Darwin-L Message Log 16: 1–23 — December 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 December 1994. It has been lightly edited for format: message numbers have been added for ease of reference, message headers have been trimmed, some irregular lines have been reformatted, and error messages and personal messages accidentally posted to the group as a whole have been deleted. No genuine editorial changes have been made to the content of any of the posts. This log is provided for personal reference and research purposes only, and none of the material contained herein should be published or quoted without the permission of the original poster.
The master copy of this log is maintained in the Darwin-L Archives (rjohara.net/darwin) by Dr. Robert J. O’Hara. The Darwin-L Archives also contain additional information about the Darwin-L discussion group, the complete Today in the Historical Sciences calendar for every month of the year, a collection of recommended readings on the historical sciences, and an account of William Whewell’s concept of “palaetiology.”
---------------------------------------------- DARWIN-L MESSAGE LOG 16: 1-23 -- DECEMBER 1994 ---------------------------------------------- _______________________________________________________________________________ <16:1>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Thu Dec 1 00:12:12 1994 Date: Thu, 01 Dec 1994 01:11:37 -0400 (EDT) From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Subject: List owner's monthly greeting To: email@example.com Organization: University of NC at Greensboro Greetings to all Darwin-L subscribers. On the first of every month I send out a short note on the status of our group, along with a reminder of basic commands. Darwin-L is an international discussion group for professionals in the historical sciences. It is not devoted to any particular discipline, such as evolutionary biology, but rather endeavors to promote interdisciplinary comparisons among all the historical sciences. Darwin-L was established in September 1993, and we now have over 600 members from more than 30 countries. I am grateful to all of our members for their continuing interest and their many contributions. Darwin-L is occasionally a "high-volume" discussion group. Subscribers who feel burdened from time to time by their Darwin-L mail may wish to take advantage of the digest option described below. Because different mail systems work differently, not all subscribers can see the e-mail address of the original sender of each message in the message header (some people only see "Darwin-L" as the source). Please include your name and e-mail address at the end of every message you post so that everyone can identify you and reply privately if appropriate. Remember also that in most cases when you type "reply" in response to a message from Darwin-L your reply is sent to the group as a whole, rather than to the original sender. The following are the most frequently used listserv commands that Darwin-L members may wish to know. All of these commands should be sent as regular e-mail messages to the listserv address (firstname.lastname@example.org), not to the address of the group as a whole (Darwin-L@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu). In each case leave the subject line of the message blank and include no extraneous text, as the command will be read and processed by the listserv program rather than by a person. To join the group send the message: SUBSCRIBE DARWIN-L <Your Name> For example: SUBSCRIBE DARWIN-L John Smith To cancel your subscription send the message: UNSUBSCRIBE DARWIN-L If you feel burdened by the volume of mail you receive from Darwin-L you may instruct the listserv program to deliver mail to you in digest format (one message per day consisting of the whole day's posts bundled together). To receive your mail in digest format send the message: SET DARWIN-L MAIL DIGEST To change your subscription from digest format back to one-at-a-time delivery send the message: SET DARWIN-L MAIL ACK To temporarily suspend mail delivery (when you go on vacation, for example) send the message: SET DARWIN-L MAIL POSTPONE To resume regular delivery send either the DIGEST or ACK messages above. For a comprehensive introduction to Darwin-L with notes on our scope and on network etiquette, and a summary of all available commands, send the message: INFO DARWIN-L To post a public message to the group as a whole simply send it as regular e-mail to the group's address (Darwin-L@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu). I thank you all for your continuing interest in Darwin-L and in the interdisciplinary study of the historical sciences. Bob O'Hara, Darwin-L list owner Robert J. O'Hara (email@example.com) Center for Critical Inquiry and Department of Biology 100 Foust Building, University of North Carolina at Greensboro Greensboro, North Carolina 27412 U.S.A. _______________________________________________________________________________ <16:2>From firstname.lastname@example.org Thu Dec 1 12:15:47 1994 From: "Gessler, Nicholas (G) ANTHRO" <email@example.com> To: DARWIN - postings <DARWIN-L@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu> Subject: human energetics Date: Thu, 01 Dec 94 10:15:00 PST I'm interested in obtaining a book showing tables/graphs of human energy consumption for different activities (e.g. walking, running), while carrying different loads (e.g. 25, 50, 100 pounds), for different individuals (e.g. sex, age, stature, weight), in different environments (e.g. slope, substrate, temperature). I'd like to work some of these energy costs in to a multi-agent computer simulation of trade. I would appreciate any suggestions on a concise reference source. Thanks... Nick Gessler UCLA - Anthropology firstname.lastname@example.org _______________________________________________________________________________ <16:3>From email@example.com Thu Dec 1 12:24:14 1994 From: "Gessler, Nicholas (G) ANTHRO" <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: DARWIN - postings <DARWIN-L@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu> Subject: Maturana on autopoesis Date: Thu, 01 Dec 94 10:22:00 PST I've recently had someone try to explain to me Maturana's "autopoetic" view of evolution. After repeated attempts at reading several key statements, it sounds to me as though he's not saying anything new about macroevolution, except that he is saying it in a newly invented (and seemingly convoluted and cumbersome) language. Would someone better acquainted than I am with his work explain the significance of his "autopoesis" and its difference from the "standard theory" of natural selection? With thanks... Nick Gessler UCLA - Anthropology email@example.com _______________________________________________________________________________ <16:4>From firstname.lastname@example.org Sat Dec 3 13:27:24 1994 Date: Sat, 3 Dec 94 14:27:20 EST From: Eben Moglen <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Re: talking drums You suggestively wrote: Postscript: Ever since I first read Heimo Kremsmayer's brief review, I have wondered what might have befallen him in wartime Austria. Did he die in the war? Did he die in the holocaust? Did he escape and survive? Does anybody know of Internet resources for tracing what might have happened to Kremsmayer? Please reply to me directly if you do. I am interested in these problems of historical tracing on the net. I would be grateful if you would share with me any responses shedding light on searching methodologies. Thanks very much. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Eben Moglen voice: 212-854-8382 Professor of Law & Legal History fax: 212-854-7946 moglen@ Columbia Law School, 435 West 116th Street, NYC 10027 columbia.edu PGP key: finger email@example.com _______________________________________________________________________________ <16:5>From firstname.lastname@example.org Mon Dec 5 15:39:47 1994 Date: Mon, 5 Dec 1994 13:39:38 -0800 (PST) From: Michael Andrew Sainsbury <email@example.com> To: Darwin-L@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu Subject: Inquiry into 16th c. mural maps This first post will also serve an an introduction. I am currently studying the _Sala delle carte geografiche_ in Florence's _Palazzo Vecchio_ which was decorated between the 1560s and the 1580s. As this room was the _studiolo_ of Cosimo I, I am interested in how this cartographic re-pre- sentation of the entire world (in this age of exploration) may indicate a Renaissance conception of self within the "new" (mem: circumnavigated in 1522) world. Frank Lestringant's recently trans. _Mapping the Renaissance World_ will provide some models for further inquiry and understanding, but I am wondering if other members have any expertise in this area, which includes the history of carto- graphy, cosmology, cosmography, education, and exploration, (as well as decoration, painting, and patronage). Any information on possibly useful paradigms such as Lestringant's, or other listservs on which to post this query, will be greatly appreciated. ********************************************************************** Michael Sainsbury "The more mechanistic science becomes, U of British Columbia / Canada the more angels I shall paint." firstname.lastname@example.org / (604) 736-5620 - Sir Edward Burne-Jones _______________________________________________________________________________ <16:6>From SHANKSN@ETSUSERV.EAST-TENN-ST.EDU Wed Dec 7 14:51:23 1994 From: "Niall Shanks" <SHANKSN@ETSUSERV.EAST-TENN-ST.EDU> Organization: East Tennessee State University To: Darwin <Darwin-L@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu>, hopos <HOPOS-L@ukcc.uky.edu>, HPSST <HPSST-L@QUCDN>, sci-tech-studies <email@example.com>, philos-l<firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: Wed, 7 Dec 1994 15:50:59 GMT-5 Subject: AD: Visiting Chair of Excellence DO NOT REPLY TO THE LIST!!! PLEASE REPLY TO ADDRESS BELOW!!! EAST TENNESSEE STATE UNIVERSITY is seeking NOMINATIONS for an individual to fill the "Wayne. G. Basler Chair of Excellence for the Integration of the Arts, Rhetoric and Science." This is a ONE- semester appointment. Each year we hope to bring an outstanding scholar to ETSU in order to provide our students with an opportunity to benefit from an interdisciplinary perspective on a theme of interest. The theme for academic year 95-96 can be found below. The successful nominee will be expected to spend ONE semester at ETSU (renumeration will be at least $50,000). The holder of the Chair will be expected to teach ONE course in the format of a major lecture, as well as to provide some public lectures of interest to the general academic and local communities. Precise duties and expectations may be subject to negotiation. We are loooking for someone to be appointed in Fall of `95 -- but due to delays in advertizing, we will be willing to look at nominees who would be willing to come in Spring of `96. More than anything else, the nominee should be both a scholar of note and an educator who is interested in, and capable of, communicating ideas to students from mixed backgrounds and varying degrees of preparedness. THEME FOR THE FIRST YEAR  In the Proposal for the "Wayne. G. Basler Chair of Excellence for the Integration of the Arts, Rhetoric and Science", it is stated that the holder of the Chair of Excellence will bring to ETSU an interdisciplinary vision and the ability to help integrate knowledge and values spanning the sciences, rhetoric and the arts (Proposal, p.3): The Chair will be occupied by an outstanding individual who has earned a national or international reputation for quality teaching, for scholarship, or for representing in his or her life or profession the ability to address issues and values from an interdisciplinary perspective.  The theme is intended to form a "keel" of issues around which the holder of the Chair can build an interdisciplinary structure. Just as the superstructure of a ship does not always have to connect directly back to the keel, so the holder of the Chair will be free to discuss issues not directly mentioned in the theme. It is hoped, however, that the holder of the Chair will show how such issues connect back -- albeit indirectly -- to the central issues of the theme, for in so doing, the holder of the Chair will be able to give our community -- and the students in particular -- a feel for the interconnectedness of knowledge.  THEME FOR YEAR ONE: REDESIGNING HUMANITY. Scientists are becoming ever more knowledgeable about human genetic constitution. With this knowledge, a variety of technological possibilities are opening up with respect to our ability to screen and manipulate various features of the human genotype. But this research raises many questions concerning ethics and public policy. Connected with these technological possibilities are issues relating to our ability to control and manipulate various aspects of the human condition from physical, behavioral and mental standpoints. These issues raise questions about the ethics and politics of scientific research. The issue as to whether science should be in the business of manipulating human kind has a long history extending back to the 19th century and the emergence of Eugenics movements aimed at "improving" the human "stock". This century has witnessed some of the horrors associated with (ethically and scientifically) misguided attempts to improve human kind (primarily through the elimination of "undesirable types" by the Nazis and others). But one does not have to travel abroad to see evidence of misguided actions stemming from a desire to improve and "protect" the gene pool. It suffices to recall the forced sterilization programs which were enforced by the Supreme Court as late as the 1920s. The most famous case being that of the enforced sterilization of Carrie Buck -- a Virginia woman who had not scored favorably on the Stanford-Binet IQ test. In that case Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote: We have seen more than once that public welfare may call upon the best citizens for their lives. It would be strange if it could not call upon those who already sap the strength of the state for these lesser sacrifices...Three generations of imbeciles is enough. (Quoted in SJ Gould "The Mismeasure of Man", p. 335) The issues here run deep. How much of human nature is determined by our genetic constitution and how much by environmental influences? And when we have determined how much is "determined", what scope is left for a sense of human autonomy and freedom? For as philosopher John Earman has noted, "The more precisely science locates man in nature, the more difficult it becomes to sustain a sense of autonomy for human actions". Such issues are of both academic and public importance, for here we are at one of the central places where science, ethics, politics and broader cultural issues become inextricably intertwined. It is hoped that the successful nominee will be able to shed light on these matters. DO NOT REPLY TO THE LIST!!!!!! NOMINATIONS (including self-nomination) should be e-mailed to: Dr. Niall Shanks SHANKSN@ETSUSERV.EAST-TENN-ST.EDU Nominations should include the name and address of the nominee (as well as telephone # and email address if available). _______________________________________________________________________________ <16:7>From email@example.com Wed Dec 14 07:52:05 1994 Date: 14 Dec 1994 08:51:11 -0400 From: "p stevens" <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: botany and natural history To: email@example.com A call for help... I am trying to tease apart the relationship between botany, zoology, classification and natural history in the nineteenth century - for instance, there are asymmetries such as the fact that a book with a title like "The Natural History of America" can be entirely about animals, but almost never entirely about plants. Also why "botany" should in many people's minds have been associated with (Linnaean) classification and/or women and/or children (this is fairly easy to understand,. at least at one level). In connection with this, I am trying to get information about the American Nature Study Society, about which I know little else than its name. Also, I would like to know something about the circumstances surrounding the founding of the journal, "The Plant World", in 1897, which was apparently a semi-popular mouthpiece of the then fledgling Botanical Society of America. Any help will be much appreciated - there are quite possibly some pretty basic references that I have missed, but I have made no progress over the last few months with the two specific problems just mentioned, hence this message. Peter Stevens. _______________________________________________________________________________ <16:8>From firstname.lastname@example.org Thu Dec 15 07:47:07 1994 Date: Thu, 15 Dec 1994 08:49:53 EDT From: "Bonnie Blackwell, Dept of Geology, (718) 997-3332" <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: RE: botany and natural history Another question you might ask, is why should a book entitled the "natural history of x" ignore the geology of an area? i would remind you that geology + climate => soils + vegetation => life forms (=> means influences or controls) i hope that you do not fall into the same trap that your 19th colleagues did. b _______________________________________________________________________________ <16:9>From LKNYHART@macc.wisc.edu Thu Dec 15 09:03:00 1994 Date: Thu, 15 Dec 94 09:02 CDT From: Lynn K. Nyhart <LKNYHART@macc.wisc.edu> Subject: Re: botany and natural history To: email@example.com Peter Stevens asks some great questions about botany; their fundamental nature shows just how impoverished our understanding of the history of botany is. I have no answers here, just a couple of thoughts. First, it seems to me quite plausible that the connection of botany with women and children on the one hand, and the possibility of writing a "Natural history of N. America" without referring to plants, on the other, could be connected. If botany was that much lower status than zoology (done by lower status people, addressed to less elite audiences), then that might explain to some degree the asymmetry you mentioned. (It doesn't explain, of course, how that asymmetry arose.) Second, I wonder whether the word "botany" was so closely associated with classification that doing other activities under its rubric was difficult. I'm thinking of an analogy with "anatomy," which at the turn of the 19thC (in Germany, anyway--my territory) was closely associated with cutting up bodies, and not with theorizing about them. Similarly, botanists (and zoologists, too) in the 1840s in Germany put a lot of effort into defining something they called "scientific botany" that included plant morphology and physiology, thereby "elevating" it (in their eyes) above mere classification. Again, this doesn't tell us how that tight linkage came about, but it suggests that it was difficult to overcome. I hope others with thoughts on the subject will also answer to the list; I find this topic really interesting and worthy of more discussion. (I couldn't answer directly to P. Stevens anyway, since he didn't include his email address at the bottom of the message--please remember that some of us don't get the addresses unless you put them in the message itself!) Lynn Nyhart firstname.lastname@example.org _______________________________________________________________________________ <16:10>From LANGE@humnet.ucla.edu Fri Dec 16 13:18:55 1994 From: "Marc Lange Dodd 347 5-2291" <LANGE@humnet.ucla.edu> To: email@example.com Date: Fri, 16 Dec 1994 11:18:55 PST Subject: Question: History of mycology Perhaps one of you knows how I might find an answer to this question -- I'd be very grateful. Apparently there was (until around the very end of the 18th century) considerable controversy over whether fungi are living creatures (never mind whether plants, animals, or some third kind of living thing). As late as 1784, Villemet held that they might best find a place in the mineral kingdom, and many of the ancients (e.g., Pliny, Plutarch) held them to be non-living. This view was apparently often associated with the belief that they derive directly from thunder or earth or moisture ("mill-dew"), while the view that they are living was associated with the belief that they come from something like seeds. What I want to know is what *reasons* were given (at any stage in this long-running dispute) for believing the fungi living (or non-living). My reason for wondering (not that you asked!) is that I am interested in all manner of questions regarding whether any scientific work has been performed by the distinction between living and non-living, and if so, what work that might be. In this connection, I have looked occasionally at recent discussions regarding artificial life (so- called), as well as ancient and medieval disputes over whether the stars and planets are living creatures. I would be very interested in any relevant suggestions. Thank you very much. Marc Lange (Assistant Professor of Philosophy, UCLA) firstname.lastname@example.org _______________________________________________________________________________ <16:11>From RMBURIAN@VTVM1.CC.VT.EDU Fri Dec 16 16:35:29 1994 Date: Fri, 16 Dec 94 17:29:57 EST From: "Richard M. Burian" <RMBURIAN@VTVM1.CC.VT.EDU> Subject: The boundary of living and non-living To: email@example.com Marc Lange asked (starting from the history of mycology) about the boundary of living and non-living. Insofar as that is the question underlying his query, it seems to me that it would be useful to look at a series of sites where the issue comes up. A classic example would be debates over spontaneous generation (Spallanzani, Pasteur vs. Pouchet, etc.); a 20th century example would be some of the debates over the status of viruses. I did not know of the issue vis-a-vis the status of fungi and mildews; it will be very interesting to learn something about the relevant history. I will also be lurking to learn more about the line that Peter Stevens and Lynn Nyhart opened up in the history of botany. Richard Burian voice: 703 231-6760 firstname.lastname@example.org Science Studies fax: 703 231-7013 or Virginia Tech email@example.com Blacksburg, VA 24061-0247 _______________________________________________________________________________ <16:12>From firstname.lastname@example.org Sat Dec 17 12:53:27 1994 Date: 17 Dec 1994 13:52:53 -0400 From: "p stevens" <email@example.com> Subject: fungi, life and non-life To: firstname.lastname@example.org Marc Lange writes about the debate over whenther fungi were living or non-living. The best early history of mycology of which I know is that by G, C. Ainsworth, "Introduction to the history of mycology", Cambridge University Press, 1978 - pp. 12-34, and there are lots of references. A major issue was also whether fungi were animals, plants, both, or neither, and an appropriately-named Baron Otto von Munchausen claimed to have obtained animalcules from germinating fungal spores. For Linnaeus, fungi were almost pure medulla, i.e., pure life, and were so little constrained by cortex, the form-giving part of organisms, that they were protean in form and their classification in chaos - and chaos was the name of a new kingdom Linnaeus was thinking of recognising in which organisms devoid of medulla were to be placed. Peter Stevens. _______________________________________________________________________________ <16:13>From email@example.com Wed Dec 21 14:36:10 1994 Date: Wed, 21 Dec 1994 15:39:23 EDT From: "Bonnie Blackwell, Dept of Geology, (718) 997-3332" <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com Subject: RE: The boundary of living and non-living do not forget the Gaia hypothesis. while not generally accepted by most geologists, some at least are keeping an open mind on it. b ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Bonnie Blackwell, firstname.lastname@example.org Dept of Geology, (718) 997-3332 Queens College, City University of New York, fax: 997-3349 Flushing, NY 11367-1597 _______________________________________________________________________________ <16:14>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Thu Dec 22 19:12:42 1994 Date: Thu, 22 Dec 1994 20:12:36 -0400 (EDT) From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Subject: New book on historiography (fwd from H-RHETOR) To: email@example.com Organization: University of NC at Greensboro This announcement of a new book on historiography may perhaps be of interest to some Darwin-L subscribers. Bob O'Hara (firstname.lastname@example.org) --begin forwarded message-------------- Date: Wed, 21 Dec 1994 11:28:42 -0700 From: h-rhetor <HATCHG@jkhbhrc.byu.edu> Subject: New Book: Historiography Between Modernism and Postmodernism From: PAPRZYCKI_M@gusher.pb.utexas.edu Dear Netters, Sorry for possible cross-posting but this is the only way to reach all interested parties. It is my pleasure to announce that Poznan Studies has published its 41st volume: HISTORIOGRAPHY BETWEEN MODERNISM AND POSTMODERNISM Contributions to the Methodology of the Historical Research Edited by Jerzy Topolski Below, you will find its table of contents. The summary of the book can be found at the International Philosophical Preprint Exchange (ftp Phil-Preprints.L.Chiba-U.ac.jp or gopher apa.oxy.edu). For more information, contact Katarzyna Paprzycka email@example.com Marcin Paprzycki firstname.lastname@example.org Leszek Nowak email@example.com ___________________________________________________________________ HISTORIOGRAPHY BETWEEN MODERNISM AND POSTMODERNISM Contributions to the Methodology of the Historical Research Edited by Jerzy Topolski Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities Volume 41 Amsterdam/Atlanta, GA: Rodopi, ISBN 90-5183-721-6 or 90-5183-744-5 ___________________________________________________________________ TABLE OF CONTENTS ___________________________________________________________________ Jerzy Topolski A Non-Postmodernist Analysis of Historical Narratives Frank R. Ankersmit The Origins of Postmodernist Historiography David Carr Getting the Story Straight: Narrative and Historical Knowledge Wojciech Wrzosek The Problem of Cultural Imputation in History. Cultures Versus History Jacques Tacq Causality as Virtual Finality Gwidon Zalejko Soviet Historiography as a "Normal Science" Henryk Mamzer and Janusz Ostoja-Zagorski Deconstruction of the Evolutionist Paradigm in Archaeology Nicole Lautier At the Crossroads of Epistemology and Psychology: Prospects of a Didactic of History Teresa Kostyrko Remarks on "Aesthetization" in Science on the Basis of History --end forwarded message---------------- _______________________________________________________________________________ <16:15>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Fri Dec 23 00:25:54 1994 Date: Fri, 23 Dec 1994 01:25:49 -0400 (EDT) From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Subject: December 23 -- Today in the Historical Sciences To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: University of NC at Greensboro DECEMBER 23 -- TODAY IN THE HISTORICAL SCIENCES 1749: MARK CATESBY dies at London, England, aged 66. Catesby was born in Essex, England, and from 1712 to 1719 lived with his sister in the Virginia colony. The plants Catesby collected during his stay in America brought him to the attention of a number of prominent naturalists, including Sir Hans Sloane, and Catesby was commissioned to return to America specifically for the purpose of natural history exploration and collecting. From 1722 to 1726 he traveled through South Carolina, Florida, and the West Indies, and upon his return he published the acclaimed _Natural History of Carolina, Florida, and the Bahama Islands_ (1731-1743). This work will be used later by Linnaeus as the source for his descriptions of the North American bird fauna. 1810: EDWARD BLYTH is born at London, England. Although his mother will encourage him to enter the ministry, natural history will be Blyth's favorite study from a young age. While in his twenties, Blyth will publish a series of important papers on organismal variation that Darwin will later study with care, among them "An attempt to classify the 'varieties' of animals, with observations on the marked seasonal and other changes which naturally take place in various British species which do not constitute varieties" (_Magazine of Natural History_, 8:40-53, 1835). In 1841 Blyth will be appointed curator to the Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal and will move from England to India, where will be remembered as one of the founders of Indian zoology. Today in the Historical Sciences is a feature of Darwin-L, an international network discussion group for professionals in the historical sciences. For more information about Darwin-L send the two-word message INFO DARWIN-L to email@example.com, or gopher to rjohara.uncg.edu (220.127.116.11). _______________________________________________________________________________ <16:16>From firstname.lastname@example.org Fri Dec 23 15:31:49 1994 Date: 23 Dec 1994 16:31:37 -0400 From: "p stevens" <email@example.com> Subject: botany as mindless classification To: firstname.lastname@example.org This comment takes up Lyn Nyhart's suggestion that botany was so closely associated with classification that any other activity under its rubric was difficult. First, there is abundant evidence (which I am not going to rehearse) that by the early 19thC "botanique proper" was equated with classification. Second - and this is most important - classification/botany was either associated with the "artificial" Linnaean system or with a fundamentally incomprehensible natural system. In both cases, the way was clear for considerable stigma to become attached to the word "botany", and its association with a rather mindless classificatory activity. A. The Linnaean system was most prominently before the eyes of the public in England, America, and France (to name only three countries, albeit important ones) well into the 19thC; even in the 1840s medical students were being taught what they needed to know about botany using the Linnaean system. B. Plant names, even plant classifications, were (and are still) often called "Linnaean"; the public usually heard of taxonomists when the latter came to change names - often, it seemed, for no good reason. C. Even the natural system in botany seemed to outsiders (and more insiders than one might suppose) to be without any intrinsic interest; there was again a divergence with zoology, where Cuvier - or at least what he stood for - gave point to zoological classifications to an early 19thC mind. D. The botanical natural system was not even stable. At the risk of making this post a little long, a quotation from Samuel Taylor Coleridge captures the mood, making points B, C, and D quite nicely (Bob O'Hara put me on to this a long time ago, although I have only just followed it up - again, this is all his fault). It comes from the 3rd edition of "The Rambler" - I haven't checked earlier editions. After listing the names of the great botanists of the preceeding century and a half, Coleridge went on: "[W]hat is botany at this present hour? Little more than an enormous nomenclature; a huge catalogue, well arranged, and yearly and monthly augmented, in various editions, each with its own scheme of technical memory and its own conveniences of reference. A dictionary in which (to carry on the metaphor) an Ainsworth arranges the contents by the initials; a Walker by the endings; a Scapula by the radicals; and a Cominius by the similarity of the uses and purposes. The terms system, method, science, are mere improprieties of courtesy, when applied to a mass enlarging by endless appositions, but without a nerve that oscillates, or a pulse that throbs, in sign of growth or inward sympathy. The innocent amusement, the healthful occupation, the ornamental accomplishment of amateurs (most honorable indeed and deserving of all praise as a preventive substitute for the stall, the kennel, and the subscription-room), it has yet to expect the devotion and energies of the philosopher" (Coleridge 1837: 3: 138-139). Coleridge wanted a botany with laws, and he compared the parlous state of classificatory botany with the much more flourishing state of zoology. There, he thought, John Hunter, ably seconded by Georges Cuvier, had provided laws, an explanation for and an understanding of the numerous facts and phenomena which had threatened to stifle the discipline (ibid.: 145-147). William Whewell effectively endorses Coleridge's point when he observed that the "natural history method", botanical classification, was the epitome of classificatory activities in the sciences; this classification was based on simple likeness, and lacked any of the functional connotations that Cuvier had integrated with zoological classificatory activities (Whewell Philosophy 1847: 1: 512). Finally, in his inaugural lecture as professor of botany at King's College, London (in 1843) Edward Forbes defended the discipline of botany not so much for its own importance, but as a discipline that would itself discipline the mind into the habit of making accurate observation - "the general scientific method" - in all branches of science; he specifically defended the Linnaean system as an identificatory and indexing tool. Forbes had a difficult task, since his audience had medical men in it, but he hardly presented classification as a discipline of any scientific interest. I knew that even in the early 19thC classificatory botany was not faring well when those working on other botanical and zoological subjects made comparisons. What I had not realised was that even then the natural system in botany seemed to have little interest for those -outside- academia and the professions. PS. In an earlier note I suggested the Linnaeus's kingdom, chaos, was to include organisms made up of pure cortex - I should have said "medulla". Peter Stevens - p email@example.com _______________________________________________________________________________ <16:17>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Sat Dec 24 00:31:59 1994 Date: Sat, 24 Dec 1994 01:31:54 -0400 (EDT) From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Subject: December 24 -- Today in the Historical Sciences To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: University of NC at Greensboro DECEMBER 24 -- TODAY IN THE HISTORICAL SCIENCES 1856: HUGH MILLER dies at Portobello, Scotland, a suicide. One of the great geological writers of the early nineteenth century, Miller's graceful prose earned fame for his many books, including _Scenes and Legends from the North of Scotland_ (1835), _The Old Red Sandstone_ (1841), and also _Foot-Prints of the Creator; Or, the Asterolepis of Stromness_ (1847): "We learn from human history that nations are as certainly mortal as men. They enjoy a greatly longer term of existence, but they die at last; Rollin's History of Ancient Nations is a history of the dead. And we are taught by geological history, in like manner, that _species_ are as mortal as individuals and nations, and that even genera and families become extinct. There is no _man_ upon the earth at the present moment whose age greatly exceeds an hundred years; -- there is no _nation_ now upon earth (if we perhaps except the long-lived Chinese) that also flourished three thousand years ago; -- there is no _species_ now living upon earth that dates beyond the times of the Tertiary deposits. All bear the stamp of death, -- individuals, -- nations, -- species; and we may scarce less safely predicate, looking upon the past, that it is appointed for nations and species to die, than that it is 'appointed for _man_ once to die.'" 1868: ETIENNE-JULES-ADOLPHE, DESMIER DE SAINT-SIMON, VICOMTE D'ARCHIAC drowns in the Seine river in Paris, a suicide. Following a short military career for which he received a life-time pension, d'Archiac turned to geology and became one of the leading stratigraphers in Europe. In addition to many research papers on paleontology and stratigraphic correlation, d'Archiac published a nine-volume _Histoire des Progres de la Geologie_ from 1847 to 1860, and served several times as president of the Societe Geologique de France. Today in the Historical Sciences is a feature of Darwin-L, an international network discussion group for professionals in the historical sciences. For more information about Darwin-L send the two-word message INFO DARWIN-L to email@example.com, or gopher to rjohara.uncg.edu (18.104.22.168). _______________________________________________________________________________ <16:18>From CHODGES@OREGON.UOREGON.EDU Sat Dec 24 12:30:42 1994 Date: Sat, 24 Dec 1994 10:30:34 -0800 (PST) From: CHODGES@OREGON.UOREGON.EDU Subject: Re: botany and natural history To: firstname.lastname@example.org On Fri, 16 Dec 1994, Lynn K. Nyhart wrote: > Peter Stevens asks some great questions about botany; their fundamental nature > shows just how impoverished our understanding of the history of botany is. I > have no answers here, just a couple of thoughts. > > First, it seems to me quite plausible that the connection of botany with women > and children on the one hand, and the possibility of writing a "Natural hsitory > of N. America" without referring to plants, on the other, could be connected. > If botany was that much lower status than zoology (done by lower status people, > addressed to less elite audiences), then that might explain to some degree the > asymmetry you mentioned. (It doesn't explain, of course, how that asymmetry > arose.) > > Second, I wonder whether the word "botany" was so closely associated with > classification that doing other activities under its rubric was difficult. I'm > thinking of an analogy with "anatomy," which at the turn of the 19thC (in > Germany, anyway--my territory) was closely associated with cutting up bodies, > and not with theorizing about them. Similarly, botanists (and zoologists, too) > in the 1840s in Germany put a lot of effort into defining something they called > "scientific botany" that included plant morphology and physiology, thereby > "elevating" it (in their eyes) above mere classification. Again, this doesn't > tell us how that tight linkage came about, but it suggests that it was difficult > to overcome. > > Lynn Nyhart > email@example.com The history of botanical illustration may offer some insights. In the early 19th C in England there was a tremendous demand for accurate illustration of the flood of botanical specimens sent from around the world. A significant amount of motivation for this was for commercial purposes. For example, Aylmer Bourke in *A description of the genus Pinus* (1803-1824) "sought to promote the growth of 'deal timber' in Britain and to bring about the improvement of the numerous ornamental plantations around the 'Noblemen and Gentlemen's seats in this kingdom', which were composed largely of the Scotch Fir. He attributed this 'to the different species not having been properly pointed out, a defect which is here endeavored to be remedied'. He went on to lament that, although new plants were being 'sought with avidity in distant regions', little had been done in publishing accounts of the material that had already accumulated in London's museums" (p. 7, in *Classic Natural History Prints: Plants*, by Eve Robson and Norman Robson, Arch Cape Press). I see here a possible distinction between botanical illustration in the private sphere (women and children) and the kind of botanical illustration required for the public sphere (commercial and scientific- men). I suspect, too, that the history of botanical illustration may be a good indicator of the status of progress of understanding plants. (Geological illustration may be another example of this progress in understanding- compare 19th C stratigraphic illustrations with modern block diagrams.) Status may play a role, but changing perception of the natural world informed by scientific understanding must be considered as well. Charlie Hodges firstname.lastname@example.org _______________________________________________________________________________ <16:19>From email@example.com Tue Dec 27 09:57:21 1994 Date: Tue, 27 Dec 1994 16:57:36 +0100 To: Darwin-L@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Claus Emmeche) Subject: The word EMBRYOLOGY Dear Darwin-list fellows, Can someone tell me who coined the word "embryology"? Was it Darwin in the _Origin_? Or was the term in use before 1859? In the article "Development" by Jane Maienschein (in: W.F.Bynum, E.J.Browne and Roy Porter, eds., _Macmillan Dictionary of the History of Science_, London 1981 [paperback reprint 1989]), it is noted that "Introducing the word 'embryology' to refer to the study of developmental process, Darwin suggested it could hold the key to evolutionary understanding. Individual development, or ontogeny, he hinted, might parallel or give clues about evolutionary ancestry, or phylogeny." Was Darwin really the first to use the term? Sincerely, Claus Emmeche _______________________________________________________________________________ <16:20>From IAP8EWH@MVS.OAC.UCLA.EDU Wed Dec 28 16:20:12 1994 Date: Wed, 28 Dec 94 14:19 PST To: DARWIN-L@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu From: IAP8EWH@MVS.OAC.UCLA.EDU Subject: living and nonliving In belated response to Marc Lange's question about the boundary of living and nonliving things, another example is fossils, which were not generally agreed to be formerly alive until about the 18th century. The distinction started to do scientific work in the early 19th century after the discovery that (formerly living) fossils were more useful than other (never living) aspects of rocks in determining the relative age of sedimentary strata. My sources are a couple of books by Martin J. S. Rudwick: 'The meaning of fossils' and 'The great Devonian controversy'. Eric Holman, email@example.com _______________________________________________________________________________ <16:21>From firstname.lastname@example.org Thu Dec 29 10:39:55 1994 Date: Thu, 29 Dec 1994 08:41:09 -0800 From: Charlie Urbanowicz <email@example.com> Subject: RE: The word EMBRYOLOGY To: firstname.lastname@example.org Dear Claus Emmeche: RE "Embryology" - EXCELLENT 1967 book by T.H. Savory entitled THE LANGUAGE OF SCIENCE has has section on the various "ologies" and does list 1859 as the first time the word was introduced - but, doesn't refer to CD. Charlie [email@example.com] _______________________________________________________________________________ <16:22>From hineline@helix.UCSD.EDU Fri Dec 30 09:28:47 1994 From: hineline@helix.UCSD.EDU (Mark Hineline) Subject: Whence "diversity"? To: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: Fri, 30 Dec 94 7:28:44 PST When did biological diversity emerge as a clear property of nature, as opposed to an affective truth (a "truism") felt by most naturalists? Does it begin with Ernst Mayr? Mark L. Hineline email@example.com _______________________________________________________________________________ <16:23>From firstname.lastname@example.org Fri Dec 30 17:36:40 1994 Date: Fri, 30 Dec 1994 15:36:35 -0800 (PST) From: William Calvin <email@example.com> To: Darwin List <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Web page for Down House travel directions It's at http://weber.u.washington.edu/wcalvin/down_hse.html for the moment, until the Natural History Museum gets its own Web page going. Nothing new, mostly what I posted several months ago to the List. William H. Calvin University of Washington, NJ-15 Seattle WA 98195 USA WCalvin@U.Washington.edu http://weber.u.washington.edu/wcalvin/ _______________________________________________________________________________ Darwin-L Message Log 16: 1-23 -- December 1994 End
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