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Darwin-L Message Log 22: 1–35 — June 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 June 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 22: 1-35 -- JUNE 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 public messages posted to Darwin-L during June 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 Web Server at http://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.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:1>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Thu Jun  1 10:28:56 1995

Date: Thu, 01 Jun 1995 11:28:44 -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.  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.

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     For example: SUBSCRIBE DARWIN-L John Smith

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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.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:2>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Sun Jun  4 21:37:42 1995

Date: Sun, 04 Jun 1995 22:37:31 -0400 (EDT)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: Whew. (From the list owner)
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

The list owner has just completed an exceedingly grueling though ultimately
rewarding academic year.  As some of you know, I have been involved in the
establishment of a new residential college at my university during the past
year, and this has taken up an extraordinary amount of time.  My sincere
apologies to all who have not had timely responses from me to their list
inquiries in the last few months.  I will be getting things back on track over
the next week or two.  If anyone has any urgent list management problems
(problems with subscriptions, cancellations, etc.) please send them to me now
at darwin@iris.uncg.edu and I will try to deal with them promptly.

The list has also been experiencing some technical problems in the past few
months which I think are on their way to being cleared up.  The Kansas
listserv was having trouble distributing messages in a regular manner, and you
may have noticed that things tended to bunch up over several days.  (This was
happening on all the lists run from the ukanaix machine.)  The Kansas folks
have now upgraded to a newer version of the listserv software so the mail
delivery problem is expected to improve.  And if this were not enough, the
network connection to the machine in my office that had been running the
Darwin-L gopher was down for several months beginning in January.  I am in the
process of reincarnating the Darwin-L gopher as a World Wide Web site, and
expect to have that available very shortly.  It is entirely textual, so even
people who don't have graphical browsers should be able to use it without too
much trouble.

While it has nothing to do with the historical sciences, some of you may be
interested in the residential college work I have been doing this past year.
Our new college, Cornelia Strong College, now has a web site of its own, and
you are cordially invited to pay us a visit (http://strong.uncg.edu).  I have
attached to the Strong College web site a directory of other residential
college programs around the world, from Oxford and Cambridge to Virginia and
Santa Cruz, and this directory has already proven itself to be a valuable
resource for faculty and administrators at a number of insititions.  The
educational experience of undergraduates at large universities (particularly
state universities in the United States) has been less than ideal for many
years, and I firmly believe that residential college programs offer many
solutions to our educational problems.  (Steps down from soapbox.)

Many thanks to all for your continuing interest in, and sometimes patience
with, Darwin-L.

Bob O'Hara (darwin@iris.uncg.edu)
Darwin-L list owner, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:3>From equevedo@colciencias.colciencias.gov.co Mon Jun  5 10:09:15 1995

Date: Mon, 5 Jun 1995 09:58:29 -0400 (GMT-0400)
From: Emilio Quevedo <equevedo@colciencias.colciencias.gov.co>
To: DARWIN-L <DARWIN-L@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu>
Subject: New list Finlay-l

A new discusion list has been created:

        FINLAY-L DISCUSSION LIST ON THE HISTORY OF SCIENCE,
             MEDICINE AND TECHNOLOGY IN LATIN AMERICA

This list is an open discussion forum on Latin American History of
Science, Medicine and Technology. As a Latin American list, messages are
accepted in Spanish, English, French and Portuguese, the four official
languages spoken within the continent.

All those interested in Latin American History of Science, Medicine and
Technology can subscribe the list.

If you want to subscribe please send a message to the list owner
<finlayad@Colciencias.gov.co>.

You can ask any other information or request to Emilio Quevedo, the list
owner, <finlayad@Colciencias.gov.co> or <equevedo@colciencias.gov.co>

Best regards from Colombia,

Emilio Quevedo, Director
Centro de Historia de la Medicina
"Andres Soriano Lleras"
Facultad de Medicina/Universidad Nacional de Colombia
Calle 144 No 27-46 Int 8
Santafe de Bogota/Colombia
Tel: (57-1) 3681486 Fax: (57-1) 2225414
<finlayad@Colciencias.gov.co> or <equevedo@colciencias.gov.co>

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:4>From charbel@ufba.br Tue Jun  6 13:16:32 1995

Date: Tue, 6 Jun 1995 15:04:52 -0300 (GRNLNDST)
From: Charbel Nino El-Mani <charbel@ufba.br>
To: senddarwin-L <Darwin-L@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu>
Subject: Natural selection

Many people speak of natural selection as an objective force, as when we
refer to the "mechanism of evolution". I believe this is a wrong way of
understanding natural selection. In fact, natural selection is a logical
deduction derived from some inductive premises: (1) there is variation
in all populations of living beings; (2) living beings have to be adapted
to their ecological niches to obtain food, dwelling-places, etc.; (3)
some of the variants must be more well-adapted (the fittest) than others;
(4) there is a struggle for existence, not exactly a war, but rather a
competition for the resources which are necessary for the manteinance of
life and succesfull reproduction. The premises refer to objective things,
but natural selection is a logical consequence. So, we cannot think about
natural selection and the survival of the fittest as a cause-and-effect
relation, because causation here is scattered throughout a web of
ecological, genetical, physiological relationships, etc.

Comments?

Charbel Nino El-Hani
Institute of Biology, Federal University of Bahia
Charbel@ufba.br

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:5>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Tue Jun  6 22:21:12 1995

Date: Tue, 06 Jun 1995 23:20:57 -0400 (EDT)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: Darwin-L Web Server now available
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

The Darwin-L Web Server is now open and has replaced the old Darwin-L
gopher.  To connect to the Darwin-L Web Server point your world wide web
browser at:

     http://rjohara.uncg.edu

There will undoubtedly be a few problems with these pages while they
are new.  I will monitor them carefully and try to fix anything that
doesn't work.  Please report any serious difficulties to me and I will
do my best to straighten things out.

The Darwin-L Web Server contains logs of all the past discussions on
Darwin-L (lightly edited for ease fo reading), as well as an assortment
of other links to network sites in the historical sciences.  Most of the
materials there will be familiar to former users of the Darwin-L gopher.
Some of the log files are very large, and may possibly overwhelm some
web browsers.  If this turns out to be a serious problem I will try to
break the logs into smaller pieces.  I have tried, however, to make all
the materials readable by people using either character-based browsers
like LYNX or graphical browsers like MOSAIC or NETSCAPE.  If you aren't
familiar with browsing the world wide web you should be able to get more
information from your local computer center.

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.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:6>From ahouse@hydra.rose.brandeis.edu Wed Jun  7 15:17:04 1995

Date: Wed, 7 Jun 1995 16:17:05 -0400
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
From: ahouse@hydra.rose.brandeis.edu (Jeremy)
Subject: Re: Natural selection

        Those who focus on forces approach may often be taking
Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium as the Zero-force condition.  They can then
insist that movements from this equilibrium requires an explanation and
these explanations are thought of as forces.  In this way it is analogous
to physics notions of preservation of momentum of a body unless forces act
to change it.  Charbel is right to question this approach especially from
the vantage point of "ecological, ... physiological relationships".  It
isn't clear how HW equilibrium cashes out physiologically or ecologically.
For many people (though not many on this list) evolution is identically a
change in gene frequencies and for them a force law approach may be more
useful.

For discussion of Nat. Selection as a theory of forces see Sober (1984) and
compare Lloyd (1988/1994).

Sober, Elliott (1984) _The nature of selection : evolutionary theory in
philosophical focus_, MIT Press.  CALL NUMBER: B818 .S66 1984

Lloyd, Elisabeth Anne (1988) _The structure and confirmation of
evolutionary theory_ Greenwood Press.  (In paper from Princeton 1994)  CALL
NUMBER: QH366.2 .L59 1988

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

        (617)736-4954 Lab
             736-2405 FAX
        ahouse@hydra.rose.brandeis.edu
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        You may use PGP to send me private email.
        My public key is available by fingering my account.

        Information about PGP encryption can be found on the web at
                http://web.mit.edu/network/pgp.html

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:7>From staddon@psych.duke.edu Wed Jun  7 16:44:36 1995

Date: Wed, 7 Jun 95 17:44:23 EDT
From: staddon@psych.duke.edu (John Staddon)
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re:  Natural selection

I don't believe that El-Hani's argument is correct, because
selection may be ineffective for two reasons: (a) If the
mechanism of heritability is not adequate ("blending"
inheritance, for example); or (b) if the range of genotypic
variation is constrained.  For example, some complex systems
people have suggested that the space of real potential species is
not that much larger than the space of actual species, hence the
role of selection is much less than usually thought.  The
protobiologist Goodwin (I think) has also made such arguments
about simple organisms.  I'm not sure how much weight is given to
this view, but it does point out that evolution through natural
selection is not tautologous.

John Staddon

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:8>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Thu Jun  8 10:59:22 1995

Date: Thu, 08 Jun 1995 11:59:08 -0400 (EDT)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: June 8 -- Today in the Historical Sciences
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

JUNE 8 -- TODAY IN THE HISTORICAL SCIENCES

1638: PIERRE MAGNOL is born at Montpellier, France.  The son of an
apothecary, Magnol will become a serious student of plants in his youth and
will eventually take a degree in medicine.  His growing botanical knowledge
will bring him into contact with many foreign naturalists, including Ray in
England, Commelin in Amsterdam, and Salvador in Barcelona, and he will
assemble a devoted group of students around him in Montpellier, including
Antoine and Bernard de Jussieu who will themselves become leading botanists.
Magnol's comprehensive studies of the plants of his native region will lead
to the publication of _Botanicum Monspeliense_ in 1676, and he will eventually
become director of the Montpellier botanical garden, the oldest botanical
garden in France, which he will describe in his _Hortus regius Monspeliensis_
(1697).  The spectacular genus of flowering trees and shrubs _Magnolia_ will
be named in his honor.

Today in the Historical Sciences is a feature of Darwin-L, an international
network discussion group on the history and theory of the historical sciences.
Send the message INFO DARWIN-L to listserv@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu or connect
to the Darwin-L Web Server (http://rjohara.uncg.edu) for more information.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:9>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Thu Jun  8 15:24:58 1995

Date: Thu, 08 Jun 1995 16:24:42 -0400 (EDT)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: Selection, agency, Chauncey Wright(?), and historical space
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

Charbel asks about natural selection as a theory of forces and wonders
if this is an appropriate way of thinking about it.  There is of
course a similar mode of speaking which talks about natural selection
as the "agent" of evolutionary change.  Both of these modes of
speaking are quite interesting.  The language of agency I imagine
derives from Darwin's argument for natural selection being built
around a comparison to artificial selection where the language of
agency seems appropriate (the animal or plant breeder is the agent of
the change).  Darwin of course was criticised for the use of this kind
of language by his contemporaries, but he replied (as most evolutionary
biologists today would, I suppose) that the language is simply
metaphorical.

We have discussed the 19th century American philosopher Chauncey
Wright here a few times before, and I seem to remember reading
something in Wright that criticized the whole notion of speaking of
any abstraction as a cause; thus he objected to referring to "gravity"
as an abstract concept being the cause of anything.  He would make the
same criticism against "natural selection" if taken as an abstract
agent, I suspect, thought he was a strong advocate of natural
selection against critics like St. George Mivart.  This is a very hazy
recollection, however.  Can anyone else flesh it out?  It may not have
even been Wright who was making this argument; perhaps Peirce or
someone else.  Perhaps one of our professional philosophers knows this
as an instance of a general agrument in the philosophy of causation.

On the same general topic John Staddon commented:

>For example, some complex systems people have suggested that the
>space of real potential species is not that much larger than the
>space of actual species....

This strikes me (as a systematist) as such an extraordinary idea that
it presents an interesting hermeneutic challenge to see if I can
understand what an advocate of this idea must believe about the world.
(It also returns to a discussion here several months ago about how
"diversity" was conceived in the early history of systematics.)  Do
you have a reference or two to discussions of this idea, John?

Have any linguists ever suggested that the "space of potential
languages" corresponds closely to the "space of real languages."
(Another interesting question is what do we mean by a phrase like
"the space of actual species"; what are the dimensions/axes of this
space?)

Many thanks.

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.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:10>From chefboy@violet.berkeley.edu Thu Jun  8 19:27:14 1995

Date: Thu, 8 Jun 1995 17:27:01 -0700
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
From: chefboy@violet.berkeley.edu (Jason D. Patent)
Subject: Re: Selection, agency, Chauncey Wright(?), and historical space

With regards to:

>On the same general topic John Staddon commented:
>
>>For example, some complex systems people have suggested that the
>>space of real potential species is not that much larger than the
>>space of actual species....
>
>This strikes me (as a systematist) as such an extraordinary idea that
>it presents an interesting hermeneutic challenge to see if I can
>understand what an advocate of this idea must believe about the world.
>(It also returns to a discussion here several months ago about how
>"diversity" was conceived in the early history of systematics.)  Do
>you have a reference or two to discussions of this idea, John?

I'm not John Staddon, but I came across some very interesting discussions
of this idea in Roger Lewin's book "Complexity:  Life at the Edge of
Chaos."  Check it out.

As for:

>Have any linguists ever suggested that the "space of potential
>languages" corresponds closely to the "space of real languages."

I haven't heard of any linguists proposing this, but I think it's a great
idea!  Indeed, I've been trying to think of ways in which Complexity
science could be applied to linguistics, and I think you've hit upon an
excellent possibility.  I think that such an approach could potentially be
an extremely helpful way of refocusing the all-too-pervasive Principles and
Parameters (i.e. neo-Chomskyan) approach to syntax, which endeavors to find
how languages vary within "universal grammar" (UG)--that is, to identify
"parameters," such as the position of the subject within a sentence, and
show how "settings" of these parameters vary from language to language.  I
suppose one could see this already as an attempt to identify the "space of
real languages," but unfortunately research in P&P seems to have gotten far
too bogged down in uninteresting (to me, anyway) detail.

Anyway, most of this is straight off the top of my head, so please forgive
its lack of lucidity.

Jason D. Patent
Graduate Student
UC Berkeley Department of Linguistics
chefboy@violet.berkeley.edu

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:11>From p_stevens@nocmsmgw.harvard.edu Fri Jun  9 11:23:26 1995

Date: 9 Jun 1995 12:15:38 -0400
From: "p stevens" <p_stevens@nocmsmgw.harvard.edu>
Subject: Haeckel - nat. Schopfungs.
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

A request for help - does anybody have access to ed. 1 of Ernst Haeckel's,
"naturliche Schopfungsgeschichte" of 1968, and can confirm that the following
quotation is included, and give me a page number?  (There may be some
mistakes in the quotation.)

"Die ontogenie oder die individuelle Entwicklungsgeschichte jedes Organismus
(Embryologie und Metamorphologie), bildet eine einfache, unverzweigte oder
leiterformige Kette von Formen; und ebenso derjenige Teil der Phylogenie,
welcher die paleontologische Entwicklungsgeschichte der direkten Vorfahren
jedes individuellen Organismus enthalt.  Dagegen bildet die ganze Phylogenie,
welche uns in dem naturaliche System jedes organischen Stammes oder Phylum
entgegentritt, und welche die paleontologische Entwicklung aller Zweige
dieses Stammes untersucht, eine verzweigte oder baumformige
Entwicklungsreihe, eine wirklichen Stammbaum."

Our ed. 1 has been checked out for almost a quarter of a century(!) by a
faculty member, and I cam get hold of vol. 2 only of Lankester's translation,
and anyhow don't know which edition he was translating.

For those interested in trees and other diagrammatic representations of
relationships, this book is a goldmine.

Peter Stevens.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:12>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Sat Jun 10 00:09:48 1995

Date: Sat, 10 Jun 1995 01:09:40 -0400 (EDT)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: June 10 -- Today in the Historical Sciences
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

JUNE 10 -- TODAY IN THE HISTORICAL SCIENCES

1858: ROBERT BROWN dies in London in the Soho Square house left to him by
Joseph Banks, his long-time patron.  One of the preeminent taxonomic botanists
of the early nineteenth century, Brown had been an exceptionally industrious
student of medicine and botany as a young man in his native Scotland.
Following a period of naval service as a surgeon's mate, he was appointed in
1801 as a naturalist on the Investigator, a British Admiralty ship preparing
to sail around the world.  The Investigator voyage gave Brown an extensive
knowledge of the plants of the southern hemisphere, and he returned with
specimens of nearly 4,000 species.  As a leading figure in London scientific
circles, Brown played an important role in the establishment of the Department
of Botany in the British Museum, and served as Librarian and President of the
Linnean Society.  Charles Darwin in his _Autobiography_ will recollect the
many hours he spent in Brown's company: "I saw a good deal of Robert Brown,
'facile Princeps Botanicorum,' as he was called by Humboldt; and before I was
married I used to go and sit with him almost every Sunday morning.  He seemed
to me to be chiefly remarkable for the minuteness of his observations and
their perfect accuracy.  He never propounded to me any large scientific views
in biology.  His knowledge was extraordinarily great, and much died with him,
owing to his excessive fear of ever making a mistake.  He poured out his
knowledge to me in the most unreserved manner, yet was strangely jealous on
some points....Hooker told me that he was a complete miser, and knew himself
to be a miser, about his dried plants; and he would not lend specimens to
Hooker, who was describing the plants of Tierra del Fuego, although well
knowing that he himself would never make any use of the collections from this
country.  On the other hand he was capable of the most generous actions.  When
old, much out of health and quite unfit for any exertion, he daily visited (as
Hooker told me) an old man-servant, who lived at a distance and whom he
supported, and read aloud to him.  This is enough to make up for any degree
of scientific penuriousness or jealousy.  He was rather given to sneering at
anyone who wrote about what he did not fully understand: I remember praising
Whewell's _History of the Inductive Sciences_ to him, and he answered, "Yes,
I suppose that he has read the prefaces of very many books."

Today in the Historical Sciences is a feature of Darwin-L, an international
network discussion group on the history and theory of the historical sciences.
Send the message INFO DARWIN-L to listserv@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu or connect
to the Darwin-L Web Server (http://rjohara.uncg.edu) for more information.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:13>From jsl@rockvax.rockefeller.edu Sat Jun 10 10:03:08 1995

To: JSAPP@VM2.YorkU.CA
To: senddarwin-L <Darwin-L@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu>
Subject: "Science, Politics and Evolution in Asia and the Pacific"
Date: Sat, 10 Jun 95 11:07:12 -0400
From: Joshua Lederberg <jsl@rockvax.rockefeller.edu>

CALLS FOR PAPERS OF INTEREST TO AEROSPACE HISTORIANS

(from NASA History list:
From: "Launius, Roger" <RLaunius@codei.hq.nasa.gov>)

     The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia, is sponsoring
a symposium entitled "Science, Politics and Evolution in Asia and the
Pacific" on 20-21 November 1995. This workshop will explore how evolutionism
and other scientific models have been translated into various social and
political discourses articulated in the Asia-Pacific region. The impact on
different cultures and value systems will be one sub-theme, as will be the
manner in which Darwinian themes were co-opted to serve various interest
groups. Proposals of papers are invited. Deadline for submission is 31 July
1995. Contact Dr. Christine Dureau (telephone 06 249 4247) and Dr. Morris
Low (telephone 06 249 3121), Division of Pacific and Asian History, Research
School of Pacific and Asian Studies, ANU, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia; Fax
(06) 249 5525; e-mail dureau or mlow@coombs.anu.edu.au.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:14>From LANGE@humnet.ucla.edu Mon Jun 12 11:42:22 1995

From: "Marc Lange  Dodd 347  5-2291" <LANGE@humnet.ucla.edu>
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Date: Mon, 12 Jun 1995 09:42:39 PST
Subject: Today...Brown

I very much enjoy the occasional feature, Today in the Historical
Sciences, that appears on this list. However, the entry for Robert
Brown omitted one of his signal accomplishments: the first (or, at
least, the eponymic) description of "Brownian motion", which appeared
in Philosophical Magazine 4 and 5 (1828 and 1829). The story, as
Brown tells it, is really amusing: how he first noticed (under
the microscope) that pollen grains in water perform erratic ceaseless
motions, how he determined that the motions did not result from water
currents or water evaporation, how he concluded that the motions
resulted from the vivacity of the pollen grains until he found that
inorganic materials (including dust from the Sphinx) exhibited the
same motions, etc. And I needn't remind readers of this list of the
subsequent significance of Brownian motion in the history of science.

Again, I thank the contributor of this feature.

Marc Lange
Philosophy, UCLA

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:15>From wilcox@mail.unm.edu Mon Jun 12 12:38:40 1995

Date: Mon, 12 Jun 1995 11:38:30 -0600
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
From: wilcox@mail.unm.edu (Sherman Wilcox)
Subject: Odd question

Odd, but I hope someone can help me with it.

I have seen pictures from the caves in France of paintings of hand, more
like silhouettes or outlines of hands (made by blowing charcoal onto the
wall?). I'm looking for a picture of these paintings in a textbook,
magazine, etc. The picture doesn't have to be color -- black and white is
fine.

Can anyone give me a reference?

Thanks!

-- Sherman

=========================================================
Sherman Wilcox                  wilcox@mail.unm.edu
Associate Professor
Dept. of Linguistics            (505) 277-6353 v/tty
University of New Mexico        (505) 277-6355 fax
Albuquerque, NM 87131
=========================================================

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:16>From mghiselin@casmail.calacademy.org Mon Jun 12 13:31:24 1995

Date: Mon, 12 Jun 95 11:45:09 PST
From: mghiselin@casmail.calacademy.org (Ghiselin, Michael)
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re: DARWIN-L digest 400

          Is natural selection an agent?  No.
               A few years ago I discussed this matter in an article
          in THE BEHAVIOR AND BRAIN SCIENCES entitled "Categories,
          Life, and Thinking."
               Consider the analogy of undressing.  I undress.  I am
          the agent.  I act upon my clothing.  I am the patient: I am
          affected by the action of undressing.  But upon what is it
          that "undressing acts"?  This question is the result of an
          elementary, albeit common, category mistake.  Undressing is
          not an agent: it does not act at all.
               Natural selection is like that.  Not being an agent, it
          does not act at all.  Persons who ask upon what it acts are
          metaphysically muddled.
          M. Ghiselin

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:17>From LKNYHART@macc.wisc.edu Tue Jun 13 08:51:39 1995

Date: Tue, 13 Jun 95 08:51 CDT
From: Lynn K. Nyhart <LKNYHART@macc.wisc.edu>
Subject: Re: Haeckel - nat. Schopfungs.
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

I've been looking through my Haeckel notes and wish I could help you, but the
earliest edition of the Nat. Schopf. that I had access to was 1874.
Mysteriously, we are also missing Vol. 1 of the E. Ray Lankester translation
(coincidence?? conspiracy??).  If you are looking for the earliest version of
Haeckel's statement of recapitulation, it would be in the Generelle
Morphologie. Try vol. 2, around pp. 6-9.  I don't know if it has the nice
phrase about the echte Stammbaum, but it might.  In this work he puts a lot of
thought (or words, anyway) into the idea of multiple levels of individuality,
and here the notion of a bush is quite frequent, since the bush was the best
botanical illustration at the time of an aggregate individual made up of other
individual units (ideas about plants being aggregate individuals go back
earlier, of course, to Schleiden, and even to Goethe if you want to push it,
but remained controversial in the early 1860s).  Haeckel was seeking a notion
of the species as individual that would expand botanical ideas about multi-
levelled individuality to the animal world as well, so he could have a unified
biological theory of form.

Lynn Nyhart

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:18>From charbel@ufba.br Tue Jun 13 14:01:31 1995

Date: Tue, 13 Jun 1995 11:35:17 -0300 (GRNLNDST)
From: Charbel Nino El-Mani <charbel@ufba.br>
To: senddarwin-L <Darwin-L@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu>
Subject: Natural selection

Jonathan Howard, in a small book about Darwin, writes that he introduced
the idea of geographical isolation in his early manuscripts but later he
doesn't included it in the central axis of his evolutionary theory. So,
this decision of Darwin contributed to the observation, made by Mayr,
that he doesn't approach the problem of the origin of species in his
book. I think that Mayr is not completely right in this commentary.
Howard argues that Darwin felt unconfortable to include geographic
isolation in the bulk of the theory because it was a contingent process,
while everything else in his theory, variation, adaptation, struggle for
existence and natural selection seemed to be inherent to the very
existence of living beings. I really like his reasoning. Comments?

Charbel Nino El-Hani
Institute of Biology, Federal University of Bahia
Charbel@ufba.br

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:19>From charbel@ufba.br Tue Jun 13 14:11:58 1995

Date: Tue, 13 Jun 1995 11:50:19 -0300 (GRNLNDST)
From: Charbel Nino El-Mani <charbel@ufba.br>
To: senddarwin-L <Darwin-L@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu>
Subject: Natural Selection

Bob O'Hara wrote:
<Darwin of course was criticized for the use of this kind of language by
his contemporaries, but he replied (as most evolutionary biologists today
would, I suppose) that the language is simply metaphorical>

I would like to discuss if these metaphors about natural selection does
not lead to a loss of information, and, then, to problems in the approach
to the real processes underlying natural selection's logical deduction.
As Nijhout writes, in the paper I quoted before, metaphors tend to become
so commonly used that they can become substitutes for the real processes.

Charbel Nino El-Hani
Institute of biology, Federal University of Bahia, Brazil
Charbel@ufba.br

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:20>From charbel@ufba.br Tue Jun 13 14:26:25 1995

Date: Tue, 13 Jun 1995 11:44:43 -0300 (GRNLNDST)
From: Charbel Nino El-Mani <charbel@ufba.br>
To: senddarwin-L <Darwin-L@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu>
Subject: Natural Selection

John Staddon wrote about the possible inefficacy of natural selection, in
regard to my previous argument about natural selection as a logical
deduction and not an objective force. First, it is true that natural
selection would be ineffective in the mentioned circunstances. My
question is: can we know if those circunstances are common or uncommon?
But even if they are common, natural selection is still a basic concept
in evolutionary theory. It is not enough to account for evolution, but
it's an important part of any evolutionary theory. At least for me.
Second, I did not intend, in my argument, to say that natural selection
is the only, or even the major, factor in evolution.
I am not acquainted with Goodwin's ideas. Maybe somebody in the list
knows more about them. It wouls be good for me to know more about the
structuralist theories of evolution. Is there any law of form verified in
living beings? Goodwin's theory is irreconcilable with natural selection?

John Staddon also wrote:
< For example, some complex system people have suggested that the space
of real potential species is not that much larger than the space of
actual species...>

I have to confess that I didn't understand what exactly is meant by this
idea. It sounds obscure to me. Could you please detail it?

Charbel Nino El-Hani
Institute of Biology, Federal University of Bahia, Brazil
Charbel@ufba.br

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:21>From pat@mtl.mit.edu Tue Jun 13 15:03:53 1995

Date: Tue, 13 Jun 1995 16:03:48 -0400
From: pat@mtl.mit.edu (Patricia E. Varley)
Organization: MIT Microsystems Technology Laboratories
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re:  Odd question

Jansen's History of Art for pictures of cave paintings.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:22>From charbel@ufba.br Tue Jun 13 16:14:36 1995

Date: Tue, 13 Jun 1995 11:27:10 -0300 (GRNLNDST)
From: Charbel Nino El-Mani <charbel@ufba.br>
To: senddarwin-L <Darwin-L@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu>
Subject: Natural selection

Jeremy Ahouse wrote:
<Those who focus on force approach may often be taking HArdy-Weinberg
equilibrium as the zero-force condition. They can then insist that
movements from this equilibrium require an explanation and these
explanations are thought of as forces. In this way it is analogous to
physics notions of preservation of momentum of a body unless forces act
to change it. Charbel is right to question this approach specially from
the vantage point of "ecological,... physiological relationships. It
isn't clear how HW equilibrium cashes out physiologically or ecologically>

Yes, you are right. The idea that movements from HW equilibrium can be
attributed to forces sounds like a bad physical metaphor applied to
biological and evolutionary phenomena. As I have written, evolutionary
processes emerges from a web of ecological, physiological, reproductive,
etc. relationships, characterized by strong interactions among its
components. My point is that, in such a system with strong interactions,
we cannot select a restricted set of causes from this evolutionary system
to account for evolutionary change. The system itself is the cause of
evolutionary processes and the reference to natural selection as an
objective force, a cause, or something alike, doesn't recognize that
natural selection is nothing more than a logical deduction. This is what
Marx called "reification", in, for instance, The Misery of Philosophy,
and is related to the use of metaphors in biological thought, criticized
by Susan Oyama, in The Ontogeny of Information, and by Nijhout, in a
paper published in bioessays, which was referred to me by Kelly Smith,
from Trenton State College. It is called Metaphors and the Role of Genes
in Biology. If anyone is interested I can send the complete reference.

Jeremy also wrote:
< For many people (though not many  on this list) evolution is
identically a change in gene frequencies and for them a force law
approach may be more useful>

Eugenie Scott wrote, some time ago, something similar:
< The old "changes in gene frequencies through times" definition that
many of us grew up on also is not very useful, since (...) changes can
shift back and forth without producing anything 'different". Gene
frequencies change all the time. Big deal. We should stop telling
students that evolution=changes in gene frequencies. "Cumulative"
changes in gene frequencies helps a little, but I don't think it really
comunicates what evolution is about>

First, it is curious, in a historical and philosophical perspective, that
we still have to discuss what evolution is about. On the other hand, it
is marvelous, because we can discuss from the grounds of evolutionary
theory upwards.
Both Eugenie and Jeremy are right for me. Changes in gene frequencies
don't help much, because an eternal shuffling of genes is not an orderly
process where we can see evolution "happening". It is like a continuous
shuffling of cards in a deck. We cannot describe the successive states of
the deck, unless we enumerate all the cards. As Levins and Lewontin
wrote, in The Dialectical Biologist, and also Lewontin in The Genetical
Basis of Evolutionary Change, we need some descriptive parameters to lead
with evolutionary processses. And these parameters must allow us to
derive laws of transformation from them.
We understand now that these laws of transformation would be rather
complex, not similar to a force approach, because we are talking here
about a web of relationships, including organisms and physical
environment. This web is characterized by strong interacting components,
and by a great number of components. This mean, as I understand (I can be
wrong), that the equations which should model the dynamics of such
evolutionary systems would have to reflect the dependent variability of
these components and their great number. This implies non-linearity and a
large number of variables.
Does anybody have an idea about the adequate descriptive parameters to
approach evolutionary processes? We seem to agree that changes in gene
frequencies are not adequate descriptive parameters. But what are the
alternatives?

Eugenie Scott also wrote:
< If we are correct to understand the history of life as resulting in a
hierarchical branching of units (species, genera, families...), then
questions about "proof of evolution" such as that asked should refer to
speciation events, rather than just changing gene frequencies. I prefer
to think of evolution occurring with the formation of new species, which
are not brought about directly by natural selection or other processes,
of course, but by isolation mechanisms on populations that after a time
can no longer exchange genes: are reproductively isolated.>

We have to remember that evolution refers not only to speciation events
(cladogenesis) but also to changes occurring in each branch (anagenesis).
In fact, the divergence of geographic races, for instance, is due to
differential anagenesis after cladogenesis. But the argument is O.K. in a
sense. To tell the history of organic evolution, we have to deal with
branching events. And there is more in this process to explain than what
can be explained by changes in gene frequencies and even natural selection.

This leads me to another point, but I will address it in another message.

Charbel Nino El-Hani
Institute of Biology, Federal University of Bahia
Charbel@ufba.br

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:23>From bouckaer@csuvax1.csu.murdoch.edu.au Tue Jun 13 21:50:30 1995

Date: Wed, 14 Jun 1995 10:37:48 +0800 (WST)
From: Hugo Bouckaert <bouckaer@csuvax1.csu.murdoch.edu.au>
Subject: Re: Odd question
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

There are a few pictures of such outlines of hands from caves in
France, in the following book:

Burenhult, G (1993) (ed) The First Humans; Human history and origins to
10,000 BC. University of Queensland Press, Queensland, Australia

The pictures are on pp 113 and 120. I do not know, however, if this
book is available outside Australia - I do know its a nice production, as
I have one myself. You may be able to obtain a copy by writing to the
publishers:

Box 42, St Lucia, Queensland 4067 Australia

Hugo Bouckaert
Bouckaer@csuvax1.murdoch.edu.au

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:24>From bouckaer@csuvax1.csu.murdoch.edu.au Tue Jun 13 21:53:07 1995

Date: Wed, 14 Jun 1995 10:50:40 +0800 (WST)
From: Hugo Bouckaert <bouckaer@csuvax1.csu.murdoch.edu.au>
Subject: Re: Natural selection (fwd)
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

On Tue, 6 Jun 1995, Charbel Nino El-Mani wrote:

> Many people speak of natural selection as an objective force, as when we
> refer to the "mechanism of evolution". I believe this is a wrong way of
> understanding natural selection. In fact, natural selection is a logical
> deduction derived from some inductive premises: (1) there is variation
> in all populations of living beings; (2) living beings have to be adapted
> to their ecological niches to obtain food, dwelling-places, etc.; (3)
> some of the variants must be more well-adapted (the fittest) than others;
> (4) there is a struggle for existence, not exactly a war, but rather a
> competition for the resources which are necessary for the manteinance of
> life and succesfull reproduction. The premises refer to objective things,
> but natural selection is a logical consequence. So, we cannot think about
> natural selection and the survival of the fittest as a cause-and-effect
> relation, because causation here is scattered throughout a web of
> ecological, genetical, physiological relationships, etc.

I think natural selection SHOULD be treated as a causal mechanism. A
great deal of my thesis was devoted to tracing the "scattered" pattern of
causation into ecological, genetical, physiological relationships. I
think one of the most useful abstract formulations of natural selection,
lending itself to a causal analysis is provided by Darden and Cain in their
1989 paper "Selection type theories" (Philosophy of Science, vol 56).
Is there a particular reason you ask this question, or is it just a
general query about the "nature" ofselection?

Hugo Bouckaert
Murdoch University
bouckaer@csuvax1.murdoch.edu.au

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:25>From e.sikkenga@mail.utexas.edu Wed Jun 14 12:29:47 1995

Date: Wed, 14 Jun 1995 12:29:44 -0500
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
From: e.sikkenga@mail.utexas.edu (Elizabeth Sikkenga)
Subject: Re: Today...Brown

Marc Lange wrote:

>And I needn't remind readers of this list of the
>subsequent significance of Brownian motion in the history of science.

In fact, I'd like to be reminded of this--one doesn't come across Brownian
motion very often in linguistics and I have only the vaguest notion of what
it is!

I also enjoy Today in the Historical Sciences very much.

Elizabeth Sikkenga
Program in Aegean Scripts and Prehistory
Department of Classics, WAG 123 (C3400)
University of Texas at Austin
Austin, TX  78712-1181

e.sikkenga@mail.utexas.edu
tel:  (512) 471-5742

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:26>From pat@mtl.mit.edu Wed Jun 14 12:41:04 1995

Date: Wed, 14 Jun 1995 13:40:59 -0400
From: pat@mtl.mit.edu (Patricia E. Varley)
Organization: MIT Microsystems Technology Laboratories
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re:  Odd question

Ooops, I made a mistake. I looked up the pictures of cave
paintings last night. It's in Gardener's Art Through The
Ages, sixth edition, p. 28. "spotted horses and hand prints",
15,000 - 10,00 BC. They aren't PC.

Pat

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:27>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Wed Jun 14 13:27:11 1995

Date: Wed, 14 Jun 1995 14:26:56 -0400 (EDT)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: Geographical isolation - species and languages
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

Charbel Nino El-Hani writes:

>Jonathan Howard, in a small book about Darwin, writes that he
>introduced the idea of geographical isolation in his early manuscripts
>but later he doesn't included it in the central axis of his
>evolutionary theory.

I believe one of the standard papers on this subject is:

Sulloway, F. J.  1979.  Geographic isolation in Darwin's thinking:
  the vicissitudes of a crucial idea.  _Studies in the History of
  Biology_, 3:23-65.

For our historical linguists: speciation in most cases requires that
two populations become geographically isolated from one another in
order to diverge.  This most common mode of speciation is usually
called "allopatric speciation".  It is similar of course to the notion
of the origin of languages from geographical dialects.  Has there ever
been substantial debate within historical linguistics about the
possibility of what we call "sympatric speciation", that is, the origin
of a new language without geographical isolation (by means of social
stratification, say, leading to eventual mutual incomprehensibility)?

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.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:28>From niepokuj@mace.cc.purdue.edu Thu Jun 15 10:51:53 1995

Date: Thu, 15 Jun 95 10:51:41 -0500
From: niepokuj@mace.cc.purdue.edu (Mary Niepokuj)
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Geographical isolation - species and languages

Bob O'Hara asked whether the linguistic equivalent of "speciation" is
possible without geographic isolation - whether it could also occur due to
social factors. Yes, indeed, it can and does. A great deal of work done by
a linguist named William Labov has demonstrated the importance of
socioclogical factors in languages change; Labov has done a large number of
studies of changes in progress and has done more than just about anyone
else to address the question of how languages change, and how changes
spread throughout the linguistic community. Here's a quote from Labov's
recent book on language change:

"Geographic separation naturally and inevitably leads to linguistic
separation. But the studies of language change in progress that provide the
basic data for the work in hand have demonstrated that geographic
separation is not a necessary condition for language divergence. People
living in the same cities, attending the same schools, and exposed to the
same mass media may be differentially affected by linguistic change so that
over time their linguistic forms become increasingly differentiated"
(1994:9-10). Labov goes on to cite as examples the divergence of Black
English Vernacular from white dialects and the change in progress on
Martha's Vineyard, where dialect differentiation can be correlated with the
orientation of speakers toward future careers (i.e., whether they plan to
stay on the island as adults or to leave it).

For non-linguists who want to get a better idea of the mechanisms by which
languages change, this book would be an excellent introduction. The full
reference is: William Labov. 1994. Principles of Linguistic Change.
Massachusetts: Blackwell.

So, now, what's "sympatric speciation"?

Mary Niepokuj
niepokuj@mace.cc.purdue.edu

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:29>From sally@isp.pitt.edu Fri Jun 16 14:10:54 1995

To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re: Geographical isolation - species and languages
Date: Fri, 16 Jun 1995 15:10:50 -0400
From: "Sarah G. Thomason" <sally@isp.pitt.edu>

Mary Niekopuj's post about Labov's work is important and
relevant, but note that Labov's data all seem to pertain
to dialect divergence, not language split -- historical
linguists tend to be skeptical about the likelihood
of sufficient divergence to get language split without
geographical separation.  Possible, may be; but has it
ever occurred?

  -- Sally Thomason
     sally@isp.pitt.edu

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:30>From g-cziko@uiuc.edu Fri Jun 16 15:57:58 1995

Date: Fri, 16 Jun 1995 15:59:45 +0000
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
From: g-cziko@uiuc.edu (CZIKO Gary)
Subject: Re: Geographical isolation - species and languages

>Mary Niekopuj's post about Labov's work is important and
>relevant, but note that Labov's data all seem to pertain
>to dialect divergence, not language split -- historical
>linguists tend to be skeptical about the likelihood
>of sufficient divergence to get language split without
>geographical separation.  Possible, may be; but has it
>ever occurred?

What about the vernacularization of Latin into Italian, French, Spanish,
Portuguese, Romanian, etc. These may have started as dialect splits, but
didn't they eventually turn into allopatric language splits?

--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
Champaign, Illinois 61820-6990
-------------------------------------------------------------------

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:31>From kent@darwin.eeb.uconn.edu Fri Jun 16 16:34:12 1995

Date: Fri, 16 Jun 95 17:33:50 EDT
From: kent@darwin.eeb.uconn.edu (Kent E. Holsinger)
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re: Geographical isolation - species and languages

>>>>> "Sally" == Sarah G Thomason <sally@isp.pitt.edu> writes:

    Sally> Mary Niekopuj's post about Labov's work is important and
    Sally> relevant, but note that Labov's data all seem to pertain to
    Sally> dialect divergence, not language split -- historical
    Sally> linguists tend to be skeptical about the likelihood of
    Sally> sufficient divergence to get language split without
    Sally> geographical separation.  Possible, may be; but has it ever
    Sally> occurred?

Sally,

Can you clarify the difference between a ``dialect divergence'' and a
``language split'' for me (and probably for other biologists, too).
Is it simply a matter of degree, or is it a difference in kind?  If
the latter, what sorts of differences distinguish languages that do
not distinguish dialects (or vice versa)?

Thanks.

-- Kent

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

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:32>From CRAVENS@macc.wisc.edu Sat Jun 17 08:55:06 1995

Date: Sat, 17 Jun 95 08:55 CDT
From: Tom Cravens <CRAVENS@macc.wisc.edu>
Subject: Re: Geographical isolation - species and languages
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

Gary Cziko's question about the historical development of Latin
into Romance offers an opportunity to clarify matters a bit.

Bob's original question, I believe, was whether the linguistic
equivalent of speciation could happen without geographic isolation.
The outcomes of Latin in Romance-speaking Europe uphold Sally Thomason's
suggestion that it does not: there is, and surely never was, a city, town,
village, or even narrowly circumscribed rural area in which Latin/Romance
came to diverge so much that comprehension among locals was in any way
endangered, or in which natives were tempted to speak of different
languages. Social and micro-geographic distinctions did and do arise,
as Mary Niekopuj points out: Dante speaks of language variety in
Bologna, such that it was possible to identify which neighborhood of
the city a speaker of Bolognese came from, and some Bolognesi swear
they can still do it. Even in small towns in Italy, people attuned can
still identify which part of town a person is from his/her speech, if
the local language is being used (i.e. not Italian). An extreme
example was reported recently of a small town in Southern Italy
(Basilicata) in which, until 30-40 years ago, there were four distinct
pronunciations of /ll/, as in _bella_, clearly marked sociolinguistically
and by neighborhood. (By now, due mostly to socioeconomic advance, there
are three.) In none of these cases, though, is there any problem whatsoever
with mutual comprehension among variants in the same town. Or in adjacent
towns. People from Bologna and people from Ferrara (40 km distance?) can
communicate perfectly well in Bolognese and Ferrarese (albeit, perhaps,
with time out for comments and giggles).

In the Romance area, mutual comprehension breaks down only with distance,
and to some extent (and not always) with geographical barriers such as
mountains and rivers (both of which often reflect political boundaries
at some time or another). Before the advent of nation states and national
languages, it seems that the contiguous Romance-speaking area, from Portugal
to Belgium to Sicily, was a network of mutually-comprehensible speech types
with no discrete break. Village A understood village B, which understood
C, and so on. Speakers from village A (somewhere in Portugal) and village Z
(Southern Italy) might have had considerable difficulty or even found
it impossible,, but at no point in the chain from A to Z was there a break.
It appears that this situation still obtains today with regard to the
autochthonous Romance speech types, although many of these are on their
last legs. They're being replaced by (locally-colored versions of) the
national languages, all of which are promoted versions of what were once
very local speech types, minor points in the continuum. Today's French,
Italian, Spanish, etc. are variously modified (especially, prescriptively
engineered) manifestations of what were originally varieties spoken at great
distance from each other, i.e. Ile de France, Castile, Florence.

Oh, my. I had intended to jot a brief note, and have gone on at
excruciating length. Well, in sum, the Romance area of Europe certainly
upholds Mary's point about sociolinguistic differentiation, while at
the same time illustrating Sally's point that no real break occurs without
isolation. Lots of ifs, ands, buts are left out here, but maybe this helps
a little?

Tom Cravens
Dept of French and Italian
University of Wisconsin-Madison
cravens@macc.wisc.edu

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:33>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Sat Jun 17 12:42:25 1995

Date: Sat, 17 Jun 1995 13:42:19 -0400 (EDT)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: Allopatric and sympatric diversification
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

Mary Niepokuj asks about sympatric speciation.  Evolutionary biologists
commonly contrast allopatric and sympatric speciation, that is, speciation with
geographic isolation and speciation without geographic isolation.  In most
vertebrates, for example, it takes a prolonged period of geographical isolation
for two populations of interbreeding individuals to diverge sufficiently such
that they are reproductively isolated.  (Reproductive isolation is the standard
species criterion; it is the evolutionary equivalent of mutual incompre-
hensibility in linguistics.)  There are situations, however, when speciation
can occur sympatrically, i.e. without geographical isolation.  This depends to
a considerable extent on certain biological characteristics of the organisms
involved.  For example, there are many plant species that have been produced
by a hybridization event which results in an individual that is
chromosomally incompatible with either of its parents.  This individual can
then produce offspring which can reproduce among themselves and establish
a new population.  (A rather difficult thing for most individual vertebrates
to do.)

Tom Cravens very clear exposition of the diversification of the Romance
languages has many evolutionary parallels.  We use the term "cline" for a
continuous gradient of variation from one end of a species' geographical
range to another, and there are well-known cases of the opposite ends of
clines being reproductively isolated from one another, even though there is
a continuous population connecting them.  The two gulls _Larus argentatus_
and _Larus fuscus_ are an example; where they occur together in Europe they
do not interbreed, but the range of _L. fuscus_ continues eastward across
Asia and around the pole, and if you follow it all the way around to the
western hemisphere it in fact gradually becomes _L. argentatus_ on the other
side.  The two apparent species in Europe are in fact the opposite ends of
a more-or-less continuous population.

Linguists don't have a particular term that corresponds to the evolutionary
term "speciation", though, do they?

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.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:34>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Sat Jun 17 13:49:20 1995

Date: Sat, 17 Jun 1995 14:49:12 -0400 (EDT)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: "Today in the Historical Sciences" now on Darwin-L Web Server
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

I have now made the many "Today in the Historical Sciences" messages that
have been posted here from time to time available on the new Darwin-L Web
Server.  The address is:

   http://rjohara.uncg.edu

I am very grateful to Shunguo Liu who has made a number of these messages
available on a web server at the University of Regina for a number of
months, while the Darwin-L Server was still aborning.  I know that service
was appreciated by many people.

For newer subscribers who may not be familiar with this feature of the
group: under the heading "Today in the Historical Sciences" I have for some
time sent out occasional messages recognizing annivarsaries of various kinds
that relate to the subject matter of Darwin-L.  These messages have served
as starting points for discussion, and as items of general interest for our
subscribers.  Unfortunately (and this is a source of much frustration), the
ukanaix listserv has gotten very unreliable, and messages sometimes get
backed up for two or more days before being sent out.  This has effectively
killed these messages for the time being because it's no good getting an
"Today..." message two or three days late!  We're working on fixing the
listserv lag, but until we can, I hope the Web collection will be able to
serve as a substitute.  (And of course the advantage of having them all in
one place is that you can plan ahead for parties, etc.)  ;-)

I continue to add to the collection of messages as time permits, and to
expand the disciplinary coverage beyond natural history (the primary area of
representation, mostly because of the sources I have used thus far).

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.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:35>From niepokuj@mace.cc.purdue.edu Sat Jun 17 16:14:13 1995

Date: Sat, 17 Jun 95 16:14:09 -0500
From: niepokuj@mace.cc.purdue.edu (Mary Niepokuj)
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re: Geographical isolation - species and languages

I'd like to follow up some recent postings on whether or not geographic
isolation is necessary for dialects to diverge enough to become separate
languages. I think in order to address this question, it's necessary to
look at areas where the sociolinguistic situation is expecially complex,
such as India or Thailand. Consider the following quotation about the
relationship between Hindi and Urdu:

   At the colloquial level, and in terms of grammar and core vocabulary,
   they are virtually identical; there are minor differences in usage and
   terminology...but these do not necessarily intrude to the point where
   anyone can immediately tell whether it is "Hindi" or "Urdu" that is
   being spoken. At formal and literary levels, however, vocabulary
   differences begin to loom much larger (Hindi drawing its higher lexicon
   from Sanskrit, Urdu from Arabic and Persian), to the point where the two
   styles/languages become mutually unintelligible (Masica 1991:27).

So, formal Hindi and formal Urdu are separate languages (in the sense that
they are mutually unintelligible) which developed primarily due to
sociolinguistic factors (religious affiliation); on the other hand, at the
colloquial level they're not. Still, this may be a case of a degree of
divergence which has produced two distinct languages without geographic
isolation.

The above example is interesting for another reason: since Partition, the
two languages/dialects are much more geographically distinct than they once
were. In general, it's often the case that sociolinguistic differences
have some correlation with geographic differences, since people very often
choose to live with other people belonging to the same
religious/ethnic/social group. The result may be that it's impossible to
tell if geographic or sociological factors are primarily responsible
for linguistic divergence - obviously both must be. When enough time has
passed, however, geographical differences are a lot easier to spot than
sociological differences; I wonder if this has skewed our traditional
understanding of how dialects/languages diverge.

Mary Niepokuj
niepokuj@mace.cc.purdue.edu

_______________________________________________________________________________
Darwin-L Message Log 22: 1-35 -- June 1995                                  End

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