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Darwin-L Message Log 9: 211–233 — 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.”


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DARWIN-L MESSAGE LOG 9: 211-233 -- MAY 1994
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_______________________________________________________________________________

<9:211>From ad201@freenet.carleton.ca  Sat May 28 08:45:59 1994

Date: Sat, 28 May 1994 09:46:06 -0400
From: ad201@FreeNet.Carleton.CA (Donald Phillipson)
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Disciplines that study Emergence or Taxonomy

Discussing emergence, lawyer junger@samsara.law.cwru.edu (Peter D.
Junger) observed 27 May 94:

>No one here has really pursued the systems theorists' approaches to
>emergence....                      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_.

My favourite quotation, presented to students to warn against equating
social and natural sciences:

"We can predict that in the world of 1985 we shall have psychological
theories that are as successful as the theories we have in chemistry
and biology today."

This was uttered 30 years ago by one of the great American geniuses of
the 20th century, Herbert A. Simon, in "The Corporation: Will it be
Managed by Machines?" repr. in Morris Philipson (ed.) _Automation:
Implications for the Future_ (Random House-Vintage, 1962, p. 259.)
The character of this prediction says more about current thought in
the 1960s than the fact that it turned out wrong.

I come to this theme from an undergraduate major in philosophy in the
1960s and specialization since the 1970s in science studies.  A
fundamental paradox is that practising philosophers read current
science but practising scientists do not read current philosophy, with
one rare and notable (Karl Popper.)  The philosophy of science is now
a mature discipline (Plato to Bacon to Whewell to living investigators
like Bourdieu and the sociologists).  But scientists interested in
theory have found it more convenient to improvise whatever philosophy
they need on a do-it-yourself basis, sometimes naively, than to borrow
it from disciplinarized philosophy in the way they would borrow facts
or theories from natural science disciplines outside their own fields.

My own working hypothesis is that this reflects a structural
difference between classes of disciplines:  that the natural sciences
strongly converge on single dominant paradigms and protocols, whereas
the social sciences as well as the humanities tolerate diverse and
even contradictory paradigms.  Departments of psychology, economics,
history, etc. contain individuals who believe each others' principles
and methods are totally wrong, but for practical purposes coexist more
or less peacefully.  They know their paradigms conflict but keep quiet
about it for the sake of material benefits (status of the discipline
etc.)  By contrast, rival paradigms in natural sciences from
astrophysics to zoology rapidly generate research programmes to select
between them, i.e. discover and converge on the one truth.

So it should not be surprising that discussion in this list of taxonomy
has not yet cited the oldest continuous literature on the subject.  In
disciplinarized philosophy this is the question of "universals:" whether
such ideas as "virtue," "chair" or "arithmetic" belong to an independent
universe of real Platonic forms, replicated in our experienced world with
more or less accuracy, or are invented (Aristotelian) generalizations
about the experienced world, with an asymptotic (i.e. progressive)
relationship to perfect truth.

--
 |          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 |

_______________________________________________________________________________

<9:212>From ahouse@hydra.rose.brandeis.edu  Sat May 28 11:36:24 1994

Date: Sat, 28 May 1994 12:38:34 -0400
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
From: ahouse@hydra.rose.brandeis.edu (Jeremy Creighton Ahouse)
Subject: no "right" answer for classifications?

A few days ago Bonnie Blackwell wrote (as part of a response on Teaching
phylogenies):

>This leads me to believe that there is no "right" answer for classifications
>merely one that is currently most acceptable given our current knowledge.

        In this area, classifying our planet's living forms, it seems to me
that there _is_ a right answer.  The arguments between methods are how to
best uncover this answer (this somewhat tangled, often bifurcating, web of
answers).  Even non-cladists seem to share the belief in a single (possibly
unknowable, certainly not, currently, fully known) branching pattern.
Reticulation, noise, and the departure of history from minimum character
state transitions make the job difficult for the phylogenetic taxonomist,
but(!) none of this suggests that the ontological status of the "answer" is
in trouble.

So I am with David Baum:
>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.

        With the caveat that there are discussions of "regularities" in
nature that give rise to the "belief" in the essential qualities of the
taxonomic hierarchy (e.g.   families as entities; as in angiosperm families
defined primarily by flower structure*).  It seems important to include an
experience of this in teaching phylogenies as well.

        - Jeremy

        * Do any of you have a good reference to a good review of "reasons"
for the priveleging of flower parts in (defining) plant families or
dentition in mammals, or...?  My feeling is that this becomes incresingly
problematic.

        Recently structural biologists (after caving in on the possibility
of calculating tertiary structure from the chain of amino acids) have begun
to suggest that there is a taxonomy of higher level structures coiled
coils, leucine zippers, etc... out of which they will be able to "predict"
structures.  I am uneasy about the status of this classification.  Is this
more than the wonderful human ability to classify?  With some preference
for ~7 categories per level?

____________________________________________________________________
Jeremy Creighton Ahouse (ahouse@hydra.rose.brandeis.edu)
Biology Dept.
Brandeis University
Waltham, MA 02254-9110
(617) 736-4954

_______________________________________________________________________________

<9:213>From ahouse@hydra.rose.brandeis.edu  Sat May 28 12:55:28 1994

Date: Sat, 28 May 1994 13:57:39 -0400
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
From: ahouse@hydra.rose.brandeis.edu (Jeremy Creighton Ahouse)
Subject: Re: telephone game

>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.

>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).

        Anna Graybeal's diverging telephone game seems to be a good
exercise to discuss more than just character change.  There is a kind of
correcting backdrop.  The expectations of the carrier's language attracts
the sounds that enter the ear.  The phrase (or each word in the phrase) is
forced to make sense to each carrier of the message.  This may be similar
to Pere Alberch's clustering in morphospace.

P. Alberch, "Developmental Constraints in Evolutionary Processes" in
Bonner, J.T. _Evolution and Development_.  (Ron Amundson, a contributor to
this list has written on this topic as well.)

        - Jeremy

____________________________________________________________________
Jeremy Creighton Ahouse (ahouse@hydra.rose.brandeis.edu)
Biology Dept.
Brandeis University
Waltham, MA 02254-9110
(617) 736-4954

_______________________________________________________________________________

<9:214>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu  Sat May 28 15:30:30 1994

Date: Sat, 28 May 1994 16:30:25 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: Take care to distinguish classification from phylogenetic inference
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

Some of the disagreement in our recent discussions about teaching phylogeny
can be traced, I think, to a need to be a bit more careful to distinguish
phylogeny from classification.  David Baum and Vince Sarich were trying to
make this distinction, and I'd like to reinforce their positions.

One of the most important advances in systematics in the last 25 years has
been the explicit recognition that there are two different intellectual
activities that are often conflated, namely phylogenetic reconstruction
and classification.  Confusion often arises (and has arisen here a little)
because terms like "classification", "taxonomy" and "systematics" are
sometimes used to refer to only classification, or only to phylogenetic
reconstruction, or to both, or to both without a clear distinction made
between the two.

Phylogenetic reconstruction is an historical task.  There was some true
sequence of events that took place in the evolutionary past -- the past only
happened one way.  That sequence of evolutionary events ("the evolutionary
chronicle") is phylogeny, and phylogenetic reconstruction is an historical
enterprise: its purpose is to reconstruct or estimate that true sequence of
events as well as possible.  Any particular phylogenetic estimate (an
evolutionary tree) may be a good or bad estimate of the true sequence of
historical events, but that's still what it is: an estimate of some actual
sequence of events.

The object of classification, by contrast, is to group things.  Things
can be classified -- grouped -- whether they are genealogically connected
or not.  I can classify library books by the color of their binding, trees
by their height, postage stamps by the number of perforations they have,
and on an on.  The product of classification -- a classification -- isn't
an historical inference, it's a grouping.  While it might make perfect
sense to speak of classifying pieces of furniture, or library books, it
doesn't make any sense to speak of estimating the phylogeny of furniture or
library books, because pieces of furniture and books in a library aren't
genealogically connected in ancestor-descendant relationships as organisms
are.  (In the case of books, an important exception is of course the
transmission of a particular text through many copies.  This is the field
of stemmatics or textual transmission, and a stemma is indeed a textual
phylogeny: an historical inference.  But stemmatics is not what you learn
in library school in a course on book classification.)

A selection of contemporary works in systematics that discuss the basis for
the distinction between classification and phylogenetic inference would
include the following (among others):

  Ax, P.  1987.  _The Phylogenetic System_.  New York: John Wiley & Sons.

  de Queiroz, K.  1988.  Systematics and the Darwinian revolution.
  _Philosophy of Science_, 55:238-259.

  Griffiths, G. C. D.  1974.  On the foundations of biological systematics.
  _Acta Biotheoretica_, 23:85-131.

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

Back in the very early days of Darwin-L the issue of phylogeny versus
classification came up also, and at the time I posted a fairly long
account of my own view of the situation; I append an edited version of it
here for anyone who wasn't around at the time and who may be interested.

--begin included message---------------

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

--end included message-----------------

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.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<9:215>From mahaffy@dordt.edu  Sat May 28 16:54:46 1994

Subject: Paleontologists e-mail address.
To: Address Darwin list <Darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu>
Date: Sat, 28 May 1994 16:59:26 -0500 (CDT)
From: James Mahaffy <mahaffy@dordt.edu>

Folks,

Rex Doescher  from the Smithsonian is compiling a list of paleotologists
e-mail addresses.  I am passing this along in case any of the
paleontologists on darwin-l are interested in the list or contributing

I offered to pass the word along and am passing this note on to you.

From sivm.si.edu!mnhpb002 Sat May 28 13:07:20 1994
Date: Sat, 28 May 94 14:01:55 EDT
From: "Rex A. Doescher" <MNHPB002@SIVM.SI.EDU>
Subject: Re: E-Mail lists.

   I have assembled hundreds of paleontologists' email addresses which
I would be willing to exchange for any addresses which you may have.
Hopefully, the next "Directory of Paleontologists of the World Directory"
will include this information, along with FAX no.'s, so any help you can
provide me will be passed to the next editor of the directory.

                                       Rex Doescher
                                       NHB E-206
                                       Smithsonian Institution
                                       Washington, DC  20560
                                       (202) 357-4284
                                       (202) 786-2832 (FAX)
                                       e-mail- mnhpb002@sivm.si.edu

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

_______________________________________________________________________________

<9:216>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu  Sun May 29 14:16:25 1994

Date: Sun, 29 May 1994 15:16:18 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: Re: Essentialism, philosophers, and scientists
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

Donald Phillipson offers the scientists among us a collegial chiding:

>A fundamental paradox is that practising philosophers read current
>science but practising scientists do not read current philosophy, with
>one rare and notable [exception] (Karl Popper).  The philosophy of
>science is now a mature discipline (Plato to Bacon to Whewell to living
>investigators like Bourdieu and the sociologists).  But scientists
>interested in theory have found it more convenient to improvise whatever
>philosophy they need on a do-it-yourself basis, sometimes naively, than
>to borrow it from disciplinarized philosophy in the way they would borrow
>facts or theories from natural science disciplines outside their own
>fields.

I offer in return an equally chiding but very cordially-intended response:

First of all, it would seem to me that both philosophy and science, as
things produced by communities of people in particular historical contexts,
partake equally of do-it-yourself improvisation, and that there have been at
least one or two philosophers in the history of that field whose work might
be labeled scientifically "naive", just as there have been scientists to
whom the label "philosophically naive" might be applied.

Donald gives as a possible example of scientists' inattention to the
philosophical literature the absence of any reference to essentialism
in our recent discussions here on teaching "taxonomy":

>So it should not be surprising that discussion in this list of taxonomy
>has not yet cited the oldest continuous literature on the subject.  In
>disciplinarized philosophy this is the question of "universals:" whether
>such ideas as "virtue," "chair" or "arithmetic" belong to an independent
>universe of real Platonic forms, replicated in our experienced world with
>more or less accuracy, or are invented (Aristotelian) generalizations
>about the experienced world, with an asymptotic (i.e. progressive)
>relationship to perfect truth.

My reply to this will distinguish pedagogy from current research.

With respect to pedagogy, I think Donald would find that many if not most
introductory courses in evolutionary biology include some treatment of
essentialism (which is what he is asking about), particularly with respect
to the notion of species, and an explanation of how evolutionary biology
replaced essentialism by what we call population thinking -- one of the
core ways of seeing the world that is built into evolutionary biology.  In
my freshman seminar on Darwin, for example, we read about Plato's cave and
assorted other essentialist views, and contrast them with a populational
view of species under which there are no essences/types.  As another
example, if you look in the appealing book _Darwin for Beginners_ by
Jonathan Miller and Borin Van Loon (New York, 1982), you will also find a
pedagogical treatment of essentialism.  Now are these presentations (mine
included) highly sophisticated interpretations?  Certainly not; they are
simplified practical expositions for beginning students.  A more thorough
and sophisiticated treatment of the history of essentialism in systematics
would indeed be very interesting, and I understand Darwin-L member Gordon
McOuat in Cambridge is working in this area; I am looking forward to
reading what he writes.  But essentialism certainly is discussed in a
simplified pedagogical form very widely by evolutionary biologists.

Now with respect to contemporary research and the teaching of contemporary
ideas (rather than the historical background of the field), essentialism
and Platonic universals are not much discussed, quite simply because they
are false and play no part in contemporary systematic practice.  When one
views the object of systematics not as a classificatory one, but rather as
an historical one -- namely the reconstruction of evolutioanry history, as
I argued in a recent message -- then it becomes even more clear why
essentialism is irrelevant.  At the same time, however, there is a very
substantial literature on essentialism and species-as-universals versus
species-as-particulars in the "meta-systematic" literature (contrary to
Donald's implications).  In general terms, though, it has been the
systematists who have had to "correct" the philosophers, the latter having
traditionally (though not much any more, and certainly not on Darwin-L! ;-)
failed to understand that species aren't universals and don't have
essences.  A very tiny sample of this vast literature would include:

  Ghiselin, M. T.  1974.  A radical solution to the species problem.
  _Systematic Zoology_, 23:536-544.

  Ghiselin, M. T.  1987.  Species concepts, individuality, and objectivity.
  _Biology and Philosophy_, 2:127-143.

  Hull, D. L.  1978.  A matter of individuality.  _Philosophy of Science_,
  45:174-191.

  Mayr, E.  (Various works on population thinking versus essentialism;
  I don't have the references at hand.)

(Mayr has had an explicit anti-essentialist/anti-Platonic theme in almost
all his writings for 50 years, and Ghiselin has similarly argued against
species-as-universals in a great many papers.)

But here's what surprises me in this general context (continuing in
collegial chiding mode):

As someone who has spent a bit of time among philosophers (many of whom I
count as good friends and colleagues), I have observed that there are few
sub-disciplines within philosophy that are more marginalized than
philosophy of history.  In comparison to the amount of attention that is
given to philosophy of science, or ethics, or aesthetics, or any of a
number of other fields, the attention given to the philosophical basis of
history, historical inference, and historical representation is very
slight.  Why might that be?  If evolutionary biology is an historical
science, and if at least some of its intellectual affinities lie with
history, historical linguistics, stemmatics, stratigraphy, etymology,
archeology, historical geography, and so on, then why don't we hear more
people talking about the work of William Dray, or Louis Mink, or Robin
Collingwood, or Arthur Danto, or Morton White?  (All of them 20th-century
philosopers of history.)  Why is there so little philosophy of historical
linguistics (there is lots of philosophy of language, but that's completely
unrelated) and so little philosophy of geology?

These are of course very complex questions, and every field, including
philosophy, has a lot of historical inertia that keeps it moving toward
certain classes of problems and away from others.  One of my hopes in
creating Darwin-L was that a forum of this kind might help to reduce such
disciplinary inertia, and enable people to explore some intellectual
relations that they may not have been particularly conscious of before.
Thanks to questions like Donald's and the participation of everyone here
we seem to be doing an excellent job of that very thing.

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.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<9:217>From michaels@scifac.su.oz.au  Sun May 29 22:23:02 1994

Date: Mon, 30 May 1994 13:24:03 +1000
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
From: michaels@SciFac.su.OZ.AU
Subject: Re: Agassiz celebrations

Readers of Stephen Jay Gould's recent book (one hesitates to say 'latest'),
Finders, Keepers may have been startled by his reference to Agassiz's
'Essay on Classification' as a masterpiece. Startled because the essay is
almost unknown today -- certainly in its full, 200-page version -- and
seems to had had so little impact in its day. (The Essay appears at the
head of Agassiz's Contribution to the Natural HIstory of the United
States). That the essay is significant is evident, albeit obliquely, by the
reference in E. Lurie's biography of Agassiz that he was preparing for
Harvard U.P. an edition of the Essay, presumably for appearance in the
early sixties.

Query: did this essay ever appear under Lurie's editorship. If not, why
not? The Essay is certainly a fascinating piece of work and well worth the
study. If Lurie didnlt complete the project, has anyone information on
other Agassiz scholarship on the Essay?

from Mike Shortland, Unit for HPS, SYDNEY UNIVERSITY F07, SYDNEY NSW 2006,
AUSTRALIA

michaels@scifac.su.oz.au.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<9:218>From ronald@uhunix.uhcc.Hawaii.Edu  Sun May 29 23:14:10 1994

Date: Sun, 29 May 94 18:14:03 HST
From: Ron Amundson <ronald@uhunix.uhcc.Hawaii.Edu>
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re: Agassiz celebrations

Lurie's edition appeared in 1962 following the 1859 British
edition of the _Essay_.  Lurie has about a 20-page Editor's
Introduction in his edition.  It was a Belknap Press (Harvard U.
Pr.) edition cited as "Library of Congress Catalog Card Number
62-19211".

I don't know of other scholarship, but Colin Patterson once
translated for me a section of a French book by Agassiz which
showed some very interesting systematic ideas, almost proto-cladist
(though not, of course, phylogenetically cladist).

Cheers,

Ron

_______________________________________________________________________________

<9:219>From mwinsor@epas.utoronto.ca  Mon May 30 06:34:41 1994

From: mwinsor@epas.utoronto.ca (Mary P Winsor)
Subject: Agassiz's Essay
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu (bulletin board)
Date: Mon, 30 May 1994 07:34:15 -0400 (EDT)

One recent study of Louis Agassiz's Essay on Classification may be
found in the first chapter (pp. 7-27) of my book Reading the Shape of Nature:
Comparative Zoology at the Agassiz Museum (The University of Chicago
Press, 1991) [author Mary P. Winsor]
I show:
   that he wrote it between January of 1854 and July of 1856 (the
   references to the Origin of Species were added later)

   that his view that there are multiple parallels (affinity,
   embryology, fossils, geography) and that they contain profound
   meaning was typical of his day

   that the idea that evolution could explain those parallels
   threatened him because it implied a lack of superintending divinity

   that an original idea he proposed in the essay was that not just
   the category "species" but the whole nested set of categories
   (genus, family, order, class, embranchement) were pure intellect,
   the categories of God's thoughts

   I argue that this idea evolved in the context of his teaching, and
   his famous case study method of teaching (one dead fish for a week)
   was designed to impress it on his students

   that other biologists failed to find this idea useful

   that it is deeply wrong - a pushing of essentialism to such an
   extreme that its wrongness becomes obvious

Some of you may also be interested in my article "Louis Agassiz and
the species question" Studies in History of Biology, 1979, 3:89-117. I
also talked about his ideas in my book Starfish, Jellyfish, and the
Order of Life (Yale U.P.1976)
Polly Winsor  mwinsor@epas.utoronto.ca

_______________________________________________________________________________

<9:220>From ahouse@hydra.rose.brandeis.edu  Mon May 30 10:16:27 1994

Date: Mon, 30 May 1994 11:18:37 -0400
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
From: ahouse@hydra.rose.brandeis.edu (Jeremy Creighton Ahouse)
Subject: Agassiz - Essay on classification.

         MATERIAL: Book
      CALL NUMBER: QL351 .A26 1962

           AUTHOR: Agassiz, Louis, 1807-1873.

            TITLE: Essay on classification. Edited by Edward Lurie.

      PUBLICATION: Cambridge, Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1962.
      DESCRIPTION: xxxiii, 268 p. diagr. 25 cm.
           SERIES: John Harvard library.

            NOTES: Bibliographical footnotes.

          SUBJECT: Zoology--Classification

_______________________________________________________________________________

<9:221>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu  Mon May 30 12:20:09 1994

Date: Mon, 30 May 1994 13:20:01 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: Scudder
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

Dale Cox asked for more information about Samuel Scudder (1837-1911), the
author of the story about Agassiz and the fish.  There is a short entry
for him by Melville H. Hatch in the _Dictionary of Scientific Biography_
(1975).  He was a student at Williams College in Massachusetts, and then
did advanced work with Agassiz at Harvard from 1857-1864.  He specialized
in the systematics of Orthoptera (grasshoppers, et al.) and fossil beetles,
apparently, and had a rather tragic personal life.

The DSB suggests the following sources:

    On Scudder and his work, see J. S. Kingsley, William L. W. Field,
  T. D. A. Cockerell, and Albert P. Morse, "Appraisals of Scudder as
  as a Naturalist," in _Psyche_, 18(1911), 174-192, with portrait; and
  Alfred Goldsborough Mayor, "Samuel Hubbard Scudder 1837-1911," in
  _Biographical Memoirs, National Academy of Sciences_, 17(1919), 79-
  104, with portrait and bibliography of 791 titles.

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.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<9:222>From korb@bruce.cs.monash.edu.au  Mon May 30 19:34:36 1994

From: korb@bruce.cs.monash.edu.au (Kevin Korb)
Subject: Re: Essentialism, philosophers, and scientists
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Date: Tue, 31 May 1994 10:34:24 +1000 (EST)

If I may offer a quick reply to a single point Bob was making...

> First of all, it would seem to me that both philosophy and science, as
> things produced by communities of people in particular historical contexts,
> partake equally of do-it-yourself improvisation, and that there have been at
> least one or two philosophers in the history of that field whose work might
> be labeled scientifically "naive", just as there have been scientists to
> whom the label "philosophically naive" might be applied.

While literally true, I think this remark rather complacent.  Philosophers
of science -- by and large -- take it as part of their task to inform
themselves of one or more sciences in a detailed way, so that they
do not end up with a philosophy primarily consisting of ignorant
puffings of an armchair experimentalist.  When scientists wax
philosophical, the story is largely different.  Perhaps the
thinking is that philosophy is largely just refined common sense,
and they've got as much common sense as anyone.  The result, however,
is quite commonly putrid philosophy.

I would take issue with just about everything else the original
communicant said, however.  Popper is not exactly a contemporary
philosopher of science -- his main contribution dating from 1934 --
even if he is still alive.  Scientists have also caught up with
Kuhn, whose main work in philosophy of science was written ca. 1960.
And I take exception to citing *sociologists* as representative of
contemporary philosophy of science.

Regards, Kevin

(PhD Phil of Science; specialty: phil of AI)

-------------------------------------------------------------------
Kevin Korb				korb@bruce.cs.monash.edu.au
Dept. of Computer Science		phone: +61 (3) 905-5198
Monash University			fax:   +61 (3) 905-5146
Clayton, Victoria 3168
Australia

_______________________________________________________________________________

<9:223>From sctlowe@kraken.itc.gu.edu.au  Tue May 31 00:08:20 1994

Date: Tue, 31 May 1994 15:00:42 +1000 (EST)
From: Ian Lowe <I.Lowe@sct.gu.edu.au>
Subject: Re: DARWIN-L digest 235
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

On Mon, 30 May 1994 Kevin Korb wrote:

> ...Philosophers
> of science -- by and large -- take it as part of their task to inform
> themselves of one or more sciences in a detailed way, so that they
> do not end up with a philosophy primarily consisting of ignorant
> puffings of an armchair experimentalist.  When scientists wax
> philosophical, the story is largely different.  Perhaps the
> thinking is that philosophy is largely just refined common sense,
> and they've got as much common sense as anyone.  The result, however,
> is quite commonly putrid philosophy.

Dead right; I recently showed my son a special supplement printed by New
Scientist.  It consisted of letters on the question of whether a theist
could be a good scientist.  He remarked on the fact that most of the
correspondents, holders of the degree of doctor of philosophy, were advancing
arguments that would be greeted with derision in his second-year undergraduate
tutorial group in philosophy!  Scientists know that science is
conceptually challenging, but often assume that the humanities and the
social sciences make no comparable intellectual demands.  This leads
those so minded to believe that they can pontificate with impunity in areas
they have made little effort to comprehend.

He is also right to point out that many working scientists have moved
beyond Popper; I was part of a group that worked through Kuhn's book with
atom-torturing scientists at this institution more than fifteen years ago!

Ian Lowe
School of Science
Griffith University
Nathan, Qld 4111
Australia

_______________________________________________________________________________

<9:224>From ronald@uhunix.uhcc.Hawaii.Edu  Tue May 31 04:34:17 1994

Date: Mon, 30 May 94 23:34:12 HST
From: Ron Amundson <ronald@uhunix.uhcc.Hawaii.Edu>
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: That reference to Agassiz and Gould

I've misplaced (accidentally deleted) the original posting on
Gould's discussion of Agassiz's Essay in his "new book."  I'd
assumed the ref was to _8 Little Piggies_, which I haven't
finished.  But I now do not find such a reference in that book.  I
do know that G. was working on a standalone (i.e.
non-essay-collection) volume on macroevolution, and that it would
include extended sections on Paley and Agassiz.  Is that book out
now?  If so, send me one immediately.  Or maybe just the title.

I have another query on essentialism which I'll pester you with
tomorrow.

Cheers,

Ron Amundson

_______________________________________________________________________________

<9:225>From mhinelin@polar.Bowdoin.EDU  Tue May 31 05:56:44 1994

From: mhinelin@polar.Bowdoin.EDU (Mark L. Hineline)
Subject: Re: Essentialism, philosophers, and scientists
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Date: Tue, 31 May 1994 06:57:30 +119304128 (EDT)

Donald Phillipson is to be commended for raising the question of the
relation of philosophy to the practice of science and for beginning
a healthy debate on the matter, substantively aided by Bob O`Hara's
gently "chiding" rejoinder. Bob's comments on the marginality of the
philosophy of history were quite temperate; one has only to look
at mainstream philosophy of science to note the marginal place of
historical explanation (e.g.: the notion of the "explanation sketch"
in the logical empiricist tradition).

Although Kevin Korb is sympathetic to much of the discussion, he
takes "exception to citing *sociologists* as representative of
contemporary philosophy of science." But he gives no reasons for
taking exception. Perhaps his reasons are related to disciplinary
boundaries, perhaps not. But sociological question, particularly
those arising out of the sociology of scientific knowledge (SSK)
offer hope of a more rigorous philosophy of historical explanation
in science, even if that promise has yet to be fulfilled. This is
especially true when certain tenets of SSK are used in the
history of science to understand historical sciences.

One example of an open question that transcends these disciplinary
boundaries is the nature of scientific "problems." The term
"problem" can be used to designate any sort of question in or
about science. But careful attention to primary sources suggests
that certain questions, designated "problems," are especially
perplexing. Often, the designation signals the intersection
of several disciplines or subdisciplines in the sciences, and
difficulties in agreeing on methods, kinds of evidence, and
strategies of argument. "The species problem" has been
recently discussed on this list; other examples are the
"coral reef problem," and the "granite problem."

When these and similar examples of "problems" in science are
examined through case studies, I suggest that the difficulties
of integrating causal and historical explanation will become
somewhat more apparent, if no less perplexing. Once dis-
entangled by the joint efforts of scientists, historians,
philosophers, and sociologists of science, a philosophy of
science may begin to emerge that is applicable to the practice
of historical explanation in science. In the meantime,
scientists can hardly be faulted for applying "common
sense" as a default philosophy of science.

Mark L. Hineline
(A historian in the) Department of Physics
Bowdoin College
Brunswick, Maine 04011
mhinelin@polar.bowdoin.edu

_______________________________________________________________________________

<9:226>From LKNYHART@macc.wisc.edu  Tue May 31 08:56:07 1994

Date: Tue, 31 May 94 08:53 CDT
From: Lynn K. Nyhart <LKNYHART@macc.wisc.edu>
Subject: Re: Essentialism, philosophers, and scientists
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

I was interested to read Mark Hineline's discussion of the nature of scientific
"problems" as especially perplexing questions, often at the intersection of
several disciplines or subdisciplines.  It reminded me of a slightly different
take on the "history of questions" in science developed by Nicholas Jardine. In
his essay "The significance of Schelling's 'Epoch of a wholly new natural
history': an essay on the realization of questions" (in R.S. Woolhouse, ed.,
_Metaphysics and Philosophy of Science in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth
Centuries_; Kluwer 1988, pp. 327-350), Jardine proposes that we reconsider the
history of science as the history of the "validation and invalidation of
questions."  One reason that Oken and Schelling seem so strange to us, Jardine
suggests, is that they addressed "what are for the most part, from our
standpoint, _unreal_ questions" (338).  Jardine suggests that to understand how
questions become viewed as valid or invalid, we need to look both at natural
historians' methodological and epistemological commitments, on the one hand,
and their day to day practices, and see how they inform one another.

What does this have to do with Hineline's discussion of scientific "problems"?
I wonder whether those areas viewed as "problems" might be especially valuable
nexes for investigating the validation and invalidation of questions.  Within a
big, intractable problem like "the species problem," can we trace certain
questions and approaches that became invalidated, and others that became
validated (perhaps NOT directly in relation to Darwinian evolution--or is it
impossible to disentangle anything about "the species problem" from
Darwinism?)?

Food for thought, anyway.

Lynn Nyhart
Dept. of History of Science
lknyhart@macc.wisc.edu

_______________________________________________________________________________

<9:227>From mwinsor@epas.utoronto.ca  Tue May 31 09:28:24 1994

From: mwinsor@epas.utoronto.ca (Mary P Winsor)
Subject: Jardine
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu (bulletin board)
Date: Tue, 31 May 1994 10:27:54 -0400 (EDT)

Lynn Nyhart cites Nicholas Jardine, who began life as a systematic
biologist before switching careers; is he a philsopher or historian of
science? Philosophers probably think he is an historian, and
historians like me may think of him as a philosopher. But the idea
Nyhart cites is repeated and developed further in his book

The Scences of Inquiry: On the reality of questions in the sciences,
Oxford (Clarendon Press) 1991

It has a chapter on "legitimation and history" discussing the way
scientists use the history of science to establish or strenghten
theories or disciplinary divisions.  But if that implies we must
beware of believing what scientists tell us about their own past, the
burden on us very few professional historians of science becomes heavy
indeed, since at the end of the book Jardine tells philosophers and
scientists that they have to pay more attention to the history of science.

Which is why I am reading Peter Novick That Noble Dream:the ideal of
objectivity in the American Historical profession and formulating a
plan to look at how systematists have in fact constructed and used
history.  Maybe it isn't all merely legitimating, maybe some of it is
enlightening? People on this list seem to feel history can be
uncovered and is worth knowing...
Polly Winsor    mwinsor@epas.utoronto.ca

_______________________________________________________________________________

<9:228>From gessler@anthro.sscnet.ucla.edu  Tue May 31 12:47:51 1994

From: "Gessler, Nicholas (G)   ANTHRO" <gessler@anthro.sscnet.ucla.edu>
To: DARWIN-L@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu, ANTHRO-L@UBVM.cc.buffalo.edu
Subject: Emergent Properties
Date: Tue, 31 May 94 10:46:00 PDT

To continue a periodic discussion on Darwin-L and Anthro-L on the notion of
EMERGENCE as it is being used in the Artificial Life community, I am
forwarding the following article that was posted on the "Emergence" bulletin
board at alife.santafe.edu.  In our own Artificial Life group at UCLA the
subject of emergence has come up numerous times, and although David Tinker
was not present he has captured much of what was said.  What we
arrived at as a definition follows Luc Steels' formalization which
goes something like this:  "Given a system with a global behavior
completely determined by the local behaviors of its components, a
global behavior can be said to be EMERGENT if it requires a set of
descriptors which is different from the set required to describe the
local behaviors."

Someone on Darwin-L asked rhetorically whether anyone in evolution still
believed in Teleology.  It would be interesting to rephrase that question to
ask whether any phenomena explained as teleological in a non-computational
paradigm could be subsumed under the the computational paradigm of emergence?
I suspect so.  I also have a nagging suspicion that emergence is central to
biological evolution and possibly also to cultural evolution, if not the
entire range of natural phenomena.  I've breached the subject with Gould,
Rapoport, and Mayer who have all commented that the field of Alife is "rich."

To obviate any misunderstandings, in my view evolution is a change in gene
(or trait) frequency in a population over time (I will not use the word
"progress)."  And cultural evolution can come about through both Darwinian
and Lamarckian mechanisms {appeal to authority: Mayer}.

I must admit I'm having difficulty keeping up with this thread on several
bulleting boards, but even though the postings are sporadic, they are
fruitful.

Nick Gessler
gessler@anthro.sscnet.ucla.edu
gessler@alife.santafe.edu

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
FORWARDED FROM: Gessler, Nicholas (G)   ANTHRO
Albbs: MIT Press Artificial Life ONLINE Bulletin Board System
Date: Fri, 27 May 94 15:08:30 MDT
From: gessler@alife.santafe.edu
To: gessler@anthro.sscnet.ucla.edu (dtinker@alife.santafe.ed)
Subject: Re: Emergent Properties
Newsgroups: alife.bbs.emergence
In article <2qul6k$e8r@tierra.santafe.ede> you wrote:

: To try and start a little discussion in this fascinating area, I'm
: reposting an article I put in "talk.origins" some time ago.  Much
: of what I said then is probably old hat to readers here, but I'd be
: interested in reactions and other ideas.  (By the way if anyone is
: interested in the bibliography mentioned in this posting, I still have
: it - let me know if you'd like a copy via E-mail).

: ========================
: Newsgroups: talk.origins
: From: dtinker@gpu.utcs.utoronto.ca (David Tinker)
: Subject: Emergent Properties. I. Introduction
: Organization: University of Toronto, Biochemistry
: Date: Wed, 11 Nov 1992 15:50:22 GMT

: The recent spate of articles in talk.origins on "emergent properties"
: generated some heat, but not much light!  My colleague, Larry Moran,
: objects to the term because he suspects (wrongly) that it is based on
: non-mechanistic or vitalistic superstition, and (rightly) that the term
: implies there is an obstacle to the reductionist agenda in biology.
: Other postings imply that the term "emergent properties" is tautologous,
: and not unique to biology;  it has been claimed that everything has emergent
: properties, so the adjective "emergent" is meaningless.

: I think the topic is worth further exploration, and submit this article to
: stimulate discussion.  I hope that we have not seen the last word on this
: topic.

: First, I do not think there is a satisfactory closed definition of the term
: "emergent", nor is it universally used by the research school most concerned
: with such properties, the 'Artificial Life' community.  Nevertheless I
: believe the concept is so well accepted in this community that the term can
: be used casually with the assurance that it is understood.  I turned to my
: well-thumbed copy of "Artifical Life I" and searched in the annotated
: bibliography and in the index for terms like "emergent" - see below for the
: results.  Nowhere did I find a definition that would satisfy Larry Moran, but
: in re-reading the articles I found many clues to a definition.  So, being
: willing to be called a fool, I will essay a definition:

=============================================================================
: A system may be said to possess "emergent properties" when (a) it is composed
: of a collection of entities, (b) it has global properties, obeying well-
: characterised rules that may be used for predictive purposes, that arise from
: non-linear combinations of local interactions among the entities, and (c) the
: rules do not depend specifically on the chemical nature of the entities."
=============================================================================

: Glosses:
: By "entities" I mean systems which may exist independently, and which
: make up the system by simple addition to it.  Thus the protein molecules
: in a crystal are entities in this sense, but the atoms in a molecule are
: not "entities" composing the molecule.

: By "non-linear" I simply mean the mathematical connotation, as in "non-linear
: function".  I wished to use this term in the definition rather than the
: less general adjective "non-additive".
: ===========================================================================

: Now some questions and tentative answers.

: 1. Do such systems exist?
:
:    Yes they do.  Three systems with emergent properties that have been
:    well examined are (a) artificial neural networks, (b) organisms that
:    exhibit schooling or flocking behaviour, and (c) cellular automata.

: 2. You say that the properties are independent of chemical nature of the
:    entities.  Does this mean you espouse a non-mechanistic view?
:
:    Not at all.  Let's take flocking behaviour as an example.  It appears
:    to arise when entities have a mechanism for detecting spatial proximity
:    of identical entities and a feedback mechanism for maintaining a range
:    of postions relative to their neighbours.  Essentially identical
:    behaviour can arise in organism as diverse as fish, insects and birds.
:    It could also arise in collections of robots made out of Lego (tm) - all
:    that is required is there be physical mechanisms for _instantiating_
:    the local interactions.  If I were studying sandpipers, say, I would
:    certainly hope to elucidate the physiological and biochemical mechanisms
:    of recognition and feedback, and to learn how the relevant genes have
:    evolved to optimise these interactions for efficient flocking behaviour.
:    The _instantiation_ of the behaviour does depend on mechanisms which
:    obey the laws of physics and chemistry, but the behaviour itself trans-
:    cends these laws.

: 3. Aren't these rules merely empirical inventions that will be unnecessary
:    when we understand the mechanisms fully?
:
:    I don't think so.  The work in this area indicates many of the "rules"
:    governing such properties are universal, and have a formal logical
:    structure and grammar.  In the sense that thermodynamics is a formal
:    system independent of any specific physical system, so are the laws
:    governing emergent properties.  However, it is true that like
:    thermodynamics, "emergo-dynamics" will be ultimately related to
:    lower-level physical theories.

: 4. Aren't all properties of matter "emergent" - e.g. the properties of
:    water?
:
:    Not in the sense I have defined.  The properties of water depend
:    absolutely on the specific interactions of water molecules, whereas
:    the properties I have called "emergent" would arise no matter what
:    entities are involved.

: 5. Simple things like flocks and cellular automata don't convince me -
:    these are just computer games.  Is there any evidence that *real*
:    biological behaviour can be 'explained' by such notions?
:
:    I'm glad you asked.  See the amazing chapter by P. Hogeweg (cited below)
:    in which he models such high-level behaviours as bumblebee sociology.
:    The fact that successful models of living systems can be constructed
:    out of computer instructions or Lego indicates that the properties being
:    modelled are 'real' ones.

: 6. Wait a minute!  I'm beginning to think you are a Moravecian (see Hans
:    Moravec, "Mind Children").  Do you really think biological properties
:    including (choke) consciousness could arise in machines?  Is Data (in
:    Star Trek) really human after all?  Do you think human beings are
:    machines?
:
:    Yes.  In fact, my conviction that my humanity has "emerged" from the
:    properties of molecules contributes mightily to that emergent property
:    of me, that I call a "religious world-view".

: 7. How can I learn more about such area so that I can critically discuss
:    this topic on talk.origins?
:
:    Start with the "Artificial Life" volumes from the Santa Fe insitute,
:    published by Addison Wesley.  In my next posting, I'll re-post a
:    *long* annotated bibliography that was prepared by G. Miller and P. Todd,
:    and posted in sci.bio a year ago.

: -----
: Bibliography and Footnotes:
: ==========================

: >From the annotated bibliography, in C.G. Langton, editor, "Artificial
: Life I", pp 527-625, Addison Wesley, 1989.

: (a) Titles containing the word "_emergent_" or "_emergence_".
: =============================================================
: J.H. Holland.  "Studies of the Spontaneous Emergence of Self-Replicating
: Systems using Cellular Automata and Formal Grammars."  In A. Lindenmayer
: and G. Rozenberg, editors, "Automata, Languages, Development", pp 385-404,
: North Holland, 1976.

: J.J. Hopfield.  "Neural Networks and Physical Systems with Emergent
: Collective Computational Abilities."  Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 79:2554-2558,
: 1982.

: S.A. Kauffman.  "Emergent Properties in Random Complex Automata."
: Physica D, 10, 1984.

: (b) Titles that are germane to this posting.
: ============================================
: C.W. Reynolds.  "Flocks, Herds and Schools: A Distributed Behavioural
: Model".  Computer Graphics: Proceedings of SIGGRAPH '87, 21(4):25-34,
: July 1987.

: S. Wolfram, editor.  "Theory and Applications of Cellular Automata."
: World Scientific, Singapore, 1986.

: P. Hogeweg.  "MIRROR beyond MIRROR, Puddles of LIFE".  In C.G. Langton,
: editor, "Artificial Life I", pp 297-316, Addison Wesley, 1979.

: Towards a legitimisation of emergent behaviour?
: ===============================================
: >From C.G. Langton, in "Artificial Life I" page 3:
: " The "key" concept in AL is _emergent behaviour_.  Natural life emerges
:   out of the organized interactions of a great number of nonliving molecules,
:   with no global controller responsible for the behaviour of every part.
:   Rather, every part is a behaviour itself, and life is the behaviour that
:   emerges out of all the local interactions among individual behaviours.  It
:   is this bottom-up, distributed, local determination of behaviour that AL
:   employs in its primary methodological approach to the generation of
:   lifelike behaviours. "

: >From R. Dawkins, _ibib._ page 209 (discussing the biomorphs produced by his
: 'Blind Watchmaker' program):
:  "... Our watchword is that as much as possible must emerge rather than being
:   designed.  But having seen the range of phenotypes that emerge from the
:   basic program, can we think of any modifications to the basic program that
:   seem likely to unleash opulent flowerings of new emergent properties? ..."

: :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
: : Prof. David O. Tinker      INTERNET: dtinker@blunile.guild.org        :
: : Dept. of Biochemistry                uunet.ca!beltrix!blunile!dtinker :
: : University of Toronto           FAX: (416)978-8548                    :
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<9:229>From gessler@anthro.sscnet.ucla.edu  Tue May 31 16:02:45 1994

From: "Gessler, Nicholas (G)   ANTHRO" <gessler@anthro.sscnet.ucla.edu>
To: DARWIN-L@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu, ANTHRO-L@UBVM.cc.buffalo.edu
Subject: references to COMPUTATIONAL EMERGENCE
Date: Tue, 31 May 94 13:58:00 PDT

Sarich was interested in references on the concept of emergence under
whatever name.  It would certainly be nice to see an historical trajectory of
the referents to the term and its auxilliary concepts, and its relation to
discussions of teleology, reductionism, vitalism, etc.  I can offer the
following recent sources, but all refer to deterministic computational
emergence, a referent which cannot be more than a few decades old.  It would
be enlightening to know in what ways computational emergence is congruent
with pre-computational definitions of the term.  An answer to that question
would likely have to wait for the results of computational approaches to
pre-computationally formulated problems in t he biological and social
evolutionary sciences.  Nevertheless, it does seem that we now have a
computational method for dealing with some problems which were intractable
when Kroeber was formulating his arguments on the "superorganic" in 1917.

==========

CELLULAR AUTOMATA:

Gutowitz, Howard, editor 1991.  CELLULAR AUTOMATA - THEORY AND EXPERIMENT.
Special Issues of Phyusica D.  Cambridge:  MIT Press, A Bradford Book
(Elsevier Science).

Forrest, Stephanie, editor 1991.  EMERGENT COMPUTATION - SELF-ORGANIZING,
COLLECTIVE, AND COOPERATIVE PHENOMENA IN NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL COMPUTING
NETWORKS.  Special Issues of Physica D.  Cambridge:  MIT Press, A Bradford
Book, (Elsevier Science).

AMERICAN ARTIFICIAL LIFE:

Langton, Christopher G., editor 1989.  ARTIFICIAL LIFE (I) - PROCEEDINGS OF
AN INTERDISCIPLINARY WORKSHOP ON THE SYNTHESIS AND SIMULATION OF LIVING
SYSTEMS, HELD SEPTEMBER 1987 IN LOS ALAMOS, NEW MEXICO.  Santa Fe Institute,
Studies in the Sciences of Complexity, Volume VI.  Redwood City:
Addison-Wesley.

Langton, Christopher G., Charles Taylor, J. Doyne Farmer, and Steen
Rasmussen, editors 1991.  ARTIFICIAL LIFE II - PROCEEDINGS OF THE WORKSHOP ON
ARTIFICIAL LIFE HELD FEBRUARY 1990 IN SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO.  Santa Fe
Institute, Studies in the Sciences of Complexity, Proceedings Volume X.
Redwood City:  Addison-Wesley.

Langton, Christopher, G., editor 1994.  ARTIFICIAL LIFE III - PROCEEDINGS OF
THE WORKSHOP ON ARTIFICIAL LIFE HELD JUNE, 1992 IN SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO.
Santa Fe Institute, Stucies in the Sciences of Complexity, Proceedings Volume
XVII.  Reading:  Addison-Wesley.

Brooks, Rodney and Pattie Maes, editors 1994.  ARTIFICIAL LIFE IV -
PROCEEDINGS OF THE WORKSHOP ON ARTIFICIAL LIFE HELD JULY, 1994 IN CAMBRIDGE,
MASSACHUSETTS.  Cambridge:  MIT Press, A Bradford Book.  (In Press.)

EUROPEAN ARTIFICIAL LIFE:

Varela, Francisco J. and Paul Bourgine, editors 1992.  TOWARD A PRACTICE OF
AUTONOMOUS SYSTEMS - PROCEEDINGS OF THE FIRST EUROPEAN CONFERENCE ON
ARTIFICIAL LIFE.  Cambridge:  MIT Press, A Bradford Book.

Meyer, Jean-Arcady and Stewart W. Wilson, editors 1991. FROM ANIMALS TO
ANIMATS - PROCEEDINGS OF THE FIRST INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON SIMULATION OF
ADAPTIVE BEHAVIOR.  Cambridge:  MIT Press, A Bradford Book.

Meyer, Jean-Arcady Meyer, Herbert L. Roitblat, and Stewart W. Wilson, editors
1993.  FROM ANIMALS TO ANIMATS 2 - PROCEEDINGS OF THE SECOND INTERNATIONAL
CONFERENCE ON SIMULATION OF ADAPTIVE BEHAVIOR.  Cambridge:  MIT Press, A
Bradford Book.

JOURNALS:

ARTIFICIAL LIFE, edited by Christopher G. Langton.  Cambridge:  MIT Press
Journals.

ADAPTIVE BEHAVIOR, edited by Jean-Arcady Meyer.  Cambridge:  MIT Press
Journals.

EVOLUTIONARY COMPUTING, edited by Kenneth De Jong.  Cambridge:  MIT Press
Journals.

==========

NOTE:  Rodney Brooks has written a series of entertaining articles on the
ramifications of the concept entitled "Elephants Don't Play Chess,"
"Intelligence Without Reason," and "Intelligence Without Representation."
Luc Steels has defined several ranked levels of emergence, from
"self-organization" to "emergent functionality" which should appear in press
soon.  Both gentlement work in robotics and are trying, among other things,
to design robots which will work together cooperatively.  This is a sort of
robot "culture."

==========

Nick Gessler
gessler@anthro.sscnet.ucla.edu
gessler@alife.santafe.edu

"Artificial Life is 'rich.'"
Ernst Mayr, Stephen Gould, Anatol Rapoport.
(Ostentatious appeal to authority.)

===== end =====

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<9:230>From g-cziko@uiuc.edu  Tue May 31 16:14:42 1994

Date: Tue, 31 May 1994 16:14:20 -0500
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
From: g-cziko@uiuc.edu (CZIKO Gary)
Subject: Cultural Evolution Lamarckian?

Nick Gessler said:

>To obviate any misunderstandings, in my view evolution is a change in gene
>(or trait) frequency in a population over time (I will not use the word
>"progress)."  And cultural evolution can come about through both Darwinian
>and Lamarckian mechanisms {appeal to authority: Mayer}.

Could you point me to where Mayer says that cultural evolution can be
Lamarckian?

Surely he can't mean (and you can't mean) the knowledge one acquires from
living in a culture becomes incorporated in one's genome and thereby
inherited by one's offspring.  What can be meant be saying that Lamarckian
mechanisms are involved in cultural evolution?

------------------------------------------------------------------
Gary A. Cziko
Associate Professor              Telephone 217-333-8527
Educational Psychology           FAX: 217-244-7620
University of Illinois           E-mail: g-cziko@uiuc.edu
1310 S. Sixth Street             Radio: N9MJZ
210 Education Building
Champaign, Illinois 61820-6990
-------------------------------------------------------------------

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<9:231>From michaels@scifac.su.oz.au  Tue May 31 18:23:38 1994

Date: Wed, 1 Jun 1994 09:24:40 +1000
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
From: michaels@SciFac.su.OZ.AU
Subject: Re: That reference to Agassiz and Gould: answer

The Gould reference to Agassiz appears in his Finders, Keepers (1992), p. 125

From Michael Shortland,  HPS, University of Sydney, Sydney Oz
michaels@scifac.su.oz.au

_______________________________________________________________________________

<9:232>From gessler@anthro.sscnet.ucla.edu  Tue May 31 22:06:52 1994

From: "Gessler, Nicholas (G)   ANTHRO" <gessler@anthro.sscnet.ucla.edu>
To: DARWIN - postings <DARWIN-L@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu>
Subject: Cultural Evolution Lamarckian?
Date: Tue, 31 May 94 20:05:00 PDT

Gary Cziko is of course correct.  I apparently did not make my point clearly
enough.  I will try again...

Biological evolution is often defined as a change in allele frequency in
allele (gene) frequency in a population over time.  I will make a parallel
statement for culture, using biological evolution as a metaphor, by saying
that cultural evolution may be defined as a change in trait (artifacts,
fashions, ideas, styles, themes, etc.) frequency in a population over time.
I do not mean to imply that cultural traits can be inherited as biological
alleles.  I do mean to imply, that applying the Lamarckian and Darwinian
modes of evolution to culture can be a fruitful way of looking at cultural
change.

We could call this adapting a biological metaphor for the social sciences, or
alternatively we could expand the concept of evolution to include
non-biological (that is cultural) phenomena.  Many anthropologists choose the
latter.   Among those who do, most argue that cultural evolution is entirely
Lamarckian.  I would say that it is both Lamarckian and Darwinian.  Ernst
Mayr made the same statement (for both) at a presentation to the Center for
the Study of Evolution and the Origin of Life at UCLA a few months back.

Nick Gessler
gessler@anthro.sscnet.ucla.edu
gessler@alife.santafe.edu

_______________________________________________________________________________

<9:233>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu  Tue May 31 22:58:34 1994

Date: Tue, 31 May 1994 23:58:23 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: Questions, problems, Jardine, and Collingwood
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

I have been intrigued by the recent contributions of Mark Hineline,
Lynn Nyhart, and Polly Winsor on "problems" and "questions" as important
units of historical investigation.

Mark wrote:

>One example of an open question that transcends these disciplinary
>boundaries is the nature of scientific "problems."  The term "problem"
>can be used to designate any sort of question in or about science.  But
>careful attention to primary sources suggests that certain questions,
>designated "problems," are especially perplexing.  Often, the designation
>signals the intersection of several disciplines or subdisciplines in the
>sciences, and difficulties in agreeing on methods, kinds of evidence, and
>strategies of argument.  "The species problem" has been recently discussed
>on this list; other examples are the "coral reef problem," and the
>"granite problem."

Lynn followed:

>I was interested to read Mark Hineline's discussion of the nature of
>scientific "problems" as especially perplexing questions, often at the
>intersection of several disciplines or subdisciplines.  It reminded me
>of a slightly different take on the "history of questions" in science
>developed by Nicholas Jardine. In his essay "The significance of
>Schelling's 'Epoch of a wholly new natural history': an essay on the
>realization of questions" (in R.S. Woolhouse, ed., _Metaphysics and
>Philosophy of Science in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries_;
>Kluwer 1988, pp. 327-350), Jardine proposes that we reconsider the
>history of science as the history of the "validation and invalidation
>of questions."  One reason that Oken and Schelling seem so strange to
>us, Jardine suggests, is that they addressed "what are for the most
>part, from our standpoint, _unreal_ questions" (338).

I offer a couple of additional items here, first a quotation from the
philosopher John Dewey about questions/problems.  Dewey was a representative
of the pragmatist school of philosophy which was much influenced by Darwin
and historical thinking, and this quotation appears in Dewey's essay on
_The Influence of Darwinism on Philosophy_ (New York, 1910):

  Old ideas give way slowly, for they are more than abstract logical forms
  and categories.  They are habits, predispositions, deeply engrained
  attitudes of aversion and preference.  Moreover, the conviction persists
  -- though history shows it to be a hallucination -- that all the
  questions that the human mind has asked are questions that can be
  answered in terms of the alternatives that the questions themselves
  present.  But in fact intellectual progress usually occurs through sheer
  abandonment of questions together with both of the alternatives they
  assume -- an abandonment that results from their decreasing vitality and
  a change of urgent interest.  We do not solve them: we get over them.
  Old questions are solved by disappearing, evaporating, while new questions
  corresponding to the changed attitude of endeavor and preference take
  their place.

(The reason I happen to know this particular quotation, coincidentally
enough, is that I used it in a paper of my own on the species "problem",
in which I argued that it is a problem of the sort that needs to be gotten
over rather than solved.)

Second, in the context of studying questions and problems (from an historical
point of view) it is interesting to note that one person who advocated such
an approach was the philosopher Robin Collingwood, one of the rather
marginalized figures who spent a good deal of time writing on the philosophy
of history.  And like Jardine, who as Polly mentioned began his career as a
systematist, Collingwood earlier in the century worked both as an
archeologist (Roman Britain was his specialty) and as a philosopher.  An
accessible and brief account of Collingwood's views can be found in the
chapter "Question and Answer" in R. G. Collingwood, _An Autobiography_
(Oxford, 1939).  A later reprint of Collingwood's autobiography (1978)
contains an introduction by Stephen Toulmin.

(By the way, is Nicholas Jardine any relation to Sir William Jardine,
prominent 19th-century naturalist and author?)

Polly's project on the uses systematists make of the history of their
own discipline sounds absolutely fascinating, and I bet it will generate
some very interesting results.  I have come across a couple of really
interesting papers that address how scientists see themselves in historical
context, and both might be of interest here:

  MacIntyre, Alisdair.  1977.  Epistemological crises, dramatic narrative,
  and the philosophy of science.  _Monist_, 60:453-472.

  Rouse, Joseph.  1990.  The narrative reconstruction of science.
  _Inquiry_, 33:179-196.

Another paper that gives some consideration to the particular rhetorical
aspects of historical science is:

  Miller, Carolyn S., & S. Michael Halloran.  1993.  Reading Darwin,
  reading nature; or, on the ethos of historical science.  Pp. 106-126
  in: _Understanding Scientific Prose_ (Jack Selzer, ed.).  Madison:
  University of Wisconsin Press.

(Sorry to run on so long.)

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.

_______________________________________________________________________________
Darwin-L Message Log 9: 211-233 -- May 1994                                 End

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