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Darwin-L Message Log 22: 36–70 — 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: 36-70 -- 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.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:36>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Sun Jun 18 00:05:29 1995

Date: Sun, 18 Jun 1995 01:05:22 -0400 (EDT)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: June 18 -- Today in the Historical Sciences
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

JUNE 18 -- TODAY IN THE HISTORICAL SCIENCES

1858: CHARLES DARWIN receives a manuscript in the post from Alfred Russell
Wallace, who is travelling in the Malay Archipelago, titled "On the tendency
of varieties to depart indefinitely from the original type."  Later in the day
he writes to Charles Lyell, initiating the chain of events that will lead to
the publication of the _Origin of Species_ in November of the following year:

  My dear Lyell
     Some year or so ago, you recommended me to read a paper by Wallace
  in the Annals, which had interested you & as I was writing to him, I knew
  this would please him much, so I told him.  He has to day sent me the
  enclosed & asked me to forward it to you.  It seems to me well worth
  reading.  Your words have come true with a vengeance that I shd be
  forestalled.  You said this when I explained to you here very briefly my
  views of "Natural Selection" depending on the Struggle for existence. --
  I never saw a more striking coincidence.  if Wallace had my M.S. sketch
  written out in 1842 he could not have made a better short abstract!  Even
  his terms now stand as Heads of my Chapters.
     Please return me the M.S. which he does not say he wishes me to publish;
  but I shall of course at once write & offer to send to any journal.  So all
  my originality, whatever it may amount to, will be smashed.  Though my
  Book, if it will ever have any value, will not be deteriorated; as all the
  labour consists in the application of the theory.
     I hope you will approve of Wallace's sketch, that I may tell him what
  you say.
     My dear Lyell
       Yours most truly
         C. Darwin

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.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:37>From t20mxs1@corn.cso.niu.edu Sun Jun 18 02:28:09 1995

Date: Sun, 18 Jun 1995 02:06:50 -0500 (CDT)
From: Mike Salovesh <t20mxs1@corn.cso.niu.edu>
Subject: Re:  Geographical isolation - species and languages
To: Historical sciences list <darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu>

Sally Thomason points out that Labov's work is at the level of "dialect",
not "language", divergence.  She avers that historical linguists don't
expect to find language divergence without geographical separation.  Gary
Cziko responded by pointing to the historical splitup of Latin into
Spanish, French, Italian, Portugese, etc.  Then Kent Holzinger asked:

> 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)?

I don't know what Sally's answer might be, but I can't resist jumping in
on this thread.

When you get down to problem cases, linguists are no better off than
biologists.  (What do you do when two populations are phenotypically and
genetically indistinguishable, but they are in complete reproductive
isolation, because, e.g., learned mating calls are different?  Do you have
one species or two?  Presumably, speciation is likely at some point in
the future--but has it happened yet?)

I'd cite two anecdotal cases.  Before I do, let me specify that I'll be
working at the level of language as she is spoke, not national traditions
of how an educated person is supposed to write.  In writing, Hindi and
Urdu or Serbian and Croatian (and there are many other examples) are
totally distinct.  They were kept that way by deliberate effort, for
politico/religious reasons.  But if we're talking about how the languages
sound, and how they are spoken, it would be better to refer to Hindi/Urdu
and Serbo-Croatian as if each was a single language.

Now for example 1.  I speak Spanish with near-native fluency.  At an
international congress a couple of years ago, I found myself seated next
to a Bulgarian who was very comfortable in Italian. We had no language in
common.  I spoke Spanish to him, he spoke Italian to me, and we managed to
have a long and interesting conversation about theoretical anthropology.
I've had similar experiences with speakers of Brazilian Portugese, which I
don't speak--but can understand if the speaker is aware that I speak
Spanish, even when the Portugese speaker doesn't speak Spanish herself.
And the Portugese speakers seem to have little trouble understanding me.
Now are Spanish, Italian, and Portugese mutually intelligible dialects of
one language, or are they three separate languages?

Example 2:  I have visited San Bartolome de los Llanos, Chiapas, Mexico
many times over more than 35 years.  The language of the community is
Tzotzil.  San Bartolenos claim that the differences among varieties of
Tzotzil spoken in other communities are trivial, and that they understand
those related dialects with ease.  But Tzotzil speakers from Chamula and
Zinacantan, the two largest Tzotzil communities, are convinced that San
Bartolome Tzotzil and their own languages are so different that they are
not mutually intelligible.  So they try to speak Spanish to communicate
with San Bartolenos.  (I say "try to" because few people in Zinacantan and
Chamula are comfortably fluent in Spanish.  All San Bartoleno adults are
bilingual Spanish speakers.)

Tzeltal, another Maya language of Chiapas, is spoken in a geographically
separate but immediately adjacent territory.  The two languages have been
separate for around 1000 years, not that different from, say, Spanish and
Portugese; somewhat shorter, but not far off in orders of linguistic
magnitude, than the split between German and English.  San Bartolenos
claim that it's easy for them to understand Tzeltal, even though they
can't speak it.  I tested their claim with the cooperation of informants
who are highly fluent in both Tzeltal and Spanish, but NOT in Tzotzil, and
the translations of Tzeltal into Spanish I got from San Bartolenos were
not seriously different from the translations I got from the Tzeltal
speakers.  Ordinarily, linguists are quite content in holding that
Tzotzil and Tzeltal are distinct languages, not dialects.

Things get even worse when you look at San Bartoleno claims about
Tojolabal, a considerably more distant Maya language.  Twice a year,
people who speak Tojolabal (and little Spanish) walk up to 100 miles in
pilgrimage to San Bartolome.  San Bartolenos say that they understand what
the pilgrims say to them in Tojolabal.  In a practical sense, they
demonstrate such understanding by the arrangements they make for lodging
and feeding the visitors and what happens as the two groups jointly
participate in Maya rituals.  To say that Tojolabal and Tzotzil are the
same language would be not unlike claiming that English and German are the
same language.  Tojolabal has been separate from Tzotzil considerably
longer than English has been separate from German.   (I suppose, to be
careful, I should be saying the ancestral forms of these languages, but I
think my meaning is clear.)

So what am I to make of my friends from San Bartolome?

Part of the answer has to do with what people of San Bartolome value.
They appreciate cross-cultural knowledge:  They think it's a very good
thing to know about the customs of other peoples, and it is traditional
for couples--before the birth of their first child--to leave town, live in
what amounts to another culture for a while, then return home. (They are,
in fact, pretty good anthropologists in their own right.) They also set
high store by the ability to communicate well in both Spanish and Tzotzil.

In difficult cases, the distinction between "dialect" and "language" is much
less a linguistic question than a political one.  But I'll let others
pick up on that theme for now.

-- mike salovesh                           <salovesh@niu.edu>
   Anthropology Department
   Northern Illinois University
   DeKalb, IL   60115    U.S.A.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:38>From mhyde@AGSM.UCLA.EDU Sun Jun 18 23:57:23 1995

From: Matthew Hyde <mhyde@AGSM.UCLA.EDU>
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Date: Sun, 18 Jun 95 21:57:19 PDT

Please excuse me if this posting seems a little out of place. I have
been "lurking" for a little bit and thought the list might be an
interesting place to pose a question I have been interested in for some
time. My international work (geology) related travels have opened my
eyes to a rather large disparity in "work ethics" worldwide, even given
that ours in the U.S. tilt to the extreme on the "plus" side.  I have
discussed this issue at length with local people and their responses
have proven diverse and interesting, causes ranging from geographic
isolation to climate to economics.  My impression is that climate,
particularly extremes, play a significant role in controlling "work
ethics." I would be interested in hearing from evolutionary scientists
what their thoughts might be on this subject matter.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:39>From mwinsor@epas.utoronto.ca Mon Jun 19 06:43:50 1995

From: Mary P Winsor <mwinsor@epas.utoronto.ca>
Subject: Moore "Sci.as a Way of Knowing"
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu (bulletin board)
Date: Mon, 19 Jun 1995 07:43:44 -0400 (EDT)

John Moore's history of biology text, "Science as a Way of Knowing" -
I am close to deciding to use it in an upper-level undergraduate
history of biology course for bio. students.
   If any of you have taught biology students from this book, I would
   be very grateful to hear from you directly, with your experience
   and advice.
   Polly Winsor  mwinsor@epas.utoronto.ca

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:40>From ad201@freenet.carleton.ca Mon Jun 19 07:06:06 1995

Date: Mon, 19 Jun 1995 08:05:55 -0400
From: ad201@freenet.carleton.ca (Donald Phillipson)
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Diversity in "Work Ethics"

> My international work (geology) related travels have opened my
>eyes to a rather large disparity in "work ethics" worldwide, even given
>that ours in the U.S. tilt to the extreme on the "plus" side.  I have
>discussed this issue at length with local people and their responses
>have proven diverse and interesting, causes ranging from geographic
>isolation to climate to economics.  My impression is that climate,
>particularly extremes, play a significant role in controlling "work
>ethics."

There is a standard literature on this theme, from 19th century writers on
imperial geography to Toynbee ("challenge and response" theory, cf. the
greater challenge of a cold climate.) The full exposition may be in
Ellsworth Huntington's 1945 Mainsprings of Civilization, of which the
paperback blurb claims:  "with devastating logic and sound scholarship,
E.H. shows how climate, weather, geographical location, diet, health and
heredity govern the character of a nation -- and determine its dominant or
defensive position in history and the advance of civilization."

The general idea persists today but is notoriously Politically inCorrect.

--
 |          Donald Phillipson, 4180 Boundary Rd., Carlsbad         |
 |        Springs, Ont., Canada K0A 1K0; tel: (613) 822-0734       |
 |  "What I've always liked about science is its independence from |
 |  authority"--Ontario Science Centre (name on file) 10 July 1981 |

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:41>From maisel@SDSC.EDU Mon Jun 19 10:22:53 1995

Date: Mon, 19 Jun 1995 08:15:35 -0700 (PDT)
From: Merry Maisel <maisel@SDSC.EDU>
Subject: Climate and work ethics
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

The chief exponent of a relationship between "work ethic"
and climate must have been Ellsworth Huntington of Yale,
a turn-of-the-century climatologist who wrote a series of
enormous tomes boosting the temperate climes over the
torpid and explaining Biblical history thereby.

The science involved, however, was very clearly tempered
by the imperialist climate of Huntington's world.  I
wonder what inclines Dr. Hyde to search for such explanations
today?

Merry Maisel
maisel@sdsc.edu

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:42>From rroizen@ix.netcom.com Mon Jun 19 15:44:53 1995

Date: Mon, 19 Jun 1995 13:44:01 -0700
From: rroizen@ix.netcom.com (Ron Roizen)
Subject: Re: Climate and work ethics
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

For the deep historical context of climate/enviromental theories of
culture, don't forget Clarence J. Glacken's monumental _Traces on the
Rhodian shore; nature and culture in Western thought from ancient times
to the end of the eighteenth century_, Berkeley, University of
California Press, 1967.  Prof. Glacken's obituary may also shed light
on this classic book's reception & contributions (I haven't seen the
obit, but MELVYL offers the following citation: D. GLACKEN, CLARENCE -
1909-1989 - IN MEMORIAM.  ANNALS OF THE ASSOCIATION OF AMERICAN
GEOGRAPHERS, 1991 MAR, V81 N1:152-158).

Also:  Current Contents offers two or three reviews of new books whose
titles seem to suggest examinations of the relation between environment
& culture--including:

GOODEY B.  IMAGINED COUNTRY - ENVIRONMENT, CULTURE AND
SOCIETY - SHORT,JR.  AREA, 1993 SEP, V25 N3:333-334.  Pub type:
Book Review.

Ron Roizen in Berkeley

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:43>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Mon Jun 19 22:34:54 1995

Date: Mon, 19 Jun 1995 23:34:37 -0400 (EDT)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: Huxley anniversary next week (and other major anniversaries)
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

Thursday of next week, 29 June 1995, is the 100th anniversary of the
death of Thomas Henry Huxley.  Does anyone know if there are any special
commemorations taking place?

I have added to the Darwin-L calendar page on our web server a list of some
of the major anniversaries in the historical sciences that are coming up in
the next few years.  (Centennials, bicentennials, etc.)  1996 will feature
the 250th anniversary of the birth of William Jones; 1997 contains the 200th
anniversary of the birth of Charles Lyell; and so on.  Anniversaries such as
these offer many opportunities for teaching and publication (not to mention
parties).  Feel free to browse the list at your convenience; I will continue
to add to it as time permits.  The address is:

    http://rjohara.uncg.edu/darwin/calendar.html

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

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:44>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Tue Jun 20 00:09:57 1995

Date: Tue, 20 Jun 1995 01:09:46 -0400 (EDT)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: June 20 -- Today in the Historical Sciences
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

JUNE 20 -- TODAY IN THE HISTORICAL SCIENCES

1849: WILLIAM CLIFT dies in London, England, aged 74 years.  The son of a
miller, Clift's artistic talent had won him an apprenticeship in his youth as
an illustrator and dissection assistant to the famed anatomist John Hunter.
When Hunter died in 1793 his executors appointed the young Clift as curator
of Hunter's extensive anatomical collections of more than 13,000 specimens,
collections that were eventually bought by the British government and then
given to the Royal College of Surgeons.  Clift spent the entirety of his
career as curator of the Hunterian Museum, establishing a reputation as a
noted comparative anatomist, paleontologist, and illustrator.

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.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:45>From sally@isp.pitt.edu Tue Jun 20 08:10:55 1995

To: Kent@darwin.eeb.uconn.edu
Cc: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu, sally@pogo.isp.pitt.edu,
        sally@pogo.isp.pitt.edu
Subject: Re: Geographical isolation - species and languages
Date: Tue, 20 Jun 1995 09:10:51 -0400
From: "Sarah G. Thomason" <sally@isp.pitt.edu>

Kent Holsinger asks about the difference between dialect
divergence and language split.  Same basic process --
no essential difference there.  But there's a difference
in degree: with continued communication between partly-isolated
dialects, the amount of divergence is kept to a low enough level
that no language split occurs.  There's no sharp boundary,
admittedly, between "different dialects" and "different
(but closely related) languages": the boundary is fuzzy,
and the criteria -- like mutual intelligibility (think
lack of interbreeding possibilities) -- don't always work.
But, of course, there are clear cases: German and English
are certainly separate languages; Southern American English
and Northeastern American English (roughly) are certainly
dialects of the same language.

  -- Sally
     sally@isp.pitt.edu

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:46>From ncse@crl.com Tue Jun 20 10:46:06 1995

Date: Tue, 20 Jun 1995 08:44:37 -0700 (PDT)
From: "Eugenie C. Scott" <ncse@crl.com>
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re: Huxley anniversary next week (and other major anniversaries)

Another major anniversary (for some of us!): 1995 is the 70th anniversary
of the Scopes Trial.  Anyone for a party?

Genie

*****************************************************************
                   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
*****************************************************************

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:47>From t20mxs1@corn.cso.niu.edu Wed Jun 21 23:11:39 1995

Date: Wed, 21 Jun 1995 23:11:38 -0500 (CDT)
From: Mike Salovesh <t20mxs1@corn.cso.niu.edu>
Subject:
To: Historical sciences list <darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu>

On Tue, 20 Jun 1995 Eugenie C. Scott said--in part:

> Another major anniversary (for some of us!): 1995 is the 70th anniversary
> of the Scopes Trial.  Anyone for a party?

Now, Genie, you of all people know better than that:  Why celebrate?
Scopes LOST.  All you have to do is look at biology textbooks published
over the following half century to see what a disastrous loss it was!!

(Never mind the oft-misinterpreted fact that his conviction was,
essentially, vacated on appeal.  That was on a technicality that still
left the Tennessee anti-evolution law untouched.)

Of course I support science education ....  But shouldn't we give ALL
"theories" equal time?  I think the theory of Divine Levitation is just as
likely as Newton's so-called "gravity".  After all, God did stop the sun
from going around the earth while Joshua fought at Jericho, and that
should prove that Newton, who was only human, must have been wrong.  I
don't see why it wouldn't be possible for me to fly by flapping my arms if
only I believed strongly enough that it could be done.  If faith can move
mountains, why can't it move me?

Please, folks on Darwin-L, don't think that was serious.  Genie and I are
old friends and have been known to kid each other on at least one other
occasion.

What IS serious is the gross ignorance my introductory anthro
students bring to my classroom.  Most of them have never heard about even
the most basic of Darwin's ideas.  The impression I get from years of
talking with undergraduates is that nobody taught them anything about
evolution in high school because it's too "controversial", and nobody
wanted to go out on a limb.  Even those who did hear about natural
selection tell me that  "of course, that was in an elective course".
I don't think it's going too far to say that their ignorance is the
direct result of the Scopes Trial and its aftermath.

Which is why I would go along with a Scopes Trial memorial service, but I
can't think of having a party over such a disaster.  (Besides, I think
it's only a matter of time until we suffer from demands that "Creation
Science" be given equal time in De Kalb classrooms.  God forbid, and I
choose my words carefully.)

                 SUPPORT SCIENCE EDUCATION !!!!

--Mike Salovesh  Anthropology Dept. Northern Illinois University
  De Kalb, IL   60115          <salovesh@niu.edu>

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:48>From simons@edvz.sbg.ac.at Thu Jun 22 04:37:54 1995

Date: Thu, 22 Jun 1995 11:39:24 +0200
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
From: simons@edvz.sbg.ac.at (Peter Simons)
Subject: Is anti-evolutionism only American?

Lots of US American colleagues complain about the ignorance of their
students about evolution and the pressures evolutionists face in education
from creationists. I am not a biology teacher so I have limited experience,
but my impression is that such pressures are almost completely absent
in Europe, that hardly anyone questions the fact of evolution or tries to
peddle creationism.

So a question to our European colleagues or others with European
experience, and likewise to those on other continents. Is there any
_serious_ opposition to the theory of evolution in your country's education
at any level, or is anti-evolutionism a US American isolate?

Peter Simons
University of Salzburg
Philosophy Department
simons@edvz.sbg.ac.at

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:49>From I.Lowe@sct.gu.edu.au Thu Jun 22 06:41:36 1995

Date: Thu, 22 Jun 1995 21:40:58 +1000 (EST)
From: Ian Lowe <I.Lowe@sct.gu.edu.au>
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re: Is anti-evolutionism only American?

In response to Peter's question, anti-evolutionism was essentially
unknown even in Australia until its relatively recent export to this
country from the US.  There were occasional mumbles from individuals, as
when a grade 10 student told me that their minister of religion disagreed
with the teaching of evolution, but no serious attempt to peddle
pseudo-science in schools.  In the last ten years, however, the Us
material has been distributed in Australian through an organisation
calling itself the Creation Science Foundation.  Perhaps the height of
their limited influence was when they persuaded a religious Queensland
Minister for Education to tell science teachers that "evolution could be
taught as a scientific theory, but creation must be taught as the origin
of species"[sic!].  That individual, and indeed his whole nineteenth
century government, have since been swept into the rubbish-bin of
history.  Little damage was done to science teaching, as most teachers
just ignored it, though there were a couple of schools in which a cadre
of creationists were licensed by the Minister's remarks to peddle their
line.  The whole creationist push have been delightfully debunked in an
irreverent recent book, "Telling Lies for God", by Ian Plimer, a local
geology professor.  There has been no serious attempt to introduce the
creationist myths into school science since that one short-lived push for
"equal time", treated with the derision it deserved by science teachers.

It is interesting to reflect on the reason for the influence of the
creationists.  My view is that it is at least partly a result of an
inappropriate style of science education.  all too often, science
teaching gives the impression that it is the transmission of a fixed body
of eternal truth, rather than our current best fumbling attempt to make
sense of the complexity of the world, subject to revision in the light of
new data or better theories.  If science were truly a body of eternal
truth, those who could claim divine backing for their version of the
eternal truth are in quite a strong position.  If science is seen, as it
should be, as a continuous process, those who state at the outset that
their views are immutable place themselves outside the scientific process
in the realm of other styles of knowledge.  Thus it may well be quite
appropriate for creation myths to be taught in classes on religious
belief, along with virgin birth, bodily resurrection, walls destroyed by
trumpet blasts, seas divided to allow the faithful to pass and so on.
But there is no defensible case for =C6claiming that these fall within the
boundaries of SCIENCE, if the way science is defined requires refinement
in the light of observation and experiment.

Ian Lowe
School of Science
Griffith University
Nathan 4111
Australia

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:50>From elanier@crl.nmsu.edu Thu Jun 22 11:37:18 1995

Date: Thu, 22 Jun 1995 10:36:49 -0700
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
From: elanier@crl.nmsu.edu (Ellery Lanier)
Subject: creationism

All this palaver about Darwinism versus Creationism gives me a chance to let
my computer have some self-expression. When I asked my Word Speller to
correct my spelling of creationism, it offered as an alternative-
cretinism. How could I argue with that?

When I did my teaching Practicum some years ago (1969) in a neighboring
state I had written in large letters on the chalkboard the word EVOLUTION.
My supervisor who was a very sweet person quickly pointed out to me that I
had committed a criminal act. Having grown up on Darwinism, I was
startled. I pointed out that the school library had many books with that
title.

Here at New Mexico State University I have been told by faculty of numerous
students who protest the teaching of evolution. The local media steer clear
of the issue. Even Dawkins titles his new book 'River Out of Eden.'

What I find most interesting is that many of the engineering students I talk
to never heard the name Darwin let alone evolution. It is of course ironic
that many of the fundamentalists, especially in the Middle East, can attack
scientific knowledge but have no hesitation in using the latest killing
technologies.

I think there is a powerful survival factor in what to my mind looks like
stupidity on top of ignorance. The arthropods that developed chitinous shells
gained much in safety. A chitinous brain surely could serve a similar function.
I see it every day.

Ellery         elanier@crl.nmsu.edu

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:51>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Thu Jun 22 12:13:11 1995

Date: Thu, 22 Jun 1995 13:12:59 -0400 (EDT)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: June 22 -- Today in the Historical Sciences
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

JUNE 22 -- TODAY IN THE HISTORICAL SCIENCES

1767: WILHELM HUMBOLDT is born at Potsdam, Prussia.  Following study at
Berlin, Gottingen, and Jena, Humboldt will become a leading figure in European
politics, diplomacy, and intellectual life.  His extensive travels will lead
to wide-ranging comparative studies in language and culture, including
_Prufung der Untersuchungen uber die Urbewohner Hispaniens vermittelst der
baskischen Sprache_ (_Researches into the Early Inhabitants of Spain by the
Help of the Basque Language_, 1821), and a comprehensive study of the ancient
Kawi language of Java.  Humboldt's younger brother Alexander will become
equally famous as a geographer and naturalist.

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.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:52>From mnadler@ashland.edu Thu Jun 22 13:20:04 1995

Date: Thu, 22 Jun 1995 14:20:16 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Mark A. Nadler" <mnadler@ashland.edu>
Subject: Re: Is anti-evolutionism only American?
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

On Thu, 22 Jun 1995, Ian Lowe wrote:

> It is interesting to reflect on the reason for the influence of the
> creationists.  My view is that it is at least partly a result of an
> inappropriate style of science education.  all too often, science
> teaching gives the impression that it is the transmission of a fixed body
> of eternal truth, rather than our current best fumbling attempt to make
> sense of the complexity of the world, subject to revision in the light of
> new data or better theories.  If science were truly a body of eternal
> truth, those who could claim divine backing for their version of the
> eternal truth are in quite a strong position.  If science is seen, as it
> should be, as a continuous process, those who state at the outset that
> their views are immutable place themselves outside the scientific process
> in the realm of other styles of knowledge.

Ian, you're quite right.  I find very few American highschool students
(actually, I find very Americans) who either understand the status of
scientific statements or undertstand that science deals with testable
propositions.  Many American scientists contribute to this state of
confusion by going on American airwaves and espouse views held with 100%
certainty without telling their audience that they're no longer talking
as scientists.  Creationist ideas may be true and they may be false but
their not scientific.

Mark A. Nadler                            Internet: mnadler@ashland.edu
Ashland University                        Phone: (419) 289-5912
Ashland, OH 44805                         Fax: (419) 289-5949

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:53>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Thu Jun 22 13:22:55 1995

Date: Thu, 22 Jun 1995 14:22:43 -0400 (EDT)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: Languages and dialects, species and subspecies
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

The linguists' comments on the species/language topic have been very
instructive.  Let me pose another question to them.

There is a long tradition in natural history of dispute about what species
are, and sometimes even whether "species" as a real category exists or not.
These disputes have gone on for ages, and are generally put under the
heading of "the species problem."  Darwin in the origin refers to the
"endless disputes whether or not some fifty species of British brambles are
true species", for example.  This problem arose in part because in the
pre-evolutionary world view there is indeed a sharp distinction between
species and varieties (or subspecies): species are separate creations
whereas varieties are not.  The task of the systematist in this world is
then to find some practical means for distinguishing the separately-created
forms from the not-separately-created forms.

The question for the linguists is: did/do linguists ever expend time,
publications, symposia, etc., trying to decide whether, say, 10 American
Indian languages in California are "really" separate languages or are "just"
dialects of one language?  Have they ever been, as Darwin claimed many
pre-evolutionary systematists were, "incessantly haunted by the shadowy
doubt whether this or that form be in essence a species [language]."

If lingiusts have not traditionally viewed this as one of the core
controversies of their subject, to what extent might the difference between
their attitude and that of systematists be attributable to: (1) the fact
that systematists did at one time think of species and subspecies as
essentially different (one the product of independent creations, and the
other not), whereas linguists had never thought of most languages as having
been independently created.  (Is that accurate?)  (2) The practical
consequences of there being so many species, with the consequent need for
formal rules of species nomenclatue and the development of species catalogs
as a genre of literature, both of which force systematists to make ranking
decisions.  It is interesting to note that if I refer to "Catalan" then one
can't necessarily tell whether I think it is a dialect or a language, but is
I say _Larus argentatus_ then I am necessarily referring to a species
because of the way the name is formed.  Perhaps if there had been a
convention in linguistics that required one always to specify whether the
entity being named was a language or a dialect, then there would have been
much more dispute along these lines.  Whenever someone said 'Spanish
catalan' there would be an opportunity for an opponent to say, "No, you mean
'Catalan catalan', not 'Spanish catalan'", even though they were talking
about exactly the same thing.

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.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:54>From VISLYONS@ubvms.cc.buffalo.edu Thu Jun 22 13:57:45 1995

Date: Thu, 22 Jun 1995 14:57:23 -0400 (EDT)
From: VISLYONS@ubvms.cc.buffalo.edu
Subject: Creationism and ignorance
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University at Buffalo

Alas, the ignorance that our students show about evolution is just one
part of a much larger problem which is that students dont read anything
anymore.  I think all us college profs should quit and teach in the primary
and secondary schools.  I just got the CAT scores of my 5th grade son.
Not to take away from him because he is a great smart little guy but he
tested out reading, vocabulary at 12.6.  This means he is reading at the
equivalent of a highschool senior in school for 6 months.  I'm afraid this
is more of a commentary on the pathetic state of the education level of most
American high school students than my son's brilliance.  We need to support
all kinds of education and especially reading.
Sherrie Lyons
vislyons@ubvms.cc.buffalo.edu

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:55>From ncse@crl.com Thu Jun 22 14:39:03 1995

Date: Thu, 22 Jun 1995 12:36:49 -0700 (PDT)
From: "Eugenie C. Scott" <ncse@crl.com>
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Scopes/Evolution/Undergrads

Mike is absolutely right about Scopes losing, and evolution disappearing
from textbooks until the mid 1960's.  There was a brief flurry, and then
evolution disappeared from textbooks again until the early 1990's: modern
high school biology textbooks have more evolution in them than their
predecessors -- but a lot of the time the authors get it wrong.  Sigh.

But -- hey -- when I was at UK we'd have a birthday party on Oct. 23 to
celebrate the Creation (not at 9:00 AM, though -- too early in the day for
cake).  Any excuse for a party, in my opinion!

Mike is running into college undergrads who don't know anything about
evolution: he's not alone.  A community college teacher called me a
couple of weeks ago and told me that high school teachers in her
community weren't teaching basic Linnaean taxonomy (Kingdom, phylum,
order, class, etc.) because "it was too much like evolution."

Have others on Darwin-L had similar experiences?  Undergrads who have
either not been taught evolution, have been taught that humans and
dinosaurs lived together (or other tenets of creationism), or have been
taught that "scientists don't believe in evolution anymore."  Please let
me know.  (I don't know why I'm asking: my office gets enough depressing
calls!)

Genie

*****************************************************************
                   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
*****************************************************************

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:56>From ncse@crl.com Thu Jun 22 14:49:16 1995

Date: Thu, 22 Jun 1995 12:47:41 -0700 (PDT)
From: "Eugenie C. Scott" <ncse@crl.com>
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re: Is anti-evolutionism only American?

I would also like to hear directly from European, Asian, and African
correspondents.  From my experience, however, I may have some light to
shed on Dr. Simons' question.

On the continent, there is not much enthusiasm for creation science,
except for a small movement in the Netherlands (Dutch Reformed tradition
is very active in the US in this movement as well.)  There is a small but
not very active movement in Great Britain (esp. England), but since
Anglicanism is not a literalist theology, it hasn't taken root much.

Where you see creationism growing is where there has been an upsurge in
evangelical Protestant missionary activity: Russia and former Soviet Union
countries, the Philippines, Korea, and south Africa come to mind.  My
office received a complaint from a scientist in Poland who was looking for
video materials to counter the broadcast on state TV of a series of
creationist films. Because of the failure of the Catholic church to cope
intelligently with Liberation Theology (they just abandoned it), many
central and South Americans are turning to evangelical Protestantism: I
expect to see creationism increase in popularity in this hemisphere as
well.

Australia has had a strong creationist movement for many years, and is
even exporting key figures and publications to the US now.  New Zealand
does not have a formal movement to my knowledge, but there is
considerable tacit support, according to one of our NCSE members there.

It is useful to distinguish between the actual teaching (advocating) of
creation science (which is relatively rare in the US) and the watering
down or eliminating of evolution (which is far more common.)  In either
case, science education (and students' knowledge) is shortchanged.

Like Dr. Simons, I look forward to hearing from foreign correspondents.

Eugenie C. Scott

*****************************************************************
                   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
*****************************************************************

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:57>From HAAVN@Corelli.Augustana.AB.CA Thu Jun 22 15:10:01 1995

From: "Haave, Neil" <HAAVN@Corelli.Augustana.AB.CA>
Organization:  Augustana University College
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Date: Thu, 22 Jun 1995 14:03:27 MDT
Subject: Re: creationism

AUGH!!!!

Sorry that's my gut response whenever the evolution/creation beast
rears its head.  It is such a non-issue unless you want FACTS and the
unchangeable TRUTH.  As a Christian working at a small church related
college I am often faced with this question from some of my students,
"which is right?  Creation or Evolution?"  After a quiet groan I let
them know that the two are NOT mutually exclusive, unless of course
you believe that the Bible is a scientific document.  This
distinction between two different ways of knowing (ie. revealed vs
experiential) usually helps my students enter the study of evolution
without feeling that their beliefs are being compromised.

I guess I find it difficult to understand and accept that their are
still people who want to make faith into science and science into
faith.  Is the fault our education system which fails to validate the
many ways of knowing.  Is our culture so enamoured with the glitter
of the scientific and technological "successes" of this century that
all knowledge must be substantiated through science and technology?

Anyways,... this is a minor concern (thankfully) in Canada.  We don't
seem to have quite the same cretionist political voice as there is to
the the south of us.

Neil Haave, Ph.D.
Department of Biology
Augustana University College
4901 - 46th Avenue
Camrose, AB
Canada      T4V 2R3

phone   403 679 1506
FAX     403 679 1129
email   haavn@corelli.augustana.ab.ca

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:58>From Bob.Hill@plant.utas.edu.au Thu Jun 22 16:41:46 1995

Date: Fri, 23 Jun 1995 07:41:23 +1000
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
From: Bob.Hill@plant.utas.edu.au (Bob Hill)
Subject: Is anti-evolutionism only American?

I don't quite share Ian Lowe's optimism about the poor standing of creation
science in Australia. A fairly recent survey (that I haven't seen first
hand) claimed that 10% of first year university biology students in
Australia believe in the literal truth of the bible. That translates to
about 20 people in our first year class and I sometimes run across them
arguing their case. However, I have never seen one of them try to answer an
exam question from that viewpoint. I don't believe that is because we have
"converted" them all, and thus it must mean that either they are prepared
to lie for the sake of grades or else they can somehow separate two sources
of conflicting information in their minds or reconcile them somehow. Maybe
there is some other explanation. There are a number of people in Australia
who spend a great deal of time and energy fighting a creationist upsurge.
Ian Plimer is one, but there are others who have done so, sometimes at
great personal cost (and also satisfaction). More power to them. However, I
suspect a big difference between Australia and the US is that teaching of
evolutionary theory in schools is a standard practice here and as far as I
know causes little controversy.

Bob Hill
Department of Plant Science
University of Tasmania
GPO Box 252C, Hobart
Tasmania 7001
Australia

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:59>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Thu Jun 22 22:58:07 1995

Date: Thu, 22 Jun 1995 23:57:57 -0400 (EDT)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: Chauncey Wright on palaetiology
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

We've discussed the work of the 19th-century philosopher Chauncey Wright
here a few times before.  I just came across an appearance of the term
"palaetiology" in his writings, and since collecting references to the term
palaetiology is one of Darwin-L's minor aims, I thought I'd share Wright's
passage with the group.  It is part of a negative review of Herbert
Spencer's work, originally published in the _North American Review_, April
1865, and reprinted in the volume of Wright's collected papers called
_Philosophical Discussions_ (1877).  The passage below is on pp. 70-71.

  It was Mr. Spencer's aim to free the law of evolution from all
  teleological implications, and to add such elements and limitations to
  its definition as should make it universally applicable to the movement
  of nature.  Having done this, as he thinks, he arrives at the following
  definition: "Evolution is a change from an indefinite incoherent
  homogeneity to a definite coherent heterogeneity through continuous
  differentiations and integrations."  But teleology is a subtile poison,
  and lurks where least suspected.  The facts of the sciences which Dr.
  Whewell calls palaetiological, like the various branches of geology, and
  every actual concrete series of events which together form an object of
  interest to us, are apt, unless we are fully acquainted with the actual
  details through observation or by actual particular deductions from
  well-known particular facts and general laws, to fall into a dramatic
  procession in our imaginations.  The mythic instinct slips into the
  place of the chronicles at every opportunity.  All history is written
  on dramatic principles.

Surely someone among us will have to use the marvellous phrase "teleology is
a subtile poison" in print one of these days.

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.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:60>From jsl@rockvax.rockefeller.edu Sun Jun 25 12:27:23 1995

To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Creationism as science ?
Date: Sun, 25 Jun 1995 13:31:22 EDT
From: Joshua Lederberg <jsl@rockvax.rockefeller.edu>

<<<<<<
Date: Thu, 22 Jun 1995 14:20:16 -0400 (EDT)
Creationist ideas may be true and they may be false but
the['yre] not scientific.

Mark A. Nadler                            Internet: mnadler@ashland.edu
Ashland University                        Phone: (419) 289-5912
Ashland, OH 44805                         Fax: (419) 289-5949
>>>>>>>

I don't think I need to corroborate my credentials as an evolutionist.
But I am a little concerned at the extent to which our (scientists')
reflex reaction to "creationism" doesn't also reek of dogma.  Why do we
have to denounce the exposition  of alternative views?

For example, Philip Gosse's well-worn model is in my view
irrefutable:  God created the world in [whatever date, perhaps the
last millisecond] exactly as we see it, including every feature
that we now explore as evidence of history, evolution, our own
biographical pasts.  It would teach something of the limits of
science to explore whether that is a testable hypothesis, and what
are its implications.  If we accept the model, we are now fairly
close to the Theism that identifies Nature with God, and is
completely compatible with the pursuit of science as a vocation --
the unravelling of God's revelation.  In fact, I imagine that
Spinoza would have taken that as a metaphor for natural science.
And Newton not far away.  [But Newton, Spinoza experts please
correct me on this]

I am not optimistic that theological debates will be any less shrill;
but we might try to look beyond the nominal semantic categories.

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

Prof. Joshua Lederberg
Laboratory of Molecular Genetics and Informatics
The Rockefeller University
1230 York Avenue
New York, NY   10021-6399
212: 327-7809

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:61>From chbwis@gps.leeds.ac.uk Mon Jun 26 04:07:00 1995

Date: Mon, 26 Jun 1995 10:06:46 +0100
From: W I Sellers <chbwis@gps.leeds.ac.uk>
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re: Scopes/Evolution/Undergrads

Since we're on the topic of teaching evolution, I'd like some
advice/help/sympathy. I'm starting a job as a lecturer in October, and
I've been told that my first block of lectures will be on "Comparative
Anatomy and Evolution". Like most researchers in the area I have a very
eclectic expertise and rather limited teaching experience, and what I'd
really love is some suggestions of the sort of things that should go
into this sort of course (it's not aimed at beginners, but I wouldn't
be at all surprised if the students only have the normal, fairly hazy
idea about evolution and evolutionary theory).

From reading this list for a while, I'd also like to incorporate at
least some historical context, about which, I suspect the students will
be almost completely ignorant. I am told I have a fairly free rein, so
I ought to make the most of it.

As I said, any suggestions, experiences, personal reminiscences,
comments will be appreciated. Just how does everyone else go about
teaching evolution these days? Are there any logical pitfalls to be
avoided? What causes most trouble?

Thanks in advance

Bill Sellers
Centre for Human Biology,
University of Leeds
W.I.Sellers@leeds.ac.uk

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:62>From chbwis@gps.leeds.ac.uk Mon Jun 26 04:23:28 1995

Date: Mon, 26 Jun 1995 10:23:20 +0100
From: W I Sellers <chbwis@gps.leeds.ac.uk>
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re: Is anti-evolutionism only American?

In the 25th April 1995 edition of New Scientist there is a report on a
survey that was presented at the US Annual Earth Day celibration. It's
based on a survey of over 25,000 people in (I think) about 20 countries
and concerns levels of basic scientific knowledge. Apart from a
depressingly high percentage of people in Britain believing that
"Astrology has some scientific truth", it also asked the question,
"Human beings developed from earlier species - true or false?"
Apparently, worldwide, 70% of people put this down as true (82% in
Britain) but only 48% in America. It certainly suggests that evolution
is doing badly in the US compared to elsewhere. Anyway, I imagine the
full study, which is broken down by country, and includes a reasonable
selection of Eastern and Western European nations as well as Japan,
should give you some interesting food for thought.

If someone sees a more complete reference to where this study exists in
print (or even better, on the internet), then I appreciate seeing it.

Bill Sellers
Centre for Human Biology,
University of Leeds

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:63>From jej20@cus.cam.ac.uk Mon Jun 26 05:25:32 1995

Date: Mon, 26 Jun 1995 11:24:42 +0100 (BST)
From: "J.E. Jeffery" <jej20@cus.cam.ac.uk>
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re: Dawkins and Creationism

Dear all,

In reply to the question of creationism affecting science Ellery seemed
to imply that Richard Dawkins was pushed into using a biblical reference
for the title of a book about evolution;

> Here at New Mexico State University I have been told by faculty of numerous
> students who protest the teaching of evolution. The local media steer clear
> of the issue. Even Dawkins titles his new book 'River Out of Eden.'

Although Dawkins is (by his own admission) a 'militant' atheist, I don't
think he was making a point.  Here in the U.K. creationism simply
isn't an issue, in schools or elsewhere.  Dawkin's usage of a biblical
metaphor does not, therefore, have any of the connotations that it might
have in the U.S.

Jon Jeffery,
University of Cambridge,
jej20@cam.ac.uk

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:64>From FINNR@bot.ku.dk Mon Jun 26 06:31:57 1995

From: "Finn N. Rasmussen" <FINNR@bot.ku.dk>
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Date: Mon, 26 Jun 1995 13:31:03 GMT+0200
Subject: Re: Anti-evolutionism outside the USA

Anti-evolutionism appears to be largely endemic to the US. Evolution
is part of the standard curriculum in all Danish schools, and I think
the situation is the same in the other Scandinavian countries. There
was, as far as I know, very little controversy (if any at all) when it
became introduced at the beginning og this century. Of course there
are a few creationists who publish pamphlets etc., but they are
looked upon the same way as anthroposophists, astrologists, spirists
and UFO-watchers. In actual fact, astrology is a much more
widespread belief than creationism, it is probably the worst of the
pseudoscientific threats.
  However, Europe has another kind of irrational believers that may be
compared to the creationists of the US: the history-revisionists. It
is often rooted in nationalism - it is not nice to be taught that
your heroic king lost a battle to his villainous cousin in the
neighbour-country (I remember being taught in school that Adm. Nelson
was defeated at Copenhagen, at least it was a draw...). The most
agressive of this kind are the neo-nazi's, who claim that nobobdy
were murdered in concentraton camps during world war II. Like the
cretionists, they often go into pseudotechnical argumentation (like
chemical analyses of bricks from alleged gas-chambers) to "prove"
their claims. I think that all this kind of "pseudo-knowledge" stems
from a subconscious wish for rebellion - a desire to denounce the
authorities, they be the history teacher, the science teacher, the
established state church, the European Commission or the Federal
Government.

                      Finn N. Rasmussen
                      Botanical Laboratory, University of Copenhagen
                      Gothersgade 140, DK-1123 Copenhagen K., Denmark
                      phone: +45 35 32 21 55 * fax: +45 33 13 91 04
                      email: FinnR@bot.ku.dk

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:65>From mnadler@ashland.edu Mon Jun 26 11:52:04 1995

Date: Mon, 26 Jun 1995 12:52:11 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Mark A. Nadler" <mnadler@ashland.edu>
Subject: Re: Creationism as science ?
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

On Sun, 25 Jun 1995, Joshua Lederberg wrote:

> For example, Philip Gosse's well-worn model is in my view
> irrefutable:  God created the world in [whatever date, perhaps the
> last millisecond] exactly as we see it, including every feature
> that we now explore as evidence of history, evolution, our own
> biographical pasts.  It would teach something of the limits of
> science to explore whether that is a testable hypothesis, and what
> are its implications.  If we accept the model, we are now fairly
> close to the Theism that identifies Nature with God, and is
> completely compatible with the pursuit of science as a vocation --
> the unravelling of God's revelation.  In fact, I imagine that
> Spinoza would have taken that as a metaphor for natural science.
> And Newton not far away.  [But Newton, Spinoza experts please
> correct me on this]

Philip Gosse's model may be true or it may be false but it is not
scientific.  When one tells me that something is "irrefutable" then
we're either in a world of pure logic or metaphysics -- two resources,
I admit, science draws on to put forth refutable hypothesis.  Does
Gosse's model belong in a science class?  I think the answer to that question
belongs to the instructor.  The students I meet already have their fill
of various forms of mysticism.  My preference is to present a purely
scientific view of the world -- at least as far that is possible given my
own non-conscious forms of bias etc.

Most scientists are not dogmatic in simply pointing out that creationism
isn't science.  Because it's not a science it doesn't belong in a science
class.  Again, this doesn't say that creationism is wrong.  It simply means
that creationists don't want to put forth refutable hypotheses.

I myself have played the "game" of science called unraveling G-d's will.
But this was to K-8 Catholic school students.  I think that it's pathetic if
we have to play this same "game" for college and university students.

Mark A. Nadler                            Internet: mnadler@ashland.edu
Ashland University                        Phone: (419) 289-5912
Ashland, OH 44805                         Fax: (419) 289-5949

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:66>From ncse@crl.com Mon Jun 26 12:11:52 1995

Date: Mon, 26 Jun 1995 10:10:17 -0700 (PDT)
From: "Eugenie C. Scott" <ncse@crl.com>
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re: creationism

On Thu, 22 Jun 1995, Haave, Neil wrote:

> Anyways,... this (creationism) is a minor concern (thankfully) in
> Canada.  We don't seem to have quite the same cretionist political
> voice as there is to the the south of us.

Well, not exactly.  Given the difference in explicit statuatory law
regarding church and state separation, I'm surprised there is not more.
Canadian law, I am informed, is not as clear on this issue as the US
Constitution's First Amendment.  NCSE's Ontario liaison has been battling
creationists in the Canadian science teachers' association for years, and
our BC liaison has a controversy on his hands over the school district of
Abbottsford which has had since 1983 an "equal time" for creation and
evolution provision in its regulations.  It is currently being challenged
by the BC Minister of education.  See the latest McLeans for a discussion.
We have also had reports of creationism and antievolutionism (but no
direct NCSE involvement) in the prairie provinces, which is not
surprising.  As in the US, the c/e (antievolutionism) issue is primarily a
phenomenon of suburbs and small towns, and Canada, like the US, is full of
them.

*****************************************************************
                   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
*****************************************************************

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:67>From streelma@chuma.cas.usf.edu Mon Jun 26 12:37:53 1995

Date: Mon, 26 Jun 1995 13:37:48 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Jeffrey Streelman (BIO)" <streelma@chuma.cas.usf.edu>
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: evolution-creationism dogmas

could someone please list all the "pseudoscientific threats" out there so
that i as a scientist can steer clear?

thanks

todd

J. Todd Streelman
Department of Biology
USF Tampa, FL 33620-5150
streelma@chuma.cas.usf.edu
(813)974-2878

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:68>From czbb062@access.texas.gov Mon Jun 26 13:43:51 1995

Date: Mon, 26 Jun 1995 13:25:58 -0500 (CDT)
From: czbb062 <czbb062@access.texas.gov>
Subject: Re: Creationism as science ?
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

On Sun, 25 Jun 1995, Joshua Lederberg wrote:

 For example, Philip Gosse's well-worn model is in my view
 irrefutable:  God created the world in [whatever date, perhaps the
 last millisecond] exactly as we see it, including every feature
 that we now explore as evidence of history, evolution, our own
 biographical pasts.

Gosse's effort to save the phenomena is just silly metaphysics and
untestable.  I guess that's one sense of irrefutable but not a very
serious one.  Science and faith will always be at war.  Imagine living
your life in the age of faith: prison for life.

Michael Eisenstadt (czbb062@access.texas.gov)

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:69>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Tue Jun 27 04:26:50 1995

Date: Tue, 27 Jun 1995 01:12:17 -0400 (EDT)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: June 27 -- Today in the Historical Sciences
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

JUNE 27 -- TODAY IN THE HISTORICAL SCIENCES

1829: JAMES LOUIS MACIE SMITHSON, F.R.S., a minor chemist and mineralogist
and the illegitimate son of Hugh Smithson Percy, first duke of Northumberland,
dies at Genoa, Italy.  His will, written three years earlier, left his
considerable estate to his nephew, Henry James Hungerford.  However,

  In the case of the death of my said Nephew without leaving a child or
  children, or the death of the child or children he may have had under the
  age of twenty-one years or intestate, I then bequeath the whole of my
  property subject to the Annuity of One Hundred pounds to John Fitall, & for
  the security & payment of which I mean Stock to remain in this Country, to
  the United States of America, to found at Washington, under the name of the
  Smithsonian Institution, an Establishment for the increase and diffusion of
  knowledge among men.

The Smithsonian Institution, finally established in 1846 after many years
of legal and political debate, will grow to be the largest complex of science,
art, and history museums in the world.

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.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<22:70>From ahouse@hydra.rose.brandeis.edu Tue Jun 27 09:01:43 1995

Date: Tue, 27 Jun 1995 10:01:49 -0400
To: Darwin-L@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu (Darwin List)
From: ahouse@hydra.rose.brandeis.edu (Jeremy)
Subject: we rage

        Periodically this list is incited by the question of American (and
as we hear now Australian, etc...) Creationism.  I am so tempted to throw
my own rage on the pyre.  I will refrain.  It is nice to know that there
are still issues that will fill my in-box with messages after a few months
of intermittent dispatches.

        I do want to ask how list members (largely educators) feel about
the solutions to the Creation/Evolution tension.  To recap the solutions
suggested in this last go round.  (My apologies for any inadvertent
caricature of positions.)

        1. no-domain-overlap:  The no-domain-overlap solution as championed
by Eugenie Scott and Neil Haave suggests that there are separate domains of
knowledge and "believers" out not to fear evolution "science" as it is
(only) scientific knowledge and doesn't need to impinge on their world
view.  Neil suggests the 2 domains strongly setting them side by side
implying a kind of parity between the two.
        This position seems to gain strength by noting the (many) areas
that scientism falls short.  It implies that the successes of
science/technology are limited and thus humans must seek in other
(orthogonal) directions.
        While the limits of science part of the argument has my sympathies
I tend with the creationists on the domain of inquiry issue.  Their (holy)
texts do seem to make claims about the empirical world.  They go on to
claim a naive textual position, i.e. they aren't qulified to separate
universal transcendent truth from myth in these books and so cleave to
"literalism".  I follow their claim that the texts make claims on the
empirical - but so many of the claims are unsubstantiated and without
evidential support that (for me) the house built is one of cards and it
falls in on itself.
        The no-overlap position offers peace at the cost restricting the
domain of claims.  Here I suspect (I may be way off here) Eugenie and Neil
part ways.  Where for Eugenie this ploy avoids an argument and gets science
education in the door.  Then armed with this "knowledge" students will find
the domain of relevant "revealed" knowledge ever more circumscribed.  Neil
might encourage it to move the other way.

        2. God as Descartes-deceiver: Joshua Lederberg offers the
possibility that everything (including our memories, fossils, etc...) were
created last Thursday just after tea (or any arbitrary time).  He claims
that this possibility can (by definition) not be challenged empirically.
Descartes "Cogito" is of no help since his claim is not "I remember
therefore I was" or "I found Lucy therefore I evolved from a lineage that
includes her" or...  From this ploy he naturalizes "god" synonimizing the
empirical world with the works of the creator.  Again this attempts to
abolish the tension.  This can't be satisfying to creationists, can it?

        3. Psycological denial: It was suggested that students can keep a
stock of factoids in their heads (enough to pass exams) but that this
knowledge is kept at a distance from actual ownership.  This avoids
cognitive dissonance and still makes for good grades the week that you have
to pass the evolution test.  Our psychological homeostatic mechanisms are
powerful forces.  Is it the place of education to jeopardize the peaceful,
if ill-informed, mind?

        In the face of these three options mano-a-mano struggle is
tempting.  Do we really want to be so passive about the hard won and
wonderful knowledge that evolutionary biology (paleontology, molecular
biology, physiology, development, ecology,...) have bestowed on us.  Or is
the political climate really so hostile and dangerous that we do what we
need to to diffuse the tension and then introduce our ideas into the ever
expanding domain of the empirical?

        cheers,

        Jeremy

p.s.  Maybe we can build on this enthusiastic discussion to heated debate
about gene-centrism vs. developmental systems (it might be profitable to
hear the linguists on this one), the related issue of canalization and
bauplane, artifacts of categorization, etc...

__________________________________________________________
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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         _|  |\-'-'_/_/         beware of the day,
    __--'/`           \         If your Snark be a Boojum! For then
        /              \        You will softly and suddenly
       /        "o.  |o"|       vanish away,
       |              \/        And never be met with again!"
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          `--._`.   \;//
               ;-.___,'
              /
            ,'
         _-'

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_______________________________________________________________________________
Darwin-L Message Log 22: 36-70 -- June 1995                                 End

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