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Darwin-L Message Log 20: 1–22 — April 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 April 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 20: 1-22 -- APRIL 1995
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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 April 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.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<20:1>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu  Sat Apr  1 11:47:38 1995

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.  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
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In each case leave the subject line of the message blank and include no
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     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
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     SET DARWIN-L MAIL DIGEST

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For a comprehensive introduction to Darwin-L with notes on our scope and
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     INFO DARWIN-L

To post a public message to the group as a whole simply send it as regular
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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.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<20:2>From bpearce@sol.UVic.CA  Sat Apr  1 14:19:10 1995

Date: Sat, 1 Apr 95 12:21:46 PST
From: bpearce@sol.uvic.ca (Barbara Pearce)
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: history of biology

I am currently working in prosthetics and orthotics (fabricating false
limbs and braces) as well as completing my B.Sc. in Biology.  I would like
to do some research on the first artificial limbs built by the famous
surgeon Ambroise Pare.  Can I get help?
thank you in advance.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<20:3>From kent@darwin.eeb.uconn.edu  Tue Apr  4 07:11:27 1995

Date: Tue, 4 Apr 95 08:11:25 EDT
From: kent@darwin.eeb.uconn.edu (Kent Holsinger)
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re: Mayr's use of "Darwinian"

Just a minor quibble with Jeremy Ahouse's interesting post.

>>>>> "Jeremy" == Jeremy  <ahouse@hydra.rose.brandeis.edu> writes:

    Jeremy>         Mayr ends by insisting that ecologically important
    Jeremy> information can be contained in a classification based (in
    Jeremy> part) on similarity.  Presumably this is because, Mayr
    Jeremy> might argue, (non-synapomorphic) similarity is due to
    Jeremy> convergence which is due to environmental selection.

I don't think Mayr would argue for including ecologically significant
information that arose through convergence.  Mayr is, if I understand
him correctly, arguing for the legitimacy of paraphyletic groups.  The
ecological similarities reptiles share with one another, in his view,
they share because of common ancestry. The similarities are shared
primitive states in the clade containing birds and mammals, but they
are still uniquely derived.

-- Kent

Kent E. Holsinger
Department of Ecology &
   Evolutionary Biology
University of Connecticut, U-43
Storrs, CT   06269-3043

_______________________________________________________________________________

<20:4>From C9WILSON@a1.stthomas.edu  Tue Apr  4 16:31:32 1995

Date: Fri, 31 Mar 1995 08:04:58 -0600 (CST)
From: Chester Wilson 962-5234 <C9WILSON@a1.stthomas.edu>
Subject: evolution and ethics
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

         Reading George Williams' recent new edition of Huxley's "Evolution
         and Ethics" (Princeton U. Press) might prove interesting for folks
         curious about any relationship between the two topics.

         Chester Wilson
         Biology
         University of St. Thomas
         St. Paul, MN

_______________________________________________________________________________

<20:5>From psparks@cerfnet.com  Tue Apr  4 18:56:27 1995

Date: Thu, 30 Mar 1995 09:14:45 -0800
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
From: psparks@CERF.NET (paul sparks)
Subject: paridigm shifts in geology

As I remember it there are basically two reasons that the theory (plate
drift) was ignored.  First there was  at that time no know force that would
drive the dynamics of the drifting plates.  Now it is known/believed that
the circulation in the mantle is the force that drives the plates.  The
upwell in the mid ocean rifts (eg mid atlantic) and the driving of the sea
floor beneath the continental crusts along the trenches are examples of this
effect.  The second reason is it was too far ahead of its time.  There was
no need at that time to have drifting continents so it was just ignored.
Hope this helps.

paul w. sparks  Psparks@cerfnet.com
"over the heather the wet wind blows
I've lice in my tunic and a cold in my nose."
anon

_______________________________________________________________________________

<20:6>From J.Carr@uts.edu.au  Tue Apr  4 23:07:31 1995

Date: Wed, 5 Apr 1995 14:05:50 +1000
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
From: J.Carr@uts.edu.au (John Carr)
Subject: Re: Pop-culture and societal evolution

Hugo Bouckaert wrote that
>The question whether popular culture drives social change or is a
>response to it depends on to what degree human society is
>still fundamentally linked to our natural environment. To acknowledge
>that that link is very indirect does not mean it is not important.

I certainly was not claiming that it was unimportant, just that our species
has progressively distanced itself from the 'natural' environment [as i sit
here in my constructed 'cave', under a constructed 'sun', and no doubt even
breathing constructed 'air'].

In effect, we have shifted from a type of 'natural selection #1' in which
the vicissitudes of the environment could select the genotypes which would
reproduce successfully, into a 'natural selection #2' in which we actively
select what nature will be.  Not only does this allow us to create
artificial environments to suit our purposes [and this does depend on our
image of who we are], but we have dramatically and perhaps catastrophically
altered the nature of nature itself.

Hugo Bouckaert further wrote
>Popular culture may drive itself, but to state it is a motor of
>inevitable social change is harder to accept. It seems to me that our
>image of who we are and what we might yet become are responses to our
relationship to nature,rather than causes for it.

I was actually in part questioning whether the change was inevitable.  The
more critical issue though could be that the focus on 'our responses to
nature' paints a very passive picture of us, relevant perhaps when we
confront nature in the form of earthquakes and tornaodoes, but not at all
applicable to our primary encounter with nature in which we actively
transform it [shooting it if it moves, tearing it down if it doesnt etc].
So that whether we are actively polluting the environment, or denuding it,
or laying concrete over its most fertile parts, or -like I'm about to do -
going home to mow a lawn and plant a tree, then in all of these ways we
demonstrate that we are not passive responders to an all-powerful nature,
but [and nature may not gain from this] our species has evolved to be active
creators of nature itself.  The character of how we re-create nature seems
to proceed directly from the image we carry of who we are.  Hence the claim
that human evolution may be powerfully influenced by any change in our image
of what it means to be human.

John Carr
Communication Studies
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences,
University of Technology, Sydney
Sydney Australia
j.carr@uts.edu.au

_______________________________________________________________________________

<20:7>From ncse@crl.com  Wed Apr  5 13:49:32 1995

Date: Wed, 5 Apr 1995 11:49:11 -0700 (PDT)
From: "Eugenie C. Scott" <ncse@crl.com>
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re: Darwin on Trial on Trial

Dear Dr. Cziko,

Alas! I have been up to my eyebrows coping with the AAPA meetings in
Oakland this last week, and didn't get your inquiry on Johnson until
today!  For future reference, I have a very thick file of reviews and
commentary on Johnson's views for you or anyone who wishes more
information.  NCSE is a clearinghouse for info on the creation/evolution
controversy, of which lawyer Johnson is a fairly recent addition.

I suspect what he argued was that evolution didn't happen, scientists are
keeping their doubts about evolution from the public in a conspiracy to
protect their own interests (even if they know evolution doesn't have a
leg to stand on); that the methodological materialism of science equates
with philosophical materialism, which he thinks is bad, and that
evolution as a classically materialistic science needs to be overthrown.
He probably did not get into the age of the earth (he is an old-earther,
unlike Gish *et al* from the ICR) and he didn't mention the Bible.

Am I right?  And yes, he has been making the rounds at "major research
universities" like yours, as well as lesser-known venues.

ECS

*****************************************************************
                   SUPPORT SCIENCE EDUCATION!

                        Eugenie C. Scott
                              NCSE
                         925 Kearney Street
                     El Cerrito, CA 94530-2810
                          510-526-1674
                        FAX: 510-526-1675
                         1-800-290-6006
                          ncse@crl.com
*****************************************************************

_______________________________________________________________________________

<20:8>From ahouse@hydra.rose.brandeis.edu  Wed Apr  5 20:26:32 1995

Date: Wed, 5 Apr 1995 21:26:39 -0400
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
From: ahouse@hydra.rose.brandeis.edu (Jeremy)
Subject: Re: Mayr's use of "Darwinian" (more)

.. more thoughts

        On reflecting on the adjective 'Darwinian' this last week I came
across a paragraph from Michael Ruse.  I myself am not at all comfortable
with way that different camps attempt to own the names' of patron saints.
Maybe Ruse's comment will help to remind us that diverse views walk under
the same flag.

        "...Different people believe very different things, and the same
people believe different things at different times - and yet rally under
the same banner.
        I myself discovered this when I wrote a book on the Darwinian
revolution and wanted to characterize 'Darwinian' (Ruse 1979).  Chalrles
Darwin acceptied natural selection and sexual selection, and applied his
ideas to humans. Thomas Henry huxley accepted evolution, applied it to
humans, but was unenthused by selection.  Alfred Russel Wallace accepted
natural selection, had sever doubts about aspects of sexual selection, and
pulled back from the evolution of humans. And so the story went.  In the
end, I had to be satisfied with some mushy sociological notion.  A
'Darwinian' was someone who thought of himself as a Darwinian, or som such
thing." (Ruse 1989)

======

        Kent E. Holsinger suggests that Mayr wants to preserve/cling to his
ability to name paraphyletic groups, not that he wants to broaden the
utility of a classification by adding a smattering of "similarities" that
would allow us to make ecological (and other) inferences... i.e. those
similarities that could be correlated with shared environmental selective
pressure (convergences).

Kent writes:
>Just a minor quibble with Jeremy Ahouse's interesting post.
>
>    Jeremy>         Mayr ends by insisting that ecologically important
>    Jeremy> information can be contained in a classification based (in
>    Jeremy> part) on similarity.  Presumably this is because, Mayr
>    Jeremy> might argue, (non-synapomorphic) similarity is due to
>    Jeremy> convergence which is due to environmental selection.
>
>I don't think Mayr would argue for including ecologically significant
>information that arose through convergence.  Mayr is, if I understand
>him correctly, arguing for the legitimacy of paraphyletic groups.  The
>ecological similarities reptiles share with one another, in his view,
>they share because of common ancestry. The similarities are shared
>primitive states in the clade containing birds and mammals, but they
>are still uniquely derived.

        "The fundamental difference between the method of morphological and
phylogenetic systematics is that the latter breaks up the simple concept of
resemblance. (Hennig 1965)".  Here Hennig is referring to the distinctions
that can be drawn between similarity based on convergence, on shared
ancestral characters, and on shared derived characters.  Mayr in the
_Science_ letters we have been discussing (and previously Mayr(1981)) wants
to glue this simple concept back together.  But even he admits that if you
want a phylogenetic classification then you should use the 'Hennigian'
approach.  Still he wants to bring back some use of overall similarity and
appeals to the increased utility of a classification that is built this
way.

        Mayr certainly recognizes and would reject classifications that are
based on convergence (polyphyletic).  And as Kent claims he would be
willing to associate in a group species who share ancestral characters (in
'cladospeak': paraphyletic groups i.e. those based on symplesiomorphy).
His reason for doing so (he claims) is that there is more information in
this kind of classification.

        He ends his rejoinder to Padian in Science by writing (Mayr 1994),
"The Darwinian approach which groups together similar organisms is
indispensible for ecological researches, and futhermore, as pointed out be
several recent authors, it provides more information than the Hennigian
ordering system."

        I resisted this claim in my previous post.

=====

        Finally, it feels a bit odd to recapitulate arguments that were
anthologized long ago (see my references to Hennig and Mayr).  These
discussions seem far from current.  I think part of the irritation that I
feel with Mayr's ever willing insistence for his ever lonelier position is
that he confuses intransigence with defending a precious truth.
Philosophically a more interesting critique comes from Sober, who claims
that the notions of the model of minimum evolution that are used by
cladists to discover/generate phylogenetic hypotheses are problematic.  I
won't address his concerns suffice it to say that the kind of criticisms
that he has are only possible because cladistic methods are clear enough to
be examined in this way.  I doubt that his kind of careful analysis would
even be possible for the ever slippery 'Mayrian' taxonomy.

        If Mayr offers us something important, it is that as a practicing
ornithologist he finds phylogenetic classifications cumbersome (too bushy
in places too spare in others).  This complaint should be taken seriously.
How can we make our current best reconstructed phylogeny easy to use?  This
is an important challenge to theorists and practicing taxonomists.
Encumbering the classification with paraphyletic groups is an ever less
compelling solution to this problem of human interface design.

        cheers,

        Jeremy

________

Hennig, W. (1965) "Phylogenetic Systematics" From _Annual review of
Entomology_ 10. p97-116.  Also in _Conceptual Issues in Evolutionary
Biology: an Anthology_ ed. by Elliot Sober (1984). Second edition (1994).
Bradford. MIT Press.

Mayr, E. (1981) "Biological classification: Toward a synthesis of opposing
methodologies." _Science_ pp. 510-516. Also in _Conceptual Issues in
Evolutionary Biology: an Anthology_ ed. by Elliot Sober (1984). Second
edition (1994). Bradford. MIT Press.

Mayr, E. (1994b) "Ordering Systems" p715, Science v266, 4 November.

Ruse, M (1989) "Is the theory of punctuated equilibrium a new paradigm?"
The paragraphs quoted above are from page 120 in chapter 5 of _The
Darwinian Paradigm: Essays on the history, philosophy, and  religious
implications_ by Michael Ruse. London. Routledge paperback 1993.

Ruse, M (1979) _The Darwinian Revolution: Science Red in Tooth and Claw_.
Chicago. University of Chicago Press.

__________________________________________________________
Jeremy Creighton Ahouse
Biology Dept.
Brandeis University
Waltham, MA 02254-9110

(617)736-4954 Lab
     736-2405 FAX
ahouse@hydra.rose.brandeis.edu
___________________________________________________________

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

_______________________________________________________________________________

<20:9>From hss2m@faraday.clas.virginia.edu  Wed Apr  5 22:06:27 1995

Date: Wed, 5 Apr 1995 23:06:25 -0400
From: Henry Stephen Sharp <hss2m@faraday.clas.virginia.edu>
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re: Pop-culture and societal evolution

Be patient. The glaciers will soon return & it will be business as
usual.

Henry S. Sharp
Anthropology
University of Virginia
hss2m@virginia.edu

_______________________________________________________________________________

<20:10>From g-cziko@uiuc.edu  Wed Apr  5 22:37:10 1995

Date: Thu, 6 Apr 1995 03:38:13 +0000
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
From: g-cziko@uiuc.edu (CZIKO Gary)
Subject: Phillip Johnson's Imperfect God

Eugenie Scott said:

>Alas! I have been up to my eyebrows coping with the AAPA meetings in
>Oakland this last week, and didn't get your inquiry on Johnson until
>today!  For future reference, I have a very thick file of reviews and
>commentary on Johnson's views for you or anyone who wishes more
>information.  NCSE is a clearinghouse for info on the creation/evolution
>controversy, of which lawyer Johnson is a fairly recent addition.
>
>I suspect what he argued was that evolution didn't happen, scientists are
>keeping their doubts about evolution from the public in a conspiracy to
>protect their own interests (even if they know evolution doesn't have a
>leg to stand on); that the methodological materialism of science equates
>with philosophical materialism, which he thinks is bad, and that
>evolution as a classically materialistic science needs to be overthrown.
>He probably did not get into the age of the earth (he is an old-earther,
>unlike Gish *et al* from the ICR) and he didn't mention the Bible.
>
>Am I right?  And yes, he has been making the rounds at "major research
>universities" like yours, as well as lesser-known venues.

Sounds like you were in the audience!  I wish I had known you were there.

I found that I was not really concerned with Johnson's anti-evolution
arguments per se, since I don't see how any scientist would take them
seriously, especially his reincarnation of the argument from design.

I found his argument against what he calls scientific naturalism more
interesting.  In a note I sent to my friend Donald T. Campbell, I wrote:

=============================

>I got another chance to interact with Johnson on a local radio talk show
>this morning, and I think I have found his softspot.  It is his assertion
>that belief in a creator is inconsistent with scientific naturalism.
>
>One could argue that an omniscient and omnipotent creator could set up the
>laws of physics and set the initial conditions of the universe with the
>purpose of having life and humans evolve according to these natural laws.
>Only an imperfect creator would have to fiddle with the universe to keep
>things on track using miracles which violated natural laws.  So evolution
>could be both purposeful and naturalistic.  It is not that the creator
>cannot intervene [as I believe deism contends], he simply does not _need_
>to.
>
>Such a creator can do nicely with just one initial miracle and belief in
>such a creator is completely consistent with scientific naturalism for all
>scientific inquiry.  Johnson's creator needs many miracles to keep things
>on track.  Only such an imperfect God cannot abide by naturalism.  Has
>anybody made this type of critique of Johnson's critique of scientific
>naturalism?

===============================

--Gary Cziko

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

_______________________________________________________________________________

<20:11>From brunson@Okway.okstate.edu  Thu Apr  6 10:15:51 1995

Date: Wed, 5 Apr 1995 10:05:25 -0600
From: brunson@Okway.okstate.edu (Darin Brunson)
Subject: Re[2]: Mayr's use of "Darwinian" (even more)
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

     Being intrigued by this discussion, I decided to check the big book
     (Origin of Species) to see if I could come up with what "Darwinian"
     classification is, i.e., according to Darwin.  There is no doubt that
     Darwin has certain objectives in his argument, even when taking that
     (historically) into consideration, CD has some pretty clear things to
     say:
     "I believe that the *arrangement* of the groups within each class, in
     due subordination and relation to the other groups, must *strictly* be
     genealogical in order to be natural; but that the *amount* of
     difference in the several branches or groups, though allied in the
     same degree in blood to their common progenitor, mey differ greatly,
     being due to the different degrees of modification which they have
     undergone; and this is expressed by the forms being ranked under
     different genera, families, sections, or orders."[p.420]

     CD talks like this in other places as well.  But most importantly, he
     says with respect to genera, families, sections, or orders, that those
     choices are arbitrary.  He also (Chapter 2) goes on to say that
     species and varieities are "terms arbitrarily given for the sake of
     convenience..."[p. 52]

     I would think that the first quote would support Mayr's use of
     "Darwinian".   But, in matters of convenience, as in placing a group
     in a class or sub-class, it seems that Darwin has no advice (at least
     none that I could find).  Which makes me question whether Darwin
     should be interpreted as saying the *placing* of a group is arbitrary
     or *where the group ends up* is arbitrary.  That is to say, is it the
     giving of a term like "class" or "family" that is arbitrary and done
     for the sake of convenience, or is the fact that groups are given
     these terms at all that is arbitrary and for the sake of convenience?

     Darin Brunson

     page #'s are from the 1st ed. facsimile from Harvard Press

_______________________________________________________________________________

<20:12>From jej20@cus.cam.ac.uk  Thu Apr  6 10:48:39 1995

Date: Thu, 6 Apr 1995 16:47:39 +0100 (BST)
From: "J.E. Jeffery" <jej20@cus.cam.ac.uk>
To: Darwin-l <darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu>
Subject: Biodiversity and Extinction

Dear All,

I wonder if anyone knows of a text about man's role in extinction in the
recent (eg Dodo and Thylacine) and not-so-recent past (eg Mammoth and
Giant Elk?).  It is for an 12 year old girl doing a project at school and
so it must be fairly simple.  She asked at our museum (Zoology Museum,
Cambridge University) because she couldn't find anything suitable.  The
project covers insects/inverts, fish, birds and  mammals.

Thanks for any help,

Jon Jeffery
University Museum of Zoology,
Downing Street,
Cambridge,
CB2 3EJ

E-mail jej20@cus.cam.ac.uk

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<20:13>From ncse@crl.com  Thu Apr  6 12:12:45 1995

Date: Thu, 6 Apr 1995 10:11:15 -0700 (PDT)
From: "Eugenie C. Scott" <ncse@crl.com>
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re: Phillip Johnson's Imperfect God

On Wed, 5 Apr 1995, CZIKO Gary wrote:

> Eugenie Scott said:
>
> > (material deleted to save space)

> >I suspect what he argued was that evolution didn't happen, scientists are
> >keeping their doubts about evolution from the public in a conspiracy to
> >protect their own interests (even if they know evolution doesn't have a
> >leg to stand on); that the methodological materialism of science equates
> >with philosophical materialism, which he thinks is bad, and that
> >evolution as a classically materialistic science needs to be overthrown.
> >He probably did not get into the age of the earth (he is an old-earther,
> >unlike Gish *et al* from the ICR) and he didn't mention the Bible.

Gary Cziko writes:

> Sounds like you were in the audience!  I wish I had known you were there.
>
> I found that I was not really concerned with Johnson's anti-evolution
> arguments per se, since I don't see how any scientist would take them
> seriously, especially his reincarnation of the argument from design.

It is true that scientists don't pay much attention to Johnson's
scientific arguments: they have largely been made before by the
"scientific creationists" (gaps in the fossil record, inability of
natural selection and genetic variation to produce new "kinds", etc.).
But we must not forget that the majority of members of our society (who
vote for representatives who vote for the NSF budget, etc.) are not
scientists.  The majority of people in a university audience are also not
scientists, and I think if you had talked to some of them after Johnson's
presentation, you would have found that he had generated some doubt in
the minds of your colleagues.  (talk to some of your deconstructionist
colleagues in the social sciences or humanities, for example...)  Johnson
is a good speaker, he is smooth and articulate, and he avoids the sand
traps of young-earth arguments of the ICR spokesmen, thus appearing more
reasonable to the general public.  Plus he has an endowed chair at a very
presitgious univesity (even though he is not trained in science) and
can't be brushed aside like most of the antievolutionists without those
credentials.

The unfortunate fact of the matter is that Johnson's *scientific* attack
on evolution does sell to nonscientists, who outnumber us.  He also has
appeared on large-audience christian TV and radio programs like James
Dobson's and D. James Kennedy's, which makes his outreach far greater
than yours or mine.

His scientific ideas do need to be corrected, publically, at
presentations where he speaks.  I encourage my colleagues to do so if he
appears at a venue near you.

But Cziko's next comments are especially important, and get at the
ultimate goal that Johnson and other "intelligent design theorists" have:
the overthrowing of science as we know it: a materialist enterprise that
is limited to explaining the natural world using natural forces.  Cziko
makes the point well, and it should be made not so much to Johnson but to
the general audience -- which is inclined to accept the false assertion
that evolution has removed ULTIMATE purpose along with proximate purpose
(teleology).

Something that those of us who teach should keep in mind as well:
The demonstration that the fossil record does not show orthogenesis is a
commentary on proximate cause/purpose.  Ultimate cause is in the eye of
the beholder, and fewer students will reject evolution if you allow them
to maintain their religious beliefs.

If anyone is interested in this topic, I have written an article about
"Science and Christianity Are Compatible -- With Some Compromises" in The
Scientist, January 9, 1995, p. 12.  If you have problems getting a copy,
send me your snailmail address and I'll send you one.

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<20:14>From rbrandon@acpub.duke.edu  Thu Apr  6 12:49:48 1995

Date: Thu, 6 Apr 1995 13:49:42 -0400
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
From: rbrandon@acpub.duke.edu (Robert Brandon)
Subject: Mayr's use of "Darwinian"

I thought I would share the following quote from
Darwin's Descent of Man (1st ed. p. 188):

"but naturalist have long felt a profound conviction that there
is a natural system [of classification].  This system, it is now
generally admitted, must be, as far as possible, genealogical
in arrangement,--that is, the co-descendants of the same form just be kept
together in one group, separate from the co-descendants of any other form;
.."

This, it seems to me, is as clear a statement as one
could want of the requirement that all groups, at
whatever level in the taxonomic hierarchy, be
monophyletic.  It certainly rules out paraphyletic
groups.  I agree with what Ruse said about the term
"Darwinian", and I don't want to fight over it, but I
thought it worthwhile to at least look at this quote.

Robert Brandon

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<20:15>From dringe@unagi.cis.upenn.edu  Thu Apr  6 13:59:20 1995

To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: workshop at Penn
Date: Thu, 06 Apr 1995 14:59:17 EDT
From: Don Ringe <dringe@unagi.cis.upenn.edu>

Tandy Warnow (Computer and Information Science, U. of Pennsylvania) and
	Don Ringe (Linguistics, U. of Pennsylvania) are organizing a

	WORKSHOP:  MATHEMATICAL MODELLING OF LINGUISTIC RELATIONSHIPS

		Institute for Research in Cognitive Science
		3401 Walnut St., West Entrance, 4th Floor
			University of Pennsylvania
			    Philadelphia, PA
			    April 17-18, 1995

Tentative schedule (including time for discussion after each presentation):

MONDAY, APRIL 17
	8:30 - 9:00  Coffee
	9:00 - 9:30  Introductory remarks
	9:30 - 12:00  "A character-based method for inferring evolutionary
		trees."  Three interrelated presentations:
		"Historical and methodological overview of the problem,"
			Don Ringe, U. of Pennsylvania
		"Computational aspects," Tandy Warnow, U. of Pennsylvania
		"Indo-European," Ann Taylor, U. of Pennsylvania
	12:00 - 1:30  Lunch
	1:30 - 3:00  "Shaped by some common contingency:  historically but
		not genetically related," Johanna Nichols, U. of California
		at Berkeley
	3:00 - 3:30  Coffee
	3:30 - 5:00  "Mathematical methods in dialectology," Sheila Embleton,
		York U.

TUESDAY, APRIL 18
	8:30 - 9:00  Coffee
	9:00 - 10:30  "Modelling the time course of language change,"
		Anthony Kroch, U. of Pennsylvania
	10:30 - 12:00  presentation by William Labov, U. of Pennsylvania
		(title to be announced)
	12:00 - 1:30  Lunch
	1:30 - 3:00  "The mathematics of n-way comparison," Bill Poser, U. of
		Northern British Columbia
	3:00 - 5:00  General discussion

All sessions will be held in the large conference room at IRCS, at the address
given in the heading of this announcement.

The public is invited to attend.

ACCOMMODATIONS
Among regular hotels we especially recommend the Sheraton University City at
36th Street and Chestnut (about a block and a half from IRCS), phone
215-387-8000.
Dormitory-style accommodations are available at International House, 3701
Chestnut Street, phone 215-387-5125 (ext. 2220), fax 215-895-6535.
Bed and breakfast accommodations can be found through Bed and Breakfast
Connections of Philadelphia, phone 610-687-3565.
Those for whom economy is imperative might consider the Divine Tracy Hotel, run
by a local religious group at 20 South 36th Street (a stone's throw--literally
--from the Sheraton), phone 215-382-4310.  This is amazingly inexpensive, but
there is an early curfew (I think 10 p.m.) and an amazingly conservative dress
code, especially for women (skirt and hose mandatory).  Still, students assure
us that it is safe, clean, convenient, and cheap.

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<20:16>From michaels@scifac.su.oz.au  Fri Apr  7 00:44:54 1995

Date: Sat, 8 Apr 1995 03:45:46 +0000
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
From: michaels@SciFac.su.OZ.AU
Subject: ROMANES

Dear Colleagues

A PhD student in the Unit for HPS here at Sydney proposes a research topic
based on the work of George John ROMANES, author of works on evolution,
monism, animal intelligence, psychology, biology; friend of DARWIN;
controversialist on physiological evolution with WALLACE, etc, etc. A
neglected figure?  I am aware of discussions of Romanes in books by Frank
Turner and Robert Richards, but of no full-scale treatments. Does anyone
know of PhDs on the topic, particularly in UK universities (a searce
through the USA Diss. Abstracts on CD-Rom hasn't revealed anything)?

All help much appreciated. Thanks

Michael Shortland

-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Michael Shortland                      Email :  michaels@scifac.su.oz.au
Unit for the History and
Philosophy of Science F07    _--_|\
University of Sydney       /       \
Sydney NSW 2006            \_.--._ /*
Australia
                                         Fax   : 02 351 4124
                                         Tel   : 02 351 4801
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

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<20:17>From mghiselin@casmail.calacademy.org  Thu Apr 13 11:10:50 1995

Date: Thu, 13 Apr 95 08:54:18 PST
From: mghiselin@casmail.calacademy.org (Ghiselin, Michael)
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re: DARWIN-L digest 382

          Polly Winsor has asked if anybody has responded to Mayr's
          claim that his own principles of classification should be
          called "Darwinian" in contradistinction to those used by
          cladists and others.  I have, and the response is to be
          found in my paper "Mayr versus Darwin on paraphyletic taxa"
          in Systematic Zoology, 34:460-462 (1985).  Mayr's claims are
          based upon confusing Darwin's descriptions of the views of
          others with his real sentiments, a mistake he had previously
          made with Darwin's species concepts.  My paper was published
          in response to a personal attack on me, and of course Mayr
          has never responded to my response.  He doesn't have a leg
          to stand on.

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<20:18>From princeh@husc.harvard.edu  Sun Apr 16 17:43:25 1995

Date: Sun, 16 Apr 1995 18:20:34 -0400 (EDT)
From: Patricia Princehouse <princeh@husc.harvard.edu>
Subject: Hist of Radiometric Dating
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

I've been on postpone for several months, so if this topic has been
discussed, please point me to the right gopher hole.

I'd appreciate recommendations of books for use in a History of Science
seminar next fall on Deep Time, particularly any books specifically
about radiometric dating or other (successful or failed) 20th C attempts
to measure geologic time with instruments as opposed to faunal
succession.

I'll be assigning Rudwick's _Meaning of Fossils_ & _Scenes from Deep Time_
& articles by Gould, Moore, Desmond, Albritten, & perhaps some of McPhee's
_Basin & Range_ as students may have little acquaintance with geology
fieldwork.

Thanks,

Patricia Princehouse
princeh@fas.harvard.edu

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<20:19>From brewer@cs.wmich.edu  Tue Apr 18 06:19:36 1995

Date: Tue, 18 Apr 95 07:21:47 EDT
From: brewer@cs.wmich.edu (Steven D. Brewer)
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Subjects needed for study of expert phylogenetic tree construction

I am looking for phylogenetic biologists to participate in a
study I am conducting for my dissertation.  I hope to improve
the teaching of systematic and evolutionary biology by having
students solve realistic problems of phylogenetic inference.
My study, which examines how experts solve these problems,
will be useful for developing curricula and instructional
materials.  If you agree to participate, I will ask you to
volunteer about four hours of your time to become familiar
with the software I am using and to draw a series of
phylogenetic trees using coded and polarized data that I will
provide.

I'm looking for people who regularly perform phylogenetic
studies as part of their research.  It would be particularly
helpful to find people who are close to Michigan and in
groups.  If you and a group of colleagues are engaged in this
work, please help me recruit them so that I can stretch my
extremely limited travel budget.  I know that everyone is
short on time and nervous about making commitments, but this
is a way that you can directly help improve how systematics
is taught to non-majors.

Although I can't offer any direct compensation, you may keep
the software we use for teaching purposes, if you like.  In
addition, this may be an opportunity for you to think about
your teaching in a way you haven't considered before.
Finally, if you find our work interesting, we are setting up
a long-term project that will use this study as a foundation:
We are looking for people who would be willing to collaborate
in creating a microworld that students could explore that is
composed of multiple data sources.  We think that this
project has the potential to be a powerful tool for teaching
systematics and evolutionary biology.

To find out more and/or volunteer, please call me (616-387-
7638) or send me some email (brewer@cs.wmich.edu).  You can
also check out our website to find out more:
http://141.218.91.93/PIGuide/piguide.html
The newest version of PI (1.5b) has also been uploaded to all
of the major Macintosh FTP sites.

Steve Brewer <brewer@cs.wmich.edu>      | Se iu diras 'Mi havas korpon,' oni
http://141.218.91.93/WWW/I_sbrewer.html | povas demandi 'Kiu parolas tie ^ci
Science Studies WMU Kalamazoo MI 49008  | per tiu ^ci bu^so?' --Wittgenstein

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<20:20>From maisel@SDSC.EDU  Tue Apr 18 14:07:44 1995

Date: Tue, 18 Apr 1995 11:59:13 -0700 (PDT)
From: Merry Maisel <maisel@SDSC.EDU>
Subject: Re: Hist of Radiometric Dating
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

For Patricia Princehouse:

There's _The Age of the Earth_ by G. Brent Dalrymple (or at least
the first two chapters--the book is $50).  Also, _Lord Kelvin and
The Age of the Earth_ by Joe D. Burchfield_ (paper edition, U of
Chicago Press, $16.95). Martin usually reprints a lovely bunch
of readings in a packet when he gives this course, usually beginning
with Ussher or Scaliger.  Gould's _Time's Arrow, Time's Cycle_ is in
paper, and so is the Goodfield/Toulmin work (which I don't recommend,
since it is filled with a kind of presentism).

Merry Maisel
UC San Diego
maisel@sdsc.edu

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<20:21>From elanier@crl.nmsu.edu  Tue Apr 18 17:42:35 1995

Date: Tue, 18 Apr 1995 16:42:27 -0700
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
From: elanier@crl.nmsu.edu (Ellery Lanier)
Subject: somatotypes

Many members have asked me to supply information about how to measure the
bisexuality of an individual or the degree to which the members of each sex
exhibit the secondary characteristics of the opposite sex. Also if it can
be applied to animals. The first question is answered in detail in Physique
and Delinquent Behavior; A Thirty Year Follow Up by Hartl, Emil M. pub by
Academic Press in 1982.Offices in New York and London. The book contains
scaling techniques andstatistical data. Hartl worked with Sheldon and I have
had some very pleasant phone contacts with him. As to the second question,
animal breeders know the condition well. I have a delightful book to
recommend which may be difficult to find. The Physical Basis of Personality
by Charles R. Stockard pub by W W Norton in 1931. Stockard did his extensive
research at Cornell and there is little doubt that he inspired much of
Sheldon's research. The book is about dogs and a pleasure to read.

Ellery      elanier@crl.nmsu.edu

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<20:22>From charbel@ufba.br  Mon Apr 24 12:43:28 1995

Date: Mon, 24 Apr 1995 14:34:58 -0300 (GRNLNDST)
From: Charbel Nino El-Mani <charbel@ufba.br>
To: send darwin-L <Darwin-L@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu>
Subject: End of evolution

Human beings are subjects and objects of their histories. This is a solid
idea not only in social sciences, but also when we lead with the
relations between man and nature as a whole. We are not merely creators of
or responders to nature, as John Carr and someone else (sorry, I do not
remember) have been discussing, but we create new environments,
historically and socially contingent, that by its turn produce new
transformations in ourselves. This is also true for the other living
beings, which do not relate to the environment, but to some class of
defined environmental conditions, which are in fact selected by the
species in its evolutionary history. The relation between man and
environment is a dialectical one, and any dichotomy between our species
and its environment makes difficult to understand the evolutionary
process which our species has been undergoing. Levins and Lewontin write,
in *The Dialectical Biologist*, that parts and wholes have a special
relationship one another, in which one cannot exist without the other, in
the same way that up cannot exist without down. Waht constitutes the
parts is defined by the whole which is considered. Moreover, the parts
acquire new properties by being parts of a certain whole, properties
which they do not have when isolated or as parts of a different whole. It
is not that the whole is more than the sum of the parts, but the parts
acquire bew properties. But as the parts acquire new properties because
they are together, they impart to the whole new properties, which are
reflected as changes in the parts, and so on. Parts and wholes evolve as a
consequence of their relation, and the relation itself evolves. These are
the properties of the things we call dialectical: that one cannot exist
without the other, that one acquire its properties from its relation to
the other, that the properties of both evolve because of their
interpenetration. This assertion by Levins and Lewontin can enlighten the
debate on the relations between man and nature, I think. We have been
selecting, for a long time, the environment which selects the genotypes
which can survive and reproduce succesfully. But the creation of a
homogeneous environment throughout the world, in which a highly
homogeneous man can live, is making not also the environment but our own
lives poorer and poorer. What kind of natural selection is happening
then? We know about economical and political privileges. Does the
selection based upon the economical and political structure contribute to
the future survival of our species? A homogeneous species, at least in
cultural terms, living in a homogeneous environment, manufactured to
favor its survival, is capable of surviving to environmental challenges,
when it is away from its selected environment? Indeed, the images we
construct about ourselves necessarily influence  the kind of selected
environment we deserve to live in. I agree with Carr, if the media is
forming, predominantly, the image we have of ourselves we have to worry,
because this image tends to be increasingly homogeneous. What is the
impact of the contemporary images of the human being on the evolution of
the species? One thing is certain: life becomes dull and monotony fills
in our days.

Charbel Nino El-Hani

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Darwin-L Message Log 20: 1-22 -- April 1995                                 End

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