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Darwin-L Message Log 10: 66–102 — June 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 June 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 10: 66-102 -- JUNE 1994
--------------------------------------------
_______________________________________________________________________________

<10:66>From VISLYONS@ubvms.cc.buffalo.edu  Tue Jun 21 11:00:47 1994

Date: Tue, 21 Jun 1994 12:02:19 -0500 (EST)
From: VISLYONS@ubvms.cc.buffalo.edu
Subject: Re: Darwin-L [Monboddo & Orang Outang]
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University at Buffalo

Lord Monboddo argued that orangs should be considered men for a variety
of reasons, many of which were quite questionable.  He was not familar
with Tyson's work on the orang (which was a chimpanzee) and thus claimed
that the orang had the exact same form as us and walked upright.  They also
did things like "carry sticks, attack elephants, carry off negroe women
for pleasure and work."  This also fit into an argument he was trying to
make about the origin of language.  He did not think language was a
natural trait of humans, but acquired and due to culture.  He claimed
orangs had the organs for speech, and just because they were speechless,
this did not mean they shouldn't be included.  This is about all I
have for now, but I am in the process of getting the other references
DarwinL members have suggested.
Sherrie Lyons
vislyons@ubvms.cc.buffalo.edu

_______________________________________________________________________________

<10:67>From ahouse@hydra.rose.brandeis.edu  Tue Jun 21 11:23:58 1994

Date: Tue, 21 Jun 1994 12:26:30 -0400
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
From: ahouse@hydra.rose.brandeis.edu (Jeremy Creighton Ahouse)
Subject: Re: Biol Metaphor thought

I was just reading the note I sent to the list this morning.  It begins...
>Browsing the remainders section of the Harvard Bookstore yesterday I found
>a book that might appeal to some of you.  My libraries catalog describes it
>as:

        I was struck as you may have been by the "typo" 'libraries catalog'
when I must have meant library's catalog.  I had a bit of a discussion with
my father once about these kinds of mistakes.  He contends that for him
concepts have written words associated with them, so for him to make this
kind of error it would take the extra step of "sounding out" the word to
create the ambiguity.  Thus misspelling for him is more difficult than
spelling something correctly.

        I was wondering if this ability (one that requires at minimum a
written language) is common in the linguistic groups that are studied by
members on this list.  It seems that each sign system has its own
ambiguities (which give rise to their own homophone-like puns; ASL has hand
sign puns that take advantage of hand shapes that have other meanings in
other contexts, spoken languages have rhymes, and written languages must
have their own overlap in symbol combinations).

        How much new ambiguity was introduced and how much was relieved
when languages became written?  This could certainly hasten or slow parts
of a language's evolution.

        I really should get back to work here this morning...

        - Jeremy
____________________________________________________________________
Jeremy Creighton Ahouse (ahouse@hydra.rose.brandeis.edu)
Biology Dept.
Brandeis University
Waltham, MA 02254-9110
(617) 736-4954
(617) 736-2405 FAX

_______________________________________________________________________________

<10:68>From bradshaw@uhunix.uhcc.Hawaii.Edu  Tue Jun 21 21:53:53 1994

Date: Tue, 21 Jun 1994 16:54:00 -1000 (HST)
From: Joel Bradshaw <bradshaw@uhunix.uhcc.hawaii.edu>
Subject: Re: Biol Metaphor thought
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

On Tue, 21 Jun 1994, Jeremy Creighton Ahouse wrote:

> I was just reading the note I sent to the list this morning.  It begins...
> >Browsing the remainders section of the Harvard Bookstore yesterday I found
> >a book that might appeal to some of you.  My libraries catalog describes it
> >as:
>         I was struck as you may have been by the "typo" 'libraries catalog'
> when I must have meant library's catalog.  I had a bit of a discussion with
> my father once about these kinds of mistakes.  He contends that for him
> concepts have written words associated with them, so for him to make this
> kind of error it would take the extra step of "sounding out" the word to
> create the ambiguity.  Thus misspelling for him is more difficult than
> spelling something correctly.
>         I was wondering if this ability (one that requires at minimum a
> written language) is common in the linguistic groups that are studied by
> members on this list.  It seems that each sign system has its own
> ambiguities (which give rise to their own homophone-like puns; ASL has hand
> sign puns that take advantage of hand shapes that have other meanings in
> other contexts, spoken languages have rhymes, and written languages must
> have their own overlap in symbol combinations).

On this point, there is a very interesting dissertation just defended:

Matsunaga, Sachiko. 1994. The linguistic and psycholinguistic nature of
kanji: Do kanji represent and trigger only meanings? Ph.D. dissertation,
Dept. of East Asian Languages & Literatures, University of Hawaii.

Many people have claimed that kanji [Chinese characters] are read for
their meaning, not for their sound. By reviewing literature in linguistics
and psycholinguistics and conducting her own experiments using
eye-tracking methodology, Matsunaga shows that people who read kanji in
meaningful sentences depend on the mediation of sound encoding and do not
make a direct sight-meaning connection that bypasses sound. She introduced
two kinds of errors into texts that her subjects were asked to read. Both
kinds involved kanji that were very similar in shape. Where the correct
and incorrect kanji had identical sounds but different meanings, subjects
rarely (< 20%) noticed the errors (rarely stumbled over the sounds with
their eyes). Where the correct and incorrect kanji had different sounds as
well as different meanings, subjects were much more likely to notice the
errors (~ 50%).

>         How much new ambiguity was introduced and how much was relieved
> when languages became written?  This could certainly hasten or slow parts
> of a language's evolution.

As far as I know, not much work has been done on the subject, perhaps
mostly for lack of evidence. I recommend the following work for a
discussion of the transition to literacy in Anglo-Saxon.

Danet, Brenda, and Bryna Bogoch. 1992. From oral ceremony to written
document: The transitional language of Anglo-Saxon wills. Language &
Communication 12, 95-122.

The first written records of wills were only supplementary records of oral
rituals that themselves conferred legality and required witnesses. The
records contain many references to the context of the dying person, whose
legally binding words were witnessed by those present. Only later did the
wills become abstracted from the context of the death and its accompanying
oral ritual and evolve into legal documents valid in themselves, with
remnants of the oral ritual in legal phrasings like 'will and testament'
(similar to 'to have and to hold', 'to cease and desist'). There is a
postscript about videotaped wills, which preserve traces of their literate
heritage despite reverting back to an orally, aurally, and visually
contextualized medium.

Joel Bradshaw
bradshaw@uhunix.uhcc.hawaii.edu

_______________________________________________________________________________

<10:69>From jel@christa.unh.edu  Wed Jun 22 06:17:32 1994

Date: Wed, 22 Jun 1994 07:17:46 -0400 (EDT)
From: John E Limber <jel@christa.unh.edu>
Subject: Re: Biol Metaphor thought
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

It is hard to know what to make of introspective reports of how one's
concepts are represented; however there is a long line of speculation and
investigation that indeed literacy has some impact on even broadly
psycholingustic aspects of language.  I'm thinking of the controversey
surrounding Sapir's "concept of the phoneme" and more recent research,
e.g. Seidenberg & Tannenhous (1979) who report it takes longer to judge
rhymes if the SPELLING is inconsistent (pie/tie vs pie/guy).  I just
happen to be reading a review of this topic in Bertelsen & De Gelder (1991).

It seems likely that all "genres" or modalities of language have some
unique characteristics--at least statistical ones.  For example, e-mail
appears to elicit a variety of errors that are almost never seen in
normal speech--reminiscent of speech of Broca's aphasics.

Bertelson & Gelder (1991) Emergence of phonological awareness In
Mattingly & Studdert-Kennedy (Eds.) Modularity & the motor theory of
speech perception. pp. 393-412. Hillsdale: LEA

Seidenberg & Tannenhous (1979) Orthographic effects on rhyming
monitoring. J of Expermental psychology: Human learning & memory, 5,
546-554.

John Limber Department of Psychology
University of New Hampshire, Durham NH 03824, USA
jel@christa.unh.edu

_______________________________________________________________________________

<10:70>From princeh@husc.harvard.edu  Wed Jun 22 09:36:11 1994

Date: Wed, 22 Jun 1994 10:07:28 -0400 (EDT)
From: Patricia Princehouse <princeh@husc.harvard.edu>
Subject: Re: Biol Metaphor thought
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

On Tue, 21 Jun 1994, Jeremy Creighton Ahouse wrote:

>         I was struck as you may have been by the "typo" 'libraries catalog'
> when I must have meant library's catalog.
>
>         How much new ambiguity was introduced and how much was relieved
> when languages became written?  This could certainly hasten or slow parts
> of a language's evolution.

This and the ensuing discussion reminded me of a for sale sign I once saw
in a hayfield in the Pyrenees. The lettering seemed to be from someone not
accustomed to writing very often and he seems to have mixed "a vendre"
and "en vente" together with "ventre" -the belly in which the hay would
ultimately end up. The sign read:

				 FOUIN
			      EN VENTRE
				  5F

This then reminded me of Barthes' piece "Domenici or the Triumph of
Literature" (in the collection _Mythologies_) which comments on a case in
which court & lawyers were effectively unable to communicate with a very
old man from a rural district -not because of his near deafness but
(according to Barthes) because this man did not have an analogue in the
literature which shaped the world of the judge & lawyers and thus could
not exist for them.

Patricia Princehouse
Princeh@harvard.edu

_______________________________________________________________________________

<10:71>From edkupfer@MIT.EDU  Wed Jun 22 10:18:04 1994

From: edkupfer@MIT.EDU
To: sci-tech-studies@ucsd.EDU, darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: History of Am. Social Sciences
Date: Wed, 22 Jun 94 11:17:54 EDT

(Note -- for those on HOPOS-L, DARWIN-L, and SCI-TECH-STUDIES you might
get duplicate copies of this message)

Dear Fellow STSers,

In my ongoing research in the history of American bacteriology I am faced
with making an argument about the role of biologists as social experts.
I would like to compare my portrayal with the development of the social
sciences in the interwar period (1919-1939).  Unfortunately, I am
woefully unfamiliar with the literature in the history of social and
behavoiral sciences.  I have recently read books by Ross, Haskell and
Bender, but believe that there is a vast body of work out there.  I am
somewhat aware of the debate concerning the relationship between social
control and the social science, but seek to find a more nuanced series
of answers to the following questions:

1)  As the social sciences (e.g., sociology, psychology, anthropology,
economics) developed professionally and institutionally in the
interwar years did they removed themselves from the Progressive Era style
reform coaltions?  If so, did the ameliorative measures that they
suggest become more conservative?  As the topics and methods of study
became more specialized, did the scientific sanction for broad urban
reforms dissipate?

2)  Is there evidence of a struggle among the various social
sciences for the authority to address particular social concers?  For
example, did economists, sociologists and pscyhologist each make
competing recommendations for solving the crime problem?  If so, was
that struggle evident in the popular writings of these new social
experts?

3)  Is there a connection between the goals of assimilation and
adjustment and the cultural landscape of the 1920's and 1930's?  If so,
is that connection evident in one science more than others (e.g., child
psychology rather than sociology)?

4)  What is the relationship between behavoiralism and (to use Warren
Susman's term) the "cult of personality"?  Somehow, I always found the
discussions of Watson to be emphasizing the machine-like characteristics
of human behavoir, which is odd given the selling of dynamic
personalities in the 20's.

5)  As social scientists offered themselves as social experts, did they
inflate the importance of their own particular areas of study?  For
example, if researchers were addressing population control measures did
they continually stress the fundamental importance of overpopulation as
compared to other social ills?

6)  What was the self-image of social experts?  Did they adopt a persona
of hero or social reformer, or did the writings of the interwar period
reflect a team effort of disinterested experts?

Yes, I know these are huge questions.  Any recommendations for reading
would be greatly appreciated.

Yours,

Eric Kupferberg
Program in STS, MIT
and Dibner Inst.
edkupfer@mit.edu

_______________________________________________________________________________

<10:72>From BATEMANC@UWYO.EDU  Thu Jun 23 01:29:49 1994

Date: Thu, 23 Jun 1994 00:33:12 -0600 (MDT)
From: "CHESTER P. BATEMAN" <BATEMANC@UWYO.EDU>
Subject: Re: History of Am. Social Sciences
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

The introduction in Mr. Wolfe's _EUROPE AND A PEOPLE WITHOUT HISTORY_ points to
an interesting occurence in the 19th century -- the division of political
economy into several approaches to human behavior.  These approaches are now
called social sciences each with its' own competing view of social life.
Perhaps our theories would now be more inclusive if this division would never
have happened.
Regards, Chester     batemanc@uwyo.edu

_______________________________________________________________________________

<10:73>From PICARD@VAX2.CONCORDIA.CA  Thu Jun 23 12:15:50 1994

Date: Thu, 23 Jun 1994 13:14:47 -0500 (EST)
From: MARC PICARD <PICARD@VAX2.CONCORDIA.CA>
Subject: Re: Biol Metaphor thought
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

         Patricia Princehouse mentioned the case of a FOR SALE sign she
once saw in France:

>The lettering seemed to be from someone not
>accustomed to writing very often and he seems to have mixed "a vendre"
>and "en vente" together with "ventre" -the belly in which the hay
>would ultimately end up. The sign read:
>
>                                 FOUIN
>                               EN VENTRE
>                                  5F

	This is most probably a case of HYPERCORRECTION rather than
confusion between 'vendre' and 'vente'. Phonetically, the last sound in
'vente' is /t/ and the last sound in 'ventre' is /r/, but in many instances,
notably when the following word begins with a consonant, the /r/ is deleted
to avoid a triconsonantal cluster, thus making the two words homophonous.
When this kind of situation occurs, people who don't speak the standard
dialect and/or who don't have all that much formal education will tend
to "correct" what they imagine to be a non-standard form. In this
instance, any word-final /t/ may be restored as /tr/ by someone whose
command of the standard/written form of French is deficient.

Marc Picard

_______________________________________________________________________________

<10:74>From IAP8EWH@MVS.OAC.UCLA.EDU  Thu Jun 23 19:34:24 1994

Date: Thu, 23 Jun 94 17:34 PDT
To: DARWIN-L@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
From: IAP8EWH@MVS.OAC.UCLA.EDU
Subject: Biol metaphor thought

    Some data on the question of whether the adoption of writing
influences language evolution came out of the controversy over
glottochronology 30 years or so ago.  Words tend to be replaced more
slowly over time in written than in unwritten languages.  This may
be related to schoolmarms teaching out of books as was discussed on
Darwin-l a while ago.  Most of the data come from European languages;
Chinese appears to be an exception, presumably because of its
nonalphabetic writing system; Arabic is ambiguous.  A few references:

Bergsland, K., and Vogt, H.  1962.  On the validity of glottochronology.
    Current Anthropology, 3: 115-153.
Diebold, A. R., Jr.  1964.  A control case for glottochronology.
    Current Anthropology, 5: 987-1006.
Munro, S. R.  1978.  Glottochronologic theory: valid or not for Chinese
    languages?  Canadian Journal of Linguistics, 23: 55-65.

Eric Holman, iap8ewh@mvs.oac.ucla.edu

_______________________________________________________________________________

<10:75>From g-cziko@uiuc.edu  Fri Jun 24 09:27:06 1994

Date: Fri, 24 Jun 1994 09:28:07 -0600
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
From: g-cziko@uiuc.edu (CZIKO Gary)
Subject: Huxley Quote

[from Gary Cziko 94/06/24]

Upon hearing of Darwin's theory of natural selection, his friend and
defender Thomas Huxley said something _like_ "How stupid not to have
thought of that first."  But I cannot now find my source for the exact
quote.

Can anyone out there in Darwin-L(and) provide the exact quote and a
reference?  I would be very thankful.--Gary Cziko

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

_______________________________________________________________________________

<10:76>From VISLYONS@ubvms.cc.buffalo.edu  Fri Jun 24 11:39:05 1994

Date: Fri, 24 Jun 1994 12:40:36 -0500 (EST)
From: VISLYONS@ubvms.cc.buffalo.edu
Subject: Re: Huxley Quote
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University at Buffalo

The quote "How extremley stupid not to have thought of that" is taken
from "The Reception of the 'Origin of Species'" which can be found
in a variety of places including Life and Letters of Charles Darwin,
vol 11. pp. 187-97.  My source is an extract of it that is reprinted
in Life and Letters of Thomas Huxley, vol 1, p. 183.
Sherrie Lyons
vislyons@ubvms.cc.buffalo.edu

_______________________________________________________________________________

<10:77>From ahouse@hydra.rose.brandeis.edu  Fri Jun 24 17:36:49 1994

Date: Fri, 24 Jun 1994 18:39:20 -0400
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
From: ahouse@hydra.rose.brandeis.edu (Jeremy Creighton Ahouse)
Subject: rhetoric at work

        For those of you interested in the rhetorical posturing in
scientific discourse see the letters section of last week's Science
(6/10/94) (p 1519).  Ernst Mayr who used to be an 'evolutionary taxonomist'
is now using the patron saint of evolution to name this style of
classification.  'Darwinian classification' is opposed to 'Hennigian
ordering'.  He does allow that "both systems of classifying are
legitimate."  Then he goes on to suggest that one of these methods
indicates "phylogeny" and the other "closeness of relationship."  (huh?)
In a sense maybe this play to have the glow surrounding an adjective rub
off on your favorite approach is good sign that something is amiss...

        - Jeremy
____________________________________________________________________
Jeremy Creighton Ahouse (ahouse@hydra.rose.brandeis.edu)
Biology Dept.
Brandeis University
Waltham, MA 02254-9110
(617) 736-4954
(617) 736-2405 FAX

_______________________________________________________________________________

<10:78>From simons@edvz.sbg.ac.at  Sat Jun 25 04:53:59 1994

Date: Sat, 25 Jun 1994 11:54:25 +0100
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
From: simons@edvz.sbg.ac.at (Peter Simons, Universitaet Salzburg, Institut
      fuer Philosophie)
Subject: Re: rhetoric at work

Jeremy Ahouse does not like Ernst Mayr using the term "Darwinian
classification". If the intention is to replace the standard terminology
there is reasonable ground for complaint, but I doubt whether that is the
intention, since no one, Mayr included, would propose similarly permanently
renaming cladism "Hennigian ordering". Mayr has consistently claimed in
publications for many years that the school of evolutionary classification
is the one that remains closest to Darwin in theory. If he is right, then
his use of the adjective, even if it is local rhetoric, is not
illegitimate. As to the sneer at Mayr's description of the different
purposes for which the different classifications may be used, one has to
admit that Mayr is often less than clinically precise in his use of terms,
and the term "closesness of relationship" is misleading because it suggests
a genealogical rather than a phenetic proximity. But again, a look at
Mayr's writings will correct the impression made by the phrase. I hope my
powers of expression in any language, let alone one which is not my mother
tongue, will be as good when I am ninety as Mayr's are.

Prof. Peter Simons
Universitaet Salzburg
Institut fuer Philosophie
Franziskanergasse 1
A-5020 Salzburg
Austria
Tel. +43 662 8044-4062
Fax +43 662 8044-214
simons@edvz.sbg.ac.at

_______________________________________________________________________________

<10:79>From jacobsk@ERE.UMontreal.CA  Sat Jun 25 10:41:40 1994

From: jacobsk@ERE.UMontreal.CA (Jacobs Kenneth)
Subject: Re: rhetoric at work
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Date: Sat, 25 Jun 1994 11:41:34 -0400 (EDT)

In response to a somewhat contemptuous posting from Jeremy Ahouse, Prof.
 Peter Simons writes (among other things deleted here):

> Mayr has consistently claimed in
> publications for many years that the school of evolutionary classification
> is the one that remains closest to Darwin in theory. If he is right, then
> his use of the adjective [i.e., "Darwinian" classification] is not
> illegitimate. As to the sneer at Mayr's description of the different
> purposes for which the different classifications may be used, one has to
> admit that Mayr is often less than clinically precise in his use of terms,
> and the term "closesness of relationship" is misleading because it suggests
> a genealogical rather than a phenetic proximity. But again, a look at
> Mayr's writings will correct the impression made by the phrase. I hope my
> powers of expression in any language, let alone one which is not my mother
> tongue, will be as good when I am ninety as Mayr's are.

Bravo Prof. Simons, for injecting a note of civility and thereby (I hope)
reminding many who might be tempted to take snide pot-shots from the safety of
their keyboards that, agree with him or not, one can only respect a scholar
such as Mayr.

Ken Jacobs
Anthropologie
Universite de Montreal
jacobsk@ere.umontreal.ca

_______________________________________________________________________________

<10:80>From CRAVENS@macc.wisc.edu  Sat Jun 25 11:40:10 1994

Date: Sat, 25 Jun 94 11:39 CDT
From: Tom Cravens <CRAVENS@macc.wisc.edu>
Subject: Mayr
To: DARWIN-L@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

Would someone care to enlighten those working outside Mayr's
immediate sphere of influence by giving a very brief potted
history--as objective as possible--of his place in the discipline,
and of that of his supporters and detractors? To me as a linguist,
the heated nature of recent postings is reminiscent of the intensity
of feeling surrounding Chomsky and his theoretical work. At the poles,
does Mayr have true-believing followers for whom he can do (all but)
no wrong, and nemeses equally convinced that his work is wrong-headed?

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

_______________________________________________________________________________

<10:81>From GROBE@INS.INFONET.NET  Sun Jun 26 00:03:14 1994

Date: Sun, 26 Jun 1994 0:06:58 -0500 (CDT)
From: GROBE@INS.INFONET.NET
To: caduceus-l@beach.utmb.edu, cocta-l@nosferatu.cas.usf.edu,
        darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu, Galileo@muwayb.ucs.unimelb.edu.au,
        hastro-l@wvnvm.wvnet.edu, hopos-l@ukcc.uky.edu,
        hpsst-l@qucdn.queensu.ca, htech-l@sivm.si.edu
Subject: RFD: soc.history.science

This is a formal Request for Discussion (RFD) to create the proposed
unmoderated group soc.history.science.

soc.history.science will discuss the history of science in the broad sense:
including the history of the physical sciences, history of the biological
sciences, history of the social sciences, history of medicine, history of
technology, history of mathematics, philosophy of science, and related
areas.

soc.history.science is needed because currently discussion is spread out
over several mailing lists as well as a large number of newsgroups with
only an occasional posting.

Please repost this RFD to other mailing lists and newsgroups that I have
missed.

Some individuals would prefer that the group be in the sci.* hierarchy.
It is placed in soc.* on the advice of group-advice.

All discussion should be directed to news.groups. If you have an interest
in this newsgroup please make it known. Discussion will continue
for 21-30 days at which time a Call for Votes (CFV) will be held--
assuming the proposal receives generally positive comment. To pass the
proposal must receive 100 more Yes votes than No votes and at least
two thirds of the votes must be positive.

Jonathan Grobe  grobe@ins.infonet.net

_______________________________________________________________________________

<10:82>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu  Sun Jun 26 16:41:16 1994

Date: Sun, 26 Jun 1994 17:41:27 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: Clarification RE: "RFD: soc.history.science"
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

Just a note of clarification to follow up Jonathan Grobe's message on the
creation of a discussion group "soc.history.science".

Jonathan's message pertains to the creation of a "newsgroup" on the USENET
network, and an "RFD" is a formal USENET document requesting discussion on
the appropriateness of creating such a newsgroup.  The place the discussion
is requested is not Darwin-L, but a specific USENET newsgroup that exists
for the purpose, namely "news.groups".  The only discussion that has any
effect on the creation of the proposed group is that which takes place on
news.groups.  I thought it was important to point this out, as many Darwin-L
subscribers will not be familiar with USENET nor its formal procedure for
newsgroup creation.  If you would like to explore USENET and don't know
how to do so you should ask your local computing center for more information.

We have had a couple of USENET proposals appear on Darwin-L over the past
months.  They are welcome and appropriate here, but I would be grateful if
the posters would consider our audience and provide a bit more context and
explanation, since many people here probably don't have USENET experience.

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.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<10:83>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu  Sun Jun 26 20:18:29 1994

Date: Sun, 26 Jun 1994 21:18:33 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: Re: Mayr
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

The list owner has returned from a very enjoyable meeting of the Pacific
Division of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, held
at San Francisco State University and the California Academy of Sciences,
and had the pleasure of meeting several Darwin-L members there.

Tom Cravens asked recently for some more information about Ernst Mayr and the
controversy that has been discussed here over the last couple of days, as a
help to the historical linguists.  When I was a graduate student at the
Museum of Comparative Zoology my office was down the hall from Mayr's, and
I had the privilege of writing a paper with him at one point, so I could
probably give a reasonable "potted history", as Tom requests.

Ernst Mayr has been one of the most influential evolutionary biologists of
the twentieth century.  He is just 90 years old, I believe; his first papers
were published in the late 1920s (sic), while his most recent book, the
semi-popular _One Long Argument: Charles Darwin and the Genesis of Modern
Evolutionary Thought_, was published by Harvard University Press in 1991.

Mayr was born in Germany, and his intellectual roots (like my own) lie in
ornithological systematics.  His early career was devoted to studies of
geographical variation and speciation in birds, particularly in the South
Pacific, and he spent a considerable amount of time collecting in New Guinea
in the late '20s and early '30s.  He moved from the University of Berlin to
the American Museum of Natural History in New York in the 1930s, and then
went to Harvard University in the 1950s.  During the 1960s he served as
director of the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard, and has been
emeritus there since 1975 or so.

During the 1930s and 1940s a number of different fields, particularly
systematics, genetics, and paleontology, all of which had been operating
more or less independently for a number of years, came together in what
has been called "The Evolutionary Synthesis" or "The Modern Synthesis".
Mayr was one of the architects of this synthesis, along with people like
Theodosius Dobzhansky, George Gaylord Simpson, and many others.  Mayr and
William Provine edited a volume several years ago called _The Evolutionary
Synthesis_ that contains historical commentaries and reminiscences of the
period by Mayr and other participants of the time.

The systematics of the Synthesis era was primarily oriented toward the
study of populational phenomena (geographical variation, subspecies, and
speciation), and gave much less emphasis to the study of "higher-level"
systematics (the study of larger chunks of the evolutionary tree).  Much of
Mayr's work has been associated with the defense of allopatric speciation as
the primary mechanism of species formation, and with attacking essentialism
or typology.  Allopatric speciation is speciation that occurs as a result of
geographic isolation; the opposite is sympatric speciation. (Most linguistic
diversification also requires allopatry, I suspect, though not all.)  Among
Mayr's many books in this area are _Systematics and the Origin of Species_
(1942), and the comprehensive _Animal Species and Evolution_ (1963).  It
wouldn't surprise me if "Mayr 1963" were one of the most widely-cited works
of twentieth-century evolutionary biology.  (I should also note that in
evolutionary biology "typology" has very different connotations from what
it has in historical linguistics; evolutionary biologists use the term
typology as a synonym for (bad) (Platonic) essentialism.)

In more recent years Mayr has given most of his attention to the history and
philosophy of science, and among his works in this area are the enormous
_Growth of Biological Thought_ (1982), and a collection of shorter papers
called _Toward a New Philosophy of Biology_ (1988).  An earlier collection of
his papers, _Evolution and the Diversity of Life_, appeared in 1976.  He has
often been concerned in his more philosophical writings with countering what
he sometimes calls "the arrogance of the physicists", and with defending
historical and evolutionary approaches to science.  In this respect he is
a decided friend of Darwin-L and all its members.

I mentioned above that the systematics of the Synthesis era, to which Mayr
contributed a great deal, focused mostly on populational phenomena.  This
was in contrast to much of the systematics of the late 1800s which was aimed
at large-scale phylogenetic reconstruction (historical linguists will see a
parallel here to the history of their own field).  Since the 1960s, however,
many systematists have turned again to higher-level problems of the kind that
were investigated in the late 1800s, and have made many conceptual advances,
most notably the development of cladistic analysis, a topic which we have
discussed here from time to time.  Mayr made some important contributions to
this development, most notably his clear distinction between _classification_
and _phylogeny reconstruction_ in a paper he wrote in the 1970s, but for the
most part (to my way of thinking) he has come down on the wrong side of most
of these recent (post-1965) debates on systematic theory.  The letter Jeremy
Ahouse mentioned from last week's issue of _Science_ shows him still holding
tenaciously to his position, even though most systematists have left him
behind on this issue.  (I'm sure not all; please don't flame.)  On the
specific issue Mayr addresses in his letter, I would recommend some very
thought-provoking recent work about the relation of names to taxa:

  de Queiroz, K., & J. Gauthier.  1990.  Phylogeny as a central principle
  in taxonomy: phylogenetic definitions of taxon names.  _Systematic
  Zoology_, 39:307-322.

  de Queiroz, K.  1992.  Phylogenetic definitions and taxonomic philosophy.
  _Biology and Philosophy_, 7:295-313.

There is hardly an area of evolutionary biology to which Mayr has not
contributed; he has never shied away from an intellectual fight, and has
consistently expressed respect for those who fight back, and hard.  I think
the best tribute one could offer to him with respect to these latter-day
controversies in which most systematists have left him behind would be to
let the narrator of _Leaves of Grass_ speak in his name:

  I am the teacher of athletes,
  He that by me spreads a wider breast than my own proves
       the width of my own,
  He most honors my style who learns under it to destroy the teacher.

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.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<10:84>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu  Sun Jun 26 21:58:21 1994

Date: Sun, 26 Jun 1994 22:58:34 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: Diachronic, diatopic, and diastratic
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

Tom Cravens recently wrote:

>Given that generative linguistics is designed from the outset to examine
>an idealized non-variant stasis, generative historical linguists are
>rather thin on the ground, and generative analysis of historical problems
>is often unsatisfying to those who not only recognize the existence of, but
>hope to incorporate overtly, the multivariant interrelated parameters
>(diastratic, diatopic, diachronic) of real-world language.

"Diachronic" I know, and think it's a term that evolutionary biologists
should adopt themselves.  "Diatopic" I can guess, as pertaining to language
variation across space (our diachronic and diatopic field is historical
biogeography).  But what means "diastratic" in linguistics?

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.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<10:85>From simons@edvz.sbg.ac.at  Mon Jun 27 02:57:11 1994

Date: Mon, 27 Jun 1994 09:57:33 +0100
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
From: simons@edvz.sbg.ac.at (Peter Simons)
Subject: Re: rhetoric at work

Dear Ken,

Thanks for your support. As you say, one doesn't have to agree with Mayr,
but there's no cause for pettiness. Since I first came across serious
systematics in the work of Mayr and then Simpson I have lost no opportunity
to tell my philosophy colleagues that they can learn a lot from looking at
real issues rather than the superficial disputes much philosophy of
language leads them into. I also consult for a software firm in California
and there we use ideas of Mayr and Simpson a lot. Mayr is known in the shop
there as "Ernst the Enforcer".

Best wishes
Peter

Prof. Peter Simons
Universitaet Salzburg
Institut fuer Philosophie
Franziskanergasse 1
A-5020 Salzburg
Austria
Tel. +43 662 8044-4062
Fax +43 662 8044-214
simons@edvz.sbg.ac.at

_______________________________________________________________________________

<10:86>From staddon@psych.duke.edu  Mon Jun 27 08:10:01 1994

Date: Mon, 27 Jun 94 09:10:13 EDT
From: staddon@psych.duke.edu (John Staddon)
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re: Mayr

I just wanted to thank Bob O'Hara for his very nice potted bio of Ernst Mayr.
I have had little to say on Darwin-L, but I wanted him to know I do appreciate
his efforts in organizing it.  John Staddon

_______________________________________________________________________________

<10:87>From CRAVENS@macc.wisc.edu  Mon Jun 27 09:04:14 1994

Date: Mon, 27 Jun 94 09:03 CDT
From: Tom Cravens <CRAVENS@macc.wisc.edu>
Subject: Re: Diachronic, diatopic, and diastratic
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

Bob, first, thanks very much, indeed, for taking the time to write
an informative history of Mayr's contributions. Very helpful.

As to terms, 'diachronic' is 'through time', 'diatopic' is 'through
geographic space', and 'diastratic' is 'through (social) strata'.
Although 'diastratic' is fairly common in writings couched in
Romance languages, it doesn't seem to have caught on in English.

Thanks again,
Tom Cravens
cravens@macc.wisc.edu
cravens@wiscmacc.bitnet

_______________________________________________________________________________

<10:88>From ahouse@hydra.rose.brandeis.edu  Mon Jun 27 10:31:05 1994

Date: Mon, 27 Jun 1994 11:33:36 -0400
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
From: ahouse@hydra.rose.brandeis.edu (Jeremy Creighton Ahouse)
Subject: Re: rhetoric at work(Zounds)

>In response to a somewhat contemptuous posting from Jeremy Ahouse

>Bravo Prof. Simons, for injecting a note of civility and thereby (I hope)
>reminding many who might be tempted to take snide pot-shots

        A thousand pardons for having had my highlighting of local rhetoric
bounce off some of you as contemptuous pot-shotting.  Nevertheless I think
_this_ is a good example of reinforcement of a position through close
alliance with the unimpeachable*.  (Shoot, even calling it 'evolutionary
taxonomy' in the first place was a rhetorical move as much as it was
descriptive.)

        Mayr is struggling to inject the information about "amount" of
change into our classification alongside the information about linneage
splitting.  His goal as I read it is to be as sophisticated as is possible
in reconstructing linneages (welcoming the advances of cladistics, if
cautiously) but that in "naming" we should attend to the amount of change
along a branch.  The problem is that there isn't a particurly rigorous way
that has been suggested to do this.  (My sympathies are with de Queiroz -
refs mentioned in O'hara's post.)  But no one really argues for presenting
less information than we know.  What is at issue here is what kind of
information should be captured in the act of "naming."

        Jeremy

p.s. I consider exponents of population thinking to be doing all of us a
service.  As Bob O'hara mentions this has been one of E. Mayr's recurrent
themes.

*That "Darwinian" is unimpeachable in the current constellation of academia
is interesting in itself.  For a discussion of this wrt 'social darwinism'
see (Moore, Jim. "Socializing Darwinism: Historiography and the Fortunes of
a Phrase" in "Science as Politics" ed. by Les Levidow.  Free Association
Books c1986.)

____________________________________________________________________
Jeremy Creighton Ahouse (ahouse@hydra.rose.brandeis.edu)
Biology Dept.
Brandeis University
Waltham, MA 02254-9110
(617) 736-4954
(617) 736-2405 FAX

_______________________________________________________________________________

<10:89>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu  Mon Jun 27 20:15:49 1994

Date: Mon, 27 Jun 1994 21:15:54 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: Nietzsche on philology
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

I came across this quotation from Nietzsche, who frequently commented on
philology so I understand, while poking around on the net.  It was reported
to have come from the preface to a work called "Daybreak".  The philological
attitude he describes could with equal right be applied to comparative
anatomy, archeology, and museum curation of any kind, I suspect.  Perhaps
some Darwin-L members will find it amusing and/or appealing.

  A book like this, a problem like this, is in no hurry; we both, I just
  as much as my book, are friends of lento.  It is not for nothing that I
  have been a philologist, perhaps I am a philologist still, that is to
  say, A TEACHER OF SLOW READING: -- in the end I also write slowly.
  Nowadays it is not only my habit, it is also to my taste -- a malicious
  taste, perhaps? -- no longer to write anything which does not reduce to
  despair every sort of man who is "in a hurry."  For philology is that
  venerable art which demands of its votaries one thing above all: to go
  aside, to take time, to become still, to become slow -- it is a
  goldsmith's art and connoisseurship of the WORD which has nothing but
  delicate, cautious work to do and achieves nothing if it does not achieve
  it lento.  But precisely for this reason it is more necessary than ever
  today, by precisely this means does it entice and enchant us the most, in
  the midst of an age of "work", that is to say, of hurry, of indecent and
  perspiring haste, which wants to "get everything done" at once, including
  every old or new book: -- this art does not so easily get anything done,
  it teaches to read WELL, that is to say, to read slowly, deeply, looking
  cautiously before and aft, with reservations, with doors left open, with
  delicate eyes and fingers....My patient friends, this book desires for
  itself only perfect readers and philologists: LEARN to read me well!

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.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<10:90>From bradshaw@uhunix.uhcc.Hawaii.Edu  Mon Jun 27 20:32:51 1994

Date: Mon, 27 Jun 1994 15:33:05 -1000 (HST)
From: Joel Bradshaw <bradshaw@uhunix.uhcc.hawaii.edu>
Subject: Re: The pull of the recent (in historical linguistics?)
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

On Tue, 21 Jun 1994, Tom Cravens wrote:

> Just a very brief response to Joel Bradshaw's interesting comments,
> lest non-linguists on the list be left with the impression that
> historical linguists as a whole are fully represented in the two
> categories of sociolinguistic and generative approaches. (Let's see just
> how much the other historical linguists on the list agree with the
> following, oversimplified and telegraphic as it is!)
>
> In my experience,the vast majority of those who would call themselves
> historical linguists are highly attentive to the findings of socio-
> linguistics, and variously willing to incorporate in their bag of tools
> the useful bits of generative work. The numerical majority is neither
> sociolinguistic nor generative, however (IME), but tends to be non-school
> (non -ist), in principle--if not always in practice--open to whatever
> approach promises to be most likely to shed light on the dynamics of the
> language change problem at hand.

Tom is right of course, although the two-way distinction I portrayed is
not too far off from portrayals found in several works by Labov or in
Newmeyer's (1986) slim volume entitled the _The Politics of Linguistics_.

After stewing for several days about whether I was reckless enough, and/or
foolish enough to pursue another aspect of the "pull of the recent" in
historical linguistics that I have been speculating about recently, I've
decided to risk going public with it, but I know that it is a political
minefield that may inflame the emotions of those who might be tempted to
equate some of the most destructive political behavior of the modern era
with some of the most productive intellectual endeavors. Nevertheless, on
the principle of all things considered, I offer the following speculation.

I wonder whether the persistent metaphor of languages as reproductively
isolated organisms (and the ancillary dogma that they can never mix) can
be traced back to the emergence of linguistically defined nationalities
that considered themselves separate "races" requiring their own national
languages, their own governments, and their own borders. Other, much
nastier ideas along the same lines (and their well-known consequences,
both then and now) emerged from the same milieu, of course, but so did
many good ones.

"Mixed marriages" (of various kinds) used to be (and still are) frowned
upon as much as "mixed languages" used to be (and still are)--but not
necessarily (or even usually) by the same people. Mixed marriages and
their enduring products are inconvenient for census takers, just as mixed
languages are inconvenient for taxonomists, but mere inconvenience hardly
accounts for the vehemence of the opposition to each notion. Each, as an
article of faith, must have more deep-seated roots. Does idealized
homogeneity help explain both?

For those who wish to get a quick glimpse of what triggered this
speculation, I would suggest reading the following three very brief
overviews all in quick succession: MacNeill's 1986 _Polyethnicity and
National Unity in World History_ on the emergence of modern nation-states;
Newmeyer's 1986 _The Politics of Linguistics_ on the emergence of modern
linguistics; and Mayr's 1991 _One Long Argument_ on the emergence of
modern evolutionary thought.

As we move into the so-called postmodern era of emerging multinational
economies, multinational and multidisciplinary historiography, and
multiculturalism, the "prepostmodern" vision of idealized homogeneity
still clouds our vision.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<10:91>From @SIVM.SI.EDU:SIPAD002@SIVM.SI.EDU  Wed Jun 29 08:48:00 1994

Date: Wed, 29 Jun 1994 09:39:21 -0400 (EDT)
From: Peter Cannell <SIPAD002@sivm.si.edu>
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

The rather long and rambling account from Nietsche about philology reminded me
of two other quotes.  One, from Nabokov, goes, "In reading, one should notice
and fondle the details."

The other, from E.B. White, goes something like, "I apologize for sending such
a long letter.  I didn't have time to write a shorter one."  Nietsche probably
didn't read E.B. White (either lento or prontissimo).

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

_______________________________________________________________________________

<10:92>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu  Thu Jun 30 00:02:43 1994

Date: Thu, 30 Jun 1994 01:02:48 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: June 30 -- Today in the Historical Sciences
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

JUNE 30 -- TODAY IN THE HISTORICAL SCIENCES

1709: EDWARD LHUYD, Welsh antiquarian, philologist, and naturalist, dies
in the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford University, after "sleeping in a damp and
close room...which he chose to sleep in, for the convenience of pursuing his
studies."  Born in 1660, Lhuyd studied as an undergraduate with Robert Plot
at Jesus College, and he succeeded Plot as Keeper of the Ashmolean in 1690.
Lhuyd traveled extensively throughout his career collecting natural history
specimens and antiquities for the Museum, and gathering comparative materials
on the Celtic languages.  His best known work, _Archaeologia Britannica: An
Account of the Languages, Histories, and Customs of Great Britain, from
Collections and Observations in Travels Through Wales, Cornwall, Bas-Bretagne,
Ireland, and Scotland_ (Oxford, 1707), contained the first comparative Celtic
dictionary ever published, and an earlier work on the fossils in the Ashmolean
collection, _Lithophylacii Britannici Iconographia_ (London, 1699), was one of
the earliest illustrated works in paleontology.  He was elected a fellow of
the Royal Society in 1708, a year before his death.

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
listserv@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu, or gopher to rjohara.uncg.edu (152.13.44.19).

_______________________________________________________________________________

<10:93>From craigm@sanger.otago.ac.nz  Thu Jun 30 03:48:29 1994

From: craigm@sanger.otago.ac.nz (Craig Marshall)
Subject: Creationist visitor
To: SKEPTIC@JHUVM.HCF.JHU.EDU, darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Date: Thu, 30 Jun 1994 20:44:47 +1200 (NZST)

On Sunday July 3, Dr Gray Parker BA, MS, EdD will give a public
lecture on "Creation Science" here in Dunedin (New Zealand). Dr Gray's
biography lists an MS from Ball State University, research in the area
of amphibian endocrinology, and authorship of several "biology"
textbooks. He has apparently repudiated his evolutionary beliefs and
is now employed at Clearwater Christian College in Florida where he
has written and lectured extensively on scientific evidence for
creation. His visit is under the aegis of the Creation Science
Foundation.

I plan to attend this lecture and would be grateful for any
information that readers of this newsgroup could provide. In
particular, does anybody know of Dr Ball and his work, or know of
either Ball State University or Clearwater Christian College.

If the opportunity arises, I plan to ask questions of Dr Ball:
are their any pointers that people could provide in such discussions?
I have not had the pleasure of attending such an occasion before and I
would be grateful for suggestions as to how to make my
(pro-evolution/anti-creation) points effectively.

Could you email me directly as well as the group as I receive this in
digest from.

Many thanks in advance,

--
        Craig Marshall          	craigm@sanger.otago.ac.nz
        Biochemistry Department 	Phone 	+64 3 479 7570
        University of Otago     	Fax	+64 3 479 7866

_______________________________________________________________________________

<10:94>From Mike.Dickison@vuw.ac.nz  Thu Jun 30 07:09:12 1994

Date: Fri, 1 Jul 1994 00:09:45 +1200
To: Darwin-L@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
From: Mike.Dickison@vuw.ac.nz (Mike Dickison)
Subject: Re: Creationist Visitor

I attended the Wellington lectures of Ken Ham and Gary Parker. I'm busy
writing a newspaper piece about it, but here's a few points:

1) There's no question time in the lectures - they're preaching to the
converted. Average attendance was 600-700 people, pretty staggering for
Wellington. This isn't a debate or discussion, it's ammunition for
evangalism.

2) As a rule of thumb, NEVER heckle, question or debate a professional
creationist. They fight dirty, and are expert orators and crowd-pleasers.
They have pat answers for all the standard objections, and love to make
mincemeat out of highly qualified evolutionary biologists, in as public a
forum as possible.

3) Ham and Parker are absolute literalists - young earth, six literal day
creation, Adam and Eve, flood, ark, and flood geology.  Not too difficult
to pick holes in, but you'd have to be pretty brave or foolish to do it in
front of them and 500 sympathetic Christians.

Some of Parker's specific claims were:
* The bombardier beetle story (Two chemicals + catalyst couldn't have
evolved gradually without exploding the BB)
* Mutations are always bad (and lead to disease and nasty viruses)
* Peppered Moths show natural selection of pre-existing variation but not
evolution (I've always hated that example myself)
* Adam and Eve had all currently-existing racial variation in their genes
(he assumes skin colour is determined by only two possible alleles at any
locus, and show a 4x4 AABB=black, aabb=white table).

I interviewed Parker. He is quiet and affable, insists that creation
scientists must use honest scientific techniques and evidence, but points
out that he is beginning his enquiry with one faith, while evolutionists
begin with another.

In general, I was most disturbed by how organised the creationists were.
Lots of books, glossy quarterly magazines, thousands of colour advertising
brochures, video courses (including secular ones, for "pre-evangalism"),
free newspapers, and pamphlets. Clear and simple techniqes for evangalising
both within and outside the church. Recommendations to take your kids out
of secular schools, and into home or religious schooling. And lots and lots
of support - 600 for three nights in Wellington, ditto in Auckland, 600 in
Wanganui, Whangarei and Hamilton, and presumably similar numbers to come in
Christchurch and Dunedin. I calculate they're taking about NZ$2500 each
night, plus book sales.

I think we evolutionists have some work to do.

Mike Dickison   \  If an infinite number of rednecks, in an infinite number
Science writer   \     of pickup trucks, fire an infinite number of shotgun
Wellington, N.Z.               rounds at an infinite number of highway signs,
adzebill@matai.vuw.ac.nz    \  they will eventually produce all the world's
(Thanx to J. Banker, Ariz.!) \             great literary works in Braille.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<10:95>From ncse@crl.com  Thu Jun 30 13:03:52 1994

Date: Thu, 30 Jun 1994 09:37:25 -0700 (PDT)
From: "Eugenie C. Scott" <ncse@crl.com>
Subject: Re: Creationist visitor
To: Craig Marshall <craigm@sanger.otago.ac.nz>

Dear Dr. Marshall,

I hope I can help you a bit with Gary Parker.  I am the director of a
nonprofit organization, The National Center for Science Education, Inc.,
that monitors the creation science controversy and tries to defend
evolution in the public schools.

Gary Parker claims a bachelors from Wabash College, 1962, an MS from Ball
State University, 1965, and an Ed.D. from the same place in 1973.  (Ed.D.
is doctor of education in our nomenclature.)  I have not heard anyone
challenge his credentials, though those of certain other creationists are
a bit thin.  Ball State is an Ohio state university, smallish, with
mostly in-state students enrolled, especially at the time he was
attending.  Definitely off-Broadway.

But as I said, I have not heard of anyone challenging his credentials: he
has an education degree from a small state school.  It means what it
means.  In his book "about the author" blurbs, he calls himself a
"biologist" though in the US, an Ed.D. is quite different from a Ph.D.
His specialization may have been biological education, but that isn't
quite the same thing as having a "degree in biology."

He is listed in the Institute for Creation Research graduate school
catalog in 1981-82, but left ICR sometime before 1986 (I can get that
datum if you need it, but I'd have to dig.)  I do not know why he fell
out with ICR people, but there is some gossip.

He is a young-earth creationist, making him a better target for
scientists than some of his old-earth colleagues.  Maybe I had better
explain.  American creationists are unified in the idea that the
universe, earth, and plants and animals were created specially by God,
but they vary a lot as to how and when this took place.

"Young earthers" say everything was created in the six 24 hour days of
Genesis, a relatively few thousands of years ago (not billions -- maybe
20,000 maximum.) "Old earthers" are less doctinare, but still deny descent
with modification.  some say that everything was created all at one time
(during a few days), but put this act billions of years ago.  Some are
progressive creationists, claiming that god made the creatures in the
geological column successively, but specially creating each "kind", rather
than having them evolve from one another.  Whether young or old earth,
American creationists deny that creatures could descend with modification
from ancestors:  we have the created "kinds", with perhaps microevolution
producing variation within the kind.  Thus the "cat kind" might include
lions, tigers, cheetahs, pumas, etc., and the "dog kind" would include
wolves, dogs, coyotes, etc.  But bears and dogs didn't share a common
ancestor, according to them.

Parker is the author of a number of books, but I wouldn't call them
"biology." They include a children's book, "Life Before Birth", subtitled,
"A Christian Family Book." "A book for Christian families and others who
teach the dignity of Life Before Birth" (capitialization in the original.)
1987, Master Books, the publishing wing of ICR.  It's developmental
biology (and an antiabortion message) as the design of God.

Another book is "Creation, The FaYoung earthers" say everything was
created in the six 24 hour days of Genesis, a relatively few thousands of
years ago (not billions -- maybe 20,000 maximum.) "Old earthers" are less
doctinare, but still deny descent with modification.  some say that
everything was created all at one time (during a few days), but put this
act billions of years ago.  Some are progressive creationists, claiming
that god made the creatures in the geological column successively, but
specially creating each "kind", rather than having them evolve from one
another.  Whether young or old earth, American creationists deny that
creatures could descend with modification from ancestors:  we have the
created "kinds", with perhaps microevolution producing variation within
the kind.  Thus the "cat kind" might include lions, tigers, cheetahs,
pumas, etc., and the "dog kind" would include wolves, dogs, coyotes, etc.
But bears and dogs didn't share a common ancestors, according to them.

"Creation, The Facts of Life", also by Masterbooks, 1980.  This sounds like
more embryology, but it actually is a standard creationist book, written
for adults.  It includes discussions of DNA, their view of the scientific
method, fossils, Darwin, etc.  Lots on the argument from design (more
later.)

One book you should call to his attention is his 1979, "Dry Bones...and
other fossils", another children's book.  It is a simplified version of
some creationist "theories" like the vapor canopy, and how the Flood
explains all of modern geology.  **If you send me a FAX number, I'll FAX
you some copies of selected pages**.  My FAX is 510-526-1675 if you are
in a hurry for this info.

"Dry Bones" is a real scream.  Dinosaurs were on the Ark, as Parker tells
his daughter, Diane:

	"By the way, Dad, if dinosaurs were alive when the Flood came, did
Noah have to take them on the Ark?"

	"He surely did.  God told Noah to take at least one pair of all
the dry land animals"

	"How did they all fit on the Ark?"

	"No problem, believe it or not.  Of course, Noah probably took
young adults.  But the Ark was so big, it could hold over 500 railroad
boxcars full of animals with space left over!" (p. 25)

You asked what sorts of questions to ask him when he speaks.  I'd hammer
him on the age of the earth, because this is an area where they lose
credibility.  He will try to wiggle out of it by saying that "some
creationists think the earth is young but others say it is old, so the age
of the earth isn't an issue." Well, HE thinks it is young, so it is an
issue.  Make him tell you why he thinks the earth is young.  Generally he
will present "rate" arguments, such as "the rate of underwater sea-floor
seepage of oil is XYZ, therefore if the earth is old, the whole oceans
would be oil!" and so forth.

The best defense is a good attack, which is what he will be doing.  His
presentation will be to attack evolution, showing the "weaknesses" in it,
especially origin of life research.  (You may well get the, "neither
creationism nor evolution is scientific because no one was there to see it
happen" argument, also.)  similarly, your best defense of evolution is to
attack his view.  Make him be specific about not only young earth, but
also the Flood story.  He claims in his books that the receding flood
waters explain the whole geological column.  Why are mammals above
amphibians instead of them all being swirled together by all this water?
(he will probably answer that the mammals were smarter and faster and
could get to higher ground and were interred there.  Honest.)  Your
answer to that last is how come angiosperms occur later than
gymnosperms?  Were they more nimble?  (He will probably unveil an article
unknown to you that shows that angiosperms occur with gymnosperms in the
fossil record.  Ask him why only in that one place.  Ditto for the
argument of supposed human and dinosaur footprints in the Paluxy River in
Texas.)

May I suggest that, if New Zealand audiences
are not dissimilar to American ones, that you remember that the purpose
of this debate is not to educate people about science or evolution, but
for Parker and the people who brought him there to win the hearts and
minds of the people to fundamentalist religion and away from what you
want to teach in your classes.  This is indeed a battle for the "hearts
and minds" of the people.  Many scientists taking on creationists have
been dead center accurate in their science, but have soundly lost the
debate in the eyes of the audience.

I do not know your local situation, but you may be able to use the
question session after the talk to help the audience understand a bit
more how science works.  First of all, (again projecting from American
audiences) remind them that modern science is a limited endeavor:
limited to the natural world.  Once you start inserting the supernatural
and miracles, you have stepped outside of science, and you are using
another way of knowing.  May be right or may be wrong, but it isn't
science, and shouldn't be presented to students as if it were.

Along those same lines, it is the duty of teachers to present the best
scholarship, the accepted knowledge, to students.  To present creation
"science" would not be doing so, as this "science" has been rejected by
modern science.  (appropos, the National Academy of Sciences has
published a booklet, "Science and Creationism" that unequivocably states
that creation "science" is not science, and should not be taught to
students as if it were.)

A major creationist fixation is on the idea of design, rather than the
more contingent experience of evolution.  They still love the vertebrate
eye, and the complexities of DNA are simply more evidence.  Remember that
the people in your audience are going to be conservative Christians, but
they are not necessarily closed to a less restricted view.  Parker and
his supporters will tell them that they cannot be Christians and still
accept (try not to say "believe" in evolution!  We don't "believe" in
gravity, why would we "believe" in evolution?!) evolution.  It doesn't
hurt to remind the listeners that many Christians look at God as the
creator, but that he created thorugh the process of evolution.  "Theistic
evolution" is a view that Parker won't want to have expressed, which
means of course that someone should be sure to express it....

The argument from design is powerful with laypeople, and will
doubtless be used by Parker.  The response of course, is to point out
that natural selection or divine interference are equally valid
explanations for the wonderfully put together structures of the universe,
but how do you explain the clunkers?   According to them, every structure
is divinely created for just that creature.   How about the many structures
and organisms that barely work?  S. J. gould's books are full of such
examples.  Further along the same lines, why would a whale need legs,
much less *feet* as in *Balisosaurus?*

You may not wish to wade in the treacle of specific creationist arguments,
but if you do, give me a call (e-mail.)  A better ploy would be to ask
him about recent developments in biology that he is not likely to know
about that would make him look out of touch.  I don't know your field, so
I don't know what to recommend.

An NCSE member in New Zealand, who has written a masters thesis on
creationism, is M. Carol Scott, 12 Bridgeview Road, Birkenhead, Auckland
10.  She is very knowledgeable, and also has back issues of our journal
and newsetter, which might be useful to you if you wish to challenge
Parker's statements.

Call if you need more help, or if  you'd like some xeroxes from Dry
Bones.  Let me know what happens!

Sincerely,

Eugenie C. Scott, Ph.D.
Executive Director, NCSE

_______________________________________________________________________________

<10:96>From canary@cs.uwp.edu  Thu Jun 30 14:34:09 1994

Date: Thu, 30 Jun 1994 14:34:21 -0500 (CDT)
From: Bob Canary <canary@cs.uwp.edu>
Subject: Re: Creationist visitor
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

For the sake of Marshall, I hope the rest of the information provided
here is more accurate than the location of Ball State, which is in
Muncie, Indiana, and which cannot be held responsible for whatever idiocy
its doctorates later get into.  I've never been there, and I don't
suppose it ranks in the upper echelons of doctoral institutions, but the
sneer about it being "Definitely off-Broadway" seemed so unnecessary that
I am moved to comment that signing one's name with a "Ph.D" after it has
always seemed rather tacky to me.

--Bob Canary--canary@cs.uwp.edu

_______________________________________________________________________________

<10:97>From peter@usenix.org  Thu Jun 30 16:16:11 1994

Date: Thu, 30 Jun 94 14:16:14 PDT
From: peter@usenix.org (Peter H. Salus)
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re: Creationist visitor

Good words, Bob.  I found *Dr.* Scott's attitude
offensive, too.  Though I have a Ph.D., my
spouse has an Ed.D., which has never stood
in her way vocationally.  Of course, the
only institutions I can think of off hand
that are on Broadway are Pace, Cooper Union,
Julliard, and Columbia.  I guess that Harvard,
Yale, Princeton, Chicago, OSU, etc., ...
Berkeley, and Stanford are "off-Broadway," too.

Peter
________________________________________________________________

Peter H. Salus	#3303	4 Longfellow Place	Boston, MA 02114
	+1 617 723-3092

_______________________________________________________________________________

<10:98>From vallen@iastate.edu  Thu Jun 30 16:32:32 1994

Date: Thu, 30 Jun 94 16:36:27 -600
From: vallen@iastate.edu (Virginia Allen)
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Rednecks and Creationists

Mike Dickison signs off:
<If an infinite number of rednecks, in an infinite number of pickup
trucks, fire an infinite number of shotgun rounds at an infinite number
of highway signs, they will eventually produce all the world's
great literary works in Braille.>

Since he credits J. Banker for the little ditty, I assume it's making
the rounds.

I don't want to start a round on political correctness and flaming, but
I surprise myself at how offended I am by the word "redneck."  Having
grown up as poor white trash in South Florida (graduated Fort Myers High
1961), I am profoundly aware of the term's literal and metaphorical
meaning.  I'm now teaching rhetoric in good old heartland USA, Ames,
Iowa, where the newspaper reports a local school board (Dubuque, I
think) wants to get "creation science" into the curriculum.  Ignorance
ain't regional, folks.

Virginia Allen
vallen@iastate

_______________________________________________________________________________

<10:99>From ncse@crl.com  Thu Jun 30 17:35:08 1994

Date: Thu, 30 Jun 1994 15:27:23 -0700 (PDT)
From: "Eugenie C. Scott" <ncse@crl.com>
Subject: Re: Rednecks and Creationists
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

This is Molleen Matsumura, Network Project Director of National Center
for Science Education, writing:

Virginia, the school board considering (just 'considering', and we hope
they'll be dissuaded) adopting creationist supplemental texts is in
Waterloo, Iowa.  And, as a matter of fact, the latest People for the
American Way report on "Attacks on the Freedom to Learn" reports that
Ohio reported the highest incidence of attempts to remove "objectionable"
literature from classrooms and libaries.

I understand your feeling.  I still remember the day in my teens that I
looked at the red, creased neck of the man in front of me on the
Greyhound bus, and suddenly understood a word I'd often heard, and that
it really meant someone who'd worked long hard hours in the hot sun.
Thanks for the reminder.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<10:100>From Michael.Hannah@vuw.ac.nz  Thu Jun 30 20:59:53 1994

From: "Mike Hannah" <Michael.Hannah@vuw.ac.nz>
Date: Fri, 1 Jul 94 14:08:09 +1200
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re: Rednecks and Creationists

As a relative newcomer to Darwin-L I have followed many discussions
with a great deal of interest, however, I find it astonishing that with
Creation "science" braying at the door the discussion has centered around
people describing various universities as "Off Broadway" and Mike's use
of the word Redneck. Surely this issue is more important that petty
squabbling about not offending peoples views.

Mike Hannah
Palaeontologist
Victoria University of Wellington
New Zealand

Palaeo@matai.vuw.ac.nz

_______________________________________________________________________________

<10:101>From vallen@iastate.edu  Thu Jun 30 23:40:12 1994

Date: Thu, 30 Jun 94 23:44:06 -600
From: vallen@iastate.edu (Virginia Allen)
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Creationists and Justification of Belief

Squabbling about not offending people's views may, however, be the
central issue in the long-standing Creationist "debate."  What is at
issue is the justification of belief.  What the creationists believe is
that their "beliefs," their views are just as valid, just as
demonstrable as our own.  Unless we retreat into proclaiming "science" a
better religion than theirs (my god can smite your god any day of week),
we have to work on the rhetoric--which was the question that started
this strand....  How do I persuade?  How do I argue?  How do I defend?
        Mr. Dickison very graciously apologized to me off line for the
obviously unintended offense in the use of the term "redneck," and it
was important to me that he did so.  His graciousness enables
communication, where trading insults would have just as obviously
completely shut down the dialogue.  Even Aristotle puzzled about why
it's important to us as human reasoners that people say "I'm sorry."  We
buy arguments emotionally and then we self-justify with facts.  If we
forget the power in the sting of a forty-year-old insult, for example,
we may fool ourselves into thinking all we need to do to persuade is
bring forward more and more facts.  The suggestion someone made of
undermining the creationist's presumption of authority by probing where
his ignorance will be most visible is much more to the point.  To
persuade those who rely on authority, you need a bigger authority.
        Richard Whately, Archbishop of Dublin, wrote a book called
_Elements of Rhetoric_ (revised seven times between 1828 and 1846), and
what he figured out was that it's impossible to prove a negative.
Non-rhetoricians may know him better as the author of _Historic Doubts
Relative to Napoleon Bonaparte_.  I'm quoting/paraphrasing from the
Editor's Introduction (Scolar Press, 1985): "In 1861 ... an unidentified
writer for the _Edinburgh Review_ said:  "Hume had declared that miracles
cannot be believed on human testimony.  But in addition to this, the
testimony on which you receive them is full of inconsistencies and
absurdities."  The Whatelian answer is, "If no testimony will make
miracles credible, then the character of the testimony is unimportant.
But if it IS important, then I will show you that a piece of well-known
history--that of Napoleon for instance--is as full of apparent
inconsistencies and absurdities as the instances you cite from
Scripture.  And then, this task disposed of, we can attach ourselves
more closely to the issue which is the kernel--Are miracles credible or
no?"  (p. xvii)  Whately didn't have to prove miraculous creation was an
empirical fact (or that there really was a Napoleon Bonaparte): all he
had to do was shift the burden of proof.  If he could prove miracles
were AS credible as any opposing view, he was satisfied to have won the
argument.  He always made a point of never arguing for the authority of
the Bible, although he believed it to be literally true.
        I don't know whether Darwin read Whately, though I assume he
did.  My hasty and completely out-of-my-field guess is that Darwin
didn't wait twenty years to get the science right, but to get the
rhetoric right.  Whately made clear that Presumption is always on the
side of existing insitutions: whoever proposes a change takes on the
burden of proof.  When "experts" disagree, lay folk are obliged to stand
back and let them do it.  Whately says somewhere, probably in the
Rhetoric, that every "expert" claim bears before it the challenge of
refutation by another expert.  We (the untrained) can reasonably accept
as true anything -- his examples are in Biblical exegesis and theories
about the origin of civilization -- that hasn't been refuted by another
expert.  (Whately, by the way, was no degenerationist, anymore than he
literally believed there was no Napoleon Bonaparte.  Cite me if you pass
that on anyplace.  I don't think anyone has figured it out, and I
haven't gone to press yet.)
        As far as I can tell, the quality of the creationist debate
hasn't improved much in the meantime: they're still demanding that
scientists prove a negative or refute THEIR experts' claims.  As a
non-scientist and a teacher (and teacher of teachers) of rhetoric, I've
been lurking in this space for a while ... profoundly interested,
occasionally out of my depth, and absolutely persuaded that bridging the
two cultures gap that separates your discipline(s) from mine is the only
way to cope with that creature braying at our doors, yours and mine.

I've gone on too along.  Mea culpa.

Virginia Allen                       "and when we speak we are afraid
teacher                                   our words will not be heard
Iowa State University                                    nor welcomed
Ames, Iowa                                     but when we are silent
vallen@iastate.edu                                we are still afraid
                                             so it is better to speak
                                                          remembering
                                     we were never meant to survive."
                                                --Audre Lorde

_______________________________________________________________________________

<10:102>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu  Thu Jun 30 23:57:30 1994

Date: Fri, 01 Jul 1994 00:57:36 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: Darwin-L meltdown -- film at 11
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

(The list owner, having spent too much time on MOOs and having gotten in
the habit of speaking in the third-person dramatic present tense from time
to time, stuffs several tablets of virtual valium into his disk drive and
presses the send button.  Suddenly, and as if by magic, people sitting at
keyboards all around the world begin to smile.)

Yikes, our campus VAX was down all afternoon and just came back up, and
I see we had a list meltdown in the meantime.  Lest any new subscribers
think this sort of thing is common I hasten to say that it is not: Darwin-L
is just completing its tenth month of existence, and only once before have
we had an exchange of fire among our members.  We have done very well at
maintaining a high standard of collegial academic discourse (thanks to all
of our participants), and even have established something of reputation for
quality in the listserv community.

A note or two to help things operate a bit more smoothly.  Remember that
in most cases when you type "reply" at your computer in response to a
message from Darwin-L, the reply is sent back to the list itself: that is,
it is sent automatically to all 600 subscribers around the world.  If you
have personal comments to make or assistance to offer, you might wish to
direct it to the individual sender rather than to the list as a whole.

While creationism is certainly a topic that is connected to the historical
sciences, there are several fora on the Internet that focus more directly
on such issues.  If you have Usenet access (ask your local computer folks
if you aren't sure) there is a rough and tumble group called talk.origins
which is full of debate, flaming, and counter-flaming on the subject of
creation and evolution.  There is also a listserv group called SKEPTIC on
listserve@jhuvm.hcf.jhu.edu that is devoted to scientific commentary on
things like creationism, psychic phenomena, etc.  Those looking for flying
sparks, no-holds-barred discussion, and other fun things like that might
want to explore one of these options.

Speaking of flying sparks, it's a warm summer night here in North Carolina.
For several hours the entire sky has been flashing with distant lightning,
and it has just begun to pour rain.  Somewhere around the state, so the radio
tells me, golf-ball-sized hail has been reported.  Perhaps like our friend of
yesterday, the good Mr. Edward Lhuyd, I'll just sleep here in my office
tonight, and hope I don't meet the same fate he did.

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 10: 66-102 -- June 1994                                End

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