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Darwin-L Message Log 11: 39–93 — July 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 July 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 11: 39-93 -- JULY 1994
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_______________________________________________________________________________

<11:39>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu  Sat Jul  9 16:26:20 1994

Date: Sat, 09 Jul 1994 17:27:08 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: Interdisciplinary archeology conference (fwd from ARCH-L)
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

This announcement of an interdisciplinary conference on archeology just
appeared on ARCH-L.  I thought it might be of interest to some Darwin-L
members.

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

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

Date: Fri, 8 Jul 1994 17:01:31 -0400
From: Robert Tykot <tykot@HUSC.HARVARD.EDU>
Subject: Science and Archaeology conference and Preliminary Program

The international conference "Science and Archaeology: Towards an
Interdisciplinary Approach to Studying the Past" will be held October
14-16th at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138.

The conference is cosponsored by the Society for Archaeological Sciences,
the Boston Society of the Archaeological Institute of America, and the
Department of Anthropology, Harvard University, and supported by grants
from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation and the Archaeological Institute of
America.

The conference will begin after lunch on Friday the 14th, and end in the
early afternoon on Sunday the 16th.  The meeting will consist of about 35
oral papers, plus a number of poster presentations.  The theme of the
conference focuses on HOW science and archaeology complement each other in
their respective approaches to studying ancient people and their culture.
The presentations will examine the integration of these disciplines in the
field, in the laboratory, in publications, and in our educational
institutions.  Among those presenting papers are Jonathon Ericson, David
Killick, Mark Pollard, Michael Wayman, Zvi Goffer, Nikolaas van der Merwe,
Rick Jones, Joseph Yellin, Karl Petruso, Marc Waelkens, Juris Zarins,
Thomas Loy, R.E. Taylor, Norman Hammond, Sarah Vaughan, and A. Bernard
Knapp.

Pre-registration is $25 (by September 30), $30 at the door; the student
rate is $20.  This fee includes the program, abstracts, coffee/tea &
pastries both Saturday and Sunday mornings, and a box lunch on Saturday.
Dinner Friday night ($30 including wine & service), dinner Saturday night
($35 including wine & service), and a reception in the Peabody Museum
galleries Saturday night ($15) are optional events available only by
preregistration.

Please note that we are still soliciting poster presentations on any
aspect of archaeological science, including work still in progress.  If
you or anyone you know (esp. students) are interested, please contact us
as soon as possible.

-----------------------------------------------------------------
Robert H. Tykot                         Tykot@Husc4.Harvard.edu
Department of Anthropology              617 496-8991
Harvard University                      617 495-8925 (fax)
Cambridge, MA 02138 USA
-----------------------------------------------------------------

Here's the VERY PRELIMINARY PROGRAM:

Welcome and Opening Statements

Jonathon E. Ericson & Vincent Merrill, Department of Environmental
Analysis & Design, University of California, Irvine
The Status and Overview of Archaeological Science in the United States of
America

David J. Killick, University of Arizona, & Suzanne M.M. Young, Harvard
University
Archaeology and Archaeometry: From Casual Dating to a Meaningful
Relationship???

Michael L. Wayman, Department of Mining, Metallurgical & Petroleum
Engineering and Department of Anthropology, and N.C. Lovell, Department
of Anthropology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
The Teaching of Archaeometry at the University of Alberta

Zvi Goffer, SOREQ Research Center
TBA

Nikolaas J. van der Merwe, Departments of Anthropology and Earth &
Planetary Science, Harvard University
Teaching Archaeometry to Freshmen

Rick Jones, Department of Archaeological Sciences, University of Bradford
Archaeology into the Future

Discussion

******

Plenary Address

Mark Pollard, Department of Archaeological Sciences, University of Bradford
Why Teach Heisenberg to Archaeologists?

********

Joseph Yellin, Institute of Archaeology, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Successes in Multidisciplinary Archaeology

Lawrence E. Abbott, Jr., New South Associates, Mebane, North Carolina
Making Science a Standard Component of Compliance-Oriented Archaeology:
An Example from the Piedmont Region of North Carolina

Karl M. Petruso, Brooks B. Ellwood, & Francis B. Harrold, The University
of Texas at Arlington
Multidisciplinary Research into the Stone Age of Southern Albania

Katina T. Lillios, Department of Anthropology & Sociology, Ripon College
Soil Phosphate Analysis and Land Use Studies of the Bronze Age and
Medieval Occupations at Agroal, Portugal

E.G. Reinhardt, R.T. Patterson, C.J. Schroder-Adams, Ottawa-Carleton
Geoscience Center & Department of Earth Sciences, Carleton University
The Paleoecology of Benthic Foraminifera and Marine Archaeology: A Case
Study from the Ancient Harbor of Caesarea Maritima, Israel

Apostolos Sarris, Athens, Greece
Geophysical Surveying in Greek Archaeological Research: Retrospect &
Future Plans

Marc Waelkens, Center for Interdisciplinary Archaeological Research,
Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium
Recent Multidisciplinary Research at Sagalassos, Turkey

P. Nick Kardulias, Department of Anthropology & Sociology, Kenyon College
>From Classical to Byzantine: An Interdisciplinary Regional Study of
Culture Change in the Korinthia, Greece

Juris Zarins, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Southwest
Missouri State University
The Iobaritae and Omani: A Multidisciplinary Inquiry

Discussion

******

Pamela Z. Blum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Stones of Saint-Denis: A Case Study of Science and Art History in Tandem

David Landon, Department of Social Sciences, Michigan Technological
University & Larry Sutter, Department of Metallurgical & Materials
Engineering, Michigan Technological University
Analysis of Stamp Sands from the Ohio Trap Rock Copper Mine Location

Thomas H. Loy, Prehistory Department, Research School of Pacific Studies,
The Australian National University, Canberra
TBA

R.E. Taylor, Radiocarbon Laboratory, Department of Anthropology, University
of California, Riverside
Radiocarbon Dating "Critical" Samples: Case Studies

Marshall J. Becker, Department of Anthropology & Sociology, West Chester
University
Skeletal Analysis of Infant Burials in Central Italy

Joseph A. Ezzo, Statistical Research, and James H. Burton, Department of
Anthropology, University of Wisconsin, Madison
A Multidisciplinary Approach to Elemental Analysis of Archaeological Bone

Nicholas Reynolds and Richard Welander, Archaeological Resource
Consultants Ltd., Edinburgh
Bodies, Bronzes and Burials: Some Thoughts from the Anglo-Saxon Past

Discussion

*******

Sarah J. Vaughan, The Wiener Laboratory, American School of Classical
Studies at Athens
Reconstructing Prehistoric Pottery Technologies in the Aegean: Cautionary
Evidence from Petrographic Material and Replicative Studies

Pilar Lapuente, Fac. Ciencias Geologicas, Universidad de Zaragoza
Mineralogical Studies in Ancient Ceramics

Tania F.M. Oudemans, Conservation Analytical Lab, Smithsonian Institution
Organic Residue Analysis in Ceramic Studies

J. Poblome, R. Degeest, W. Viaene & M. Waelkens, Center for
Interdisciplinary Archaeological Research, Catholic University of Leuven,
Belgium
Computer and Data Interpretation of the Sagalassos Wares

Paul T. Keyser, David D. Clark, Albert Silverman, Jane K. Whitehead*,
John E. Coleman, R. Alex Bentley, & Tim Z. Hossain, Cornell University &
University of New Hampshire*
Nuclear Physics Exploring Ancient Material Culture: The Cornell TRIGA
PGNAA Collaboration

A. Bernard Knapp, School of History, Philosophy & Politics, Macquarie
University
Provenience Studies in the Bronze Age Mediterranean: An Archaeological
Perspective

Albert Nyboer, Department of Archaeology, State University Groningen
Material Studies from Satricum (700-400 BC): Pottery and Metal Analyses

Effie Photos-Jones, Metallurgy Department, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow
Archaeometallurgy: More than the Sum of its Parts

N.C. Lovell and M.J. Magee, Department of Anthropology, and M.L. Wayman,
Department of Mining, Metallurgical & Petroleum Engineering and Department
of Anthropology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Slag from Ancient Egypt: An Archaeometry Student Project

Workshop Panel Presentation

Closing Statements

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

_______________________________________________________________________________

<11:40>From TREMONT%UCSFVM.BITNET@KUHUB.CC.UKANS.EDU  Sat Jul  9 17:00:36 1994

Date: Sat, 09 Jul 1994 14:46:50 -0700 (PDT)
From: "Elihu M. Gerson" <TREMONT%UCSFVM.BITNET@KUHUB.CC.UKANS.EDU>
Subject: Re: Creationism and teaching the historical sciences
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

On Sat, 09 Jul 1994 13:09:05 -0500 Bob Wright said:

 <quote from Ward omitted>

>Of course, there have been people who considered themselves philosophers
>who would disagree. The William James variant of pragmatism, as I
>understand it, holds that if believing something has good effects on the
>believer, then it's true.
>
>On the other hand, Charles Peirce's variant of pragmatism, as I understand
>it, means something quite different; Peirce was advocating an essentially
>empirical, scientific definition of truth.
>
>To put the matter in perhaps oversimplified terms: James would say
>that if believing in God makes you feel good, there is a God. Peirce
>would say that if believing a bridge can support your weight makes you
>walk over that bridge, and if you don't fall through that bridge, then
>that bridge can indeed support your weight.

Both James and Peirce held that if you act on a belief, and that action
is successful, then the belief is true. For example, if you believe
a bridge will hold you, so you walk across the bridge, and it holds you,
then your belief about the bridge is true. There are many differences
between Peirce and James, but that isn't one of them. I don't know of
any respectable philosopher who held that if believing something makes
you feel good, then the belief is true.

Note, with respect to the distinction made by Charles Ward,that this definition
of truth makes the distinction between "true" and "adaptive" a very blurry
one. But then, we have many definitions of truth (Pragmatist, correspondence,
coherence, etc). We don't have any guaranteed method for deciding among
them. So we don't know which one is true. On the other hand, we do have
many good methods for discovering errors.

Elihu M. Gerson
Tremont Research Institute
458 29 Street
San Francisco, CA 94131
415-285-7837  tremont@ucsfvm.ucsf.edu

_______________________________________________________________________________

<11:41>From GGALE@VAX1.UMKC.EDU  Sat Jul  9 21:21:25 1994

Date: Sat, 09 Jul 1994 21:22:13 -0600 (CST)
From: GGALE@VAX1.UMKC.EDU
Subject: Re: Simultaneous holding of contradictory beliefs
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

For more on Bob O'Hara's 'student' physics, cf. "Intuitive Physics", _Sci.
Am._, Apr. 83.

Sometimes even the teachers get caught up, not in Aristotelian, but in
more modern--medieval--theories: I was trying to figure how to throw water
behind a tree using my rotating sprinkler. Then I drew the problem.
Sigh.

George Gale
ggale@vax1.umkc.edu

_______________________________________________________________________________

<11:42>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu  Sun Jul 10 12:39:19 1994

Date: Sun, 10 Jul 1994 13:40:07 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: July 10 -- Today in the Historical Sciences
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

JULY 10 -- TODAY IN THE HISTORICAL SCIENCES

1802: ROBERT CHAMBERS is born at Peebles, Scotland.  He will become a popular
and prolific writer and publisher, especially of works on Scottish character
and history.  Chambers will be best remembered, however, for his widely read
and controversial _Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation_, which will be
published anonymously in 1844.  The _Vestiges_, "the first attempt to connect
the natural sciences into a history of creation", will comprehensively trace
the development of the human race, of animals and plants, the earth, and the
cosmos as a whole: "if we could suppose a number of persons of various ages
presented to the inspection of an intelligent being newly introducted into the
world, we cannot doubt that he would soon become convinced that men had once
been boys, that boys had once been infants, and, finally, that all had been
brought into the world in exactly the same circumstances.  Precisely thus,
seeing in our astral system many thousands of worlds in all stages of
formation, from the most rudimental to that immediately preceding the present
condition of those we deem perfect, it is unavoidable to conclude that all the
perfect have gone through the various stages which we see in the rudimental.
This leads us at once to the conclusion that the whole of our firmament was at
one time a diffused mass of nebulous matter, extending through the space which
it still occupies.  So also, of course, must have been the other astral
systems.  Indeed, we must presume the whole to have been originally in one
connected mass, the astral systems being only the first division into parts,
and solar systems the second."

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).

_______________________________________________________________________________

<11:43>From BONN@nickel.laurentian.ca  Sun Jul 10 12:58:03 1994

Date: Sun, 10 Jul 1994 13:59:52 -0500 (EST)
From: "Bonnie Blackwell, (519)253-4232x2502" <BONN@nickel.laurentian.ca>
Subject: Re: Creationism
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

Mr. Hill made one severe error in his statements:  We do not control the
public grant givers.  These people respond to the demands of politics.
if the public (or the more vociferous of the public who like squeeky wheels
squeek loudest) demand that the money for science be cut off, then eventually
it will.  As more and more creationism is taught, more people believe it.
while at the moment, many people do believe in science and searching for the
truth of scientific principles, if we allow the creationists (or for that
matter any other group that wants to cloud the truth or to have people
believe in anything because of pure unquestioning faith rather than invoking
constant questioning on the part of each person) to continue to influence
people while calling it "science" then 50 years from now we may not have
the public money to pursue any science.

Bonnie Blackwell,
bonn@nickel.laurentian.ca

_______________________________________________________________________________

<11:44>From BURGHD@utkvx.utk.edu  Sun Jul 10 13:16:57 1994

Date: Sun, 10 Jul 1994 14:17:48 -0400 (EDT)
From: BURGHD@utkvx.utk.edu
Subject: Re: DARWIN-L digest 262
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

Just a brief reply to David Hill's assertion that Darwinism is virtually
accepted by all in academia and the intelligentsia.  I calmly but firmly
disagree.  Evolutionary approaches to issues of mind and behavior in our
own species are firmly resisted in many quarters of the humanities, social
sciences, and even by many biologists.  There is growing acceptance, but it
is slow indeed.  My own primary field, psychology, is a prime example.  As
but one of many possible examples supporting this assertion I only need to
refer to the "meltdown" on Darwin-L when the issues of brain size, S. J.
Gould, etc. were addressed, and promptly vanished.  But I certainly do
agree that scientists are often not really very open about having basic
assumptions challenged, particularly if they are ideologically
(politically) linked.
Gordon M. Burghardt, Department of Psychology, University of Tennessee,
Knoxville, TN 37996  (BURGHD@UTKVX.UTK.EDU)
P.S. I too would like a copy of the EVOLUTION OF CREATIONISM article.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<11:45>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu  Sun Jul 10 22:03:52 1994

Date: Sun, 10 Jul 1994 23:04:34 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: Chambers and the _Vestiges of Creation_
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

Since today is Robert Chambers' birthday I thought it might be of interest
to mention that a new facsimile edition of the _Vestiges_ has just been
published:

  Chambers, Robert.  1844 [1994].  _Vestiges of the Natural History of
  Creation and Other Evolutionary Writings_, edited with a new introduction
  by James A. Secord.  Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

For those not familiar with the Vestiges, this was probably the best known
of the pre-Darwinian evolutionary works.  Published anonymously, it went
through many editions and caused a great stir.  While it is most noted for
its evolutionary content, it really is a comprehensive account of all the
historical sciences: a good example of the very range of subjects considered
on Darwin-L.  Chambers begins with cosmology and tells the story of the
condensation of the solar system from a diffuse nebula, then recounts the
geological, botanical, and zoological history of the earth, and finally tells
the history of the human species, including the history of language.  The
writing isn't of particularly high literary quality, but it was meant to be
a semi-popular book and is eminently readable.  It is a pleasure to have it
readily available again.

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.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<11:46>From lynn0003@gold.tc.umn.edu  Mon Jul 11 07:23:53 1994

From: "William S. Lynn" <lynn0003@gold.tc.umn.edu>
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Hermeneutics, knowledge and understanding
Date: Mon, 11 Jul 94 07:25:06 -0500

Hello Darwiners!

I want to support the comments of Sherrie Lyons and Frederic Gleach. Much of
the debate over creationism on Darwin-L is couched as a conflict between truth
and error, rationality and irrationality, consistency and contradiction. There
are two problems here.

First off, there is no such thing as truth. There are degrees of truth-likeness
(verisimilitude). I will not pretend creationism comes anywhere near the
verisimilitude of modern evolutionary thought, but conventionalists, realists,
and critical rationalists have trashed the notion of objective, universal,
logico-rational, transhistorical, transgeographical truth.

Second, this debate generally fails to appreciate the geohistoricity of
understanding, that is, the degree to which all knowledge is embedded in a
wider matrix of historically and geographically contingent understandings.
Knowledge is intelligible and seemingly rational not because it represents the
world like a mirror, but because it helps us constitute the world in a way that
makes sense to us. Our knowledge of the world is not true or verifiable in any
direct way, but the best account we can make of things given the present state
of our understanding. We can certainly test our knowledge against 'reality'.
Unfortunately, we lack unproblematic means to do so. Reality and our tests are
themselves conceptually preconstituted by our understandings.

I do not pretend to know why particular creationist believe the way they do.
But I can say it is not reducible to irrationality or ignorance or
contradiction. Their belief is situated in a wider matrix of understandings--
just as is the knowledge of evolutionists, linguists, hermeneuticists, etc. If
we fail to impart our knowledge in a satisfactory way, then I would wager it is
our failure to address the matrix of understandings that undergird those
beliefs we wish to challenge.

Allow me a concrete and personal example. I have taught several courses related
to social and environmental ethics. Students are socialized into very
individualistic and anthropocentric moral norms. I too get frustrated with
their sometimes dogmatic insistence on retaining moral presuppositions that
bear little weight of reason or preponderance of evidence. But the key to
furthering their understanding is not dismissing their beliefs as irrational.
Rather, the key is a hermeneutic dialogue, wherein I entertain their
presuppositions, they mine, and we try to expand our conceptual horizons
*together*. In this way we further our common knowledge, and come to a deeper
understanding of each other. By providing students with conceptual tools that
directly address their presuppositions, they are in a much stronger position to
reason and weigh evidence.

Bill  }`-

William S.Lynn
Geography, University of Minnesota
414 Social Science
Minneapolis, MN  55455
612/625-0133 [lynn0003@gold.tc.umn.edu]

_______________________________________________________________________________

<11:47>From JMARKS@YALEVM.CIS.YALE.EDU  Mon Jul 11 08:10:31 1994

Date: Mon, 11 Jul 94 09:02:43 EDT
From: Jon Marks <JMARKS@YaleVM.CIS.Yale.edu>
Organization: Yale University
Subject: Where the blame lies?
To: Darwin-L <darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu>

I don't think there is a real problem that social scientists and humanists
have refused to adopt an evolutionary viewpoint.  I have yet to meet one who
hasn't.  The problem is that every generation there is some bad biology passed
off as "the evolutionary viewpoint" with the implicit challenge that if you
don't adopt it, you are a creationist.  Social Darwinism, eugenics, and
various sociobiologies shared that.  Nowadays one encounters claims like:
1) rape in scorpionflies exists to maximize the rapist's reproductive output.
2) It's the same in humans.
3) That's the evolutionary explanation.
4) And if you don't buy it, then you're not an evolutionist.
5) Pssst... Wanna buy a bridge?

By the way, for all you crossword fans out there...  This morning's New York
Times puzzle starts with 1-across: "High rung on the evolutionary ladder".
The answer: HUMAN.
     Is there any hope?

    --Jon Marks

_______________________________________________________________________________

<11:48>From maffi@cogsci.Berkeley.EDU  Mon Jul 11 15:29:17 1994

Date: Mon, 11 Jul 94 13:30:54 -0700
From: maffi@cogsci.Berkeley.EDU (Luisa Maffi)
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Enough with creationism

Does anybody else on this network feel that the debate on creationism
has been going on long enough?  I have to agree with Mark Picard (7/7/94)
that the stuff is not likely to be taken too seriously outside the US,
perhaps the only Western country still so obsessed with religion.
As for the separation between church and state, it may be more formal
than real, at least to the extent that the enduring way in which a
President of the US ends official speeches is by invoking God's
blessing on the nation.  On the other hand, countries that are now
far less keen on religion (including my own, Italy) seem to have
replaced it with appalling levels of cinicism.  Why humans can't
seem to figure out how to be moral without religion (especially
of the fundamentalist stripe) is something that beats me.

Luisa Maffi
maffi@cogsci.berkeley.edu

_______________________________________________________________________________

<11:49>From cward@jhunix.hcf.jhu.edu  Mon Jul 11 20:42:11 1994

Date: 	Mon, 11 Jul 1994 21:43:25 -0400
From: Charles F Ward <cward@jhunix.hcf.jhu.edu>
Subject: cultural evolution, consistency and truth
To: DARWIN-L messages address <DARWIN-L@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu>

A couple of good points were raised following my response to John
Staddon's posting (of July 7) regarding the (possible) "cultural fitness" of
unprovable beliefs.  I would like to say a bit about each one.

I'll start with the posting by Frederic Gleach (7/8) regarding
rationality and consistency.  Thanks for the blurb from Emerson.  It's a
keeper.  I'm with you as far as the idea that consistency across all our
beliefs (and wearing all of our hats) is not possible.  It may very well
be undesirable, even.  Indeed, rationality itself, when properly
understood, may not demand perfect consistency among an individuals body
of beliefs;  particularly given the complexity of our lives and the
variety of other persons we must interact with.  That, I would say, is a
question that will remain open indefinitely.  But in general I would
accept the point that it is foolish to expect perfect consistency or even
to expect all our beliefs to be rationally grounded.  Be that as it may,
I would re-iterate my original point that the fitness of a belief is
distinct from its truth;  in fact, Frederic's posting may be read as an
expression of that very idea.  There may be reasons, other than rational
acceptablity, for holding a belief.  But no matter how strong those other
sorts of reasons are, they should not be confused with "evidential" sorts
of reasons.

The other point that was raised had to do with the pragmatic theory of
truth.  This is an extremely interesting issue (for me, anyway).  As
Elihu Gerson noted (posting on 7/9), if one adopts such a view of
'truth', then the distinction between the adaptive value of a belief and
its truth value is blurred.  But I am not convinced that it is blurred
very much.  My understanding of the pragmatic theory of truth is that if
you act on a belief and the action yields the result you expected (based
on that belief), then the belief is true.  Is that too narrow an
interpretation of the "success" of a belief under the pragmatic
conception?  If not, then it is more narrow than the sort of "success" a
belief would have to have to be adaptive.  Certainly for most of an
individuals beliefs about object around her (such as 'this bridge will
hold me up') a pragmatically false belief will be non-adaptive.  But when
it comes to beliefs at the level of evolution and creationism,
adaptiveness at the cultural level diverges from shear accuracy of
prediction.  Shared beliefs at that level can yield social cohesion,
etc.  and be adaptive on that basis, even if false (on a pragmatic or any
other view).

I would welcome any further communications on this issue.

Chuck Ward			cward@jhunix.hcf.jhu.edu	Department of Philosophy					Johns Hopkins University					Baltimore, MD  21218-2688	(Home of the Colts. Shh!)
_______________________________________________________________________________

<11:50>From FBIO2024@ALTAIR.SELU.EDU  Tue Jul 12 09:06:01 1994

Date: Tue, 12 Jul 1994 09:06:51 -0500 (CDT)
From: FBIO2024@ALTAIR.SELU.EDU
Subject: Re: refs on "the species problem"
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: Southeastern Louisiana University

Does anybody out there know who coined the term "subspecies"? Any
associated references would also be most welcome.

Brian I. Crother
Dept. of Biology
SE Louisiana Univ.
fbio2024@selu.edu

_______________________________________________________________________________

<11:51>From schoenem@qal.berkeley.edu  Wed Jul 13 03:07:09 1994

Date: Wed, 13 Jul 1994 01:06:49 -0700 (PDT)
From: Tom Schoenemann <schoenem@qal.Berkeley.EDU>
Subject: Re: Where the blame lies?
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

I would be interested in references to any writings of social scientists and
humanists that adopt an evolutionary viewpoint.  Or does Jon Marks just
mean that they all accept that human behavior evolved in principle, but
they just believe that no one has legitimately applied
evolutionary principles to human behavior yet?  Or does he mean that
their application of evolutionary principles involves stating that humans
evolved the capacity for culture, which then miraculously eliminated any
behavioral adaptations we used to share with other organisms?

There are, of course, examples of bad biology waving the flag of
evolutionary viewpoint, but there are even more examples of sociological
"just-so stories".  So you see things like:
1) mothers of autistic children are cold to them
2) the mother's coldness causes the autism in the children
3) blame the mother

The general feeling is that everything is cultural unless it can be
proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that it has biological influences.  If
you don't believe it is all cultural, then you must be a neo-Nazi.

P. Tom Schoenemann
Department of Anthropology
University of California, Berkeley
(schoenem@qal.berkeley.edu)

_______________________________________________________________________________

<11:52>From staddon@psych.duke.edu  Wed Jul 13 07:28:04 1994

Date: Wed, 13 Jul 94 08:28:56 EDT
From: staddon@psych.duke.edu (John Staddon)
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re:  cultural evolution, consistency and truth

As I understand the pragmatic theory of truth, it's not "if it
works, it's true," which is obviously wrong, but rather that the
truth of a proposition is relative to the tests (empirical,
logical) to which it has been put.  In short, the scientific
criterion.  The point about many cultural beliefs (morality,
religion) is that they are either in principle beyond the domain
of test in this sense (how do you test whether monogamy is
"good"?), or require tests that are impossible or unethical.  For
example, suppose that you argue that monogamy is good because it
favors the "fitness" of a culture. The obvious question (even
assuming that we all agree that cultural survival is an absolute
good) is How do you know?  The answer is, you don't know and you
can't find out.  Nevertheless, _some_ beliefs of this untestable
sort are undoubtedly true in this special sense.  These
untestable beliefs are the domain of religion and morality.
Since we don't know which beliefs are true and which false, there
is obviously room for variety.

John Staddon  (staddon@psych.duke.edu)

_______________________________________________________________________________

<11:53>From Robert.Richardson@UC.Edu  Wed Jul 13 14:28:21 1994

Date: Wed, 13 Jul 1994 15:27:54 -0500 (EST)
From: "Bob Richardson, University of Cincinnati" <Robert.Richardson@UC.Edu>
Subject: Pragmatism & Truth
To: Darwin-L@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

John Staddon writes:

> I understand the pragmatic theory of truth, it's not "if it
>works, it's true," which is obviously wrong, but rather that the
>truth of a proposition is relative to the tests (empirical,
>logical) to which it has been put.  In short, the scientific
>criterion.

That seems partly right and partly wrong.  Pierce, for example, says
in "How to Make our Ideas Clear":
	"... there is no distinction of meaning so fine as to consist	in anything but a possible difference in practice" (1878).

The idea seems to be, in Pierce's hands, that there must be some sort
of practical or experimental bearing to any distinction, and that without
some experimental (that is, experiential?) difference, there is no real
difference of view.  That may be, as Staddon says, "the scientific
criterion."

But Pragmatism is not a uniform view.  Contrast the above view with
the following from William James (1909):
	"The true is only the expedient in our way of thinking."

If you wonder whether this means that what is useful is true, try this
from "Pragmatism's Conception of Truth" (1907):
	"You can say of it [some idea] either that 'it is useful	because it is true' or that 'it is true because it is useful.'	Both these phrases mean exactly the same thing, namely that	here is an idea that gets fulfilled and can be verified."

I don't especially want to defend pragmatism, and certainly not in
all of its forms.  But in some of its advocates, anyway, did seem to
hold the view that what is useful is true.

Robert C. Richardson

Department of Philosophy ML 374	Richards@UCBEH.Bitnet
University of Cincinnati		Richards@UCBEH.san.uc.edu
Cincinnati OH  45221-0374

_______________________________________________________________________________

<11:54>From PLHILL@Augustana.edu  Wed Jul 13 16:19:31 1994

From: PLHILL@Augustana.edu
Organization:  Augustana College - Rock Island IL
To: <Darwin-L@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu>, PLHILL@Augustana.edu
Date: Wed, 13 Jul 1994 16:20:35 CST
Subject: Darwinism and politics

    Concerning my claim that in the struggle between Creationism and
Darwinism, Darwinists control the grant-givers, Bonnie Blackwell
responds that Creationist politics could change all that, so I'm
severely in error.  To which the obvious response is control doesn't
cease to be control simply because it might eventually be overturned.
If Blackwell is right, the Democrats have never controlled
Congress, and Rome never controlled Italy.  But let that pass.  The
main point is that the chance of her faction losing out to
Creationists (as opposed to biological science of a somewhat
different stripe), is about as likely as terrestrial collision with a
large asteroid.  We live our lives, and govern our actions
(if we are rational) on the basis of reasonable probabilities.
Throughout the last three decades of the nineteenth century,
Darwinism gained ground despite these facts:  (a) it was based on an
absurd genetics; (b) it couldn't handle the main theoretical
objections to it (Jenkin, Kelvin); (c) it was vigorously opposed by
cultural institutions of great power; (d) its researchers had nothing
like the financial resources available now.  Surely its present
prospects are far better, with or without the political vigilance that
Blackwell enjoins.
    Gordon Burghardt points out that Darwinism is firmly resisted in
the human sciences.  But I was referring to biological research.  The
academics who resist Darwinian incursions into psychology may or may
not have good reasons.  It is nonetheless doubtful that many of them
oppose it as biological doctrine, or would unite with Creationists
against it.
    It seems to me that scientific enthusiasm (however useful in
research) tends to come encumbered with false philosophical
assumptions.  It is one thing to pursue fully objective truths, quite
another to try to permanently fix the discovery, or to extend it into
every imaginable domain.  Absolutism of the first sort is noble, if
controversial.  Absolutism of the second generally futile, and even
counterproductive.

David Hill
Augustana College
Rock Island, IL

_______________________________________________________________________________

<11:55>From TREMONT%UCSFVM.BITNET@KUHUB.CC.UKANS.EDU  Wed Jul 13 23:50:12 1994

Date: Wed, 13 Jul 1994 21:31:19 -0700 (PDT)
From: "Elihu M. Gerson" <TREMONT%UCSFVM.BITNET@KUHUB.CC.UKANS.EDU>
Subject: Re: Pragmatism & Truth
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

On Wed, 13 Jul 1994 22:04:10 -0500 Bob Richardson said

>If you wonder whether this means that what is useful is true, try this
>From "Pragmatism's Conception of Truth" (1907):
>
>        "You can say of it [some idea] either that 'it is useful
>        because it is true' or that 'it is true because it is useful.'
>        Both these phrases mean exactly the same thing, namely that
>        here is an idea that gets fulfilled and can be verified."

James' point in this remark is just what it says: "truth" and "useful"
are equivalent notions, each (or both) defined by the consequences of
action. This is in perfect agreement with Peirce's notion that truth
is a "possible difference in practice". This means, in turn, that the
notion of truth can be applied (in a Pragmatist's sense) only if there
is an actual or potential line of action which will create or reveal some
difference. Hence, contra Staddon, there are no truths which are
untestable, because the notion of truth is defined only for tests.

Elihu M. Gerson
Tremont Research Institute
458 29 Street
San Francisco, CA 94131
415-285-7837  tremont@ucsfvm.ucsf.edu

_______________________________________________________________________________

<11:56>From FINNR@bot.ku.dk  Thu Jul 14 03:58:36 1994

To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
From: "Finn N. Rasmussen"  <FINNR@bot.ku.dk>
Date: 14 Jul 94 11:00:48 GMT+0200
Subject: Can history be enforced by law?

Marc Picard suggested that creationism is an endemic American
phenomenon. I think he is right, but we have another interesting
history-denying movement here in Europe: groups of "National
Socialists" in various countries claim that history as taught in
schools is manipulated with the specific purpose of suppressing
their philosophy. Especially, they insist that the German National
Socialists did NOT kill 6 mill. Jews and other politically incorrect
people in the 40'ties. Sometimes they go into great detail in
rejecting specific evidence, they have even done chemical analyses
of bricks from concentration camps to show that no toxic gases were
used in the gas chambers.

These views are mostly considered too weird to be worth a debate, but
in some countries, including Germany, it is now officially illegal to
put forth National Socialistic views in print or in public speach. I
don't know what is worst, creationism or the "National Socialist"
view on history, but I am not sure that it helps rationalism to
outlaw irrational views. Is it legal in the US to tell school
children that George Washington may be a Santa Claus like myth,
invented to stop counter-revolutionary ideas from gaining momentum?

Finn Rasmussen, Botanical Laboratory, Univ. of Copenhagen, DK.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<11:57>From lynn0003@gold.tc.umn.edu  Thu Jul 14 05:46:16 1994

From: "William S. Lynn" <lynn0003@gold.tc.umn.edu>
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Hermeneutics & Higher Biblical Criticism
Date: Thu, 14 Jul 94 05:47:35 -0500

Hello Darwiners!

Higher [biblical] criticism is one intellectual strand in the historical
development of what is now termed hermeneutics. Hermeneutics is the study of
meaning, interpretation, and understanding [well, that is what it is in 9
words]. Folks may find modern hermeneutics of as much or more help in
understanding their intellectual conflicts with others as they will biblical
criticism. For an excellent overview from Socrates to the present (including
superb references and bibliographic notes), see

 Gerald Bruns (1992) _Hermeneutics Ancient and Modern_ Yale University Press.

Bill  }`-

William S.Lynn
Geography, University of Minnesota
414 Social Science
Minneapolis, MN  55455
612/625-0133 [lynn0003@gold.tc.umn.edu]

_______________________________________________________________________________

<11:58>From lynn0003@gold.tc.umn.edu  Thu Jul 14 05:48:50 1994

From: "William S. Lynn" <lynn0003@gold.tc.umn.edu>
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Morality without religion
Date: Thu, 14 Jul 94 05:50:09 -0500

Hello Darwiners and Luisa Maffi!

Perhaps the debate on creationism per se *has* gone on too long. I do not know.
I find it raises important points about the geohistoricity of our
understanding, and the practicalities involved in contesting with and changing
the minds of others. As importantly, these debates push us outside our narrowly
defined fields--which in Darwin-L's case is dominated by biologists and
linguists--and into the consequences of our knowledge for society and nature.

With respect to your last comment on morality without religion, I too am
perplexed by some folks insistence on God as the foundation for ethics. Ethics
has many sources, and a belief in God is not necessarily one of them. Socrates
believed ethics was about "how we ought to live" (Plato _The Republic_). More
modern definitions reflect this emphasis of Socrates. Generally, normative (as
opposed to metaethical) philosophies ask how we should live, what ends we
should seek, and what means we should use. Ethical reasoning seeks
justifications for human actions using principles about what is good, right,
just, or of value. Moral norms are seen as guideposts and goals for evaluating
and directing our conduct toward individuals, nature and society. I think one
of the more important features of ethics is practicality. Aristotle saw ethics
as a form of "phronesis", that is, practical knowledge. To be practical, ethics
must be more than a rigid code of rules. It must be grounded in the
"particulars" of moral problems, employing appropriate principles within real-
world situations (Aristotle _Nichomachean Ethics_).

The understanding of morality above has little to do with the supernatural. As
a hermeneuticist and geographer, however, I must note that morality, like any
other knowledge, is embedded in wider conceptual maps that make moral claims
intelligible. Geohistorically, the connection between the conceptual maps of
ethics and religion seem very strong indeed. There could be a variety of
reasons for this. First, both are concerned with asking and answering how we
ought to live. Second, folks often like certitude with their ethics? What gives
greater certitude than revealed truth? Third, the emergence of European
universities lay in educational monasteries and abbeys, and there remains a
time-honoured institutional association between organized religion and moral
reasoning. I am sure there are many others, with the explanation of any
particular case being idiographic.

When one's conceptual landscape is suffuse with religious markers, a
supernatural view of morality *does* make sense. Whether it is our *best
account* of ethics is another matter altogether. What I want to end on here, is
that because it makes sense to those holding the belief, simply dismissing
their concerns is not adequate. We must engage their views directly in an open
and hopefully tranformative dialogue, a hermeneutic dialogue. I suppose that is
why I think the debate over creationism has been important--it is evolutionists
thinking through their side of a necessary and unavoidable dialogue.

Bill  }`-

William S.Lynn
Geography, University of Minnesota
414 Social Science
Minneapolis, MN  55455
612/625-0133 [lynn0003@gold.tc.umn.edu]

_______________________________________________________________________________

<11:59>From staddon@psych.duke.edu  Thu Jul 14 07:19:51 1994

Date: Thu, 14 Jul 94 08:21:09 EDT
From: staddon@psych.duke.edu (John Staddon)
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re:  Pragmatism & Truth

Thanks to Robert Richardson for the useful (and probably true!)
clarifications on pragmatism, which may be dumber than I thought!

John Staddon  (staddon@psych.duke.edu)

_______________________________________________________________________________

<11:60>From witkowsk@cshl.org  Thu Jul 14 07:50:11 1994

Date: Thu, 14 Jul 1994 08:52:29 -0500
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
From: witkowsk@cshl.org (J. A. Witkowski (Banbury Center, CSHL))
Subject: Re: Morality without religion

>Perhaps the debate on creationism per se *has* gone on too long. I do not
>know. I find it raises important points about the geohistoricity of our
>understanding, and the practicalities involved in contesting with and changing
>the minds of others.

Would someone explain "geohistoricity" for me please?

Thank you

Jan A. Witkowski, Ph.D.
Banbury Center
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
PO Box 534
Cold Spring Harbor, NY 11724-0534
(516) 549-0507
(516) 549-0672 [fax]
witkowsk@cshl.org

_______________________________________________________________________________

<11:61>From ahouse@hydra.rose.brandeis.edu  Thu Jul 14 08:11:04 1994

Date: Thu, 14 Jul 1994 09:14:39 -0400
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
From: ahouse@hydra.rose.brandeis.edu (Jeremy Creighton Ahouse)
Subject: Re: Hermeneutics, knowledge and understanding

Bill Lynn writes:
>I do not pretend to know why particular creationist believe the way they do.
>But I can say it is not reducible to irrationality or ignorance or
>contradiction. Their belief is situated in a wider matrix of understandings--
>just as is the knowledge of evolutionists, linguists, hermeneuticists, etc. If
>we fail to impart our knowledge in a satisfactory way, then I would wager it
>is our failure to address the matrix of understandings that undergird those
>beliefs we wish to challenge.

        While there are certainly many groups of ideas that correspond to
the world that a particular group "perceives" is this really the case with
organized "scientific" (?!) creationism.  No.  Here we have a group of
people who have a particular (political) agenda.  They explicitly ignore
data, and do not demand consistency from their own models... in fact the
fundamentalist Christian position is more debating trickery than
discussion.  As has been pointed out in this group (and elsewhere) the
argument begins with a false dichotomy (either Darwinian evolution + a
smattering of new synthesis OR literalist old testament (english
translation)).  And from there it is just baiting of different kinds.

        It is false to proliferate the notion that these are honest
participants in a sincere debate.  And to paint there views as somehow
anthropologically relative strikes me as disengenuous.  The analogy with
revisionist neonazis is more apt.

        I suspect that there is a bit of a disconnect on this list because
there is 1) the approach to creationist road-shows that are part of an
American evangelism that is tied to greater conservative movement and 2)
the approach that should be taken to explain these ideas to interested
participants in a debate or students who were raised in a tradition that
didn't introduce the ideas of evolution.  Recall that this thread started
in response to (1) and has subsequently shifted to (2).

        Being aware of the context (the "wider matrix of understandings")
is crucial in dealing with both.  But let us not confuse the two.

        - Jeremy

p.s. Luisa Maffi writes:
> Does anybody else on this network feel that the debate on creationism
> has been going on long enough?

        I do.  And yet I answered Bill's post.  I worry about the meltdown
of Darwin-List so I promise to have my next post to return to something
less controversial, e.g. species concepts, tautology of natural selection,
gene centrism, cladistics... you get the idea...

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

_______________________________________________________________________________

<11:62>From PICARD@VAX2.CONCORDIA.CA  Thu Jul 14 08:28:03 1994

Date: Thu, 14 Jul 1994 09:28:03 -0500 (EST)
From: MARC PICARD <PICARD@VAX2.CONCORDIA.CA>
Subject: Einstein quotation
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

        I remember reading a book either by or about Einstein in which he
said (or was quoted as saying) something like: "I stand on the shoulders of
giants". Could someone provide me with the exact words in context?

Marc Picard
picard@vax2.concordia.ca

_______________________________________________________________________________

<11:63>From CRAVENS@macc.wisc.edu  Thu Jul 14 08:33:15 1994

Date: Thu, 14 Jul 94 08:34 CDT
From: Tom Cravens <CRAVENS@macc.wisc.edu>
Subject: Mapping software
To: DARWIN-L@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

On a very down-to-earth note...

It just struck me that amongst the wide expertise on this list,
there may be someone who can help me locate PC software (Windows or
DOS) suitable to my task at hand. I need to produce maps of Italy
(including Corsica) representing dialect points and areas. The ideal
package would come with extremely detailed political and physical maps,
accept and manipulate scanned maps, allow gradient-intensity fill for
shading of areas, provide grids, permit accurate free-hand drawing,
and produce dots of various size, indexed to population of towns. It
would be affordable and user-friendly, and drive a 600dpi HP laser printer.
Any advice or leads would be much appreciated!

I suppose responses should come to me personally, so as not to
litter the list.

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

_______________________________________________________________________________

<11:64>From staddon@psych.duke.edu  Thu Jul 14 10:43:56 1994

Date: Thu, 14 Jul 94 11:45:09 EDT
From: staddon@psych.duke.edu (John Staddon)
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re: Morality without religion

Re: "geohistoricity"

Def: related to "geode" and "geodesy", meaning "really impressive story" and
"amazing journey", respectively, hence: "historicaslly astonishing or amazing"
as in "Lee Harvey Oswald killed JFK". . .

_______________________________________________________________________________

<11:65>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu  Thu Jul 14 11:08:01 1994

Date: Thu, 14 Jul 1994 12:09:00 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: July 14 -- Today in the Historical Sciences
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

JULY 14 -- TODAY IN THE HISTORICAL SCIENCES

1454: ANGELO POLIZIANO or POLITIAN is born at Montepulciano, Tuscany.
Politian's intellect and skill with languages will be recognized early in his
youth, and he will be sent to Florence to study Greek and Latin.  His clever
poems and epigrams will win him admittance to the household of Lorenzo de'
Medici, who will support his scholarship for many years.  Politian will travel
widely in Italy collecting and studying Classical manuscripts, and he will
come to be one of the most influential scholars and teachers of the Italian
Renaissance.  Through critical study of the many copies of Cicero's _Epistulae
ad familiares_, Politian will establish a clear sequence of transmission of
the text, in which most of the extant manuscripts derive from an ancestral
copy made for Coluccio Salutati in 1392, a manuscript which was itself the
descendant of another manuscript that had been found in the cathedral library
of Vercelli.  Politian's methods of reconstructing textual histories will not
be improved upon until the nineteenth century.

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).

_______________________________________________________________________________

<11:66>From CSM@macc.wisc.edu  Thu Jul 14 11:07:59 1994

Date: Thu, 14 Jul 94 11:08 CDT
From: Craig McConnell <CSM@macc.wisc.edu>
Subject: Re: Einstein quotation
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

I don't have the Einstein reference (nor do I recall seeing the quote
attributed to him), but I have seen lengthy discussions about Newton's use of
the phrase "If I have seen farther than those who came before me, it is because
I have stood on the shoulders of giants" (probably not verbatim).  This is
usually referred to as an accolade to Galileo.  Alas, the index to Westfall's
_Never at Rest_ doesn't include an entry for Shoulders or Giants.

If indeed Einstein did borrow the phrase, I'm sure he knew he was borrowing it
from Newton, whom he admired greatly.

The fracas that _I_ recall seeing about the phrase was in the journal _Isis_,
perhaps in the 1950s.  As I reall, medievalists were claiming that Newton had
lifted the phrase from earlier figures, and subsequent notes to the editor
placed the quote earlier and earlier (finally attributing it to an ancient
source).

I'll try to get a cite when I'm in the library this afternoon (if somebody else
on the list doesn't beat me to it!).

Later,

--Craig

Craig S. McConnell, (608) 238-1352
Internet:  csm@macc.wisc.edu

_______________________________________________________________________________

<11:67>From GGALE@VAX1.UMKC.EDU  Thu Jul 14 12:31:00 1994

Date: Thu, 14 Jul 1994 12:32:00 -0600 (CST)
From: GGALE@VAX1.UMKC.EDU
Subject: Re: Einstein quotation
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

Marc Picard asks about the 'standing on shoulders of giants' quotation.
It was Newton. And someone in the Newton-industry (Cohen? Koyre?) did a
whole essay on the history, derivation, etymology, and folk-mythology of
that particular quote. I could find the reference if anyone is interested.
I think.
If Einstein ever said it, he was mentioning Newton's use of it.
g
ggale@vax1.umkc.edu

_______________________________________________________________________________

<11:68>From sturkel@cosy.nyit.edu  Thu Jul 14 13:32:34 1994

Date: Thu, 14 Jul 1994 14:26:16 -0400
From: sturkel@cosy.nyit.edu
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re: cultural evolution, consistency and truth

The discussion concerning the fitness of fixed beliefs seems to relate
well to an earlier discussion concerning whether cultural change
operates through Darwinian or Lamarckian mechanisms.

Those who make the position that religious conviction is adaptive
may be arguing teleologically, i.e. Larmarckian.  The Darwinian
alternative may be something like:  "beliefs are spontaneously
and randomly generated within cultures.  These beliefs are not
necessarily adaptive.  Those cultures which have a significant load
of unadaptive beliefs are in danger of extinction, whereas those
cultures which have adaptive beliefs will continue to reproduce."

Just like biological evolution, it is difficult to determine whether
the behavioral and belief systems we presently observe are adaptive.
It is possible that we are observing cultures on the path to extinction.

spencer turkel
dept. life science
nyit
sturkel@cosy.nyit.edu

_______________________________________________________________________________

<11:69>From sturkel@cosy.nyit.edu  Thu Jul 14 13:36:11 1994

Date: Thu, 14 Jul 1994 14:35:21 -0400
From: sturkel@cosy.nyit.edu
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re:  cultural evolution, consistency and truth

Parmenides pointed out that it would be impossible to think about or
speak about nothing.  If something does not exist, it is therefore
nothing.  Ergo, anything you think about or speak about must exist.

spencer turkel
sturkel@cosy.nyit.edu

_______________________________________________________________________________

<11:70>From sturkel@cosy.nyit.edu  Thu Jul 14 13:47:33 1994

Date: Thu, 14 Jul 1994 14:39:55 -0400
From: sturkel@cosy.nyit.edu
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re: Darwinism and politics

I had once thought that it would nearly impossible for a person to
receive a Ph.D. in a biological science and not accept evolution.
However I have a nice anecdoct which contradicts this:

The anatomist on my degree committee firmly believed in the biblical
story concerning the origins of humans.  Surpringly, the outside
mentor on his degree committee had been Le Gros Clark, a leading
paleoanthropologist.  During the full day oral examination, Clark
did not ask 1 question on evolution. (fortunately, during my exam
the anatomist did not ask 1 question on the book of genesis!)

spencer turkel
sturkel@cosy.nyit.edu

_______________________________________________________________________________

<11:71>From Michael.Hannah@vuw.ac.nz  Thu Jul 14 15:35:43 1994

From: "Mike Hannah" <Michael.Hannah@vuw.ac.nz>
Date: Fri, 15 Jul 94 08:46:19 +1200
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Creationism

The debate on creationism sounds a bit like shuffling deck-chairs on the
Titanic to me.

Mike Hannah

_______________________________________________________________________________

<11:72>From fwg1@cornell.edu  Thu Jul 14 15:53:25 1994

Date: Thu, 14 Jul 1994 16:54:43 -0400
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
From: fwg1@cornell.edu (Frederic Gleach)
Subject: Re: Morality without religion

John Staddon wrote today:

>Re: "geohistoricity"
>
>Def: related to "geode" and "geodesy", meaning "really impressive story" and
>"amazing journey", respectively, hence: "historicaslly astonishing or amazing"
>as in "Lee Harvey Oswald killed JFK". . .

        I'm not given to flaming, but I don't think it's appropriate on a
list such as this, with subscribers from a variety of backgrounds, to make
such jokes about terminology.  If the intention was to belittle, there are
far worse examples of jargon floating around.  The term is not one that I
use, which is why I've been waiting to allow Bill Lynn to supply his own
definition, but I really don't think it warrants snubbing.  And since the
original question seemed to be a sincere request for information, to answer
with a joke, without clarification, is unhelpful, at best.
        And the structures of "geode" and "geodesy" as punned clearly do
not parallel "geohistoricity."  You'd need a root -ohistor-.
        My apologies for this small flare-up.
        Fred

*******************************************************************
          Frederic W. Gleach   (fwg1@cornell.edu)
       Anthropology Department, Cornell University
           (607) 255-6779

I long ago decided that anything that could be finished in my lifetime was
necessarily too small an affair to engross my full interest --Ernest Dewitt
Burton
*******************************************************************

_______________________________________________________________________________

<11:73>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu  Thu Jul 14 15:55:50 1994

Date: Thu, 14 Jul 1994 16:56:54 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: Subspecies and dialects
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

Brian Crother asks about the origin of the term "subspecies".  I can't
answer that directly (although I suspect there are people among us who
could tell us more), but one reference that might be useful as a start is:

  Stresemann, Erwin.  1975.  _Ornithology from Aristotle to the Present_.
  Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Chapter 14 has a discussion of the controversy about the introduction of
trinomials (not simply _Larus argentatus_, but _Larus argentatus argentatus_,
_Larus argentatus smithsonianus_, _L. a. vegae_, etc.).  The use of trinomials
started to become common in ornithology in the very late 1800s, and was very
controversial, being tied up with all sorts of issues about the nature of
species.  The concept of a "variety" of course is much earlier.  I would
be glad to hear more from anyone who can enlighten us.

"Subspecies" today is more or less a synonym of "geographical race".  It is
interesting to note that while systematists have gotten hopelessly hung up
about such issues for ages, I have the feeling that historical linguists have
had much less trouble dealing with the concept of dialect (a linguistic
subspecies), but I may be mistaken.

Has anyone written on the history of "dialect" as a concept in language?
What about related terms like "idiolect" for the particular manifestation of
a language in one person -- when was that concept introduced, and was it
recognized as an important clarification at the time?

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.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<11:74>From BONN@nickel.laurentian.ca  Thu Jul 14 16:02:30 1994

Date: Thu, 14 Jul 1994 17:01:42 -0500 (EST)
From: "Bonnie Blackwell, (519)253-4232x2502" <BONN@nickel.laurentian.ca>
Subject: Re: Hermeneutics, knowledge and understanding
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

William Lynn offered some very rational means to help refute creationism.
The problem, as I see it however, is that his methods require that people
be open to discussing the concepts and underpinnings.  where there is
no openness to ``broadening the conceptuals horizons", there will be
little success with this approach either.  unfortunately, most creationists
that i have met have no desire to be open.  many, esp. in university classes,
know they are going to be ridiculed or criticized for their believes by
many of their peers and instructors, so they hide their creationism
by learning the expected evolutionarily derived answers, while telling
themselves that this must be done to pass their courses.  when finished
the courses they revert to their old creationist views.  they seem
to liken this ordeal to that of the early cristians during persecution
by the romans or jews in the middle ages.

my question still is "how do we get them to open their minds to other
ideas?"

bonn

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<11:75>From Kim.Sterelny@vuw.ac.nz  Thu Jul 14 17:58:10 1994

Date: Fri, 15 Jul 1994 10:59:24 +1200
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
From: Kim.Sterelny@vuw.ac.nz
Subject: Re: Hermeneutics, knowledge and understanding

>First off, there is no such thing as truth. There are degrees of truth-
>likeness (verisimilitude). I will not pretend creationism comes anywhere near
>the verisimilitude of modern evolutionary thought, but conventionalists,
>realists, and critical rationalists have trashed the notion of objective,
>universal, logico-rational, transhistorical, transgeographical truth.

lynn thinks that conventionalists realists etc have trashed the notion of
truth. News to me. There are plenty of realists who defend, in my view
lucidly and correctly, a correspondence style notion of truth and its use
in science: to cite just two, michael devitt's Realism and Truth and
Philip Kitcher's recent Advancement of Science. Of course these views are
controversial, but to claim that there is an established consensus that the
notion of truth is hopeless is just bullshit.

kim sterelny
philosophy
victoria university of wellington

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<11:76>From Kim.Sterelny@vuw.ac.nz  Thu Jul 14 18:04:10 1994

Date: Fri, 15 Jul 1994 11:05:24 +1200
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
From: Kim.Sterelny@vuw.ac.nz
Subject: Re: Einstein quotation

>I thought it was Newton who tstood on the shoulders of giants.
>
>W. T. Tucker
>Dept. of Anthr.
>Univ. of NM

But who was who complained that he could not see far because giants were
standing on his sholders?  A more entertaining quote by far!

kim sterelny

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<11:77>From bsinger@eniac.seas.upenn.edu  Thu Jul 14 18:26:46 1994

From: bsinger@eniac.seas.upenn.edu (Bayla Singer)
Subject: Re: Can history be enforced by law?
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Date: Thu, 14 Jul 1994 19:28:01 -0400 (EDT)

Finn Rasmussen asks if it is legal to tell schoolchildren, in the US, that
Geo Washington is a Santa-Claus-like myth [etc].

I don't think there is any US-wide law as to what schoolchildren may or
may not be told: such things are left to individual states, if not to
individual schoolboard & districts.  All that is federally required is
that public schools (that is, those provided by governmental units and
supported by tax dollars) NOT insist that any particular religion is
'true' or otherwise 'best'.   General teaching -about- religions is ok.

The children, however, are not taught in a vacuum: their responses to
their teachers' claims will be strongly influenced by what the children
think they already know.

--bayla singer

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<11:78>From streelma@chuma.cas.usf.edu  Thu Jul 14 18:50:17 1994

Date: Thu, 14 Jul 1994 19:50:32 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Jeffrey Streelman (BIO)" <streelma@chuma.cas.usf.edu>
Subject: Re: Einstein quotation
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

the quote is from einstein's intro chapter to albert einstein;
philosopher scientist edited by schilpp (i think that's how to spell it).

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<11:79>From gew400@coombs.anu.edu.au  Thu Jul 14 18:57:11 1994

Date: Fri, 15 Jul 1994 09:59:20 +1000
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
From: gew400@coombs.anu.edu.au
Subject: Re: Einstein quotation

The dwarf sees farther than the giant, when he has the giant's shoulder to
mount on.

Coleridge

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<11:80>From CSM@macc.wisc.edu  Thu Jul 14 19:14:44 1994

Date: Thu, 14 Jul 94 15:11 CDT
From: Craig McConnell <CSM@macc.wisc.edu>
Subject: On the shoulders of giants
To: DARWIN-L@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

Having been to the library, I have some cleaning up to do.

It turns out the fracas I was (almost) remembering was started by none other
than George Sarton (Isis 24 (1935): 107-109) who posted a query asking for
expressions of the progressive nature of knowledge between Seneca (AD 65) and
Bernard of Chartres (d. 1126).

Bernard is the earliest known source for a quote resembling Newton's line.

Newton's line:  "If I have seen farther it is by standing on the shoulders of
giants", in a letter to Hooke, Feb 5 1675/6.

Sarton cites his _The History of Science and New Humanism_ (1931) for a more
detailed discussion of the origin of the line.  The punchline is this: the
quote, which is an expression of the progressive nature of knowledge, can be
easily traced to Bernard and Thierry of Chartres, and a number of characters
from the 12th century to the present, but Sarton was unable (and his
respondents were unable as well) to find such an expression before Bernard,
with the singular exception of a statement by Seneca (which Sarton didn't
grace us with).

My apologies for the wild speculation in the earlier post, and also for failing
to provide a context within which Einstein used the phrase.  ;-)

--Craig

Craig S. McConnell, (608) 238-1352
Internet:  csm@macc.wisc.edu

_______________________________________________________________________________

<11:81>From BRANCHJ@baylor.edu  Thu Jul 14 22:35:50 1994

Date: Thu, 14 Jul 1994 22:36:47 -0500 (CDT)
From: James Branch <BRANCHJ@baylor.edu>
Subject: Re: Einstein quotation
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

The quote "If I have seen further...it is by standing on the shoulders of
giants" was used by Newton "to express his intellectual debt to Descartes
and others who preceeded him (Moore, 1992)."  Previously, Robert Burton said
"A dwarf standing on the shoulders of giants may see further than a giant
himself."  Even earlier, the poet Lucan wrote, "Pigmies placed on the shoulders
of giants see more than the giants themselves."

Moore, R. 1992. Writing to Learn Biology.  Saunders Publishing Co. p. 39.

I hope this is of some help.

Rusty Branch
Dept. of Biology
Baylor University
BRANCHJ@BAYLOR.EDU

_______________________________________________________________________________

<11:82>From ncse@crl.com  Fri Jul 15 02:02:47 1994

Date: Thu, 14 Jul 1994 23:54:39 -0700 (PDT)
From: "Eugenie C. Scott" <ncse@crl.com>
Subject: Re: Hermeneutics, knowledge and understanding
To: Multiple recipients of list <darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu>

This is not Eugenie Scott, but Molleen Matsumura, who also works at the
National Center for Science Education.
Has discussion of creationism gone on too long?  When it has, people will
stop discussing it, or any ramifications.
But it isn't true that it is only taken seriously in the U.S.  There are
controversies in Canada and Australia, and missionary activities to Eastern
Eurpoean countries have included two creationist conferences in Moscow,
with a 3rd planned (all by the Institute for Creation Research).

_______________________________________________________________________________

<11:83>From lynn0003@gold.tc.umn.edu  Fri Jul 15 03:03:21 1994

From: "William S. Lynn" <lynn0003@gold.tc.umn.edu>
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Geohistoricity
Date: Fri, 15 Jul 94 03:04:43 -0500

Hello Darwiners!

My apologies for the confusion regarding 'geohistoricity'. I should have
anticipated this and defined the term.

In _Truth and Method_, Hans-Georg Gadamer refers to the historicity of
understanding. One of his intentions in using this phrase is to foreground the
embeddedness of all understanding in historically contingent situations. We
neither perceive nor conceive of phenomena free of presuppositions. Rather, our
presuppositions structure our experience and knowledge, to one degree or
another. These presuppositions 'evolve' through time, we 'inherit' them as
traditions, and these 'prejudices' shape our insights.

Nonetheless, history is not the only situating or contextualizing dimension. So
too is geography. All historical events take 'place' somewhere, and where they
take place has an enourmous impact on the event itself, as well as the event's
effects. In geography, we express this through the concepts of a "site" (a
specific place where something happens) and  its "situation" (the mutually
interactive environs of any site). Thus to speak of the situatedness of our
knowledge, is perforce to talk about both geography and history, that is,
geohistory, hence the geohistoricity of understanding. What I do not want lost
in this discussion of geohistory is the emphasis on the situated character of
our understanding, including 'scientific knowledge'. For reasons of both
history and geography, there can be no universal, objective, rational, value-
free truth. As creatures of cultures which evolve, diffuse, and exist in great
diversity through both 'time' and 'space', we are perforce limited in what and
how we know. This does not mean that all knowledge is relative, only that it is
not absolute.

Now the term smacks of jargon, I know. There are a several reasons why I use it
freely. The first reason is self-serving. As a marginalized discipline,
geography is often erroneously identified with quantitative spatial science and
cartography. Emphasizing the insights of geography in other arenas helps folks
become acquainted with the distinct contributions of the discipline. The second
reason is etymological. Our word for history is from the Greek, "istoria",
meaning inquiry. Herodotus is often regarded as the 'father' of history, and
the discipline of history takes its name from his _Istoria_. For the Greeks, of
course, modern disciplinary divisions did not exist. Herodotus is also one of
the founders of geography, which at the time shared the appellation istoria. In
Herodotus' case, his inquiry was not only directed to a sequence of events, but
into peoples in places. In modern parlance, Herodotus was practicing what we
now call historical geography.

For a history of science perspective, see Harold Dorn _The Geography of
Science_ (1991). For a wonderful read on geography's role in the human and
natural sciences, see David Livingstone _The Geographical Tradition_ (1992).

And try using geohistory (geohistorical, geohistoricity, etc.) a bit. With
time, it rolls off the tongue!

Bill   }`-

William S.Lynn
Geography, University of Minnesota
414 Social Science
Minneapolis, MN  55455
612/625-0133 [lynn0003@gold.tc.umn.edu]

_______________________________________________________________________________

<11:84>From staddon@psych.duke.edu  Fri Jul 15 07:51:13 1994

Date: Fri, 15 Jul 94 08:52:31 EDT
From: staddon@psych.duke.edu (John Staddon)
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re:  Geohistoricity

"For reasons of both history and geography, there can be no
universal, objective, rational, value-free truth."  -- William S.Lynn

Are these "reasons" "true"?  Is this statement true?  If not
true, is it at least "truer" than other statements?  If not true,
why should we accept the statement?

_______________________________________________________________________________

<11:85>From staddon@psych.duke.edu  Fri Jul 15 08:12:34 1994

Date: Fri, 15 Jul 94 09:13:52 EDT
From: staddon@psych.duke.edu (John Staddon)
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re: "Geohistoricity"

To Fred Gleach:

Humor stands or falls on its own; obviously mine (re
"geohistoricity") fell here.  But I reject the premise that
jargon is not fair game for comment.  One of the virtues of a
multidisciplinary (Ecch, jargon!) group is that it encourages
everyone to speak a common language.  Such a language might well
dispense with terms like "geohistoricity," "foregrounding
embeddedness" and the like.  It seems to me that most of the
"insights" (such as the demise of "truth") achieved by some of
the more advanced thinkers on the fringes of epistemology and
critical theory depend upon the freedom from criticism enforced
by artificial disciplinary boundaries.  Let's not encourage them!
JS

_______________________________________________________________________________

<11:86>From FBIO2024@ALTAIR.SELU.EDU  Fri Jul 15 08:58:27 1994

Date: Fri, 15 Jul 1994 08:59:23 -0500 (CDT)
From: FBIO2024@ALTAIR.SELU.EDU
Subject: Re: Subspecies and dialects
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: Southeastern Louisiana University

I appreciate the reference about the history of the term subspecies. I look
forward to reading it. I am aware that prior to the use of "subspecies",
variety was the common term to name variation within a species, but
soon many workers were describing individuals as varieties. And then as
I understand Rothschild and two others initiated the journal Novitates
Zoologica and in their initial editorial comment they apparently
decreed that the term variety will not be used, individual variation
will not be named, and that the term subspecies will be used to name
geographic variation. This was in 1894 and the implication was that
the term subspecies had been around for a while prior to then. I hope
Stresemann can shed some light on its origin.

Thanks, Brian I. Crother

_______________________________________________________________________________

<11:87>From ad201@freenet.carleton.ca  Fri Jul 15 11:28:10 1994

Date: Fri, 15 Jul 1994 12:29:38 -0400
From: ad201@FreeNet.Carleton.CA (Donald Phillipson)
To: Darwin-L@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Arguing Creation:  Gosse and B. Russell

Bonnie Blackwell <BONN@nickel.laurentian.ca> wrote July 14 Re:
Hermeneutics, knowledge and understanding

>William Lynn offered some very rational means to help refute creationism.
>The problem, as I see it however, is that his methods require that people
>be open to discussing the concepts and underpinnings.... unfortunately,
>most creationists that i have met have no desire to be open....  when finished
>the courses they revert to their old creationist views.  they seem
>to liken this ordeal to that of the early cristians during persecution
>by the romans or jews in the middle ages.
>
>my question still is "how do we get them to open their minds to other ideas?"

A fundamental question seems whether you wish (1) to win a debate,
i.e. convince a third party your case is better than a creationist
opponent's, or (2) to convince i.e. convert a creationist to evolution,
or (3) to teach the accepted knowledge of disciplinary biology.
It seems unlikely the same techniques would work best for all these
different goals.

Goal (3) presents no problem to the teacher unless she judges this
also presupposes goal (2), which I do not think it has to.  It is too
subtle to teach to freshmen but there is already a substantial
literature on intellectual commitments, i.e. factual propositions the
acceptance of which is a prerequisite of doing something specific.  An
accessible source in traditional 19th century style is Hans
Vaihinger's "Philosophy of As If" (1911) which presents a theory of
"necessary fictions" in several spheres, e.g. judicial law as well as
scientific research.  In recent times people who understand quantum
physics (which I do not pretend to) seem agreed that this requires
accepting factual propositions that do not conform to either common
sense or non-quantum physics.  Lewis Carroll's Humpty Dumpty said some
cheering and non-trivial things about this.

I would not voluntarily attempt goal (2) because the little I've
picked up about conversion suggests it is not a characteristically
rational process (cf. Kuhn on revolutions:  his discussion is fairly
restrained.)

For goal (1), debaters should also be aware of two other philosophical
tricks, from Edmund Gosse's father (see book Father and Son) and
Bertrand Russell (source forgotten.)

(1) Omphalos theory: did Adam have a navel when created from dust by
God?  Of course he did, because navels are characteristic of "man."
In biology, a navel testifies to chronologically prior events, i.e.
physical connection with a mother (which of course Adam did not have.)
But any living and many non-living things have similar traces of
chronologically prior events: growth of hair, bone, teeth, fish scales
and so on.

None of this proves the negative, that God did not create the world as
in Genesis at year XYZ B.P.  (Reminder:  proving negatives is
logically different and trickier than proving positives.  How could
you disprove my assertion that leaving a computer running all the
time, rather than switching off daily, keeps tigers away from my
house?  The machine is always switched on (affirmative and empirically
confirmable) and there no tigers (empirically confirmable but
negative).  Even if you made an experiment (turned the computer off)
negative results (absence of tigers) would not contradict my
assertion:  it's a long walk, and maybe the tigers have not yet had
time to arrive.  This is a familiar logical error (Modus Ponens.)

Defined in any polite and common-sensical way, God would not have
created biological entities without characteristic traces of prior
chronological events, even if there was no prior chronology.  So of
course Adam had a navel;  of course coal underground was forests and
ferns X million years ago, even if there was no such time and no such
trees;  of course there may be traces in the Burgess Shale of whole
genera and families that evolved in geological time but did not
survive or leave descendants, even if that geological time existed
only in God's imagination.

The omphalos (Greek for navel) argument appears to be logically
bullet-proof.  The question is how you could possibly tell the
difference, and this is a real question in classic philosophy.  (Cf.
the Confucian question whether the butterfly is in the philosopher's
dream or vice versa.  Bishop Berkeley explored 300 years ago the
proposition that the universe was created only yesterday, God and I am
the only things that "really" exist, and both are pure minds:  there
is "really" no physical matter at all.  God's mind and mine include
lots of confirmed information about chronology that did not happen and
material stuff that is not really there.)

The unaided omphalos argument probably has no efficacy in Goal (2),
converting a creationist, but works OK for Goal (1), convincing an
arbiter.

I can see no logical reason (though there are political inhibitions)
why scientists should not accept both the character of God as
described by both Christian tradition and today's creationists
(chiefly as omnipotent, infallible, and absolute) and the proposition
that the world was created by him and recently (and relative.)  If God
truly created everything (including free will, never non-mystically
integrated into theology) he created both the Darwinist mind and the
fossil record with traces of an evolutionary history antedating time
and creation.  It would be irreligious not to do the best science we
can, trying to make it better.  Why did God put fossils there, if not
for us to dig up and perform science upon?  (This feels like a
Euro-cultural argument.  As noted, Biblical literalism is a
characteristically American phenomenon, which usually ignores that
none of the earliest Bible documents is in English.)

(2)  The Bertrand Russell ploy is a simple debating trick which (I
think I remember) he recommended for dealing with British Israelite
cranks.  Some of the Tribes of Israel disappeared in recorded history.
One of the myths of the origins of Britain is that they found their
way to England, so were the ancestors of the British today.  (Similar
myths are that the first Briton was Brutus, grandson of Aeneas of
Troy, or that Joseph of Arimathea brought the Holy Grail to England
after the crucifixion of Jesus, cf. Arthurian legend etc.)  In
Victorian times a "British Israelite" cult began, well-known in
Russell's youth.  It recurs today in some of the weirder apocalyptic
denominations.

Russell's remedy for people who pressed British Israelite arguments on
him was first to appear to accept them, and then to insist that it was
terribly important that the British were not (as commonly and wrongly
thought) the Tribe of Manasseh but only the Tribe of Dan -- i.e. to
accept the general argument and then split hairs in such a way as to
divert attention to some trivial part of it.  This gave the British
Israelite the feeling he was being taken seriously and allowed the
deceptive Russell to get on with his own life.

--
          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

_______________________________________________________________________________

<11:88>From BONN@nickel.laurentian.ca  Fri Jul 15 11:39:43 1994

Date: Fri, 15 Jul 1994 12:39:16 -0500 (EST)
From: "Bonnie Blackwell, (519)253-4232x2502" <BONN@nickel.laurentian.ca>
Subject: Re: Darwinism and politics
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

i heard from a graduate of G. Washington U that they had graduated a
Ph.D. in paleontology to a known creationist.  i also heard that person
is now working for one of the creationist groups writing anti-evolution
literature.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<11:89>From LANGDON@GANDLF.UINDY.EDU  Fri Jul 15 13:00:20 1994

Date: Fri, 15 Jul 1994 13:00:20 -0500
From: "JOHN LANGDON"  <LANGDON@GANDLF.UINDY.EDU>
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re: On the shoulders of giants

In message <24071415110007@vms2.macc.wisc.edu>  writes:

> Newton's line:  "If I have seen farther it is by standing on the shoulders of
> giants", in a letter to Hooke, Feb 5 1675/6.

While acknowledging his predecessors, I understand Newton was writing in his
characteristic sarcasm. His reference was to a specific person, exactly whom I
forget off hand. This person's small physical stature corresponded to the low
opinion Newton held of his intellectual accomplishments.

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

_______________________________________________________________________________

<11:90>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu  Fri Jul 15 14:15:38 1994

Date: Fri, 15 Jul 1994 15:16:48 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: The purpose of Darwin-L, from the list owner
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

A recent poster asks:

>Has discussion of creationism gone on too long?  When it has, people will
>stop discussing it, or any ramifications.

The question at issue is not whether creationism should be discussed in a
general sense; of course it should.  The question is whether Darwin-L, which
is *not* a discussion group on evolutionary biology or politics or religion,
but is rather a group for *interdisciplinary academic comparisons among the
several disciplines that are concerned with reconstructing the past*, is the
proper forum for such discussion.  I believe that it is not, and in addition
to the several public complaints that have been posted, I have received
several more private complaints about how the level of discourse here has
fallen in the last few weeks.  And these complaints do not have to do simply
with the subject matter: prior to the discussion of creationism, most people
here posted substantive, thoughtful messages; now we are getting sarcastic
one-liners, snappy unsigned paragraphs, and facile expressions of opinion
that would never be accepted in an ordinary scholarly exchange.

Like most lists, Darwin-L was formed with a specific purpose in mind.  I
think I should say something more about that purpose, especially for new
members of the list.  I had originally planned to name this list either
Whewell-L or Palaetiology-L, but was told by the computer folks that the name
had to have fewer than eight characters.  (I knew this was not the case, but
I gave up arguing with computer people a long time ago.)  Now many people may
see "Darwin-L" and think: "Aha, here's a place where I can talk about (evil
creationists/human sociobiology/whether life has any meaning/ad infinitum, ad
nauseam)."  But that is *not* what Darwin-L is about, as the welcoming
document that all subscribers receive when they join the list makes clear.
(To receive another copy of that document just send the message INFO DARWIN-L
to listserv@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu, and one will be returned to you auto-
matically.)  In spite of its unfortunately broad name, Darwin-L has a very
specific focus: it is concerned with making connections among a variety of
fields that are now generally isolated from one another, but which have many
"principles, maxims, and rules of procedure in common; and thus may reflect
light upon each other by being treated together", as the nineteenth-century
philosopher and historian William Whewell said.  Whewell called these
sciences "palaetiological" -- the sciences of historical causation.  Now the
notion of the palaetiological sciences _as a group_ *may be unfamiliar to
some people*, which is wonderful: that is what the list is about: to help
people to see some of these connections which may be new to them.  "But why
do you call it 'Darwin-L' then, if it's not about (evil creationists/human
sociobiology/whether life has any meaning/ad infinitum, ad nauseam)?"  Well,
one of the unfortunate practical reasons I described above.  But the positive
reason is that Darwin was quite aware himself of the cross-disciplinary
connections among the historical sciences that are the real focus of this
list: he was trained more as a geologist than as a zoologist or botanist, and
he made comparisons between the history of species and the history of
languages in the _Origin of Species_.  Darwin's friend and colleague Charles
Lyell began his influential _Principles of Geology_ with a discussion of how
geology as a field was similar to the study of human history, and how
historical knowledge of the earth was important in the same way that
historical knowledge of nations was important.  And shortly after the
publication of the _Origin of Species_ historical linguists started to write
about the similarities between their work and Darwin's.  The purpose of
Darwin-L is to discuss how the *different* fields of historical science
*connect with one another*.

It seems clear that there is enough interest to support a listserv group
devoted to evolution exclusively, or to discussing science education and
creationism.  *Setting up a list is not hard* and I encourage those who are
interested in these subjects set up such a list themselves: it would be a
valuable contribution to the network, and if you're at most any university it
would be easy to do.

Bob O'Hara, Darwin-L list owner

Robert J. O'Hara (darwin@iris.uncg.edu)
Center for Critical Inquiry and Department of Biology
100 Foust Building, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Greensboro, North Carolina 27412 U.S.A.

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<11:91>From RMBURIAN@VTVM1.CC.VT.EDU  Fri Jul 15 16:14:15 1994

Date: Fri, 15 Jul 94 17:00:11 EDT
From: "Richard M. Burian" <RMBURIAN@VTVM1.CC.VT.EDU>
Subject: Materials for a course in History of Genetics
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

   Although I have written a few small pieces on some aspects of the
history of genetics, I have never taught a course in that area before.
In a few weeks I will have the luxury (I hope) of teaching a small,
flexible graduate class on the history and historiography of genetics.
It is likely that I will have a few students whose background is
primarily in biology and a few who come from our program in science
and technology studies.
   I am acquainted with most of the standard secondary sources (Bowler,
Carlson, Dunn, Sturtevant, etc.), and with a swath of both primary and
secondary literature, and I will in any case tailor the course to the
actual students in attendance.  But I am very interested to learn from
others on this list of syllabi, useful materials, good and bad expe
riences using particular materials, and so on.  I'd be very grateful
to receive privately any syllabi or suggestions -- and to consider
those suggestions that you think are of general enough interest to post
to this list.
   Thanks in advance for your ideas and suggestions.
Richard Burian                      rmburian@vtvm1.cc.vt.edu
Science and Technology Studies      703 231-6760 (voice)
Virginia Tech                       70s 231-7013 (fax)
Blacksburg, VA 24061-0247

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<11:92>From WTUCKER@BOOTES.UNM.EDU  Fri Jul 15 18:45:57 1994

Date: Fri, 15 Jul 1994 17:47 MST
From: WTUCKER@BOOTES.UNM.EDU
Subject: Re: cultural evolution, consistency and truth
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

I'm sympathetic to Turkel's position when he states:

"beliefs are spontaneously
and randomly generated within cultures.  These beliefs are not
necessarily adaptive.  Those cultures which have a significant load
of unadaptive beliefs are in danger of extinction, whereas those
cultures which have adaptive beliefs will continue to reproduce."

but I think the idea of group selection implicit here may be
unnecessary.  Imagine instead an epidemiological model of the
transmission of beliefs, similar to Boyd and Richerson 1985.  Beliefs
are transmitted according to their ability to parasitize brains.  Those
harming individuals carrying them are true parasites, those that help,
symbionts.  Since beliefs have a much shorter generation time than
their human carriers, it might take individual selection a long time to
develop defenses, especially when the damage done by bad ideas is
small.

Just an idea.

W. Troy Tucker
Department of Anthropology
University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM

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<11:93>From mwinsor@epas.utoronto.ca  Fri Jul 15 19:32:26 1994

From: mwinsor@epas.utoronto.ca (Mary P Winsor)
Subject: Gosse and Omphalos
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu (bulletin board)
Date: Fri, 15 Jul 1994 20:36:43 -0400 (EDT)

The omphalos story is an important one, and central
to the theme of our list.  I often include it in my
undergraduate Darwinism course.  Philip Henry Gosse
wrote a book entitled Omphalos, because it was clear
that evolution was in the air; this was a couple of
years prior to 1859, but the anonymous Vestiges and
Baden Powell's book made it clear some such theory
would soon come along.  Gosse was a very eminent
naturalist as well as pious believer in Genesis and
expounded the logical compatibility of a recent
creation and evidence like fossils.  The point of
the story, though, is that no one listened (much to
Gosse's dismay).  This unassailable, pure, perfect
reconciliation was satisfying to neither camp, and
still is not, because it implies that God has no
compunction about deceiving us.   People who believe
in God (most evolutionists did) may admit they know
little about Him, but they are at least sure that He
no more tells lies than He plays at dice.
The moral of the story for our list is that we can
do an historical science with as much faith in its
verisimilitude (!) as a chemist or physicist can do
her experimental science.  Again, in my teaching I
compare Lyell's uniformitarian assumptions to Newton's
claims that gravity can apply to unreachable space as
well as where we can measure it.
But Lyell has taken a bit of a bashing from us
purist historians lately, a comedown from the days
when Leonard Wilson celebrated him in that wonderful
half-biography.  Rudwick has shown how unoriginal and
complicated was his actualism, and Rachel Laudan has
shown how inaccurate and polemical was the version of
the history of geology with which he opened the
Principles of Geology.  Perhaps because I was privileged
to hear Wilson lecturing about Lyell in the years Wilson
was writing that book, I still feel powerfully attracted
to the heroic image.
Which brings me to a theme that the list has had implicit
from the outset but we have not made explicit, the hero
(read henceforward "heroine or hero").  Do we all learn,
and do you all teach, the themes of your science partly
through biographical tales, and do you later outgrow them
as though they were about Santa Claus?  Or do you only grow
more hungry for details, as our list owner obviously does?
I'd be glad to hear, not learn-ed pronouncements on the role
of myth, but specific examples of tales which you cherish,
which may not be familiar to others on this interdisciplinary
list.
This is not a disinterested query; I am in the early stages of
formulating a research program around the role of history within
science.  Yes, I know can play a role in scientists' rhetoric,
helping them win their readers over, and can provide an
inspirational idea (and not only to beginnners?).  But I suspect
it does several more things than that.
Thanks for reading this far!
   Polly Winsor    mwinsor@epas.utoronto.ca

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Darwin-L Message Log 11: 39-93 -- July 1994                                 End

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