Darwin-L Message Log 9: 176–210 — May 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 May 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.”
------------------------------------------- DARWIN-L MESSAGE LOG 9: 176-210 -- MAY 1994 ------------------------------------------- _______________________________________________________________________________ <9:176>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Tue May 24 00:04:53 1994 Date: Tue, 24 May 1994 01:05:06 -0500 (EST) From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Subject: May 24 -- Today in the Historical Sciences To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: University of NC at Greensboro MAY 24 -- TODAY IN THE HISTORICAL SCIENCES 1794 (200 years ago today): WILLIAM WHEWELL is born at Lancaster, England. The son of a carpenter, Whewell's precocious intellect will win him admittance to the Heversham grammar school and then to Trinity College, Cambridge. He will be made a fellow of Trinity in 1817, and will remain there throughout his career, rising to the mastership in 1841, and serving twice as vice-chancellor of the University. An extraordinarily polymathic philosopher, historian, and scientist, Whewell will write extensively on physics, mathematics, theology, ethics, meteorology, political economy, architecture, Classical literature, mineralogy, geology, education, and the theory of science. In 1837 he will coin the term "palaetiology" for the sciences of historical causation, and he will later recommend the palaetiological sciences as important elements of a liberal education: "I have ventured to give reasons why the chemical sciences (chemistry, mineralogy, electrochemistry) are not at the present time in a condition which makes them important general elements of a liberal education. But there is another class of sciences, the palaetiological sciences, which from the largeness of their views and the exactness of the best portions of their reasonings are well fitted to form part of that philosophical discipline which a liberal education ought to include. Of these sciences, I have mentioned two, one depending mainly upon the study of language and the other upon the sciences which deal with the material world. These two sciences, ethnography, or comparative philology, and geology, are among those progressive sciences which may be most properly taken into a liberal education as instructive instances of the wide and rich field of facts and reasonings with which modern science deals, still retaining, in many of its steps, great rigour of proof; and as an animating display also of the large and grand vistas of time, succession, and causation, which are open to the speculative powers of man." 1851: The English author, artist, and critic JOHN RUSKIN writes to his friend Henry Acland: "You speak of the Flimsiness of your own faith. Mine, which was never strong, is being beaten into mere gold leaf, and flutters in weak rags from the letter of its old forms; but the only letters it can hold by at all are the old Evangelical formulae. If only the Geologists would let me alone, I could do very well, but those dreadful Hammers! I hear the clink of them at the end of every cadence of the Bible verses." Today in the Historical Sciences is a feature of Darwin-L, an international network discussion group for professionals in the historical sciences. For more information about Darwin-L send the two-word message INFO DARWIN-L to email@example.com, or gopher to rjohara.uncg.edu (184.108.40.206). _______________________________________________________________________________ <9:177>From firstname.lastname@example.org Tue May 24 06:39:41 1994 Date: Tue, 24 May 1994 07:40:11 -0400 From: ad201@FreeNet.Carleton.CA (Donald Phillipson) To: email@example.com Subject: General histories Bob O'Hara wrote May 22 about General texts in the historical sciences recommending Bowler, Peter J. 1992. _The Norton History of the Environmental Sciences_. New York: W. W. Norton & Company. This is just one of a new range of histories published by Fontana (paperbacks) in Britain and Norton in the USA. Others include a good history of chemistry by William Brock's and an unsatisfying one on engineering by Donald Cardwell. At least half a dozen titles have been projected. Bowler's is by far the best so far. -- | Donald Phillipson, 4180 Boundary Rd., Carlsbad | | Springs, Ont., Canada K0A 1K0; tel: (613) 822-0734 | | "What I've always liked about science is its independence from | | authority"--Ontario Science Centre (name on file) 10 July 1981 | _______________________________________________________________________________ <9:178>From firstname.lastname@example.org Tue May 24 07:04:44 1994 Date: Tue, 24 May 1994 13:06:10 EDT From: "n.whyte" <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Conference on Irish Science The Royal Society/British Society for the History of Science conference on THE SOCIAL CONTEXT OF SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND MEDICINE IN IRELAND, 1800-1950 to take place in Armagh, Northern Ireland, 28-29 October 1994 with the support of the Wellcome Trust, the Royal Irish Academy, the Cultural Traditions Group (N.I.) and Armagh Together Historians of Ireland have generally paid little attention to developments in science, technology and medicine. There have been important studies of institutions such as the Armagh and Dunsink observatories and the Geological Survey, but much of the work done on Irish science, technology and medicine has been of an uncoordinated nature that prevented the emergence of an analytical framework for the field. This conference will bring together scholars from a wide range of backgrounds with a view to putting this field of study onto a firmer foundation. It is hoped to facilitate interactions that will allow the emergence of a recognition that there has been a distinctly Irish dimension to the way that technical knowledge and expertise has been developed and applied here. A proposal will be put forward in the concluding discussion for the formation of an informal society devoted to the history of science, technology and medicine in Ireland, and for the establishment of a newsletter devoted to the field. Issues to be discussed will include: how the different cultural traditions in Ireland responded to the emergence of modern science, engineering and medicine; colonial and nationalist models of development; changing patterns of state and private involvement; technical education and technical organizations. Speakers will include Dr James Bennett (Cambridge) on science and social policy in mid-19th century Ireland, Prof. Richard Jarrell (York University, Toronto) on science and agricultural education, Dr Hugh Torrens (Keele) on Irish technology in British mines; Sir Bernard Crossland (QUB) and Prof. Garrett Scaife (TCD) on technical education and the application of technology, Sir Peter Froggatt (QUB) on medical education, and many more. The conference will be held in the historic Royal School in Armagh, the ecclesiastical capital of Ireland. The school is immediately opposite the Armagh observatory and planetarium, and the observatory will be open for visits during the conference. Registration will be from 10.30 to 11.30 a.m. on Friday 28th October 1994. There will be a reception hosted by Armagh District Council at 6.00 p.m. on Friday, followed by a conference dinner. On Saturday 29 October the session will begin at 10.00 a.m., with a concluding discussion from 4.30-5.30 p.m. A buffet lunch will be available at the Royal School on both days (see registration form). It is hoped to provide a minibus service connecting with Belfast City Airport and Belfast International (Aldergrove). Basic accommodation for the nights of the 27, 28 and 29 October will be available at the Benburb Centre, a few miles away from Armagh, with transportation to and from the Royal School provided by minibus. Alternatively, a list of hotels and guesthouses in Armagh can be supplied on request. For those remaining until the morning of Sunday 30 October, a tour of Armagh and Navan Fort may be arranged if numbers are sufficient. REGISTRATION FORM Name .................................................... Address .......................................... .......................................... .......................................... There is no registration fee, but there will be a flat fee for morning and afternoon coffee, plus lunch, on both days; please indicate your requirements below: Coffee and lunch, 28 October, #6.00 ......... Coffee and lunch, 29 October, #6.00 ......... Conference dinner (including wine) #11.00 ......... Total food ......... Please indicate by ticking here if you require vegetarian meals .....................................[ ] Accomodation Basic bed and breakfast at the Benburb Centre is available is single or twin rooms at #12.00 and #10.00 per night respectively. Please indicate your requirements below. Note that to guarantee reservations at Benburb THIS FORM MUST BE RETURNED WITH A DEPOSIT OF #10.00 BY 16 SEPTEMBER. Night of 27 October (please tick)...... ....[ ] Night of 28 October ..........................[ ] Night of 29 October ..........................[ ] Please indicate if you would be willing to share a twin room .........[ ] For those who would prefer to arrange their own accommodation, please tick here if you would like a list of hotels and guesthouses in Armagh..............[ ] Total enclosed (Food + deposit if required):........ Please remit in Sterling, cheques or money orders payable to The Queen's University of Belfast (SZPU). Travel to Armagh For those coming from within Ireland, Armagh is best reached by car. For those who wish to use the train service from Dublin, and for those arriving at either Belfast City Airport or Belfast International (Aldergrove), we are trying to arrange transportation by minibus to Armagh. Please tick where appropriate if you would like to use the facilities described below. Thursday 27 October. From Belfast International Airport (Aldergrove): please indicate time of arrival........... Friday 28 October. From Belfast City Airport or Belfast International; please indicate airport and time of arrival: Saturday or Sunday from airports: please indicate airport and time of departure...................................... For those who wish to stay until Sunday 30, please indicate if you would be interested in a tour of Armagh and Navan Fort ..............................................[ ] Please return completed form by 14 October (by 16 September if requesting accommodation at Benburb) to: Prof. P. J. Bowler, Social Anthropology, The Queen's University of Belfast, Belfast BT7 1NN Or by E-Mail to Nicholas Whyte, SAG0001@QUB.AC.UK _______________________________________________________________________________ <9:179>From BONN@nickel.laurentian.ca Tue May 24 12:48:02 1994 Date: Tue, 24 May 1994 13:28:14 -0500 (EST) From: "Bonnie Blackwell, (519)253-4232x2502" <BONN@nickel.laurentian.ca> Subject: Re: Teaching phylogenies To: email@example.com i find one exercise very useful in teaching the principles of classification that works well with students of many ages and abilities. Take a selection of nails, screws, and bolts from the local hardware store. Give these to students so that there are several of each type for some but few for others. then ask them to derive a classification that groups them into species, ers. genera, etc. this idea by the way, i first experienced as a paleontology student with Mike Risk and Gerd Westerman at McMaster. bonnie Blackwell firstname.lastname@example.org _______________________________________________________________________________ <9:180>From leh1@Lehigh.EDU Tue May 24 13:52:57 1994 Date: Tue, 24 May 1994 14:41:24 EDT From: leh1@Lehigh.EDU (Lynn E. Hanninen) Subject: help requested; zoo. rec. To: email@example.com Hi! Can anyone tell me where I can find zoo. rec. on-line, or a comparable database? I'm trying to find phylogeny info which includes Pan paniscus. Anyone out their familiar with Pan paniscus? Please contact me. firstname.lastname@example.org lynn ************************** Lehigh office: rm. 221, CU #17 office phone #: (215) 758-3662 home phone #: (215) 758-1367 e-mail: email@example.com _______________________________________________________________________________ <9:181>From BONN@nickel.laurentian.ca Tue May 24 14:19:30 1994 Date: Tue, 24 May 1994 15:12:44 -0500 (EST) From: "Bonnie Blackwell, (519)253-4232x2502" <BONN@nickel.laurentian.ca> Subject: preservation To: firstname.lastname@example.org >Date: Tue, 10 May 1994 00:01:32 -0500 (CDT) >From: "Jeanette H. Leete" <LEETE@macalstr.edu> >Subject: National Historic Landmark in Wisconsin >To: AWG > >Fowarded by Sarah Stoll, Association Editor > >By Joanne Kluessendorf, Dept of Geology, Univ. of Illinois Urbana-Champaign > >There is a new National Historic Landmark of which AWG members should be >aware because it recognizes pioneering efforts in women's science education, >particularly geology, as well as the contribution of amateur naturalists to >nineteenth-century American geology and other sciences. Unfortunately, this >new landmark is already in jeopardy and urgently needs the help of the AWG >to survive. > >The Thomas A. Greene Memorial Museum and Collection was designated a National >Historic Landmark in the History of Science by Secretary of the Inferior Bruce >Babbitt at the recommendation of the National Park Service. This museum and >collection document the geologic activities of Thomas A. Greene, an amateur >naturalist from Milwaukee, who built this outstanding and irreplaceable >collection of 13,000 minerals and 75,000 midwestern fossils during the late >1800s. Greene's daughter, Mary Greene Upham, and son, Howard, donated the >collection to Milwaukee-Downer College and erected a museum building >specifically to house it in 1913. Because of their foresight, Greene's >collection, still accompanied by his handwritten labels and stored in his >original cabinets, is a unique intact late nineteenth-century amateur >geological collection surviving in the U.S. > >A building built expressly to house a museum and collection was an unusual >feature at most colleges and universities, and it became the focal point of >science education, especially geology, at Milwaukee-Downer. For 80 years, >women have curated the Greene Collection, even though curators at most other >institutions were male throughout this period. At the Museum's dedication in >1913, the first curator, Margaret Louise Campbell (University of Chicago, >1912) noted that in the past, women were thought able "to memorize, but not >reason, and, therefore, were mainly confined to languages, history, and >kindred studies" whereas "Milwaukee-Downer was one of the first colleges >that taught science on a large scale to her students." > >Milwaukee-Downer, a women's college, was a likely home for such an important >collection and museum because of its progressive tradition in science >education. This school was the result of a merger between two pioneering >women's colleges: Milwaukee College (folmerly Milwaukee Female Seminary, >Milwaukee Normal School and High School, Milwaukee Female College) and >Downer College of Fox Lake, Wisconsin (formerly Wisconsin Female College). >Geology was taught at these schools almost continuously for more than a >century, beginning with the founding of the Milwaukee Female Seminary in >1848 (which predates all of the eastern women's colleges with the exception >of Mt. Holyoke). Lucy Parsons opened the Seminary to educate women not only >"to adorn the higher circles of society, but to meet the varied and practical >responsibilities of life." This school attracted the attention of Catherine >Beecher, pioneering crusader for women's higher education and sister of >abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe, who reshaped it according to her famous >Beecher plan, which promoted that women's instruction be raised to a >collegiate level in order to educate women for a profession. This is the only >one of Beecher's many experimental schools to survive in any form. In the >early 1850s, Milwaukee Female College founded a "cabinet of natural history," >and "Rockites" from the school's "Curiosity Society" collected fossil and >mineral specimens for the cabinet and studied Wisconsin geology under the >tutelage of early geologist Increase Lapham. The Greene Museum and Collection >are the descendants of this cabinet. In 1874, when Milwaukee College >introduced Ladies' Art and Science Class, a forerunner of adult continuing >education, "female" had already been dropped from the school's name in the >belief that there should be no difference in education based on gender. > >Despite its clear historical importance, however, this landmark is in imminent >danger of destruction. When Milwaukee-Downer merged with Lawrence University >in the 1960s, the Greene collection and museum were purchased with the rest of >the campus by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UW-M). UW-M actively and >persistently opposed the National Park Service's designation efforts. Now that >landmark status has been granted, UW-M is ignoring the fact that both the >museum and collection were designated as a single entity and, despite >opposition from the Greene family, it insists on moving the collection into >other facilities. However both the National Park Service and independent >museum collections experts have informed the university that moving the >collection out of the museum building for any reason will destroy its >historical importance and seriously jeopardize its safety and usefulness. > >Help from AWG members is urgently needed to save the Greene museum and >collection. We can't let the poor decisions of a few intractable university >officials cheat us out of this important part of our heritage--one of the very >few landmarks honoring women or science. If you are a Wisconsin resident, >please contact all of your state officials; non-Wisconsin residents contact >the Wisconsin governor (The Honorable Tommy Thompson, Office of the governor, >State Capitol, P. 0. Box 7863, Madison, WI 53707). Tell them how important and >unique this landmark is, remind them that the Greene collection and museum >belong to the citizens of Wisconsin and the nation and are not the private >property of a handful of university officials to do with as they please, >and ask them to save the landmark by keping the museum and collection >together. Specifically, urge them to: > >1) immediately stop the university from moving the Greene collection out of >the Greene museum building, which will destroy this landmark, and insist that >any items already moved be returned; > >2) establish an oversight board, consisting of experts in museum collections >management and curation, in the history of science, and in the Greene >collection itself, to develop long-term plans for operation, preservation and >use of both the Greene museum and collection as a national historic landmark; >and > >3) allow an outside support group to raise funds tar the museum', assist in >its operation and participate in long-term planning. We must act NOW to save >this unique landmark to our profession and to the hard-won progress women have >made in the sciences-every letter counts! > >Jeanette H. Leete and Sean Hunt _______________________________________________________________________________ <9:182>From email@example.com Tue May 24 16:38:30 1994 Date: Tue, 24 May 1994 16:38:30 -0500 From: ("David Baum") <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Re: Teaching phylogenies To: email@example.com Bonnie Blackwell suggests the following exercise for teaching: >Take a selection >of nails, screws, and bolts from the local hardware store. Give these to >students so that there are several of each type for some but few for others. >then ask them to derive a classification that groups them into species, >genera, etc. Such an excerise is okay as a starting-point, but misses the critical difference between biology and hardware - namely, what used to be called "naturalness." Whereas different groups of students are likely to come up with substantially different classifications of the hardware, systematists have realized for centuries that different workers emphasizing different characters come up with similar classications of organisms. This, we now know, reflects the divergent, hierarchical structure of the evolutionary process. Taxa are "systems" - groups of organisms united by their evolutionary history. The group "bolts" is a "class" united by some arbitrarily chosen character or set of characters. The exercise suggested by Bonnie Blackwell should be modified to emphasize the differences beween the classifications derived by different groups of students. Then it should be explained that the recognition of, say, the order Caryophyllales (the plant order containing cacti, spinach, beet, campions etc.) originally suggested based on morphological characters was subsequently confirmed by plant chemistry and, more recently, by DNA-based analyses. [but note: the fact that different data agree is not WHY Caryophyllales is a taxon, but merely provides evidence that convinvces us that it is]. In contrast, the group "bolts" is unlikely to be found by a chemist: She/he would recognize a "genus," "brass objects," which would include some but not all bolts and some but not all screws etc. I haven't yet introduced myself so here goes - I would describe myself as a plant evolutionary biologist. I mainly use molecular data (DNA sequences) to infer plant phylogenies. I then use these to study the evolution of pollination systems and their effects on floral evolution. I am also interested in conceptual issues in evolution and systematics (who isn't?), particularly species concepts, adaptation, and "homology." Nice to "meet" you. David Baum Department of Botany University of Wisconsin Madison, WI 53706 Phone: (608)262-6041 Fax: (608)262-7509 BaumD@MACC.WISC.EDU _______________________________________________________________________________ <9:183>From BONN@nickel.laurentian.ca Tue May 24 17:45:35 1994 Date: Tue, 24 May 1994 18:42:43 -0500 (EST) From: "Bonnie Blackwell, (519)253-4232x2502" <BONN@nickel.laurentian.ca> Subject: Re: Teaching phylogenies To: firstname.lastname@example.org I appreciate the added ideas presented by David Baum. This exercise was never intended to be other than a starting point. It does however get over some of the initial problem that many students know nothing (or little) about species in the natural world. The hardware has the advantage that most of them have at least seen them before. On another point raised by Baum, however, I must disagree. Within human and primate phylogenies, the chemical phylogeny currently is at odds with the fossil evidence, especially with regards to timing, measures of biochemical/genetic closeness, and in a few cases, heirarchial assignments. Moreover, not all human paleontologists agree on the best phylogeny. There have been frequent reassignments in the past few decades, partly from the results of new fossil discoveries, but also as theories of classification changed, as new geochronological data accumulated, as discoveries were reexamined and "rediscovered" hidden in museums. This leads me to believe that there is no "right" answer for classifications merely one that is currently most acceptable given our current knowledge. Bonn@nickel.laurentian.ca _______________________________________________________________________________ <9:184>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Tue May 24 21:05:50 1994 Date: Tue, 24 May 1994 22:06:08 -0500 (EST) From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Subject: New book on history and computing (fwd from HUMANIST) To: email@example.com Organization: University of NC at Greensboro This notice of a new book on historical research and computing just appeared on HUMANIST. It is presented here in a slightly abridged form, and may be of interest to some Darwin-L members. Bob O'Hara (firstname.lastname@example.org) --begin forwarded message--------------- Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 8, No. 0032. Tuesday, 24 May 1994. Date: Tue, 24 May 1994 15:01:09 GMT From: Donald Spaeth <DSPAETH@dish.gla.ac.uk> Subject: Book announcement: AHC 1992 international conference From: P.R.Denley@uk.ac.qmw STORIA & MULTIMEDIA edited by Francesca Bocchi & Peter Denley Proceedings of the Seventh International Congress of the Association for History & Computing Bologna 29.8-2.9.1992 A single volume of approximately 860 pages containing 85 papers given at the Congress, in Italian (48%), English (45%) and French (7%). Publication date: May 1994. Available in the UK at the special price of 28.00 pounds including postage and packing. Contents 1. General Subjects: Historical Research and New Structures for Historiography New technologies for public archives Edition of sources using computers Legal historiography and prosopography Archaeology Linguistics Regional and territorial history Historical demography Economic history Music 2. Methodology Abstract source structures: data modelling Hypertext and multimedia Expert systems Graphics and image processing 3. Educational Technologies Teaching with the computer STORIA & MULTIMEDIA can be ordered directly from the publisher, Grafis Edizioni, Via 2 Giugno, 4, 40033 Casalecchio di Reno (Bologna), Italy, price 70,000 Lire. It is also available within the UK at the special price of 28.00 pounds including postage and packing, from the Humanities Computing Centre, Queen Mary & Westfield College, University of London, Mile End Road, London E1 4NS. --end forwarded message----------------- _______________________________________________________________________________ <9:185>From @SIVM.SI.EDU:MNHAN125@SIVM.SI.EDU Wed May 25 11:55:22 1994 Date: Wed, 25 May 1994 09:39 -0400 (EDT) From: MNHAN125%SIVM.BITNET@KUHUB.CC.UKANS.EDU Subject: The Grey Squirrel, London, and sexual frustration Apparently-To: <DARWIN-L@UKANAIX.CC.UKANS.EDU> From: Gary Subject: The Grey Squirrel, London, and sexual frustration On CNN Headline News yesterday (5/25), There was a brief but informative report on the grey squirrel population in England. Apparently, according to an official someone or other from a gov't bureau, the grey squirrels are tearing the oak trees of London to shreds. Literally. Apparently, in their pusuit of mates, the males mark off territories and religiously defend them from other males (mostly younger ones). This leads, according to the official, to a frenzy of sexual frustration in the young males, who then proceed to strip the trees of their bark. They don't eat the bark, or use it in any way, they just tear it off the trees. This has led to a program to control the squirrel population, which is starting to do some real damage to the trees. the story ended with folks arguing either side of the issue regarding a) the most comfortable way to end a squirrel's life and b) balancing the need to control the damage with the desires of people to continue feeding squirrels, etc. The reporter left this conondrum tantalizingly unanswered. I don't mean to make the whole thing sound facetious, but the report in general irked me. I'm not very familiar with squirrel behavior (I'm more of a monkey man), but I am interested in evolutionary biology, and I spent about 15 minutes trying to come up with an adaptive explanation for the whole oak tree/sexual frustration thing. Is this for real? Has this been posited as an explanation for this behavior? Is it unique to the grey squirrel? Can we identify the frustration syndrome in other animals? Thinking about this led me to question a) does every behavior need to have an efficient, adaptive explanation behind it, and b) would the report have been different if an evolutionary biologist/sciurid expert had contributed. I think this gets right back into the problem of education, and making sure that the general public does not get a just-so explanation for any given phenomena. However, this sex thing explanation may be correct for all I know. Anyone have any ideas? If you ask me, young male squirrels and young male Homos would appear to have more in common than I thought. The oak tree is the sciurid equivalent to mosh pits and Pearl Jam. Gary MNHAN125@sivm.si.edu "Without data, all you are is another person with an opinion" - Anonymous _______________________________________________________________________________ <9:186>From MILLER@Butler.EDU Wed May 25 13:41:04 1994 Date: Wed, 25 May 1994 13:40:59 -0500 (EST) From: MILLER@Butler.EDU Subject: teaching phylogenies To: email@example.com In response to Bonnie Blackwell and David Baum, another way to start teaching phylogenies is with a group of imaginary animals constructed by Joseph Camin "according to rules known only to him." I use cut out photocopies of the creatures and ask the students to construct a phylogeny. The animals are more interesting than hardware and the students do not need any prior knowledge to tackle the problem. They become frustrated, however, trying to make decisions about possible relationships, which provides a good opening to discuss the kinds of information that biologists would like to have to construct a phylogeny. Because the animals were developed according to a set of rules, there is some "naturalness" to the exercise and most students come up with roughly similar classifications. It is not as good as working with real organisms, however. Copies of the animals can be found in an article by Robert Sokal entitled "Numerical Taxonomy" in Scientific American, vol. 215, December, 1966. I do not have a reference to the original publication by Camin. Richard W. Miller Butler University firstname.lastname@example.org _______________________________________________________________________________ <9:187>From email@example.com Wed May 25 17:42:53 1994 Date: Thu, 26 May 1994 06:36:17 +0800 (WST) From: Dave Rindos <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Re: teaching phylogenies To: email@example.com On Wed, 25 May 1994 MILLER@Butler.EDU wrote: > In response to Bonnie Blackwell and David Baum, another way to > start teaching phylogenies is with a group of imaginary animals > constructed by Joseph Camin "according to rules known only to > him." I use cut out photocopies of the creatures and ask the > students to construct a phylogeny. . . > Copies of the animals can be found in an article by Robert Sokal > entitled "Numerical Taxonomy" in Scientific American, vol. 215, > December, 1966. I do not have a reference to the original > publication by Camin. I have used these "Caminicules" in laboratory exercises with good success for a number of years. The "angle" I use, however, is that the students prepare TWO classifications. First a phenetic one, then a phyletic one. The exercise is done in such a manner that when they create the phenetic classification they don't know they will be repeating the process with a different set of rules later. Following the phyletic classification, the students "map" their phenetic classification on the phyletic one. Hence, they get some idea of of how and why non/pre-evolutionary taxonomies appear compatable with evolutionary ones. I assume I have a copy of the handout for this class laying around on disk somewhere. If you're interested, write me. Dave -- Dave Rindos firstname.lastname@example.org 20 Herdsmans Parade Wembley WA 6014 AUSTRALIA Ph:+61 9 387 6281 (GMT+8) FAX:+61 9 386 2760 (USEST+13) [you may also reach me on email@example.com] >I'm in need of something clever or cute to put here< _______________________________________________________________________________ <9:188>From firstname.lastname@example.org Thu May 26 12:37:56 1994 From: Prof Vince Sarich <sarich@qal.Berkeley.EDU> Date: Thu, 26 May 1994 10:38:11 -0700 To: email@example.com Subject: Phylogenies and paleontologists Bonnie Blackwell writes: <On another point raised by Baum, however, I must disagree. Within human and primate phylogenies, the chemical phylogeny currently is at odds with the fossil evidence, especially with regards to timing, measures of biochemical/genetic closeness, and in a few cases, hierarchical assignments. Moreover, not all human paleontologists agree on the best phylogeny. There have been frequent reassignments in the past few decades, partly from the results of new fossil discoveries, but also as theories of classification changed, as new geochronological data accumulated, as discoveries were reexamined and "rediscovered" hidden in museums. This leads me to believe that there is no "right" answer for classifications merely one that is currently most acceptable given our current knowledge. Bonn@nickel.laurentian.ca> Lots of issues here. First. It is of course true that there is disagreement on the timing of various nodes in the primate tree. It is also true that the consensus today is much closer to the dates we suggested beginning back in the 60s than to the dates various paleontologists were bruting about then. For example, I have in my hand a book entitled The Evolution of Man, written by David Pilbeam, and published by Funk and Wagnalls in 1970. On page 83, there is a diagram which has the human line splitting from that leading to the large apes about 30 million years ago, with the chimp and gorilla lines splitting about 25 million years ago. And each line had a fossil on it: Ramapithecus was the proto-hominid; Dryopithecus major was the proto- gorilla; and D. africanus was the proto-chimpanzee. On pages 80 and 83, Pilbeam wrote: Chimps and gorillas have always been referred to as very close relatives; some workers would have them splitting as late as the Pleistocene. The fossil evidence, as I have shown, is rather against this; once again it looks as though two species of living hominoids have evolved their special hominoid features separately and in parallel -- just like the gibbons. Unless that is so, D. africanus and D. major are lineages paralleling chimpanzee and gorilla, but much earlier in time; this seems unlikely. ......... At the time of their divergence, the species leading to the three living pongids seem to have been quadrupeds and did not resemble their descendants. This suggests that many of the similarities among living apes are probably parallelisms -- a most important point. Of course Pilbeam, prodded by the molecular data, soon thereafter developed a working familiarity with Occam's Razor, and stopped talking about parallelisms and ancient divergence times. It took his mentor, Elwyn Simons, at least another decade to manage this. See Lewin's The Bones of Contention for a very readable history of all this. Simons and Pilbeam were the paleontological consensus of the time -- and they were spectacularly wrong. Second, and much more important, Blackwell seems to be accepting the very strange notion that paleontologists are the best source of phylogenetic information. Where is the evidence for this? It seems to me that one would be hard-put to provide one example of where the fossil record has provided new or critical information concerning the phylogenetic position of an extant primate. The best evidence (because there is so much more of it) has always been the comparative anatomy of living forms; more recently it has become clear that you can do even better with their proteins and nucleic acids. Where are the branching order disagreements concerning extant primates? What is the evidence involved? Finally, at least for now, what in the world do "theories of classification" have to do with phylogenetic placements? Phylogenies have a clear goal: to represent the actual, real-time, sequence of events linking the various forms of interest. Classifications ....... no, time is too short to get into that can of worms. Vincent Sarich firstname.lastname@example.org _______________________________________________________________________________ <9:189>From email@example.com Thu May 26 12:53:56 1994 From: Prof Vince Sarich <sarich@qal.Berkeley.EDU> Date: Thu, 26 May 1994 10:54:11 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Emergence A couple of weeks ago Gessler, Junger, and others initiated a dialogue on the concept of emergence and its relevance to understanding various human behaviors and institutions. I was struck, in following that discussion, by the fact that the name Hayek appeared not at all. Yet certainly Hayek has been the major recent expositor of the concept of emergence (even though he didn't call it that) and its relevance for understanding human behavior and institu- tions. I am also struck with how very few of my colleagues have even heard of him, much less read anything by him. It appears that the same it true for darwin-l subscribers. So what does everyone have against him? Assuming there's anyone still around, I would very much appreciate some good references on the concept of emergence (under whatever name) and its history. An old (1944) Britannica article takes the name back to George Lewes in 1875 and says that this was a new name, not a new concept, but gives no earlier references for the concept. I trust there must be many of you out there who can save me some library time. Vincent Sarich email@example.com _______________________________________________________________________________ <9:190>From firstname.lastname@example.org Thu May 26 13:14:38 1994 From: Prof Vince Sarich <sarich@qal.Berkeley.EDU> Date: Thu, 26 May 1994 11:14:54 -0700 To: email@example.com Subject: Tytler One last brief query from me today. In Parliament of Whores, P J O'Rourke quotes Alexander Tytler as writing: A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until a majority of voters discover that they can vote themselves largess out of the public treasury. Can anyone give me a source for this quote. The only book by Tytler in our library doesn't have it. Vincent Sarich firstname.lastname@example.org _______________________________________________________________________________ <9:191>From LARRYS@psc.plymouth.edu Thu May 26 13:29:10 1994 Date: Thu, 26 May 1994 14:29:10 -0500 (EST) From: LARRYS@psc.plymouth.edu Subject: Re: teaching phylogenies To: email@example.com Organization: Plymouth State College, Plymouth NH Re: photocopy of creatures I used a similar approach in historical geology with respect to the fishes. I photocopied about 25 different fish from a variety of ancient and modern groups and then had the students try to develop phylogenetic relationships by pasting the fish on a large sheet in what they thought would be a good phylogenetic relationship. I would say that approach was only moderately successful. Part of the problem is that the photocopies often do not have enough detail to enable the students to make decisions as to ancestral and derived characteristics. I should mention that at the same time I did this, I had the students try to enter their data into MacClade and to compare the MacClade cladogram with the one derived by simply looking at the fish. This was even less successful. MacClade is fairly easy to use, but apparently not easy enough. Even though I showed the students what to do, had a sheet with fairly complete directions, only about half got through this part of the exercise. It doesn't mean defeat though, as I think just the aspect of trying to determine characters and character states is an important aspect of the particular exercise. Larry Spencer Plymouth State College firstname.lastname@example.org _______________________________________________________________________________ <9:192>From email@example.com Thu May 26 20:24:18 1994 Date: Thu, 26 May 1994 21:24:37 -0400 (EDT) From: John E Limber <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Re: Phylogenies and paleontologists To: email@example.com I second Sarich's comments on the relative importance of fossil evidence; see for example Darwin's logic in suggesting an African origin of humans. As I recall this is based almost entirely on morphological (the obvious), behavioral (e.g.we and chimps use tools), and even immunological similarities (we get the same diseases). Does Darwin anywhere rely on fossil evidence? John Limber Department of Psychology University of New Hampshire, Durham NH 03824, USA _______________________________________________________________________________ <9:193>From firstname.lastname@example.org Fri May 27 03:03:41 1994 From: Andrew Brown <email@example.com> Subject: Re: The Grey Squirrel, London, and sexual frustration To: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: Thu, 26 May 1994 21:09:08 +0100 (BST) Speaking as a journalist living in London, I have to say that I have seen a lot of grey squirrels; I have even seen a lot of sexual frustration. But I have never seen or heard of anything like the behaviour described. I would suspect CNN before I started looking for explanations. Andrew Brown (in case my .sig fails to work again) _______________________________________________________________________________ <9:194>From BONN@nickel.laurentian.ca Fri May 27 07:43:18 1994 Date: Fri, 27 May 1994 08:40:29 -0500 (EST) From: "Bonnie Blackwell, (519)253-4232x2502" <BONN@nickel.laurentian.ca> Subject: phylogenies To: email@example.com On 9405.26, Sarich raised several issues. I would like to reply with several comments. 1. Are phylogenies not a form of classification (sensu lato)? Does the process of building phyologenies not begin with classication? I think the disagreement here is a matter of semantics. I agree that phylogenies make many inferences about evolutionary development. I do think, however, that one is naive if one believes that our theories (phylogenies) do not change as our scientific paradigms (eg. the advent of cladistics) change. Any phylogeny is the product of current scientific beliefs. If it remains unchanged for a long period, then either it must either be very useful and robust (independent of paradigm) or else science is not progressing very much during that period. 2. Since my work involves extinct primates, the problems of their phylogenetic relationships are of paramount concern. Nor can any phylogeny ignore the fossil evidence. It may not necessarily agree with all other information derived from modern organisms. The disagreements to which I refered were among the Australopithecine and Homo lineage branches. 3. If a hypothesis is useful, then it must predict outcomes. Therefore, if a phylogenetic classification constructed from biochemical data (or any other source) has any utility, it must predict the evidence that will be found using other data. Therefore, if the biochemical data is not a good predictor for the fossil evidence, then problems must exist in either the biochemical interpretation or the geological/paleontological data. Occam's razor can not be used to justify ignoring data, merely to select the simplest explanation that addresses ALL the issues. 4. Now that biochemical analyses are being completed on fossilized tissues (i.e. genetic analysis of 35 Ma Magnolia chloroplasts), these data need to be considered also when building phylogenies. 5. Biochemical data can only give you ideas about closeness. There is no implicit information there regarding timing. For example, for 35 My, the Magnolia has experienced little evolutionary change in its DNA, while other lineages have experienced considerable changes. Therefore, if the phyologeny is to have a time depth you must use the fossil evidence to add that dimension, since the evolutionary pressure on any protein in any lineage will be a function of its host's evolutionary rate and a number of other factors that depend on the individual protein under consideration. Bonnie Blackwell Bonn@nickel.laurentian.ca _______________________________________________________________________________ <9:195>From BONN@nickel.laurentian.ca Fri May 27 07:43:20 1994 Date: Fri, 27 May 1994 08:40:55 -0500 (EST) From: "Bonnie Blackwell, (519)253-4232x2502" <BONN@nickel.laurentian.ca> Subject: Darwin and fossils To: firstname.lastname@example.org In reply to Limber: If the biographies of Darwin hold any truth, then Darwin did use lots of fossil evidence to support his Origins. Much of his evidence, however, relied on fossil invertebrates. According to one biography, it was seeing fossil molluscs exposed high in the Andes, that started him thinking about evolution in the first place. While Wallace's theories were all based on his observations of modern species, much of Darwin's theories were prompted by fossil evidence. Darwin did not ignore the fossil hominid evidence, he interpreted it differently by assuming that information was missing from the fossil record. Bonnie Blackwell email@example.com _______________________________________________________________________________ <9:196>From firstname.lastname@example.org Fri May 27 07:55:12 1994 Date: Fri, 27 May 94 13:41:31 BST From: Margaret Winters <email@example.com> Subject: Re: World-wide William Whewell Party update To: firstname.lastname@example.org Dear Bob, Three of the four Darwin-L subscribers at the University of Edinburgh met at a local wine bar to mark the anniversary on Tuesday - there will be a photograph in the mail to you as soon as 1. the roll of film gets finished 2. it gets developed 3. I get organized. A wonderful time was had by all! Cheers, Margaret Winters _______________________________________________________________________________ <9:197>From email@example.com Fri May 27 08:02:09 1994 Date: Fri, 27 May 94 07:59:29 EDT From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Peter D. Junger) To: email@example.com Subject: Re: Emergence In message <199405261754.KAA05537@hammel.qal.berkeley.edu> Vincent Sarich writes: >A couple of weeks ago Gessler, Junger, and others initiated a dialogue on the >concept of emergence and its relevance to understanding various human >behaviors and institutions. I was struck, in following that discussion, by >the fact that the name Hayek appeared not at all. Yet certainly Hayek has been >the major recent expositor of the concept of emergence (even though he didn't >call it that) and its relevance for understanding human behavior and institu- >tions. I am also struck with how very few of my colleagues have even heard of >him, much less read anything by him. It appears that the same it true for >darwin-l subscribers. So what does everyone have against him? I don't have anything against Hayek--he is certainly much to be preferred over the schools of economists that now afflict our polity. I have not read him for several years, but as I recall it is always a pleasure. If I have the time perhaps I will him again this summer. But he is a systems mystic--even though he doesn't talk about systems in the way that others of that persuasion do, he talks about entrepeneurs. No here has really pursued the systems theorists' approaches to emergence. That might be an interesting topic, but it extensively discussed in the lists dedicated to chaos theory (which I suppose one could describe as the mathematics that underlies the historical sciences, especially with its emphasis on systems' sensitivity to their original conditions) and the Autopoesis list. But then one would not expect many references to Hayek, who is rather old hat, not very rigorous, and probably seen as a polemicist more than an explicator. If we are going to move into those rather refined areas, the names that I would expect to hear would be those of Marvin Minsky of the _Society of Mind_ and Feigenbaum (that is I believe the name of the primary mathematician of chaos theory) and Mandelbaum of the Mandelbaum Set and Maturana and Varella of _Autopoesis_. I suspect, however, that these discussions of emergencies are not really of much concern to most of us. They suggest that evolution is possible, but do not tell us much, if anything, about the histories that we are actually looking at. But perhaps I should not generalize so broadly; I should think that the mathematical ecologists in our midst (and I hope that there are some of them here) would find chaos theory with its emergent bifurcations central to their concerns. But I doubt that mathematical ecologists have much occasion to mention Hayeck. Hayek is of interest to me because I am a lawyer and an opponent of the pablamized Paretian economics that too often is passed off as legal thought these days--and because I love a good polemic. I wouldn't, however, expect that many here share my particular interests. Peter D. Junger Case Western Reserve University Law School, Cleveland, OH Internet: JUNGER@SAMSARA.LAW.CWRU.Edu -- Bitnet: JUNGER@CWRU _______________________________________________________________________________ <9:198>From SAJAY%UMSVM.BITNET@KUHUB.CC.UKANS.EDU Fri May 27 08:31:40 1994 Date: Fri, 27 May 1994 08:27:27 -0600 (CST) From: "Jay K. Johnson" <SAJAY%UMSVM.BITNET@KUHUB.CC.UKANS.EDU> Subject: language and culture text To: firstname.lastname@example.org I'm not a linguist but have been teaching a 300 level anthro course on language and culture off and on for several years. Last time my texts were -Aspects of Language and Culture- (Eastman), -Sociolinguistics- (Trudgill), and -Cognitive Anthropology- (Tyler). Tyler just went out of print and I'm thinking about redoing the course. Any suggestions for new texts would be welcome. _______________________________________________________________________________ <9:199>From email@example.com Fri May 27 09:09:13 1994 Date: Fri, 27 May 1994 10:09:22 -0400 From: ad201@FreeNet.Carleton.CA (Donald Phillipson) To: Darwin-L@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu Subject: Cultural emergence Prof Vince Sarich <sarich@qal.Berkeley.EDU> asked 26 May 1994 about Emergence... >Assuming there's anyone still around, I would very much appreciate >some good references on the concept of emergence (under whatever name) >and its history. An old (1944) Britannica article takes the name back >to George Lewes in 1875 and says that this was a new name, not a new >concept, but gives no earlier references for the concept. G.H. Lewes was central (with George Eliot and Herbert Spencer) among Victorian promoters in the English-speaking world of Auguste Comte's theory of Positivism, of which the general historical theme is cultural emergence. Human history has gone through three major phases, first Superstition (man ruled by religio-mystical authority), then Material Power (military and legal-political authority, theory-based but interested) and nowadays Knowledge, i.e. objective and disinterested sciences including social sciences. The characteristic disciplines of each successive age are Theology, Physics and Sociology (Comte apparently coined this word.) There are obvious affinities between these ideas and other theories of human progress, e.g. Darwin and Marx. Literature on the subject ranges from Edmund Wilson's To the Finland Station to J.B. Bury's Idea of Progress and more recent publications on the concept of progress. I don't know any single crib I'd trust. -- | Donald Phillipson, 4180 Boundary Rd., Carlsbad | | Springs, Ont., Canada K0A 1K0; tel: (613) 822-0734 | | "What I've always liked about science is its independence from | | authority"--Ontario Science Centre (name on file) 10 July 1981 | _______________________________________________________________________________ <9:200>From firstname.lastname@example.org Fri May 27 09:44:33 1994 Date: Fri, 27 May 1994 08:49:54 -0600 From: ("David Baum") <email@example.com> Subject: Re: Teaching phylogenies To: firstname.lastname@example.org I am sorry for not responding earlier to Bonnie Blackwell's reaction to my comments on her suggested class exercise for the teaching of phylogenetic principles. I said: "Whereas different groups of students are likely to come up with substantially different classifications of the hardware, systematists have realized for centuries that different workers emphasizing different characters come up with similar classications of organisms." "....it should be explained that the recognition of, say, the order Caryophyllales (the plant order containing cacti, spinach, beet, campions etc.) originally suggested based on morphological characters was subsequently confirmed by plant chemistry and, more recently, by DNA-based analyses. [but note: the fact that different data agree is not WHY Caryophyllales is a taxon, but merely provides evidence that convinvces us that it is]. In contrast, the group "bolts" is unlikely to be found by a chemist: She/he would recognize a "genus," "brass objects," which would include some but not all bolts and some but not all screws." To this Blackwell responded: >... not all human paleontologists agree on the best phylogeny [of hominds]. >There have been frequent reassignments in the past few decades, partly >From the results of new fossil discoveries, but also as theories of >classification changed, as new geochronological data accumulated, >as discoveries were reexamined and "rediscovered" hidden in museums. >This leads me to believe that there is no "right" answer for classifications >merely one that is currently most acceptable given our current knowledge. Since then Vincent Sarich has responded to much of what Blackwell said and ended with: "Finally, at least for now, what in the world do "theories of classification" have to do with phylogenetic placements? Phylogenies have a clear goal: to represent the actual, real-time, sequence of events linking the various forms of interest. Classifications ....... no, time is too short to get into that can of worms." I want to open the can of worms - briefly and then slam the lid back on! Here are some points of view I happen to hold: 1) There is one true history to life 2) If taxa are defined based exclusively on history (as they should be - the topic of another message) then taxon boundaries are objectively real and there is one correct taxonomy for any given point in time (notwithstanding arbitrary issues such as names and ranks). 3) The "taxa" recognized in systems of classifications are HYPOTHESES of real taxa. 4) The ROUGH congruence among different sorts of evidence in suggesting similar hypothesized taxa is evidence for the fact that taxa, as historical entities, exist. >From these points I hope it is clear that the fact that if, sometimes, the classifcations suggested by different people using different evidence differ, that does not justify the suggestion that taxa are arbitrary classes like "screws." For a start many taxonomists do not see taxa as hypotheses of real things. Instead they view them as repositories of structured knowledge. As a result, many taxonomic systems have been driven by utilitarian or social adgendas rather than presumptions about evolutionary history. However, even if all the systematists working on hominids were driven to represent history, that does not mean they will all succeed, and therefore congruence among them is not guaranteed. We cannot know the true evolutionary chronicle, we can only estimate it from the data at hand. Like any estimation procedure it is not guaranteed to succeed. Thus, even in the best of circumstances we can expect instability in our systems of classifcation. The reaction of Bonnie Blackwell suggests to me a good reason for NOT teaching phylogenies using hardware or similar non-biological examples. By starting from classification and moving to phylogeny there is a tendency to view the classification AS the phylogeny rather than as an approximation thereof. Instead it is perhaps better to have students START by generating simulated phylogenies(e.g., evolving words with cladogenesis). THEN ask them how they could infer the course of this phylogeny given only the end points. THEN explain how such an inferred phylogeny can be represented as a classification. Has anybody tried such an approach? Does it work? At this point I have an embarassing admission to make - I have never taught phylogeny, or at least not in the formal setting of a classroom. I will be doing so soon, though, so I have been thinking about these issues somewhat. I am interested in hearing the various approaches people have been taking and there success or otherwise. David Baum Department of Botany University of Wisconsin Madison, WI 53706 Phone: (608)262-6041 Fax: (608)262-7509 BaumD@MACC.WISC.EDU _______________________________________________________________________________ <9:201>From BENEDICT@VAX.CS.HSCSYR.EDU Fri May 27 09:46:10 1994 Date: Fri, 27 May 1994 10:47:34 -0500 (EST) From: BENEDICT@VAX.CS.HSCSYR.EDU Subject: Re: phylogenies To: email@example.com Bonnie Blackwell asks "Are phylogenies not a form of classification (sensu lato)?" I think the answer is no. A phylogeny is a hypothesis about evolutionary relationships, and is commonly expressed as a tree. A classification is a logical arrangement of the taxa included in that hypothesis (and which presumably reflects it). It's quite possible to produce a non-phylogenetic classification. A (checklist) sequence is a linear expression of the classification. A given phylogeny generally supports multiple classifications (depending on how one associates branches), and a given classification generally supports multiple sequences (by branch reversals and within group sequences). There's a paper touching on this issue (with which I otherwise generally disagree) by Ernst Mayr & Walter Bock in issue 1 of The Ibis for 1994. Her point 2) is the often forgotten aspect of "parsimony" In general phylogenetic hypotheses start at the present and work backwords in time. So usefulness of hypotheses means they predict the characteristics of common ancestors, and they summarize the common traits that define groups. I think those are the only "outcomes" you can expect from them, but that's potentially a lot. 4) Yep! 5) The question of rates still is open. Some molecular data (protein electrophoresis, immunological distances) commonly give the impresssion that rates vary wildly. Gene sequences sometimes do and sometimes don't, and may depend on how transversions/transitions are weighted. DNA-DNA hybridization seems to suggest relatively low variation in average rates of evolution within major groups (classes, etc) but the possibility of large rate variation between groups separated at higher taxonomic levels. I think it's easy to explain why the first happens (because a lot of "silent" variation is missed) but reconciling the second two is still "work in progress." For birds, it's begining to look like there's a good correlation between the two measures, but the weight of transitions to transversions seems to depend on the distances involved. A constant average rate, of course, means individual protein/gene rates don't have to be the same. Paul DeBenedictis SUNY Health Science Center at Syracuse _______________________________________________________________________________ <9:202>From firstname.lastname@example.org Fri May 27 13:39:38 1994 Date: Fri, 27 May 1994 11:39:37 -0700 From: email@example.com To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Re: Teaching phylogenies I have been following the discussion about teaching phylogenies with some interest, since this is one of the areas of biology that I think is most important and fascinating. In a recent posting David Baum suggested that one teaching technique might be to use evolving words, and asked if anyone had ever tried this. I am a graduate student at the Univ. of CA, Berkeley, and served as a teaching assistant for David Wake's Evolution class last fall. I gave two lectures in the class on phylogenetics, the first about the conceptual aspects of "tree thinking" (thank you Bob O'Hara), and the second about methods of phylogenetic reconstruction. To open the first lecture, I described trees as "diagrams representing relationships of descent." I then asked the students to participate in a demonstration of how trees are formed by getting them to play a diverging version of the kids' game known as "Telephone" (or at least that's what we called it). The game starts by someone whispering a word or phrase to the person next to them, and continues by successive neighbors passing this phrase down the line. It usually ends in hilarity as the final person announces what they "heard", which inevitably differs from what was originally said. In the case of my lecture, I created a tree-like structure by using certain rows and columns of the students in their seats (I gave the students involved a 3x5 card so that they could "see" the structure of the tree; for example, who to hear the phrase from and who to pass it to). The result was actually better than I had hoped. I started the "evolution" by whispering the phrase "The water is wide; I cannot cross over" (lines from a folk song). We had apomorphies: one "taxon" said "The water is wide; I can't cross it", and we even had a synapomorphy: two sister "taxa" said "The water is wine," rather than "wide." Also, it did not take much time and proceeded without disrupting the normal feel of class. Clearly such a game only begins to expose students to what phylogenies are all about, but it seemed to get the general idea across, and also seemed to be something the students enjoyed. Anna Graybeal Museum of Vertebrate Zoology University of CA, Berkeley email@example.com _______________________________________________________________________________ <9:203>From firstname.lastname@example.org Fri May 27 13:49:03 1994 Date: Fri, 27 May 1994 11:49:01 -0700 (PDT) From: Andie Palmer <email@example.com> Subject: Re: language and culture text To: firstname.lastname@example.org With regard to Jay K. Johnson's request for 300 level texts in language and culture: I highly recommend Zdenek Salzmann's _Language, Culture, and Society: An Introduction to Linguistic Anthropology_ (1993) Westview Press. The language and culture course at University of Washington is taught at the 200 level, and this book is too detailed for a lower division survey course, in my opinion, but I have been longing to try it out! Also of interest: _Language in Use: Readings in Sociolinguistics_ (1984) Prentice-Hall, John Baugh and Joel Sherzer, Eds. The article in the collection that generates the most class discussion is Carol Brooks Gardner's _Passing By: Street Remarks, Address Rights, and the Urban Female_. Gardner discusses the ambiguous position of women on the street as members of a marked category, open to whistles and other "breaches of civil inattention" even when those women attempt to remain "in role." A few of my students have told me that this article is the one that made them appreciate the relevance of explanatory models in sociolinguistics to their own life experiences. (Although not precisely in those words, of course!) The collection also includes classic articles by Hymes, Labov and Trudgill, and an interesting piece on language choice by Susan Gall that is pertinent to discussions of ethnic tensions in Eastern Europe. Neither textbook is strong in the area of cognitive anthropology, but as you are considering revamping the course, I think you might find these of interest. Best wishes, Andie Palmer (By way of introduction: an almost-finished PhD candidate in sociolinguistics, who gets to teach quite a bit in the department named below) Department of Anthropology, DH-05 University of Washington Seattle, WA 98105 email@example.com _______________________________________________________________________________ <9:204>From DONNADIG@SBBIOVM.BITNET Fri May 27 15:47:13 1994 Date: Fri, 27 May 1994 16:43:06 -0400 (EDT) From: Donna DiGiovanni <DONNADIG%SBBIOVM.BITNET@KUHUB.CC.UKANS.EDU> Subject: Re: teaching phylogenies To: firstname.lastname@example.org If anyone is interested in the technical details surrounding the Caminalcules and their taxonomy, they should see the following papers for more info: Sokal, R.R. 1983. A Phylogenetic Analysis of the Caminalcules. I. The Data Base. Systematic Zoology 32(2):159-184. Sokal, R.R. 1983. A Phylogenetic Analysis of the Caminalcules. II. Estimating the True Cladogram. Syst. Zool. 32(2):185-201. Sokal, R.R. 1983. A Phylogenetic Analysis of the Caminalcules. III. Fossils and Classification. Syst. Zool. 32(3):248-258. Sokal, R.R. 1983. A Phylogenetic Analysis of the Caminalcules. IV. Congruence and Character Stability. Syst. Zool. 32(3):259-275. Sokal, R.R., K.L. Fiala, and G. Hart. 1984. OTU Stability and factors Determining Taxonomic Stability: Examples from the Caminalcules and the Leptopodomorpha. Syst. Zool. 33(4):387-407. Personally, I think the Caminalcules exercise is a good place to start understanding phylogenies, as well as the inherent biases/pitfalls in phylogenetic analyses. They do seem to be very realistic for invented animals. * - - - - - - - - - - Donna DiGiovanni - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - * | Dept. of Ecology & Evolution, State University of New York | | Stony Brook, NY 11794-5245 | | DONNADIG@SBBIOVM.SUNYSB.EDU | | "To compute or not to compute, that is the question........ | | now, who took the manual again?... " | * - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - * _______________________________________________________________________________ <9:205>From email@example.com Fri May 27 19:00:33 1994 Date: Fri, 27 May 1994 18:00:30 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Larry Gorbet) Subject: Re: language and culture text Jay Johnson asks >I'm not a linguist but have been teaching a 300 level anthro >course on language and culture off and on for several years. ... >Any suggestions for new texts would be welcome. Sure: Nancy Bonvillain's _Language, Culture, and Communication: The Meaning of Messages_ (Prentice-Hall, 1993). IMHO, both broader and deeper coverage than just about any other lang. & culture *text*. BTW, the Baugh & Sherzer collection (_Language in Use_, 1984) cited by Andie Palmer is, I believe out-of-print. It is a very nice collection (for my purposes, at least), and I would be very pleased to see it available again. Larry Gorbet firstname.lastname@example.org Anthropology & Linguistics Depts. (505) 883-7378 University of New Mexico Albuquerque, NM, U.S.A. _______________________________________________________________________________ <9:206>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Fri May 27 20:48:21 1994 Date: Fri, 27 May 1994 21:48:13 -0500 (EST) From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Subject: Whewell's World-Wide Palaetiologists' Party -- Thanks to all! To: email@example.com Organization: University of NC at Greensboro Many thanks to Margaret Winters for her report on the Edinburgh realization of William Whewell's World-Wide Palaetiologists' Party on May 24th. I'm looking forward to seeing the photograph! I just wanted to extend my appreciation to all who participated in this event around the world -- an Internet first to be sure. In addition to Margaret's party in Edinburgh other palaetiologists held celebrations that I heard about in Cambridge, Massachusetts; Madison, Wisconsin; Greensboro, North Carolina; and Wellington, New Zealand. I'd be delighted to hear from anyone else who joined in. Three cheers for the Rev. Dr. Whewell and for the future of palaetiology! We must do it all again for his 250th in the year 2044! Bob O'Hara, Darwin-L list owner Robert J. O'Hara (firstname.lastname@example.org) Center for Critical Inquiry and Department of Biology 100 Foust Building, University of North Carolina at Greensboro Greensboro, North Carolina 27412 U.S.A. _______________________________________________________________________________ <9:207>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Fri May 27 23:02:35 1994 Date: Sat, 28 May 1994 00:02:29 -0500 (EST) From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Subject: Special teaching issue of Today in the Historical Sciences on its way To: email@example.com Organization: University of NC at Greensboro May 28th is the birthday of Louis Agassiz, and in recognition of our current thread on teaching we will have a special issue of Today in the Historical Sciences that includes the very famous teaching story of Louis Agassiz and the fish. It is a bit long for a single message, and it doesn't specifically address the teaching of _historical_ phenomena, but it is one of the most delightful teaching stories ever told, and anyone who has never read it before is in for a treat. The story was originally written by Samuel Scudder, one of Agassiz's students, shortly after Agassiz's death, and is perhaps most accessible today in the fine little volume _Louis Agassiz as a Teacher_, edited by Lane Cooper in 1945. It was later taken up by Ezra Pound in his book _ABC of Reading_ as an example of how literature should be taught, and then Pound's version of the story was later commented on by the literary critic Robert Scholes in an essay called "Is there a fish in this text?" Darwin-L member Polly Winsor also talks about the story in her recent book _Reading the Shape of Nature: Comparative Zoology at the Agassiz Museum_ (Univ. Chicago Press, 1991). Bob O'Hara, Darwin-L list owner Robert J. O'Hara (firstname.lastname@example.org) Center for Critical Inquiry and Department of Biology 100 Foust Building, University of North Carolina at Greensboro Greensboro, North Carolina 27412 U.S.A. _______________________________________________________________________________ <9:208>From email@example.com Sat May 28 01:09:43 1994 Date: Fri, 27 May 1994 23:09:41 -0700 (PDT) From: Andie Palmer <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Re: language and culture text To: email@example.com More with regard to Jay K. Johnson's request for language and culture textbooks: Although I prefer Salzmann's text, I've used Bonvillain's (Larry Gorbet's recommendation in an earlier post) in the past, and it DOES have a decent section on ethnoscience. There are some irritating typos in the charts, diagrams, and in the Japanese examples (as my Japanese-speaking students have pointed out) but I'm sure these will be corrected by the time the second edition is printed. As an Americanist (who works with Mohawk), Bonvillain draws many examples from languages and conversational styles found in Native North America, including Mohawk and Cree, as well as the more generally cited Southwest languages. I heartily appreciate this emphasis! Happy choosing. It's nice to have some reasonable texts out this year to supplement the reading packets. I'm sorry to hear from Larry Gorbet that Baugh and Sherzer is out-of-print. Thanks for the info, I guess I'll be doing some looking myself. More suggestions, Darwin folk? Andie Palmer Department of Anthropology, DH-05 University of Washington Seattle, WA 98195 firstname.lastname@example.org _______________________________________________________________________________ <9:209>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Sat May 28 01:17:51 1994 Date: Sat, 28 May 1994 02:17:43 -0500 (EST) From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Subject: May 28 -- Today in the Historical Sciences To: email@example.com Organization: University of NC at Greensboro MAY 28 -- TODAY IN THE HISTORICAL SCIENCES 1807: JEAN LOUIS RODOLPHE AGASSIZ is born at Motier-en-Vuly, Switzerland. As a young naturalist in Europe, Agassiz will do foundational work in paleontology and historical geology, and in his _Etudes sur les glaciers_ (Neuchatel, 1840) he will present the first comprehensive theory of the Ice Age. Following his emigration to the United States in 1846 he will establish the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University, and later contribute to the founding of the United States National Academy of Sciences. Agassiz's skill as a teacher will become the stuff of legend, and many years after his death the rhetorician Lane Cooper will publish a collection of reminiscences by his students, _Louis Agassiz as a Teacher_ (Ithaca, 1945), which will include a classic account of the professor's technique, originally written by Samuel Scudder in 1874: It was more than fifteen years ago [from 1874] that I entered the laboratory of Professor Agassiz, and told him I had enrolled my name in the Scientific School as a student of natural history. He asked me a few questions about my object in coming, my antecedents generally, the mode in which I afterwards proposed to use the knowledge I might acquire, and, finally, whether I wished to study any special branch. To the latter I replied that, while I wished to be well grounded in all departments of zoology, I purposed to devote myself specially to insects. "When do you wish to begin?" he asked. "Now," I replied. This seemed to please him, and with an energetic "Very well!" he reached from a shelf a huge jar of specimens in yellow alcohol. "Take this fish," said he, "and look at it; we call it a haemulon; by and by I will ask you what you have seen." With that he left me, but in a moment returned with explicit instructions as to the care of the object entrusted to me. "No man is fit to be a naturalist," said he, "who does not know how to take care of specimens." I was to keep the fish before me in a tin tray, and occasionally moisten the surface with alcohol from the jar, always taking care to replace the stopper tightly. Those were not the days of ground-glass stoppers and elegantly shaped exhibition jars; all the old students will recall the huge besmeared corks, half eaten by insects, and begrimed with cellar dust. Entomology was a cleaner science than ichthyology, but the example of the Professor, who had unhesitatingly plunged to the bottom of the jar to produce the fish, was infectious; and though this alcohol has "a very ancient and fishlike smell," I really dared not show any aversion within these sacred precincts, and treated the alcohol as though it were pure water. Still I was conscious of a passing feeling of disappointment, for gazing at a fish did not commend itself to an ardent entomologist. My friends at home, too, were annoyed, when they discovered that no amount of eau-de-Cologne would drown the perfume which haunted me like a shadow. In ten minutes I had seen all that could be seen in that fish, and started in search of the Professor -- who had, however, left the Museum; and when I returned, after lingering over some of the odd animals stored in the upper apartment, my specimen was dry all over. I dashed the fluid over the fish as if to resuscitate the beast from a fainting-fit, and looked with anxiety for a return of the normal sloppy appearance. This little excitement over, nothing was to be done but to return to a steadfast gaze at my mute companion. Half an hour passed -- an hour -- another hour --; the fish began to look loathsome. I turned it over and around; looked it in the face -- ghastly; from behind, beneath, above, sideways, at three-quarter' view -- just as ghastly. I was in despair; at an early hour I concluded that lunch was necessary; so with infinite relief, the fish was carefully replaced in the jar, and for an hour I was free. On my return, I learned that Professor Agassiz had been at the Museum, but had gone, and would not return for several hours. My fellow- students were too busy to be disturbed by continued conversation. Slowly I drew forth that hideous fish, and with a deep feeling of desperation again looked at it. I might not use a magnifying-glass; instruments of all kinds were interdicted. My two hands, my two eyes, and the fish: it seemed a most limited field. I pushed my finger down its throat to feel how sharp the teeth were. I began to count the scales in the different rows, until I was convinced that that was nonsense. At last a happy thought struck me -- I would draw the fish; and now with surprise I began to discover new features in the creature. Just then the Professor returned. "That is right," said he: a pencil is one of the best of eyes. I am glad to notice, too, that you keep your specimen wet, and your bottle corked." With these encouraging words, he added: "Well, what is it like?" He listened attentively to my brief rehearsal of the structure of parts whose names were still unknown to me: the fringed gill-arches and movable operculum; the pores of the head, fleshy lips and lidless eyes; the lateral line, the spinous fins and forked tail; the compressed and arched body. When I had finished, he waited as if expecting more, and then, with an air of disappointment: "You have not looked very carefully; why," he continued more earnestly, "you haven't even seen one of the most conspicuous features of the animal, which is as plainly before your eyes as the fish itself; look again, look again!" and he left me to my misery. I was piqued; I was mortified. Still more of that wretched fish! But now I set myself to my task with a will, and discovered one new thing after another, until I saw how just the Professor's criticism had been. The afternoon passed quickly; and when, toward its close, the Professor inquired: "Do you see it yet?" "No," I replied, "I am certain I do not, but I see how little I saw before." "That is next best," said he, earnestly, "but I won't hear you now; put away your fish and go home; perhaps you will be ready with a better answer in the morning. I will examine you before you look at the fish." This was disconcerting. Not only must I think of my fish all night, studying, without the object before me, what this unknown but most visible feature might be; but also, without reviewing my new discoveries, I must give an exact account of them the next day. I had a bad memory; so I walked home by Charles River in a distracted state, with my two perplexities. The cordial greeting from the Professor the next morning was reassuring; here was a man who seemed to be quite as anxious as I that I should see for myself what he saw. "Do you perhaps mean," I asked, "that the fish has symmetrical sides with paired organs?" His thoroughly pleased "Of course! of course!" repaid the wakeful hours of the previous night. After he had discoursed most happily and enthusiastically -- as he always did -- upon the importance of this point, I ventured to ask what I should do next. "Oh, look at your fish!" he said, and left me again to my own devices. In a little more than an hour he returned, and heard my new catalogue. "That is good, that is good!" he repeated; "but that is not all; go on"; and so for three long days he placed that fish before my eyes, forbidding me to look at anything else, or to use any artificial aid. "Look, look, look," was his repeated injunction. This was the best entomological lesson I ever had -- a lesson whose influence has extended to the details of every subsequent study; a legacy the Professor has left to me, as he has left it to many others, of inestimable value, which we could not buy, with which we cannot part. A year afterward, some of us were amusing ourselves with chalking outlandish beasts on the Museum blackboard. We drew prancing starfishes; frogs in mortal combat; hydra-headed worms; stately crawfishes, standing on their tails, bearing aloft umbrellas; and grotesque fishes with gaping mouths and staring eyes. The Professor came in shortly after, and was as amused as any at our experiments. He looked at the fishes. "Haemulons, every one of them," he said; "Mr. Scudder drew them." True; and to this day, if I attempt a fish, I can draw nothing but haemulons. The fourth day, a second fish of the same group was placed beside the first, and I was bidden to point out the resemblances and differences between the two; another and another followed, until the entire family lay before me, and a whole legion of jars covered the table and surrounding shelves; the odor had become a pleasant perfume; and even now, the sight of an old, six-inch, worm-eaten cork brings fragrant memories. The whole group of haemulons was thus brought in review; and, whether engaged upon the dissection of the internal organs, the preparation and examination of the bony framework, or the description of the various parts, Agassiz's training in the method of observing facts and their orderly arrangement was ever accompanied by the urgent exhortation not to be content with them. "Facts are stupid things," he would say, "until brought into connection with some general law." At the end of eight months, it was almost with reluctance that I left these friends and turned to insects; but what I had gained by this outside experience has been of greater value than the years of later investigation in my favorite groups. Today in the Historical Sciences is a feature of Darwin-L, an international network discussion group for professionals in the historical sciences. For more information about Darwin-L send the two-word message INFO DARWIN-L to firstname.lastname@example.org, or gopher to rjohara.uncg.edu (220.127.116.11). _______________________________________________________________________________ <9:210>From email@example.com.GOV Sat May 28 07:13:16 1994 From: firstname.lastname@example.org.GOV (Dale A. Cox) Subject: Agassiz To: email@example.com Date: Sat, 28 May 94 7:11:12 CDT Bob O'Hara, I enjoyed the "Today in History" sketch on Agassiz. Wonderful! Do you have any more information about Scudder, the naturalist mentioned in the sketch? Dale A. Cox firstname.lastname@example.org _______________________________________________________________________________ Darwin-L Message Log 9: 176-210 -- May 1994 End
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