurray@pitvax.xx.rmit.edu.au

_______________________________________________________________________________

<8:26>From mahaffy@dordt.edu  Mon Apr 11 10:59:09 1994

Subject: Re: "Natural history" vs. "botany": a follow-up
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Date: Mon, 11 Apr 1994 11:00:32 -0500 (CDT)
From: James Mahaffy <mahaffy@dordt.edu>

In a recent post (Sun, 10 Apr 1994 13:01:23) Bob O'Hara suggests that:

>                                               for some reason "botany" was
>sometimes excluded from the broader category "natural history".  I just came
>across another example of this: the Library of Congress Subject Headings, used
>by many libraries to assign call numbers and subject classes to their books,
>has a heading "Paleontology" which includes general works on fossils _and also
>works on animal fossils_, and then a separate heading "Paleobotany" for works
>on plant fossils; there is no corresponding heading "Paleozoology" because
>animal fossils are taken to be covered by "Paleontology".

     May I suggest that there may be some other reasons for
plants not being included in paleontology.  I am trained as a
paleobotanist, but much of my work in studying coal involves
geology. I have been fascinated by the different perspective
different disciplines take.  It is my impression that geologists
often look at fossils more as useful or non-useful objects for
biostratigraphy.  Although they know they were creatures they
often don't often look at them from a biotic perspective.  Since
in most marine environments the hard shelled invertebrates
(trilobites, brachiopods etc. are usually more abundant and better
preserved, their is a tendency not to think of the plants (algae)
which usually are not well preserved.  I still remember sitting
in on a geology paleoecolgy class in the geology department.  The
professor was going into all the animal relations, but had not
even thought of the base of the food chain (the algae), until
another paleobotanist and I asked about it. At that University
(U. of Illinois) paleobotany was studied in the Botany not
Geology department and even though it was cross listed with
geology, we did not have many geologists taking the course.

     I am well aware that there is an increasing trend toward
understanding ecology and the biology of the fossils in geology,
but I still think some of the attitude of looking at fossils as
objects for biostratigraphy affects geology. Except for
palynology, and some algae microfossils, the major place I recall
plants getting used for biostratigraphy is European
Carboniferous.

     In other words plants are generally less useful for biostratigraphy
and geologists are more apt to be focusing on organisms as
biostratigraphic object then their biotic side. Hence it is not really
surprising to find plants neglected.  It does not help that many geology
departments have moved toward hard rock geology (which is not the best
environment for any fossil preservation), but that is another story.

James F. Mahaffy                   e-mail: mahaffy@dordt.edu
Biology Department                 phone: 712 722-6279
Dordt College                      FAX 712 722-1198
Sioux Center, Iowa 51250

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<8:27>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu  Mon Apr 11 21:15:23 1994

Date: Mon, 11 Apr 1994 22:14:41 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: Re: Darwin and Freud
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

I can't answer Kevin Murray's specific question about Freud and Darwin, but
a good place to look if you haven't already is:

      AUTHOR: Sulloway, Frank J.
       TITLE: Freud, biologist of the mind : beyond the psychoanalytic legend
                / Frank J. Sulloway.
   PUB. INFO: New York : Basic Books, c1979.
 DESCRIPTION: xxvi, 612 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.

Sulloway is a distinguished scholar of both Freud and Darwin, and if anyone
would address the subject I would think he would.  This book treats (so I
understand -- I haven't read it myself) Freud's early biological training
among other things.  Sulloway has also done first-rate work on the dating
of Darwin's manuscripts and on the development of his thought, and more
recently on the "cult" aspects of psychoanalysis (published in Isis a year
or two ago I believe).

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.

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<8:28>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu  Mon Apr 11 22:32:58 1994

Date: Mon, 11 Apr 1994 23:32:44 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: Re: species definitions
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

Polly Winsor embarrasses me with her effusive praise of a recent paper of
mine on species, but how can I decline her request for the citation?  ;-)
Since the newsstands are probably sold out by now, I offer the abstract
as well, so anyone tempted to look it up can get a better sense of whether
the effort will be worth it.  As Polly mentioned, this is not so much a
practical solution to the so-called species problem (what is a species,
anyway?), as it is an interpretation of why the problem arises in the first
place.

  O'Hara, R. J.  1993.  Systematic generalization, historical fate, and the
  species problem.  _Systematic Biology_, 42:231-246, 1993

  The species problem is one of the oldest controversies in natural history.
  Its persistence suggests that it is something more than a problem of fact
  or definition.  Considerable light is shed on the species problem when it
  is viewed as a problem in the representation of the natural system (sensu
  Griffiths, 1974, Acta Biotheor. 23:85-131; de Queiroz, 1988, Philos. Sci.
  55:238-259).  Just as maps are representations of the earth and are subject
  to what is called cartographic generalization, so diagrams of the natural
  system (evolutionary trees) are representations of the evolutionary
  chronicle and are subject to a temporal version of cartographic
  generalization, which may be termed systematic generalization.  Cartographic
  generalization is based on judgements of geographical importance, and
  systematic generalization is based on judgements of historical importance,
  judgements expressed in narrative sentences (sensu Danto, 1985, Narration
  and knowledge, Columbia Univ. Press, New York).  At higher systematic
  levels, these narrative sentences are conventional and retrospective, but
  near the species level they become prospective, that is, dependent upon
  expectations of the future.  The truth of prospective narrative sentences
  is logically indeterminable in the present, and since all the common species
  concepts depend upon prospective narration, it is impossible for any of
  them to be applied with precision.

I was also following Jim and Iain's comments on species as Polly was, and
thought it might be of interest to note the possibly different traditional
practices or perspectives of systematists who work on different taxa.  For
example, Jim Croft, in speaking of some of the inhabitants of his gardens,
commented:

>There are taxa here that are morphologically virtually indistinguishable,
>have similar habitat requirements but produce pheremones that attract a
>particular species of insect pollinator and their gene pools are totally
>isolated - any sane person would give them the same name and put them in
>the same folder in the herbarium - but should they?

A systematist raised in the ornithological tradition of Ernst Mayr and the
"biological species concept", as I was, would say without hesitation that
the plants that look identical but persist as separate gene pools are
certainly separate species; our inability to distinguish them easily is
irrelevant.  (Our inability to distinguish them easily would make them
by definition "sibling species".)  My sense is that the botanical tradition
has not always seen things this way, but Jim or Iain may be able to correct
my impression. (Ornithologists just wouldn't be sane botanists, maybe.)  ;-)

Linguists, I don't imagine, ever had furious ideological disputes over
the essential difference between a language and a dialect, but in pre-
evolutionary natural history there of course was an essential difference
between species and varieties/subspecies: species were separate creations,
whereas varieties/subspecies were not.  You can't find a distinction more
fundamental than that.

Do linguists who work on different families of languages have different
attitudes or approaches to language evolution?  For example, do Indo-
Europeanists tend to explain (say) sound changes in one way, whereas
American Indianists explain the same sort of thing in some other way?

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.

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<8:29>From ahouse@hydra.rose.brandeis.edu  Tue Apr 12 07:45:06 1994

Date: Tue, 12 Apr 1994 08:47:09 -0400
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
From: ahouse@hydra.rose.brandeis.edu (Jeremy Creighton Ahouse)
Subject: refs on "the species problem"

Those who enjoy discussing issues of "the species problem" may find the
following of interest:

_The Units of Evolution: Essays on the Nature of Species_ ed. Marc
Ereshefsky; this collection represents many viewpoints. (MIT Press,
Bradford Book 1992)

_Evolution and the recognition concept of species_ by Hugh Patterson; this
is a recent collected works.  He contributes an essay to _The Units of
Evolution_ book above. (Johns Hopkins University Press 1993)

_Species and Speciation_ ed. E.S. Vrba this maybe harder to find.
(Transvaal Museum 1985)

        Jeremy

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<8:30>From BONN@nickel.laurentian.ca  Tue Apr 12 09:43:45 1994

Date: Tue, 12 Apr 1994 10:39:27 -0500 (EST)
From: "Bonnie Blackwell, (519)253-4232x2502" <BONN@nickel.laurentian.ca>
Subject: Re: "Natural history" vs. "botany": a follow-up
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

To James Mahaffy, actually in Canada (and I suspect the US too), many
of the hard rock schools are becoming decidedly "soft" again as they try
to handle the environmental craze and declining enrolments.  Their
task would certainly have been much easier if they had considered the
ecology of paleontological/paleobotanical systems long ago.  I was lucky.
My paleontological training had a great dose of ecology that considered all
the aspects of the food chain, maybe because we often used modern coral
reef systems as the examples and tried to see the equivalent aspects of
ancient systems.

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Darwin-L Message Log 8: 1-30 -- April 1994                                  End

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