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Darwin-L Message Log 17: 1–29 — January 1995

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 January 1995. 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 17: 1-29 -- JANUARY 1995
---------------------------------------------

DARWIN-L
A Network Discussion Group on the
History and Theory of the Historical Sciences

Darwin-L@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu is an international network discussion group on
the history and theory of the historical sciences.  Darwin-L was established
in September 1993 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 academic professionals in these fields.
Darwin-L is not restricted to evolutionary biology nor to the work of Charles
Darwin but instead addresses the entire range of historical sciences from an
interdisciplinary perspective, including evolutionary biology, historical
linguistics, textual transmission and stemmatics, historical geology,
systematics and phylogeny, archeology, paleontology, cosmology, historical
anthropology, historical geography, and related "palaetiological" fields.

This log contains the public messages posted to Darwin-L during January 1995.
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 some administrative messages and personal messages 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 archives of Darwin-L by
listserv@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu, and is also available on the Darwin-L gopher at
rjohara.uncg.edu.  For instructions on how to retrieve copies of this and other
log files, and for additional information about Darwin-L, send the e-mail
message INFO DARWIN-L to listserv@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu, or connect to the
Darwin-L gopher at rjohara.uncg.edu.

Darwin-L is administered by Robert J. O'Hara (darwin@iris.uncg.edu), Center for
Critical Inquiry in the Liberal Arts and Department of Biology, University of
North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, North Carolina 27412 U.S.A., and it
is supported by the Center for Critical Inquiry, University of North Carolina
at Greensboro, and the Department of History and the Academic Computing Center,
University of Kansas.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<17:1>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu  Sun Jan  1 00:31:00 1995

Date: Sun, 01 Jan 1995 01:30:55 -0400 (EDT)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: List owner's monthly greeting
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

Greetings to all Darwin-L subscribers and happy new year!  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, from historical linguistics
and geology to archeology, systematics, cosmology, and textual criticism.
The group was established in September 1993, and we have over 600 members
from about 30 countries.  I am grateful to all of our members for their
interest and their many contributions.

The Darwin-L gopher contains logs of our past discussions, as well as a
collection of files and network links of interest to historical scientists.
The Darwin-L gopher is located at rjohara.uncg.edu; on most mainframe systems
you can simply type "gopher rjohara.uncg.edu" to get there.

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
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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 (listserv@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu),
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 (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.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<17:2>From mwinsor@epas.utoronto.ca  Thu Jan  5 08:55:12 1995

From: Mary P Winsor <mwinsor@epas.utoronto.ca>
Subject: Re: Whence "diversity"?
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Date: Thu, 5 Jan 1995 09:54:36 -0500 (EST)

Mark Hineline, I always thought Aristotle was grappling with the
phenomenon of diversity, so I think I don't understand your
distinction between

"affective truth"
and "clear property of nature"

Please expand your question.
Polly Winsor   mwinsor@epas.utoronto.ca

_______________________________________________________________________________

<17:3>From Neve@ecol.ucl.ac.be  Thu Jan  5 12:18:13 1995

Date: Thu, 5 Jan 95 19:22:11 +0100
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
From: Neve@ecol.ucl.ac.be
Subject: 'embryologie'

Following Claus Emmeche's request about the orogin of the word
'Embryology', I had a look in my copy of the 'Dictionnaire des
Dictionnaires, ou Vocabulaire Universel et complet de la langue francaise'
etc., published in 1837.

p 912 :
Embryologie : s.f. : Traite sur le foetus, discours sur les embryons.

So Darwin was certainly not the first one to use this word...

Gabriel

===========================================================
Gabriel NEVE                                  o   o
Unite d'Ecologie et de Biogeographie           \ /
Universite Catholique de Louvain           ***  Y  ***
Croix du Sud 5                            *   * I *   *
B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve                   *    *I*    *
Belgium                                   *    *I*    *
                                          *   * I *   *
EMAIL: NEVE@ECOL.UCL.AC.BE                 ***     ***
Fax  : +32/10/473490
Tel  at work : +32/10/473495
     at home : +32 10 61 62 36
===========================================================

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<17:4>From hineline@helix.UCSD.EDU  Thu Jan  5 20:10:33 1995

From: hineline@helix.UCSD.EDU (Mark Hineline)
Subject: Re: Whence "diversity"?
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Date: Thu, 5 Jan 95 18:10:31 PST

Polly Winsor writes,

> Mark Hineline, I always thought Aristotle was grappling with the
> phenomenon of diversity, so I think I don't understand your
> distinction between
>
> "affective truth"
> and "clear property of nature"
>
> Please expand your question.
> Polly Winsor   mwinsor@epas.utoronto.ca

Yes, quite right. One difference, of course, is that for Aristotle
and all who followed him through the mid-nineteenth century,
diversity was finite. Or to put it another way, that the things
in the world were diverse was an assumption with boundaries. After
Darwin -- to pin something on Darwin -- that assumption changed
such that the potential for diversity was unlimited, meaning that
the boundaries of synchronic diversity were hard to determine
and the boundaries for diachronic diversity impossible to
determine.

I guess I mean something like this.

Mark L. Hineline
hineline@helix.ucsd.edu>

_______________________________________________________________________________

<17:5>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu  Fri Jan  6 00:26:23 1995

Date: Fri, 06 Jan 1995 01:26:10 -0400 (EDT)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: January 6 -- Today in the Historical Sciences
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

JANUARY 6 -- TODAY IN THE HISTORICAL SCIENCES

1736: FRIEDRICH CASIMIR MEDICUS is born at Grumbach, Rhineland, Germany.
Following study in Tubingen, Strasbourg, and Heidelberg, Medicus will work as
a physician at Mannheim and oversee the creation of a botanical garden there
in 1766.  Turning from medicine to botany, he will become a bitter enemy of
Linnaeus, and will attack the work of the Swedish botanist at every turn,
supporting instead the botanical systems of Tournefort, Linnaeus's principal
opponent.  Medicus's botanical garden will be heavily damaged during the
bombardments of Mannheim in 1795 and 1799, and it will be dissolved shortly
after his death in 1808.

1912: ALFRED WEGENER (1880-1930) reads his paper "Die Herausbildung der
Grossformen der Erdrinde (Kontinente und Ozeane) auf geophysikalischer
Grundlage" ("The geophysical basis of the evolution of large-scale features
of the earth's crust") before the Geological Association of Frankfurt am Main.
It will appear in expanded form in 1915 as _Die Entstehung der Kontinente und
Ozeane_, the first modern exposition of the theory of continental drift.

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).

_______________________________________________________________________________

<17:6>From witkowsk@cshl.org  Fri Jan  6 07:49:32 1995

Date: Fri, 6 Jan 1995 08:51:41 -0500
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
From: witkowsk@cshl.org (J. A. Witkowski - Banbury Center, CSHL)
Subject: Re: DARWIN-L digest 356

>Date: Thu, 5 Jan 95 18:10:31 PST
>From: hineline@helix.UCSD.EDU (Mark Hineline)
>To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
>Subject: Re: Whence "diversity"?
>
>... meaning that
>the boundaries of synchronic diversity were hard to determine
>and the boundaries for diachronic diversity impossible to
>determine.
>
>Mark L. Hineline
>hineline@helix.ucsd.edu>

What does this mean? Please expand your answer

_______________________________________________________________________________

<17:7>From hineline@helix.UCSD.EDU  Fri Jan  6 08:25:29 1995

From: hineline@helix.UCSD.EDU (Mark Hineline)
Subject: Re: DARWIN-L digest 356
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Date: Fri, 6 Jan 95 6:25:26 PST

> >... meaning that
> >the boundaries of synchronic diversity were hard to determine
> >and the boundaries for diachronic diversity impossible to
> >determine.
> >
> >Mark L. Hineline
> >hineline@helix.ucsd.edu>
>
> What does this mean? Please expand your answer

I beg the forgiveness of members of the list for being so unclear.
What I mean is that the extent of biological diversity for any given
time cannot, given evolution, be determined deductively (in principle,
under Aristotelian thought, it could). It must be determined inductively
(through field and museum work). That's synchronic diversity. Diachronic
diversity is diversity through time: how many species have there been?
How many species will there be? Impossible to answer the first, because
the fossil record is imperfect; impossible to answer the latter for reasons
that I hope are obvious.

Mark Hineline
hineline@helix.ucsd.edu

_______________________________________________________________________________

<17:8>From hineline@helix.UCSD.EDU  Fri Jan  6 09:18:46 1995

From: hineline@helix.UCSD.EDU (Mark Hineline)
Subject: Re: DARWIN-L digest 356
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Date: Fri, 6 Jan 95 7:11:01 PST

In my last posting I did not intend to discount completely the
deductive power of ecological modeling -- only to accept that
it is limited.

hineline@helix.ucsd.edu

_______________________________________________________________________________

<17:9>From mwinsor@epas.utoronto.ca  Fri Jan  6 16:49:25 1995

From: Mary P Winsor <mwinsor@epas.utoronto.ca>
Subject: diversity
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Date: Fri, 6 Jan 1995 17:48:48 -0500 (EST)

Mark Hineline thinks that the diversity of living
things was not perceived as being as nearly boundless
until after Darwin, that the number of actual and
potential kinds of creatures was thought to be limited.  His
question challenges me to review my own understanding of the
history of natural history.
     I suspect that the source of Hineline's view may be
textbook portrayals of the idea of the great chain of
being or scala naturae which dominated European thought
in the 17th and 18th century (described in Arthur Lovejoy's
classic The Great Chain of Being).  Under the
notion that there exists a linear sequence, each species
differing slightly from its two neighbors (one below and
one above), with the lowest end being the simplest life
(sponges? we recall the recent query about the boundary
to the non-living) and the top obviously being ourselves
(on thru angels to God), then this narrow path must leave
less scope for diversity than the Darwinian tree of life does.
(Leave aside mathematical quibbles about whether there are
fewer points on an unbranched than on a branched line, if
each is infinite!)
     The problem is, I think very few people really subscribed
to that Great Chain; if you cross-examined them they would
admit to meaning merely that almost every feature can be found
in nature in every state, from elaborate to barely discernable.
Certainly the standard line that Aristotle classified
species thusly has been thoroughly exploded by recent scholarship.
     I fully admit that neither Aristotle nor Linnaeus saw
diversity as we do, because they only knew about a tiny fraction
of existing species.  Aristotle under a thousand, if I recall
rightly, Linnaeus what, 20,000?  Few were known to
science.  Both men guessed there were other species as yet
undiscovered, but they estimated how many in the same way
we do, by an extension of what they did have.  So yes,
diversity was seen as less rich, but not I think because
of their view of nature, (that is, the nature of nature,
their world-view) but because of their experience.
     The world view in which almost all naturalists from
Linnaeus to Darwin lived, ranging from deist to Christian,
did not (at least I don't see how it could) intrinsically
limit the quantity of potential diversity.
Maybe it increased it, because the number of
kinds (past and present, on Earth -no fair counting infinite
future!) was limited only by physical possibility (each
species has to be viable, subject to laws of nature,
Cuvier's "conditions of existence) and God's will, while
after Darwin species had the extra constraint of having
to have a viable ancestor too!.
     Christians (and Jews and Moslems for that matter) were
confident, I think,
that God's imagination is infinite, so as long as life was
ascribed directly to the Creator, why would potential
diversity have been less?
     The anti-evolutionary world view I have most closely
studied, Louis Agassiz's Essay on Classification, never
struck me as containing a constrained world.
     But the thought that diversity was seen essentially
differently before Darwin is such new one for me, that I
could very well be mistaken in my first reaction!
Polly Winsor   mwinsor@epas.utoronto.ca

_______________________________________________________________________________

<17:10>From hineline@helix.UCSD.EDU  Sat Jan  7 07:38:50 1995

From: hineline@helix.UCSD.EDU (Mark Hineline)
Subject: Re: diversity
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Date: Sat, 7 Jan 95 5:38:47 PST

Polly Winsor's comments with respect to diversity are all to the
point and, with a couple of clarifications, I agree with them. She
is, for example, correct to suggest that my understanding of a
limited scope for diversity before Darwin is drawn from textbooks,
though it is from Coleman and Bowler, not Lovejoy. If the great
chain of being and its variants are not significant for understanding
natural history before Darwin, it is surely time to revise the textbooks.
Perhaps Dr. Winsor is at work doing so even now.

While I think it is also true that the notion of divine creation
entailed a belief in the infinite capacity of God, I sense that
accounts of creation and of special creation (early 19th C) called
for parsimony. But this perhaps suggests the need for some thinking
about the history of "diversity" as a category.

What lay behind my original query was a qualitative difference between
the way the word diversity was used -- when used at all -- before
Mayr and the way the word is used in Mayr and subsequently. I have
before me *Animal Species and Evolution* (1963). There, the first
sentence of chapter 15 reads "One of the most spectacular aspects
of nature is its diversity." Later, in his history of biological thought,
"diversity" finds its way into the subtitle. Now, perhaps due to
E. O. Wilson's popularizations, the word pops up everywhere. But, although
I do not have the concordance to the Origin to check this, I do not
find discussions of diversity qua diversity in Darwin. Rather, I find
the entangled bank image. And of course diversity crops up in the Beagle
journals, but it has to be teased out of the narrative to a degree.

It seems to me that prior to the past few years, discussion of diversity
was fairly limited to systematic zoologists and biologists, and perhaps
to invertebrate paleontologists. I sense that geneticists were less
likely to reflect upon diversity until very recently (the past twenty
years or so).

Moreover, I have the sense that parsimony played a much larger role
in explanations of biological order in the past than it does now.

Mark L. Hineline
hineline@helix.ucsd.edu

_______________________________________________________________________________

<17:11>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu  Sun Jan  8 00:31:03 1995

Date: Sun, 08 Jan 1995 01:30:59 -0400 (EDT)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: January 8 -- Today in the Historical Sciences
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

JANUARY 8 -- TODAY IN THE HISTORICAL SCIENCES

1823: ALFRED RUSSEL WALLACE is born at Usk, Monmouthshire, Wales.  Following
an apprenticeship to his brother as an assistant surveyor and an interval of
school teaching, Wallace will propose to his friend Henry Walter Bates that
they take advantage of their common interest in natural history and become
commercial collectors.  Although their first expedition to South America will
be successful, their ship and nearly all their collections will be destroyed
by fire on the return voyage to England.  Undeterred, Wallace will depart on a
second expedition to the Malay Archipelago in 1854.  In March of 1858 on the
island of Gilolo, in the midst of a malarial fever, Wallace will conceive of
the idea of evolution by natural selection, and will immediately send a
manuscript to Charles Darwin that will contain a nearly perfect summary of
Darwin's own views, which were then unpublished and which Wallace had never
seen.  On the advice of Charles Lyell and J.D. Hooker, Darwin will consent to
publish, under the pressure of this coincidence, two extracts from his own
work in progress, along with the manuscript of Wallace, in the _Journal of
the Proceedings of the Linnean Society_.  Wallace's paper, "On the tendency of
varieties to depart indefinitely from the original type", will conclude thus:
"We believe we have now shown that there is a tendency in nature to the
continued progression of certain classes of _varieties_ further and further
from the original type -- a progression to which there appears no reason to
assign any definite limits -- and that the same principle which produces this
result in a state of nature will also explain why domestic varieties have a
tendency to revert to the original type.  This progression, by minute steps,
in various directions, but always checked and balanced by the necessary
conditions, subject to which alone existence can be preserved, may, it is
believed, be followed out so as to agree with all the phenomena presented by
organized beings, their extinction and succession in past ages, and all the
extraordinary modifications of form, instinct, and habits which they exhibit."

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).

_______________________________________________________________________________

<17:12>From dasher@netcom.com  Wed Jan 11 01:25:14 1995

Date: Tue, 10 Jan 1995 23:04:59 -0800
From: dasher@netcom.com (Anton Sherwood)
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: sex chromosomes

I recently witnessed a discussion of the relation of birds to
dinosaurs.  For various reasons including Cope's Rule, some think
birds came first - that the common ancestor of dinosaurs lived later
than the common ancestor of birds.

With the hypothesis so phrased, suddenly the following question no
longer seems as relevant as I previously thought, but I'll ask it
anyway:

Mammals are XX female, XY male; birds are the reverse.  Which are
reptiles?  Which, for that matter, are fish?

Anton Sherwood   *\\*   +1 415 267 0685   *\\*   DASher@netcom.com

_______________________________________________________________________________

<17:13>From p_stevens@nocmsmgw.harvard.edu  Thu Jan 12 15:33:41 1995

Date: 12 Jan 1995 08:49:36 -0400
From: "p stevens" <p_stevens@nocmsmgw.harvard.edu>
Subject: diversity
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

Historical ideas of the extent of diversity would seem a very interesting
topic to study.  What about people like EAW von Zimmermann, and his exact
count of nature at the end of the 18thC?  Here are a few suggestions that
some considered diversity to be limited (and its extent predictable).

1.  Linnaeus's ideas of hybridisation have led some (Bremekamp, for instance)
to calculate how many species there could be if all the originally created
family-level medullas hynridised to prduce genera, and the genera in turn
hybridised to prduce species (note than the "hybrid" genera would stay in the
maternal (= medulla-dominated) family, and the hybrid species would stay in
their maternal genus).  I haven't read Linnaeus carefully enough from this
point of view.
2.  Adanson in 1764 (Familles des plantes) suggested that there were 4 or 5
families, 400-600 genera, and ca 14,000 species still to be described.
Although I would suggest that Adanson had a largely "linear" view of nature,
it is also possible these estimates came from his general knowledge of the
state of botanical exploration.
3.  What about all the numerical systems in the early 19thC?  If all groups
were divided up into a specific number of subgroups, and so on, there are
possibilities for having a circumscribed nature - so long as there are only a
fixed number of ranks in the hierarchy.  Again, this needs study, but I bet
that some of these systems were limited with the bounds of diversity
predictable.
4.  Finally, in 1873 (-Prodromus- vol. 17) the great Alphonse de Candolle
suggested that most genera and families had been discovered; many species
were yet to be described.  This prediction came from his tabulations of the
rate of description of new species, genera and families during the course of
publication of the great -Prodromus-, started by his father many years
before.

I basically agree with Polly Winsor - the shape of nature in the early
nineteenth century was not such that one could readily make calculations
about diversity.  However, more than a few people then believed in modified
continuity and in ideas of parallelism, whether lawlike or not.  My own
feeling is that if you had asked them, they might well have said that
diversity was not limitless, although they themselves would have been
hard-pressed to assign particular limits to it.

Peter Stevens.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<17:14>From mahaffy@dordt.edu  Thu Jan 12 16:09:23 1995

Subject: Re: sex chromosomes
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Date: Thu, 12 Jan 1995 08:04:43 -0600 (CST)
From: James Mahaffy <mahaffy@dordt.edu>

Anton asked:
> Mammals are XX female, XY male; birds are the reverse.  Which are
> reptiles?  Which, for that matter, are fish?
>
> Anton Sherwood   *\\*   +1 415 267 0685   *\\*   DASher@netcom.com

Sex is not always determined by an inherited gene. I don't know if it is
true for all of them but I know that in both turtles and crocks which
gender the creature will be is genetically set (I assume permanently
turned on or off genes) by the heat of incubation).  These eggs are
incubated in the soil and there is a enough temperature difference
between the higher and lower eggs to generally produce a fair number of
both genders.

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

_______________________________________________________________________________

<17:15>From jsl@rockvax.rockefeller.edu  Sat Jan 14 11:10:06 1995

To: Multiple recipients of list <darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu>
Subject: Note on evolution of software
Date: Sat, 14 Jan 95 12:13:29 EST
From: Joshua Lederberg <jsl@rockvax.rockefeller.edu>

JL: intro. chapter for Derek Leebaert: The Future of Software
MIT Press 1995  -- just published.

We all acknowledge that computer hardware is evolving far more rapidly
and efficiently than software.  A thousandfold more memory or speed
will always have wonderful uses and we revel in the prospect that
today's super-computer will be tomorrow's PC.  But we are also in
despair at how we will be able to harness that enormous power with the
programming and knowledge-transfer tools now in hand.

At this point we may well invoke biological analogies, and recall how
organic systems learn from their experience.  Reflex arcs become
more complex, recruit memory (conditioning), elaborate a perceptual
framework to integrate sensory data, and impose some coherence on
the inputs that signal attraction or flight.  The development
of language then enables the communication of those lessons to
other organisms and to succeeding generations.  We are a long way
from the construction of self-improving computer systems for
natural language understanding akin to the child's learning of language.
This is of course an intensely social as well as cognitive experience,
and embedded in parents' and families' fascination with every
utterance.  But, without natural language(s) capability,
for direct reading and comprehension of the world's existing libraries,
knowledge-transfer to the computer is an arduous, error-prone task
entailing costly human mediation.  It results in the accumulation
of stilted databases which entail barriers to retrieval of similar
cost and discouragement.  Try telling your computer today: "I have this
problem ....  What do I need to know to solve it?"

If we return to biological evolution, we observe very little
explicit programming in the basic roots.  What in DNA tells the
Ur-cell to evolve a brain capable of language, much less the
rules of grammar?  Natural selection, the survival of the fittest,
is a tautology given organisms that tend to replicate their own kind,
and are subject to some overarching variability, for experimental
diversification.  Later in evolution, we see the incorporation of
deepseated motivational drives, pleasure and pain, to enforce that
behavior that contributes to fitness in the long run.  Will we have
any choice but to entrust the further elaboration of software to
such ends-driven modules?  Then tell the computer: "I don't care how you
do it, but I'll switch off your power unless you solve problem x...."
This is of course reminescent of neural net programming: when it
reaches back to the basic design of the machine, it will converge even
more closely with organic evolution.

Perhaps we have a fundamental paradox: an antinomy between complexity
and control.  There may be no way with finite human resources to
develop software that we can both fully understand and control, and
yet meet the opportunities that hardware presents to our appetite.
I am not suggesting that we reject this Faustian bargain: we are
at the bare beginning of trials of genetic algorithms.  But as the
phylum Automata proceeds on its evolutionary course (1), we'd best keep
a close eye on how faithfully that course meets "our" ends, rather than
a life of its own.  We will need to make full use of those very tools
to achieve the requisite self-understanding, to be attuned to that
assessment. (2).

1. Lederberg J.  Computers and the life sciences.
Science 150: 1576-1577. (1965)

2.  Mazlish, B.  The fourth discontinuity.  The co-evolution of
humans and machines.  Yale University Press, 1993.

Joshua Lederberg
--------

Prof. Joshua Lederberg
Suite 400 (Founders Hall)
The Rockefeller University
1230 York Avenue
New York, NY   10021-6399
212: 327-7809

Reply-to: (J. Lederberg)lederberg@rockvax.rockefeller.edu

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<17:16>From lkoerner@husc.harvard.edu  Sun Jan 15 20:47:43 1995

Date: Sun, 15 Jan 1995 21:46:33 -0500 (EST)
From: Lisbet Koerner <lkoerner@husc.harvard.edu>
Subject: Re: diversity
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

A brief comment on the question of possible pre-Darwinian parsimonious
nature. Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778) assumed only a small number
of life-forms (his estimates varied roughly from a global fauna AND
flora of in total perhaps 20,000 to 40,000 species).
Lisbet Koerner
Department of the History of Science
Harvard University
email: lkoerner@fas.harvard.edu

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<17:17>From CHARBEL@BRUFBA.BITNET  Mon Jan 16 13:34:50 1995

Date: Wed, 11 Jan 1995 15:53:36 +0000
From: Charbel Nino El-Hani <@KUHUB.CC.UKANS.EDU:CHARBEL@BRUFBA.BITNET>
Subject: Lamarck
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

I am beginning a study about Lamarck, and I would like to ask Darwin-L
subscribers as they could provide me with some references from 1984 to
now.

                   Charbel Nino El-Hani
               Federal University of Bahia
                   Charbel@BRUFBA

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<17:18>From mwinsor@epas.utoronto.ca  Tue Jan 17 19:03:54 1995

From: Mary P Winsor <mwinsor@epas.utoronto.ca>
Subject: Linne's diversity guess
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Date: Tue, 17 Jan 1995 20:03:49 -0500 (EST)

Lisbet Korner's dissertation on Linnaeus makes her one of our best
experts, so I bounce back the question, yes, his estimate was
relatively low (in light of later experience, though higher than any
predecessor, was it?), but what evidence is there to judge whether the
reason for his estimate was world-view or experience?
Polly Winsor    mwinsor@epas.utoronto.ca

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<17:19>From aa639@seorf.ohiou.edu  Tue Jan 17 19:47:08 1995

From: "R. Edward Fickel" <aa639@seorf.ohiou.edu>
Subject: Re: sex chromosomes
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Date: Tue, 17 Jan 1995 20:47:08 -0500 (EST)

How about the sex determination in fish?

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<17:20>From ronald@uhunix.uhcc.Hawaii.Edu  Wed Jan 18 12:02:50 1995

Date: 	Wed, 18 Jan 1995 08:02:25 -1000
From: Ron Amundson <ronald@uhunix.uhcc.Hawaii.Edu>
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re: sex chromosomes

> How about the sex determination in fish?>
> > Anton asked:>
> > > Mammals are XX female, XY male; birds are the reverse.  Which are
> > > reptiles?  Which, for that matter, are fish?
> > >
> > > Anton Sherwood   *\\*   +1 415 267 0685   *\\*   DASher@netcom.com
> >
> > Sex is not always determined by an inherited gene. I don't know if it is
> > true for all of them but I know that in both turtles and crocks which
> > geneder the creature will be is genetically set (I assume permanently
> > turned on or off genes) by the heat of incubation).  These eggs are
clip...
> > James F. Mahaffy                   e-mail: mahaffy@dordt.edu

This places a bit too much emphasis on genes for my taste (after all,
it's a whole damn chromosome in mammals), but whatever.  I understand
that fish differ.  Uhu (parrotfish) are all females from hatching
until, by happenstance, they find themselves in a male-less
population.  At which time the largest female grows into a male.
Males are significantly larger than females, and the sex ratio is
heavily slanted to females.  I suppose there's genes in there
somewhere, but the triggering factor for the sex change is social
structure.  (Same in humans? ;-))

Cheers,

Ron
Ichtyistically naive, but with diver friends

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<17:21>From dsjudge@ucdavis.edu  Wed Jan 18 12:29:00 1995

Date: Wed, 18 Jan 1995 10:29:23 -0800 (PST)
From: "Debra S. Judge" <dsjudge@ucdavis.edu>
To: Darwin-L <darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu>
Subject: sex determin

Sex determination in fish is an entirely different can of worms. Some
fish are of determinate sex; however, others are protogynous (start out
female and with size and/or other environmental characteristics change to
male), protandrous (reverse of above), or hermaphroditic (but often not
self-fertilizing). At least one species is all female (apparently
requiring "interaction" with but not the DNA of a sibling species...).
Warm bloods appear to have a much "simpler" mechanism of sex
determination than other vertebrates.
Debra Judge
U.C. Davis

_______________________________________________________________________________

<17:22>From lkoerner@husc.harvard.edu  Thu Jan 19 13:44:42 1995

Date: Thu, 19 Jan 1995 14:42:33 -0500 (EST)
From: Lisbet Koerner <lkoerner@husc.harvard.edu>
Subject: Re: Linne's diversity guess
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

Polly Winstor's question (why was Linnaeus' estimate of total fauna and
flora worldwide so low?) is a very interesting and complex one. It is
more a matter of 'worldview' than 'experience.' According to his own
calculations most species would _already_ be discovered (cc Ray's work of
c. 18,000 plants): this does not mesh with rates of new discoveries
Linnaeus himself experienced  nor with species distribution (why would
Europe have so many more per area compared to other landmasses). Part of
the answer here, however, lies simply with the fact that Linnaeus is
largely innumerate--he means by eg "20,000" something akin to "a big
number," but, importantly, not "a number so immense that I can classify
only a minute fraction within my life-time". Another answer can be sought
in his Biblical literalism: his notion of Eden as a lone isle in a watery
world (where altitude would function as ersatz latitudional zones) sets a
physical boundary around the nr of species created in the beginning.
Against that stands Linnaeus' later view that presentday species were
hybrids that originated from a kind of Edenic "Ur" animal/plant that were
somehow akin to presentday taxonomic level of order.
Lisbet Koerner
Department of the History of Science
Harvard University
email: lkoerner@fas.harvard.edu

_______________________________________________________________________________

<17:23>From brunson@Okway.okstate.edu  Thu Jan 19 16:54:28 1995

Date: Thu, 19 Jan 1995 16:34:24 -0600
From: brunson@Okway.okstate.edu (Darin Brunson)
Subject: newbie introduction
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

          The subscription notice included an invitation to introduce
          myself to the list, so here goes:
          My name is Darin Brunson, and I am a graduate student in
          Philosophy at Oklahoma State.  My area of interest is in
          philosophy of science, particularly biological/historical
          science.  I am currently writing a thesis on systematics and
          epistemology.  I promise I am not rehashing the transformed
          cladism debates, rather I am approaching the whole mess from
          a "post-analytic" perspective (Kuhn, Feyerabend, Rorty, et
          al.).  Any and all comments, suggestions, and warnings would
          be welcome.
          Darin Brunson
          brunson@okway.okstate.edu

_______________________________________________________________________________

<17:24>From ahouse@hydra.rose.brandeis.edu  Fri Jan 20 09:26:22 1995

Date: Fri, 20 Jan 1995 10:28:39 -0500
To: brunson@okway.okstate.edu, darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
From: ahouse@hydra.rose.brandeis.edu (Jeremy)
Subject: systematics and epistemology

Darin,
        sounds interesting.  I would be very interested to read what you
have written.  I don't think that you will be able to sidestep all the
transformed cladism debates.  You may be able to shed some interesting
light from Feyerabend's perspective.  I suspect that his later thoughts on
the underdetermination of theory by observation could be directly relevant.
Cladistics is willing to provisionally privelege the minimum trait
reversal tree while acknowledging that this is an aesthetic (or pragmatic)
position until observation constrains the possible tree topologies in
another way.  This seems to engage (tacitly) the very problem of
underdetermination and to take a stand.  A stand which serves to draw out
the biases of workers who would demand a consensus that is more elaborate
_before_ the data set demands it, because they _know_ that it will be.
Importantly they are almost certainly correct that the REAL tree will be
something other than the minimum but some cladists would withold using this
intuition because they don't know how to unpack it.
        As to warning; the cladistic revolution was/is only partial and the
zealousness of early adopters and the resultant (maybe) intransigent
positions of the "evolutionary" taxonomists means that you will still have
to grapple with those who find Cladistics to be a hollow distraction from
the project at hand.  And then there is the issue of what the project at
hand is (transformed cladism...).  Finally there are the turf wars that
rise up during naming, where grade informed naming schemes hold a
fascination for so many.
        In this area as much as any (since so many allied fields depend on
classifications - ecology, conservation biology, molecular evolution,
comparative anatomy...) the social aspects of epistemology and issues about
how the group "knows" can also be productively explored.

        - enough!  good luck.

        - Jeremy

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

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/#      ##o     #     o##      #\
/ \    /  \    /o\    / |\    / \

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<17:25>From arkeo4@uniwa.uwa.edu.au  Fri Jan 20 17:11:22 1995

Date: Sat, 21 Jan 1995 07:10:37 +0800 (WST)
From: Dave Rindos <arkeo4@uniwa.uwa.edu.au>
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re: sex chromosomes

Just a quick observation (from memory).  Even in the case of mammals
(including good old h.s.s.), I seem to recall that autosomals can reverse
the 'normal' phenotypic sex expected from the genotype.  Hence, on rare
occasions, phenotypic sex and chromosome compliment will not correlate (XX
males and XY females).

Dave,
hoping his memory is not failing him.

	Dave Rindos		  arkeo4@uniwa.uwa.edu.au
    20 Herdsmans Parade    Wembley   WA    6014    AUSTRALIA
    Ph:+61 9 387 6281 (GMT+8)  FAX:+61 9 387 1415 (USEST+13)
      [you may also reach me on rindos@perth.dialix.oz.au]

  Rabbits exist, hence we may speak meaningfully to the evolution of
     the rabbit.  Some people attempt to study the evolution of
      human intelligence. We may well have a real problem here.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<17:26>From hineline@helix.UCSD.EDU  Sun Jan 22 18:12:23 1995

From: hineline@helix.UCSD.EDU (Mark Hineline)
Subject: Re: diversity
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Date: Sun, 22 Jan 95 16:12:21 PST

Problems with the list server have made discussion of my original
posting on diversity something of a long-term commitment, a rarity
in times of fax-and-fedex. I have found Professor Winsor's comments
quite to the point, and appreciate them considerably, as I do the
contributions of others on the subject.

I would certainly soften my original claim that there was a
substantial qualitative and quantitative change in the conception
of diversity after Darwin. However, the following quotation from
Thoreau (FAITH IN A SEED, 1993, Shearwater Press), p. 102, is I
think, worth pondering:

     "The development theory implies a greater vital force in
Nature, because it is more flexible and accommodating, and equivalent
to a sort of constant new creation."

(By development theory he of course means evolution; the very next
paragraph begins: "Darwin, in his Origin of Species ....")

A previously unpublished aside from Thoreau does not a worldview make,
but I think it is significant.

Mark L. Hineline
Department of History
UCSD
La Jolla, CA 92093
hineline@helix.ucsd.edu

_______________________________________________________________________________

<17:27>From mwinsor@epas.utoronto.ca  Tue Jan 24 07:23:13 1995

From: Mary P Winsor <mwinsor@epas.utoronto.ca>
Subject: Thoreau on diversity
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu (bulletin board)
Date: Tue, 24 Jan 1995 08:23:06 -0500 (EST)

Mark Hineline taught me something interesting; I had
imagined Thoreau was dead by the time the Origin of
Species was published, but no indeed, he lived to
1862!
Three years later Louis Agassiz set sail for Brazil,
proclaiming that he would let the facts of nature decide
between him and Darwin.  As early as 1850 he had suggested
that the distribution of fishes in rivers were a nice way
to investigate laws of what we would call biogeography, the
land between tributaries making for isolation the same way
that ocean between islands does.  What neither he nor anyone
else expected, though, was that the number of species of
freshwater fish in South
America was so much higher than in Europe or North America.
(in the thousands instead of hundreds).   Well, the
story kind of fizzles out, I'm afraid (though it gave me a cover
illustration for my book Reading the Shape of Nature) because
Agassiz didn't publish much about his collections, but I'm not
aware of any of his opponents (and there were many, beginning
with Asa Gray, who were Darwin's defenders around Harvard)
seizing on this fact of abundance as a fact Darwin's theory
could deal with better than Agassiz's theory could.

More generally, the issue Mark raises will be tricky
to tease out.  It comes down to the tracing of
cause and effect in intellectual history.  You can't depend
only on a person's testimony, because humans can rationalize,
and there are powerful influences of which they can be
unconscious.  Linnaeus ought to have seen the quantity of new
species as a sign of the future, but he also was strongly
motivated to claim that he and his students would soon have
everything under control.  That's why the evidence I am
thinking of in the 1860s is not Agassiz's opinion but the
silence of his adversaries.  However, since I never asked
myself the question Mark Hineline has put, I have never
really looked, and I distinctly do not claim that this issue
was never raised by his adversaries (only that I do not recall
noticing it); I have not systematically gone through the
anti-Agassiz literature.
      You see why I agree that the Thoreau quote is
indeed nice historical evidence (but not, please note, about
the Brazil fish, which came a few years later).
Polly Winsor     mwinsor@epas.utoronto.ca

_______________________________________________________________________________

<17:28>From jslindst@cc.helsinki.fi  Wed Jan 25 01:37:21 1995

Date: Wed, 25 Jan 1995 09:37:19 +0200 (EET)
From: Jouko Lindstedt <jslindst@cc.helsinki.fi>
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Cavalli-Sforza et al.

This week's newspaper "European" reports about _The_History_and_Geography_
_of_Human_Genes_ by L. Luca Cavalli-Sforza and his research team. I
haven't seen the book itself yet, but certainly some of you list members
have already, and I'd be interested to hear your opinions: how solid piece
of work is this?

The story in "European" tells that with some exceptions, genetic groupings
correlate with linguistic groupings. This is how Cavalli-Sforza's work has
been reported before, too. But in fact the rather unclear "genetic map of
Europe" presented in the article rather shows that the correlation is
quite weak. For instance, there is no genetic group corresponding to the
Slavonic languages (which is precisely what one might expect knowing the
early history of the Slavs), and Greeks and Turks, for instance, seem to
be close to each other genetically. The article says that "it is now
widely agreed that most modern Europeans spread gradually from the Middle
East between 10,000 and 6,000 years ago"; of course if the foundations of
the genetic map of Europe were lain that early, it couldn't reflect modern
linguistic groupings at all. But what I see on the map are simply cultural
and economic areas of historical times, with the exception of an odd-looking
"Celtic" belt through Ireland, SW England and parts of France.

"...in Africa, where the Khoisan people, who include Hottentots, are
thought to be direct descendants of the Neanderthals. Their language has
unique clicking sounds, which some academics feel may be a relic of the
primordial language spoken by Neanderthals -- and studies of DNA confirm
this connection." -- Clicks and DNA? Is this in the book?

The Lapps (Sami) are presented as the "most genetically isolated group in
Europe"; but on the map you have the same colour for the Sami and most
Fennic peoples. And of course it is not right to say that they "speak
various dialects, which originated in the Urals".

Much in the newspaper report may simply be false reporting, so let it be.
But what about the book itself?

Jouko Lindstedt
Department of Slavonic Languages, University of Helsinki
e-mail: Jouko.Lindstedt@Helsinki.Fi or jslindst@cc.helsinki.fi
fax: +358-0-1912974

PS. As this is probably the first time I'm writing on this list, let me
introduce myself: I am professor of Slavonic Philology, and my main
interests are Bulgaria and the Balkans, language typology, and the early
history of the Slavs.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<17:29>From jcassidy@hawk.anselm.edu  Tue Jan 31 09:14:22 1995

Date: Tue, 31 Jan 1995 10:13:48 -0500 (EST)
From: "Fr. James Cassidy O.S.B." <jcassidy@anselm.edu>
To: Darwin-L <darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu>
Subject: Cope-Marsh

Darwiners,

	I'm currently working on a project on F.V. Hayden and his
Geological Survey of the Territories in the 1870s.  E.D. Cope worked for
Hayden, and O.C. Marsh worked against him, to put it in simple terms.
But of course it wasn't all that simple.  What I'm looking for right now
is a good, clear description of the "agreement" that Cope and Marsh (and
Joseph Leidy) came to circa 1872 regarding sharing their publications, so
as to avoid priority disputes.  It didn't last long, but I'm interested
in a clear description of how it came about and failed, and am
particularly interested in finding out whether or not Hayden had any
active part in its evolution.  Any ideas are welcome.

	Jim Cassidy
	Saint Anselm College
	jcassidy@hawk.anselm.edu

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Darwin-L Message Log 17: 1-29 -- January 1995                               End

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