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Darwin-L Message Log 8: 71–112 — 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: 71-112 -- APRIL 1994
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<8:71>From RHRSBI@ritvax.isc.rit.edu  Thu Apr 21 04:02:39 1994

Date: Thu, 21 Apr 1994 02:35:30 -0400 (EDT)
From: RHRSBI@ritvax.isc.rit.edu
Subject: Re: April 19 -- Today in the Historical Sciences
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

I have been listening in since November.  Although I have communicated
privately with some of you, this is my first general posting.  I am a
geneticist by degree with a background in vertebrate paleontology and a special
interest in dinosaurs.   I am also a self-styled historian of biology, with
special interest in the history of evolutionary theory and Darwin's life.  I
teach courses in genetics, recombinant DNA technology, and vertebrate
evolution.  This past fall, I taught a non-majors class based on Jurassic Park.
For the past few summers I have been privileged to lead student field courses
in the Galapagos.

Yesterday, on reflecting on the anniversary of Darwin's death, I decided to
read to my current Galapagos group the short obituary written by Darwin's
friend and bulldog, T.H. Huxley.  I thought the Darwin-L group might find it
appropriate.  It originally appeared in the April 27, 1882 issue of Nature and
is reprinted in the "Darwiniana" volume of Huxley's collected essays.

Very few, even among those who have taken the keenest interest in the progress
of the revolution in natural knowledge set afoot by the publication of "The
Origin of Species," and who have watched, not without astonishment, the rapid
and complete change which has been effected both inside and outside the
boundaries of the scientific world in the attitude of men's minds towards the
doctrines which are expounded in that great work, can have been prepared for
the extraordinary manifestation of affectionate regard for the man, and of
profound reverence for the philosopher, which followed the announcement, on
Thursday last, of the death of Mr. Darwin.

Not only in these islands, where so many have felt the fascination of personal
contact with an intellect which had no superior, and with a character which was
even nobler than the intellect; but in all parts of the civilised world, it
would seem that those whose business it is to feel the pulse of nations and to
know what interests the masses of mankind, were well aware that thousands of
their readers would think the world the poorer for Darwin's death, and would
dwell with eager interest upon every incident of his history.  In France, in
Germany, in Austro-Hungary, in Italy, in the United States, writers of all
shades of opinion, for once unanimous, have paid a willing tribute to the worth
of our great countryman, ignored in life by the official representatives of the
kingdom, but laid in death among his peers in Westminster Abbey by the will of
the intelligence of the nation.

It is not for us to allude to the sacred sorrows of the bereaved home at Down;
but it is no secret that, outside that domestic group, there are many to whom
Mr. Darwin's death is a wholly irreparable loss.  And this is not merely
because of his wonderfully genial, simple, and generous nature; his cheerful
and animated conversation, and the infinite variety and accuracy of his
information; but because the more one knew of him, the more he seeme the
incorporated ideal of a man of science. Acute as were his reasoning powers,
vast as was his knowledge, marvellous as was his tenacious industry, under
physical difficulties which would have converted nine men out of ten into
aimless invalids; it was not these qualities, great as they were, which
impressed those who were admitted to his intimacy with involuntary veneration,
but a certain intense and almost passionate honesty by which all his thoughts
and actions were irradiated, as by a central fire.

It was this rarest and greatest of endowments which kept his vivid imagination
and great speculative powers within due bounds; which compelled him to
undertake the prodigious labours of original investigation and of reading, upon
which his published works are based; which made him accept criticisms and
suggestions from anybody and everybody, not only without impatience, but with
expressions of gratitude sometimes almost comically in excess of their value;
which led him to allow neither himself nor others to be decieved by phrases,
and to spare neither time nor pains in order to obtain clear and distinct ideas
upson every topic with which he occupied himself.

One could not converse with Darwin without being reminded of Socrates. There
was the same desire to find some one wiser than himself; the same belief in the
sovereignty of reason; the same ready humour; the same sympathetic interest in
the all the ways and works of men.  But instead of turning away from the
problems of Nature as hoplessly insoluble, our modern philosopher devoted his
whole life to attacking them in the spirit of Heraclitus and Democritus, with
results which are the substance of which their speculations were anticipatory
shadows.

The due appreciation, or even enumeration, of these results is neither
practicable nor desireable at this moment.  There is a time for all things -- a
time for glorying in our ever-extending conquests over the realm of Nature, and
a time for mourning over the heroes who have led us to victory.

None have fought better, and none have been more fortunate than Charles Darwin.
He found a great truth trodden underfoot, reviled by bigots, and ridiculed by
all the world; he lived long enough to see it, chiefly by his own efforts,
irrefragably established in science, inseparably incorporated with the common
thoughts of men, and only hated and feared by those who would revile, but dare
not.  What shall a man desire more than this?  Once more the image of Socrates
rises unbidden, and the noble peroration of the "Apology" rings in our ears as
if it were Charles Darwin's farewell: --

"The hour of departure has arrived, and we go our ways -- I to die and you to
live.  Which is the better, God only knows."

Bob Rothman
Biology Department
Rochester Institute of Technology
Rochester, N.Y.  14623
(716) 475-5215
RHRSBI@ritvax.isc.rit.edu

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<8:72>From princeh@husc.harvard.edu  Thu Apr 21 18:54:54 1994

Date: Thu, 21 Apr 1994 19:03:20 -0400 (EDT)
From: Patricia Princehouse <princeh@husc.harvard.edu>
Subject: Re: chimps & sex
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

On Mon, 18 Apr 1994, Lerner wrote:

> John H. Langdon wrote:
> 	>> Chimps, however, exibit harem behaviour, not "one night stand"
> 	  behaviour.
>     >Your statement contradicts received wisdom.
> Hmmm. Let me check my sources again on this point.

I'd be very interested in a reference for any wild population of chimps
that showed a harem structure. I've heard the claim made that the high
degree of relatedness of males in multimale groups amounted to the same
thing as harems for the purposes of molecular evolution, but not that
anyone claimed this socioecological structure for them.

Every case I've heard of was multimale-multifemale, with greater
cooperation among males (who are virtually always closely related). As I
recall this is the case not only for the Gombe chimps but also the Ivory
Coast ones studied by Bosch & Bosch.

And, of course, in multimale-multifemale groups of bonobos (pygmy chimps)
reports indicate not only promiscuous behavior by males & females
individually but also high levels of same-sex sexual activity (especially
between females) and extended bouts of sexual activity in small groups
composed of several males and females, also non-penetration sexual
activity with juveniles. There's a good article on this in _Discover_
magazine from I think June about 2 years ago by Meredith Small of Cornell
entitled "What's love got to do with it?".

I'm no great fan of sociobiology but am intrigued by the
sociobiological/adaptive argument for bonobo sexual behavior - that the
high level of sexual activity is not directly related to the reproductive
benefits of competing individuals but that benefits of greater group
coherence promote selection for the genes responsible for these behaviors.
I don't remember if Meredith said anything about it in the article but
I've heard numerous times in conversation (eg at anth meetings) that the
bonobo example helps explain human penis size as the result of sexual
selection (ie evidently bonobos have larger penises than common chimps and
use them as visual cues in displays for initiating sexual activity & use
many visual displays, often hand signals, mostly having to do with food &
sex).

Patricia Princehouse
Princeh@husc4.harvard.edu

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<8:73>From jel@christa.unh.edu  Fri Apr 22 06:11:07 1994

Date: Fri, 22 Apr 1994 07:11:04 -0400 (EDT)
From: John E Limber <jel@christa.unh.edu>
Subject: Re: chimps & sex
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

Patricia Princehouse mentioned M. Small's "Discover" article; she has a
book on the subject that is quite interesting--of course drawing upon
Darwin's "sexual selection" discussion in Origins and going beyond it.

Small, M. F. (1993) Female choices: sexual behavior of primates. Ithaca:
Cornell U.P.

As for penis size, see Eberhard (1985) Sexual selection and animal
genitalia. Cambridge: Harvard.

John Limber, psychology University of New Hampshire

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<8:74>From LANGDON@GANDLF.UINDY.EDU  Fri Apr 22 08:41:24 1994

Date: Fri, 22 Apr 1994 08:41:24 -0500
From: "JOHN LANGDON"  <LANGDON@GANDLF.UINDY.EDU>
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re: chimps & sex

 Patricia Princehouse writes

> I'm no great fan of sociobiology but am intrigued by the
> sociobiological/adaptive argument for bonobo sexual behavior - that the
> high level of sexual activity is not directly related to the reproductive
> benefits of competing individuals but that benefits of greater group
> coherence promote selection for the genes responsible for these behaviors.
> I don't remember if Meredith said anything about it in the article but
> I've heard numerous times in conversation (eg at anth meetings) that the
> bonobo example helps explain human penis size as the result of sexual
> selection (ie evidently bonobos have larger penises than common chimps and
> use them as visual cues in displays for initiating sexual activity & use
> many visual displays, often hand signals, mostly having to do with food &
> sex).

Wrangham reviews non-conceptive sexual behavior in chimps and other
species in Human Nature 4(1993):47-79, "The evolution of sexuality
in chimpanzees and bonobos."

There are several reasons for non-conceptive sex-- group coherence,
reassurance, elevation in status by associating with high status
individuals, food and other material gain. There are sufficient
individual benefits that its evolution seems reasonable, though
one ultimately has to address the question why it occurs more in
some species than others.

I think this is completely unrelated to penis size. The latter
probably reflects the distance to the cervix. Goodall reports male
common chimps occasionally displaying an erect penis to females in
an apparent attempt to solicit sex. Is there any documentation for
similar behavior in bonobos? If females respond, is there any
reasons to believe that they would do so on the basis of size
rather than merely the erect state?

JOHN H. LANGDON                email   LANGDON@GANDLF.UINDY.EDU
DEPARTMENT OF BIOLOGY          FAX  (317) 788-3569
UNIVERSITY OF INDIANAPOLIS     PHONE (317) 788-3447
INDIANAPOLIS, IN 46227

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<8:75>From princeh@husc.harvard.edu  Fri Apr 22 11:08:00 1994

Date: Fri, 22 Apr 1994 11:30:23 -0400 (EDT)
From: Patricia Princehouse <princeh@husc.harvard.edu>
Subject: Re: chimps & sex
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

On Fri, 22 Apr 1994, JOHN LANGDON wrote:

> If females respond, is there any
> reasons to believe that they would do so on the basis of size
> rather than merely the erect state?

My impression is that, as in other Just-So stories of this type, larger and
gaudier structures are selected for because they attract more attention
visually. Distance to cervix may account for length but not necessarily
for width or color. I imagine the vervet literature addresses these issues
as it does for "hidden" estrus, etc. I'm sure you know this literature
better than I, perhaps you could give a precis or a reference.

Patricia Princehouse
Princeh@husc4.harvard.edu

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<8:76>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu  Fri Apr 22 13:00:02 1994

Date: Fri, 22 Apr 1994 13:59:54 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: April 22 -- Today in the Historical Sciences
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

APRIL 22 -- TODAY IN THE HISTORICAL SCIENCES

1724: IMMANUEL KANT is born at Konigsberg, Germany (later Kaliningrad,
Russia).  Before turning to philosophy, for which he will be best remembered,
Kant will devote much study to astronomy and anthropology.  His cosmological
speculations on the history of the universe, _Allgemeine Naturgeschichte und
Theorie des Himmels, oder Versuch von der Verfassung und dem mechanischen
Ursprunge des ganzen Weltgebaudes nach Newtonischen Grundsatzen abgehandelt_,
will appear in 1755, and his many works on the history of the human races will
include "Von der Verschiedenheit der Racen uberhaupt" (1777): "It is evident,
that the knowledge of natural objects as they are at present, would still
leave the desire for knowledge of them as they have been in former times, and
of the series of changes they have undergone in order to attain their present
condition in every locale.  The history of nature, which we still almost
wholly lack, would teach us the changes of the earth's form, and likewise
those which the earth's creatures (plants and animals) have undergone through
natural changes, and their alterations which have thence taken place away from
the original form of the stem genus.  This presumably would trace back a great
many apparently different species to races of one and the same genus, and thus
convert the presently greatly extended formal system of the description of
nature into a physical system for the understanding."

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).

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<8:77>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu  Fri Apr 22 19:53:52 1994

Date: Fri, 22 Apr 1994 20:53:45 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: _Dictionary of Concepts in History_
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

I just discovered this wonderful book by chance in the library; it
should be a required reference for all Darwin-L members:

  Ritter, Harry.  1986.  _Dictionary of Concepts in History_.  New York:
  Greenwood Press.  ("Reference Sources for the Social Sciences and
  Humanities, No. 3"; ISBN 0-313-22700-4)

It is almost 500 pages long, with short articles (most of them 2-10
pages) on a great range of historical concepts, such as anachronism,
antiquarianism, causation, colligation, covering law, decline,
determinism, event, explanation, fact, historiography, intellectual
history, interdisciplinary history, interpretation, laws, method,
narrative, objectivity, past, periodization, philosophy of history,
process, progress, relativism, revolution, skepticism, understanding,
universal history, and many others.  Some articles relate to concepts
in civil history (nationalism, for example) rather than the historical
sciences generally, but a great many of the articles would be of
interest to anyone concerned with the disciplines discussed on Darwin-L.
Each entry has a bibliography that can point the reader to other
literature on the historical concept in question.

The price is a bit high (US$75.00), but worth it, I think, for any
serious student of 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.

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<8:78>From azlerner@midway.uchicago.edu  Sat Apr 23 21:05:15 1994

Date: Sat, 23 Apr 94 21:05:14 CDT
From: "Asia "I work in mysterious ways" Lerner" <azlerner@midway.uchicago.edu>
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re: mating

To John Langdon:

  [me:]> Then there are
  > males who are not playing a reproductive strategy at all-- just out for
  > pleasure.

  [Asia:]> This is a mix up in levels - everybody is out for pleasure, of one
  > kind or another, the question is whether the pleasure-reward mechanism is
  > orchestrated, presumably by NS, in a way that it evokes a "maximum
  > reproductive efficiency" behaviour.

  I assume that pleasure evolved long ago as a positive feedback for
  fitness-enhancing behavior, such as copulation. [How long ago? Certainly at
  least early vertebrate ancestry.] I assume you assume this too.

Yes, naturally.

  Pleasure has now
  taken on a life of its own, so to speak.

That sounds like a good way to describe it.

  What happens when an individual finds a
  way to satisfy the pleasure program than circumvents normal reproduction?

  It would not necessarily be maladaptive, but it is likely to be non-adaptive.
  Take an easy example, male masturbation. Several individuals (e.g., Smith;
  Baker & Bellis) have interpreted this as adaptive in ridding the male
  reproductive tract of old and less viable sperm and the like.

This explanation also assumes that male masturbation and female masturbation
somehow occure for disparate reasons, which does not seem too convincing.

  Could it not be equally
  interpreted as a short cut to the pleasure center?

Why a short-cut? An alternative path. Or do you mean the short-cutting of the
reproductive function?

  It may not be as gratifying
  as the real thing, but it is simpler and safer. It is not even very expensive
  if the male isn't copulating but the testes are generating sperm anyway.
  Which explanation is more parsimonious?

It would seem to me that an explanation that would cover both male and female
masturbation would be most parsimonious.

  Apply this to non-conceptive sex in bonobos. Female chimps can offer pleasure
  to the males in return for temporary rise in status, social reassurance,
  food, or what-have-you.

Ahem. What, except the usual sociobiological transference of Victorian
stereotypes to the animal world, makes you assume that the female bonobos
do not engage in sex for the fun of it?

  We suppose the males don't know whether they are being turned on
  by sex or by reproduction, and I suppose it does not matter.

See above.

Asia

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<8:79>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu  Sat Apr 23 22:49:15 1994

Date: Sat, 23 Apr 1994 23:49:07 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: Concept dictionaries (what good company we are in)
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

What good company we are in here on Darwin-L.  I posted a message a day or
two ago about a wonderful book called _Dictionary of Concepts in History_,
and to my surprise I discovered that the editor of this whole series of
dictionaries is one of our members, Raymond McInnis of Western Washington
University.  Many of the other titles in the series touch on the historical
sciences, so I list here all the ones I found in HOLLIS:

DICTIONARY OF CONCEPTS IN ARCHAEOLOGY
     mignon molly raymond/ 1993  bks

DICTIONARY OF CONCEPTS IN CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY
     winthrop robert h/ 1991  bks

DICTIONARY OF CONCEPTS IN GENERAL PSYCHOLOGY
     popplestone john a/ 1988  bks

DICTIONARY OF CONCEPTS IN HISTORY
     ritter harry/ 1986  bks

DICTIONARY OF CONCEPTS IN HUMAN GEOGRAPHY
     larkin robert p/ 1983  bks

DICTIONARY OF CONCEPTS IN LITERARY CRITICISM AND THEORY
     harris wendell v/ 1992  bks

DICTIONARY OF CONCEPTS IN PHYSICAL ANTHROPOLOGY
     stevenson joan c/ 1991  bks

DICTIONARY OF CONCEPTS IN PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY
     huber thomas patrick/ 1988  bks

DICTIONARY OF CONCEPTS IN RECREATION AND LEISURE STUDIES
     smith stephen l j 1946/ 1990  bks

DICTIONARY OF CONCEPTS IN THE PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE
     durbin paul t/ 1988  bks

Many thanks to Raymond for producing such an excellent series of reference
works.  I encourage Darwin-L members to search them out.

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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<8:80>From PICARD@VAX2.CONCORDIA.CA  Mon Apr 25 12:34:04 1994

Date: Mon, 25 Apr 1994 13:31:27 -0500 (EST)
From: MARC PICARD <PICARD@VAX2.CONCORDIA.CA>
Subject: Vitamin C
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

	I've read that we are (practically?) the only mammals that don't
produce their own vitamin C. Is this accurate, and if so, does anybody
know what possible advantage we could have gained from evolving this way?

Marc Picard

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<8:81>From LBUSH%black.DECnet@indiana.edu  Mon Apr 25 15:40:48 1994

Date: Mon, 25 Apr 94 15:40:42 EST
From: LBUSH%black.DECnet@indiana.edu
Subject: Vitamin C
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

Paleoanthropologist Jean Sept alluded to this in lecture a few
weeks ago.  Many primates, guinea pigs and some fruit-eating bats
lack the ability to make their own vitamin C.  Vitamin C is not
stored in the body; an excess intake is simply eliminated.  The
evolutionary advantage, as I understand it, is just a reduction
in the general metabolic load.  In other words, if you're getting
all the vitamin C you need -- and more -- why go to the trouble
of making it all yourself?

--Leslie Bush
lbush@indiana.edu

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<8:82>From VISLYONS@ubvms.cc.buffalo.edu  Mon Apr 25 15:57:04 1994

Date: Mon, 25 Apr 1994 16:58:25 -0400 (EDT)
From: VISLYONS@ubvms.cc.buffalo.edu
Subject: Re: Vitamin C
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University at Buffalo

It is my understanding that yes we and possibly a couple of other primates
are the only mammals who do not make our own vitamin c.  Linus Pauling
has written about it.  I forgot what he said, but I know he did address
the question of why this might have happened in evolutionary terms.  For
Marc, there is a chemist by the name of Karen Long who teaches at
Diablo Valley College in Concord, Ca who worked with Linus Pauling on
vitamin c and she might be able to help you.

Sherrie Lyons vislyons@ubvms.cc.buffalo.edu

_______________________________________________________________________________

<8:83>From BONN@nickel.laurentian.ca  Mon Apr 25 17:13:24 1994

Date: Mon, 25 Apr 1994 18:10:16 -0500 (EST)
From: "Bonnie Blackwell, (519)253-4232x2502" <BONN@nickel.laurentian.ca>
Subject: Re: Vitamin C
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

I am replying to this based on memory from Human genetics classes MANY
years ago.  That being understood, as i recall no primates are capable
of metabolizing Vitamin C, presumably because until about 5-10 Ma, they
all obtained plenty from their very fructivorous diet.  Because there
was no need to produce it, we never developed (or lost) the ability to
do so.  It has been a critical problem in human and australopithecine
development, and may have severely limited the early spread of
hominids to northerly climates.

It has been used as justification for the use of megadoses of Vit C
to prevent colds, arguing that other mammals get fewer and less severe
colds (Rhinoviruses?) because they manufacture their own C.  I would
love feedback on this issue.

b

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<8:84>From geoffm@cogs.susx.ac.uk  Tue Apr 26 05:36:28 1994

Date: Tue, 26 Apr 94 11:37 BST
From: geoffm@cogs.susx.ac.uk (Geoffrey Miller)
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re: Vitamin C

On vitamins and evolution, I'd recommend the following book:

  Eaton, S. B., Shostak, M., & Konner, M. (1988).
   The paleolithic prescription: A program of diet & exercise
   and a design for living. New York: Harper & Row.

  Don't let the goofy title put you off; it's a well-reasoned
analysis of human nutrition based on reconstrucing what
our hominid ancestors probably ate, and thus what our digestive
and physiological systems are adapted for processing.
Their reasoning is perfectly Darwinian: a lot-fat, low-sugar,
high-fiber, high-protein diet is good for us _because_ that's what
we ate until the agricultural and industrial revolutions, not
because there's anything `intrinsically' bad about fat or sugar
across species.
  The authors suggest (p. 131) that "Paleolithic humans generally consumed
over seven times the currently recommended amount of vitamin C",
i.e. at least 500 mg a day compared to the 60 mg recommended by
the US RDA. Even so, 500 mg sounds like a pretty low estimate
for a highly frugivorous hominid species that might have easily eaten
a kilogram of fruit a day.
   Cheers -- Geoffrey Miller, University of Sussex, England

_______________________________________________________________________________

<8:85>From BONN@nickel.laurentian.ca  Tue Apr 26 07:36:33 1994

Date: Tue, 26 Apr 1994 08:34:45 -0500 (EST)
From: "Bonnie Blackwell, (519)253-4232x2502" <BONN@nickel.laurentian.ca>
Subject: new quaternary science list server
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

I am forwarding this message on behalf of Dave Liverman and CANQUA.
Bonnie Blackwell,
CANQUA President

                 QUATERNARY LISTSERVER

A new listserver has been created for all interested in
research in the Quaternary sciences, particularly, but not
exclusively in Canada. This listserver was established through
the initiative of the Canadian Quaternary Association, especially
Dana Naldret and Dave Liverman, with
the assistance from the Memorial University of Newfoundland, and the
Newfoundland Department of Mines and Energy. We hope that this
will be of interest to anyone with an interest in the
Quaternary geological period, including geologists, geomorphologists,
soil scientists, palaeoenvironmentalists, archaeologists, paleontologists,
geochronologists, palynologists, geotechnical engineers, and others.

	A listserver consists of an automated mailing list. Any message
sent to the list is automatically passed on to all susbscribers
on the list. Typical messages include announcements about
conferences, field trips, job vacancies, new papers, new books, requests for
assistance in locating references, people and resources, discussion of
research ideas, general theory, etc., exchange of news, and
anything that the list members think appropriate. This is
a useful medium for groups whose members are geographically
widespread. For it to be effective we need to build up our numbers to
100 or so, so please forward this message to anybody who you think may
be interested.

	In particular, many items interesting to CANQUA members will
appear on the list, including the newsletter, meeting announcements,
and other CANQUA business.  This does not mean, however, that it is only
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-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Department of Mines and Energy,
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St. John's, Newfoundland, A1B 4J6
Canada
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

_______________________________________________________________________________

<8:86>From sturkel@cosy.nyit.edu  Tue Apr 26 08:57:22 1994

Date: Tue, 26 Apr 1994 09:47:54 -0400
From: sturkel@cosy.nyit.edu
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re: Vitamin C

I was pleased to read that Lamarck is still alive and well.  I enjoyed
his explanation for the lack of Vitamin C in Primates. "We didn't need
it, so we lost it."

I suppose that Cavies didn't need it either.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<8:87>From phlkcs@gsusgi2.gsu.edu  Tue Apr 26 09:06:09 1994

Date: Tue, 26 Apr 1994 10:02:11 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Kelly C. Smith" <phlkcs@gsusgi2.gsu.edu>
Subject: Re: Vitamin C
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

On Mon, 25 Apr 1994, MARC PICARD wrote:

> 	I've read that we are (practically?) the only mammals that don't
> produce their own vitamin C. Is this accurate, and if so, does anybody
> know what possible advantage we could have gained from evolving this way?
>
> Marc Picard

Linus Pauling provides several references for this in his _How to Live
long and Feel Better_.  He explains it by saying that humans used to eat
a diet very rich in fruits and vegetables (and thus also in C) and,
during that time, lost the capacity to produce the vitamin.  He ascribes
the loss to selection for increased physiological efficiency, but it
seems just as likely (in fact, more likely if C is as crucial to the
proper functioning of the body as he claims) to be the result of chance.
Of course, it could also be that vitamin C production really isn't very
important at all....

Kelly Smith
phlkcs@gsusgi2.gsu.edu

_______________________________________________________________________________

<8:88>From fwg1@cornell.edu  Tue Apr 26 12:12:37 1994

Date: Tue, 26 Apr 1994 13:12:33 -0400
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
From: fwg1@cornell.edu (Frederic W. Gleach)
Subject: FWD: Online access to Bishop Museum data

The following message from another list looked like something in which many
Darwinists would be interested.  My apologies for any duplications.

        Frederic W. Gleach (fwg1@cornell.edu)

******************  FORWARDED MESSAGE FOLLOWS  *********************
Date: Mon, 25 Apr 1994 23:07:56 -0400

Original Sender: Anita Manning <bishop.bishop.hawaii.org!manning>
Mailing List:    NATIVE-L (native-l@gnosys.svle.ma.us)

Bishop Museum
Honolulu, HI

MEMORANDUM
TO:             List Recipients

FROM:           Anita Manning, Asst. Director, Collections Management
                Bernice Pauahi BISHOP MUSEUM, HONOLULU, HAWAI'I

SUBJECT:        effect of on-line databases on museum collections access

Bishop Museum is a natural history museum specializing in Hawai'i and the
Pacific. We are located on O'ahu but are a state-wide museum, trying to
serve a population on several islands.  We are planning to reach our
state-wide audience, and Hawaiians wherever they live, by increasing
public access to collection information via future on-line database access.
We currently have library and archival materials cataloged on-line and
available to anyone with internet or OCLC access.  We are proposing
various levels of detailed catalog access to cultural and biological
collections with a representative number of examples digitally imaged.  Our
experience to date is with on-line library and archival catalogs (try us
via any CARL-system library catalog or via University of Hawaii, UHCARL -
telnet uhcarl.lib.hawaii.edu - type "75" at main UH menu ).

Some planners _believe_ on-line access to biology and cultural collections
will DECREASE requests for access to the actual collection items, that
on-line data combined with many images of will satisfy most public and
many scientific users.

Some planners _believe_ on-line access will INCREASE requests for access
to the collection, that data on-line will create new questions and new
ideas that will NOT be satisfied by data in the catalog, questions that
will be answered only by examination of the specimen.

Some planners _believe_ on-line access will satisfy many questions of the
biological collections, but will INCREASE requests for access to cultural
collections, that once people know what is in museums, they will be eager
to learn from and use the collection.

Using yourself as a potential user of on-line databases, I would appreciate
feedback from the list.  If you had access to information of this sort,
and it was related to a subject area of interest to you, would
availability increase interest and requests for access to the actual
collection?  Would a picture and description answer many questions?  or
would it raise new questions?

I am also soliciting responses from museums with REAL experiences, and HARD
data on users. Some museums already have catalogs on internet, with access via
gopher.  All those are for plants, animals, geological specimens.

Many thanks for any responses; your feedback will really help us.

You may respond to <manning@bishop.bishop.hawaii.org> or to this list.

I will be in Seattle and central Washington for two weeks, but your
messages will be monitored here and I'll try to log in from borrowed
terminals.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<8:89>From sarich@qal.berkeley.edu  Tue Apr 26 12:16:56 1994

From: Prof Vince Sarich <sarich@qal.Berkeley.EDU>
Date: Tue, 26 Apr 1994 10:12:15 -0700
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Vitamin C and "need"

Although I sympathize with the comment of "sturkel", there is a very large
difference between developing a feature because you "need" it and losing
one because you don't. The former doesn't happen; the latter must be going
on all the time.  Given that mutations are inevitable, and it can take only
one to knock out a function, then a function such as vitamin C production,
where vitamin C is readily available in the diet of a frugivore, is going
to be readily lost in those frugivores.

Vincent sarich

_______________________________________________________________________________

<8:90>From phlkcs@gsusgi2.gsu.edu  Tue Apr 26 13:38:14 1994

Date: Tue, 26 Apr 1994 14:34:56 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Kelly C. Smith" <phlkcs@gsusgi2.gsu.edu>
Subject: Re: Vitamin C
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

On Tue, 26 Apr 1994 sturkel@cosy.nyit.edu wrote:

> I was pleased to read that Lamarck is still alive and well.  I enjoyed
> his explanation for the lack of Vitamin C in Primates. "We didn't need
> it, so we lost it."

As I said in an earlier comment, I am a bit sceptical about explanations
of the lose of C synthesis capacity because it was (temporarily)
unnecessary.  Nevertheless, there need be nothing Lamarkian about such an
explanation - if vitamin C synthesis imposes an appreciable cost and
infers no significant benefit, it will be selected against (which may or
may not result in response to selection).

Kelly Smith
phlkcs@gsusgi2.gsu.edu

_______________________________________________________________________________

<8:91>From WTUCKER@BOOTES.UNM.EDU  Tue Apr 26 15:06:23 1994

Date: Tue, 26 Apr 1994 14:00 MST
From: WTUCKER@BOOTES.UNM.EDU
Subject: Re: Vitamin C
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

I'm afraid sturkel missed the line of reasoning behind the loss
of Vitamin C synthesis ability in many frugivores.  A metabolic cost
for Vitamin C synthesis is assumed.  An individual carrying a mutation
that causes it to produce less or no Vitamin C in an environment
where sufficient quantities of Vitamin C can be consumed would be at
a selective advantage.  Such an individual would have more energy to
spend on other fitness enhancing activites compared to conspecifics
wasting energy on the production of surplus Vitamin C.  This is only
a hypothesis, but it seems to fit the cross-species pattern.

W. Troy Tucker
Department of Anthropology
University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131
e-mail wtucker@bootes.unm.edu  (Internet)

_______________________________________________________________________________

<8:92>From GRM1001@phx.cam.ac.uk  Wed Apr 27 04:32:04 1994

Date: Wed, 27 Apr 94 10:31:26 BST
From: GRM1001@phx.cam.ac.uk
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Publishing quinarianism

Perhaps a few of our members who are interested in the history of taxonomy
would like to respond to the following request from Anne Larsen, a historian
of nineteenth-century natural history.

               Project to bring William Swainson's
             *Taxidermy and Bibliography of Zoology*
                               and
        *Preliminary Discourse in the Study of Natural History*
                        back into print.

  Princeton University Press has responded favourably to the suggestion that
they produce inexpensive facsimiles of William Swainson's useful and
fascinating books, *Taxidermy and Bibliography of Zoology* (1840) and
*Preliminary Discourse on the Study of Natural History* (1839).  In order to
prepare a formal proposal for the editorial board, the I need to
accumulate a substantial number of written letters from people who would be
willing to purchase these books if they were available.
  The remarks need only be a sentence or two expressing interest in and support
for the project together with your name, address, and signature.  A postcard
will do.  Please direct your letters to:

Anne Larsen
12907 Crookston Lane, #25
Rockville, MD  20851
USA

_______________________________________________________________________________

<8:93>From carey@pegasus.cc.ucf.edu  Wed Apr 27 07:39:31 1994

Date: Wed, 27 Apr 1994 08:39:12 -0400 (EDT)
From: Arlen Carey <carey@pegasus.cc.ucf.edu>
Subject: vitamin C
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

As I recall from the distant past (>1 ybp), some of the research/claims
extolling the virtues of vitamin c for the health/nutrition of today's
human population recommended massive doses for true palliative effects
(massives doses = 15-20 grams per day).  How could our ancestors have
consumed enough fruit to obtain an equivalent amount of vitamin c?
(Perhaps part of the answer concerns the fact that some of the beneficial
effects of such massive consumption are realized only relatively late in
life--at a point so late that the benefits would have little if any
effect on reproductive success.)  Any other ideas?

_______________________________________________________________________________

<8:94>From BONN@nickel.laurentian.ca  Wed Apr 27 07:51:15 1994

Date: Wed, 27 Apr 1994 08:43:16 -0500 (EST)
From: "Bonnie Blackwell, (519)253-4232x2502" <BONN@nickel.laurentian.ca>
Subject: Re: Vitamin C
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

Primates did not need Vitamin C since about 70 Ma (Ma = million years ago).
This hardly constitutes a "temporary" situation.  It is only within the last
5 to 10 My (My = million years) that the hominid line has evolved away from
significant fruit in the diet.  60 My is sufficient time,as I understand it
for a mutation to occur in a gene to make it dysfunctional, but I suspect that
5-10 My is not sufficient time to recover the ability to manufacture Vitamin
C, however that "recovery" might occur.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<8:95>From antdadx@gsusgi2.gsu.edu  Wed Apr 27 08:22:32 1994

From: antdadx@gsusgi2.gsu.edu (Deborah Duchon)
Subject: Re: vitamin C
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Date: Wed, 27 Apr 1994 09:23:05 -0500 (EDT)

Fruit is not the only source of Vitamin C. Most leafy greens -- the
fresher the better -- are loaded with it. Cabbage and its companions,
such as broccoli and bok choy, are high in Vitamin C. It is intersting,
also, that some of the best sources are also those no longer in use by
the general population. Chickweed, dandelion, and violet greens come to
mind. During our hunter/gatherer past, we would have relied more on these
greens, especially raw, as an important source of nourishment.

I also have problems with the line of thought that "We didn't need it, so
we lost it." Whatever happened to natural selection? It is, however, an
issue that has bothered me for quite some time, and I'm glad it has come
up for discussion on DARWIN-L.--

Deborah Duchon
antdadx@gsusgi2.gsu.edu
Georgia State University
404/651-1038

_______________________________________________________________________________

<8:96>From buchignani@hg.uleth.ca  Wed Apr 27 08:51:06 1994

Date: Wed, 27 Apr 1994 07:03:09 MST
From: Norman Buchignani <buchignani@hg.uleth.ca>
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: RE: Vitamin C and "need"

It is interesting that current (archaeic, if that isn't an oxymoron)
nutritionist ideologies have swayed us so powerfully to assume that
fruit eating was the key here. A pound of broccoli has 3-400 mg of
vit. c; 400 for brussels sprouts; 200 mg for cabbage, etc. Peaches have
about 30 mg; pears, 20 mg; oranges, 1-200 mg. Even gree onions, at 160 mg,
are comparable with many fruit.

Thus the veggie hypothesis: our ancestors were in fact consuming large
quantities of relatively low calorie vegetables in order to maintain
their calory intakes. The incidental result was a very high intake
of vitamin C--far higher than achievable by episodically available
fruit.

Norman Buchignani
Anthropology
University of Lethbridge

_______________________________________________________________________________

<8:97>From aceska@freenet.victoria.bc.ca  Wed Apr 27 09:26:08 1994

Date: Wed, 27 Apr 1994 07:32:15 -0700 (PDT)
From: Adolf Ceska <aceska@freenet.victoria.bc.ca>
Subject: Re: vitamin C
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

Don't you have enough of vitamin C? I do.

Adolf Ceska
aceska@freenet.victoria.bc.ca

_______________________________________________________________________________

<8:98>From BENEDICT@VAX.CS.HSCSYR.EDU  Wed Apr 27 10:03:56 1994

Date: Wed, 27 Apr 1994 10:59:54 -0500 (EST)
From: BENEDICT@VAX.CS.HSCSYR.EDU
Subject: Re: Vitamin C
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

  I think the explanation of why primates might have lost the ability to
synthesize vitamen C is a bit backwords. Regardless of cost, if they are
getting sufficient vitamen C in their diet, there is no selective pressure to
maintain the genes that run that synthetic pathway, and any mutations that
destroy it can (but won't necessarily) accumulate. In primates, that's
evidently what happened. That being the case, there ought to be "silent genes"
(the damaged loci) floating about in primate gene pools. Someone who know what
the pathway is probably can tell us what enzymes are disabled in primates as
compared to mammals that synthesize vitamen C, and then someone with access to
the human gene mapping database can look for those loci and see what's
happened to them.
  Note that this explanation requires no selection. It's just something that
happens, but it happens because there is no selection on the loci in question.

Paul DeBenedictis
SUNY Health Science Center at Syracuse

_______________________________________________________________________________

<8:99>From phlkcs@gsusgi2.gsu.edu  Wed Apr 27 11:32:18 1994

Date: Wed, 27 Apr 1994 12:31:06 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Kelly C. Smith" <phlkcs@gsusgi2.gsu.edu>
Subject: Re: vitamin C
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

On Wed, 27 Apr 1994, Arlen Carey wrote:

> As I recall from the distant past (>1 ybp), some of the research/claims
> extolling the virtues of vitamin c for the health/nutrition of today's
> human population recommended massive doses for true palliative effects
> (massives doses = 15-20 grams per day).  How could our ancestors have
> consumed enough fruit to obtain an equivalent amount of vitamin c?
> (Perhaps part of the answer concerns the fact that some of the beneficial
> effects of such massive consumption are realized only relatively late in
> life--at a point so late that the benefits would have little if any
> effect on reproductive success.)  Any other ideas?

The beneficial effects of taking truly massive doses of C (if they exist)
need not be explained in terms of selection (at least not directly).
Humans were never selected for their responsivness to penicillin, etc.,
but they work nonetheless.
Kelly Smith
phlkcs@gsusgi2.gsu.edu

_______________________________________________________________________________

<8:100>From LANGDON@GANDLF.UINDY.EDU  Wed Apr 27 12:13:48 1994

Date: Wed, 27 Apr 1994 12:13:48 -0500
From: "JOHN LANGDON"  <LANGDON@GANDLF.UINDY.EDU>
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re: Vitamin C

Loss of an expensive metabolic pathway from lack of need may
or may not result from natural selection-- the charges of
Lamarckianism are unfair. However, there may be another
explanation. Many vitamins are toxic in excessive doses-- e.g.
hypervitaminosis A is lethal. I have read that excess vitamin
C has side effects such as diarrhea. Can anyone elaborate on
this? If excess vitamin has such a detrimental effect, one can
predict suppression of its synthesis in animals whose diets are
naturally high in the vitamin-- such as some small-bodied
frugivores.

JOHN H. LANGDON                email   LANGDON@GANDLF.UINDY.EDU
DEPARTMENT OF BIOLOGY          FAX  (317) 788-3569
UNIVERSITY OF INDIANAPOLIS     PHONE (317) 788-3447
INDIANAPOLIS, IN 46227

_______________________________________________________________________________

<8:101>From @SIVM.SI.EDU:IRMSS668@SIVM.SI.EDU  Wed Apr 27 13:56:58 1994

Date: Wed, 27 Apr 1994 13:21:43 -0400 (EDT)
From: Jim Felley <IRMSS668@sivm.si.edu>
Subject: Vitamin C
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

Paul DeBenedictis wrote
"...Note that this explanation requires no selection. It's just something that
happens, but it happens because there is no selection on the loci in question."

Paul is right on target.  This effect is known as "Muller's ratchet" ...
multiple mutations on a locus free of selection tend to progressively destroy
the function of its product.  Leslie and Vrijenhoek, Evolution
1988(??) demonstrated the effect.
                   Jim

      #%#%#%#%#%#%#%#%#%#%#%#%#%#%#%#%#%#%#%#%#%#%#%#%#%#%#%#%#%#%#
      %                                                           %
      #     James D. Felley, Computer Specialist                  #
      %     Room 2310, A∧I Building, Smithsonian Institution      %
      #     900 Jefferson Drive, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20560     #
      %     Phone (202)-357-4229   FAX (202)-786-2687             %
      #                    EMAIL:  IRMSS668@SIVM.BITNET           #
      %                            IRMSS668@SIVM.SI.EDU           %
      #%#%#%#%#%#%#%#%#%#%#%#%#%#%#%#%#%#%#%#%#%#%#%#%#%#%#%#%#%#%#

_______________________________________________________________________________

<8:102>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu  Wed Apr 27 19:37:18 1994

Date: Wed, 27 Apr 1994 20:37:06 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: April 27 -- Today in the Historical Sciences
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

APRIL 27 -- TODAY IN THE HISTORICAL SCIENCES

1794 (200 years ago today): Sir WILLIAM JONES, English jurist and student
of Oriental languages, dies at Calcutta, India.  The son of a mathematician,
Jones's precocious intellect won him admission to Harrow School and to
University College, Oxford, where he developed his remarkable linguistic
skills, eventually mastering more than twenty languages including French,
German, Spanish, Portuguese, Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Arabic, Persian, Hindi,
and Sanskrit.  The necessity of securing an income led him to the study of
law, and in 1783 he took up a position in the British colonial administration
in India, which provided him ample opportunity to study the history of Indian
law and language.  He will be remembered by future scholars as one of the
founders of historical linguistics for his comparative studies of the language
family that will come to be called Indo-European: "The Sanscrit language,
whatever be its antiquity, is a wonderful structure; more perfect than the
Greek, more copious than the Latin, and more exquisitely refined than either;
yet bearing to both of them a stronger affinity, both in the roots of verbs,
and in the forms of grammar, than could possibly have been produced by
accident; so strong, indeed, that no philologer could examine them all three
without believing them to have sprung from some common source, which, perhaps,
no longer exists."

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).

_______________________________________________________________________________

<8:103>From phlkcs@gsusgi2.gsu.edu  Thu Apr 28 06:00:24 1994

Date: Thu, 28 Apr 1994 06:51:54 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Kelly C. Smith" <phlkcs@gsusgi2.gsu.edu>
Subject: Re: Vitamin C
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

On Wed, 27 Apr 1994, JOHN LANGDON wrote:

> Loss of an expensive metabolic pathway from lack of need may
> or may not result from natural selection-- the charges of
> Lamarckianism are unfair.

Absolutely true.

> However, there may be another
> explanation. Many vitamins are toxic in excessive doses-- e.g.
> hypervitaminosis A is lethal.

Is hypervitaminosis _A_ (as opposed to D) lethal? I have not heard of
this.  If so, it would take truly massive doses since there are many
people who have been taking 50,000 IU for twenty years with no
appreciable side effects.

> I have read that excess vitamin
> C has side effects such as diarrhea. Can anyone elaborate on
> this?

This does occur if one takes enough C (which is not all bad - C is one
of the cheapest, fastest and most effective laxatives you can get).
The amount required depends on one's individual tolerance as well as
whether there is any stress on the immune system (when the immune
system is stressed, bowel tolerance increases - intriguing circumstantial
evidence of an important role for C in immune response).  However, the
vast majority of people can take at least a gram of C a day with no ill
effects.  It seems unlikely to me (though I have no evidence to support
this) that a fructivorous diet would result in more than 1 gram of C
intake a day (even adding in the ancestral synthesis).  Moreover, if we
are going to hypothesize that our ancestors lost the capacity to
synthesize C, it seems likely that our tolerance (ability to metabolize)
C decreased commensurately.
Kelly Smith
phlkcs@gsusgi2.gsu.edu

_______________________________________________________________________________

<8:104>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu  Thu Apr 28 23:02:23 1994

Date: Fri, 29 Apr 1994 00:02:31 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: Classical tradition conference (fwd from HUMANIST)
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

Here's an announcement of an upcoming conference that may be of
interest to some of our Classicists, philologists, and archaeologists.
It is forwarded from HUMANIST.

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

--begin forwarded message---------------

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 7, No. 0621. Tuesday, 26 Apr 1994.

Date: Fri, 22 Apr 1994 11:09:02 -0400 (EDT)
From: Intrnl Society <isct@acs.bu.edu>
Subject: Call for Papers

CALL for PAPERS:

Third Meeting of the

INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR THE CLASSICAL TRADITION

Boston University, Boston, MA (USA), March 8-12, 1995

Papers are invited on all aspects of the transmission, reception, and
impact of Greco-Roman Antiquity from the ancient world to the present
time. Conference languages will be: English, French, German, Italian, and
Spanish. Presentations of 20, 30, or 45 minutes will be arranged in
thematic sessions and panels. Abstracts (not more than 25 lines) of
prospective papers, as well as suggestions and inquiries, should be sent
to: I.S.C.T., Wolfgang Haase / Meyer Reinhold, Co-Presidents, either at:
Institute for the Classical Tradition, Boston University, 745
Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA  02215, USA, or at: Universitaet
Tuebingen, Arbeitsstelle ANRW, Wilhelmstr. 36, D-72074 Tuebingen,
GERMANY, or to our e-mail address at: isct@acs.bu.edu.

Posted by A. Ingle,
RA ICT
aingle@acs.bu.edu

--end forwarded message-----------------

_______________________________________________________________________________

<8:105>From BONN@nickel.laurentian.ca  Sat Apr 30 12:35:57 1994

Date: Sat, 30 Apr 1994 13:27:52 -0500 (EST)
From: "Bonnie Blackwell, (519)253-4232x2502" <BONN@nickel.laurentian.ca>
Subject: Re: Vitamin C
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

I know many people who take 2-3 grams of Vit C per day with no ill
effects.  After a few days to two weeks, you also decrease the amount
that you excrete ("excess C?").

Are people really taking 50,000 IU of Vitamin A?  I had always heard
it was toxic (I have never heard the same claim for C).  I had an
archaeology prof in my student days who told about almost dying from
eating polar bear liver (apparently one of the most concentrated source
of Vita A that naturally occurs) while in the Arctic.
b

_______________________________________________________________________________

<8:106>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu  Sat Apr 30 17:35:50 1994

Date: Sat, 30 Apr 1994 18:36:09 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: Extinction (biological and linguistic) in the _Chronicle of Higher Ed_
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

One of the phenomena that is familiar across the historical sciences is the
phenomenon of extinction, and there were two interesting articles on
extinction this month in the _Chronicle of Higher Education_ that may be of
interest to some Darwin-L members.  Although they were in separate issues,
they could almost have been published together as a pair.  They might make
interesting reading for students in either linguistics or natural history
courses as an illustration of some of the common features of the historical
sciences.

The first article was "Charting Biodiversity" by Kim A. McDonald in the 13
April 1994 issue (p. A8ff).  It is better than many of its kind, from my
point of view, because it places some emphasis on evolution and on the
importance of historical knowledge for the rest of biology, instead of
making systematists appear to be little more than pharmaceutical
technicians.  Among the people quoted in the article is Darwin-L member Mike
Donoghue: "'Charting the biosphere does not just entail a description of
species,' says Michael J. Donoghue, a professor of biology at Harvard
University, 'but also refers to understanding how species are related to one
another -- that is, how they are connected through common ancestry.'"

The second was "The Death of Languages" by David L. Wheeler in the 20 April
1994 issue (also p. A8ff).  It describes the many languages that are in the
process of disappearing and the urgent need to document them.  "Up to half
of the world's 6000 languages will die out in a similar fashion during the
next century, estimates Michael Krauss, a professor of linguistics at the
University of Alaska at Fairbanks".

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.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<8:107>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu  Sat Apr 30 18:42:48 1994

Date: Sat, 30 Apr 1994 19:43:07 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: Winning on comparative philology and palaetiology
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

The very fine interlibrary loan folks here at UNCG recently obtained for me
a fascinating book which is one of the few that specifically adopted William
Whewell's term "palaetiology" for the historical sciences as a whole.  The
book is:

  Winning, W. B.  1838.  _A Manual of Comparative Philology, in Which the
  Affinity of the Indo-European Languages is Illustrated, and Applied to
  the Primeval History of Europe, Italy, and Rome_.  London: J. G. & F.
  Rivington.

Winning begins with two epigraphs from the philologist Franz Bopp which
illustrate the intellectual context in which sees himself operating:

  The genealogy and antiquities of nations can be learned only from the
  sure testimony of the languages themselves.

  It is chiefly by comparison that we determine, as far as our sensible and
  intellectual faculties reach, the nature of things.  Frederick Schlegel
  justly expects, that Comparative Philology will give us quite new
  explications of the genealogy of Languages, just as Comparative Anatomy
  has thrown light on Natural Philosophy.

Here are some extracts from Winning's text, pp. 12-15:

  In entering upon the early history of Italy, it becomes quite necessary,
  besides the affinity of languages, to take into consideration monuments
  of art, customs, government, religion, and the general style of
  civilization.  The name, therefore, of Comparative Philology, is not
  sufficiently comprehensive for the science treated of in this work; the
  subject, in its whole extent, belongs rather to the class of sciences
  which have lately been called Palaetiological; and of which Geology is,
  at present, the best representative.

  "By the class of sciences here referred to," says Mr. Whewell, who
  introduced the term Palaetiological, "I mean to point out those
  researches in which the object is, to ascend from the present state of
  things to a more ancient condition, from which the present is derived by
  intelligible causes....Though our comparison might be bold, it would be
  just if we were to say, that the English language is a comglomerate of
  Latin words, bound together in a Saxon cement; the fragments of the Latin
  being partly portions introduced directly from the parent quarry, with
  all their sharp edges; and partly pebbles of the same material, obscured
  and shaped by long rolling in a Norman or some other channel.  Thus the
  study of palaetiology in the materials of the earth, is only a type of
  similar studies with respect to all the elements, which, in the history
  of the earth's inhabitants, have been constantly undergoing a series of
  connected changes."

  Perhaps Philology, and the connected archaeological subjects, are not yet
  sufficiently advanced to constitute collectively, under an appropriate
  name, a complete and uniform member of the Palaetiological class of
  sciences; and I have therefore retained the more common and intelligible
  phrase, Comparative Philology, though in a more extended sense than
  exactly belongs to it....My object in the present Work is to perform for
  Italy and the West, the same kind of task which he [Schlegel] has
  executed for India and the East; and to induce others to enter upon the
  same path.  May Palaetiology, on the higher theme of Man, obtain as
  numerous and scientific inquirers as she already possesses on the subject
  of the earth!

There is a major Whewell anniversary coming up in May, and I'm planning a
special palaetiological event for us all here on Darwin-L (more on that
shortly).  In the mean time, if any of our members happen to know more about
Winning or about any influence this book may have had I would be glad to
hear from them -- please feel free to post to the list as a whole.

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.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<8:108>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu  Sat Apr 30 18:54:01 1994

Date: Sat, 30 Apr 1994 19:54:18 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: Names and essences
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

A friend of mine who is interested in systematic nomenclature and its
relation to essentialism recently asked me the following question:

  I want to say that essentialists tend to think that certain names are
  "correct" or "proper" for certain things because they tend to view names
  as abbreviated descriptions of essences.  It's fairly obvious that they do
  this, but I can't find anything written about it.  Do you know of anything
  that I'm overlooking?  Nobody seems to say much about the names
  themselves.  Thanks.

His point seems correct to me, but I can't come up with any specific
references either.  Can any of our other Darwin-L members help?  If so
please feel free to reply to my friend directly (Kevin de Queiroz,
mnhvz082@sivm.si.edu), or to the list as a whole and I will forward your
answers.

Many thanks.

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.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<8:109>From PICARD@VAX2.CONCORDIA.CA  Sat Apr 30 20:29:55 1994

Date: Sat, 30 Apr 1994 21:29:00 -0500 (EST)
From: MARC PICARD <PICARD@VAX2.CONCORDIA.CA>
Subject: Re: Extinction (biological and linguistic) in the _Chronicle of Higher
  Ed_
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

	Bob O'Hara's reference to "The Death of Languages" by David L. Wheeler
in the 20 April 1994 issue of the _Chronicle of Higher Education_ reminded me
of a book on this subject that I enjoyed very much. Here's the reference:

DORIAN, NANCY C., ED. (1989)
	Investigating Obsolescence: Studies in Language Contraction and Death.
Cambridge University Press.

Marc Picard

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<8:110>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu  Sat Apr 30 21:07:37 1994

Date: Sat, 30 Apr 1994 22:07:55 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: April 30 -- Today in the Historical Sciences
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

APRIL 30 -- TODAY IN THE HISTORICAL SCIENCES

1723: MATHURIN-JACQUES BRISSON is born at Fonetenay-le-Comte, Vendee, France.
The eldest son of a prominent family, Brisson will study philosophy and
theology at the College de Fontenay and the College de Poitiers, and will
enter the seminary of St.-Sulpice in Paris, but in 1747 he will abandon
theology for his true calling, natural history.  Related by marriage to the
naturalist Reaumur, Brisson will be appointed by the Academie des Sciences as
curator and demonstrator of Reaumur's collections, and he will publish his
comprehensive _Ornithologie ou Methode contenant la division des oiseaux en
ordres_ in 1760.  After Reaumur's death, Brisson's collections will pass from
the Academie des Sciences to the Cabinet du Roi under the direction of Buffon,
and personal animosity between the two naturalists will lead Buffon to deny
Brisson any access to the specimens he had been studying for the previous
eight years.  Deprived of his collections, Brisson will turn from natural
history to the study of physics, and will make valuable contributions to
that field until his death in 1806.

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).

_______________________________________________________________________________

<8:111>From buchignani@hg.uleth.ca  Sat Apr 30 21:46:24 1994

Date: Sat, 30 Apr 1994 20:47:25 MST
From: Norman Buchignani <buchignani@hg.uleth.ca>
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re: Vitamin C

Date: Sat, 30 Apr 1994 12:37:14 -0500
From: "Bonnie Blackwell, (519)253-4232x2502" <BONN@nickel.laurentian.ca>
To: Multiple recipients of list <darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu>

I know many people who take 2-3 grams of Vit C per day with no ill effects.
[I took 5-10 grams a day for many years, now probably 2-4 grams, with now bad
effects.  Certainly made me bruise proof!]  After a few days to two weeks, you
also decrease the amount that you excrete ("excess C?").  [I am not sure this
is so.]

Are people really taking 50,000 IU of Vitamin A?  [did this for years also,
with no evident bad effects.]  I had always heard it was toxic (I have never
heard the same claim for C).  [It is, though I believe there never have been
reported fatailities.  Children given 100k to 500k for months develop symptoms
that disappear rapidly.]  I had an archaeology prof in my student days who told
about almost dying from eating polar bear liver (apparently one of the most
concentrated source of Vita A that naturally occurs) while in the Arctic.
[standard archaeological hero myth: completely suspect, though this source
can have 2,000,000 units per 100 g.]

_______________________________________________________________________________

<8:112>From RMBURIAN@VTVM1.CC.VT.EDU  Sat Apr 30 21:53:38 1994

Date: Sat, 30 Apr 94 22:50:13 EDT
From: "Richard M. Burian" <RMBURIAN@VTVM1.CC.VT.EDU>
Subject: Vitamin C toxicity
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

   Just a brief note:  I'm surprised that no one in the flurry about
Vitamin C has explained the lack of toxicity in comparison with Vitamins
A and D.  Vitamin C is water soluble and hence does not accumulate;
it is passed out of the body in relatively short order.  Not so for A
and D.  Accordingly, even megadoses of C don't accumulate (e.g., in
the liver) as A and D do.

Richard Burian
Science Studies
Virginia Tech

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Darwin-L Message Log 8: 71-112 -- April 1994                                End

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