Darwin-L Message Log 29: 1–24 — January 1996
Academic Discussion on the History and Theory of the Historical Sciences
Darwin-L was an international discussion group on the history and theory of the historical sciences, active from 1993–1997. Darwin-L was established to promote the reintegration of a range of fields all of which are concerned with reconstructing the past from evidence in the present, and to encourage communication among scholars, scientists, and researchers in these fields. The group had more than 600 members from 35 countries, and produced a consistently high level of discussion over its several years of operation. Darwin-L was not restricted to evolutionary biology nor to the work of Charles Darwin, but instead addressed the entire range of historical sciences from an explicitly comparative perspective, including evolutionary biology, historical linguistics, textual transmission and stemmatics, historical geology, systematics and phylogeny, archeology, paleontology, cosmology, historical geography, historical anthropology, and related “palaetiological” fields.
This log contains public messages posted to the Darwin-L discussion group during January 1996. It has been lightly edited for format: message numbers have been added for ease of reference, message headers have been trimmed, some irregular lines have been reformatted, and error messages and personal messages accidentally posted to the group as a whole have been deleted. No genuine editorial changes have been made to the content of any of the posts. This log is provided for personal reference and research purposes only, and none of the material contained herein should be published or quoted without the permission of the original poster.
The master copy of this log is maintained in the Darwin-L Archives (rjohara.net/darwin) by Dr. Robert J. O’Hara. The Darwin-L Archives also contain additional information about the Darwin-L discussion group, the complete Today in the Historical Sciences calendar for every month of the year, a collection of recommended readings on the historical sciences, and an account of William Whewell’s concept of “palaetiology.”
--------------------------------------------- DARWIN-L MESSAGE LOG 29: 1-24 -- JANUARY 1996 --------------------------------------------- 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 January 1996. 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 email@example.com, and is also available on the Darwin-L Web Server at http://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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or connect to the Darwin-L Web Server. Darwin-L is administered by Robert J. O'Hara (email@example.com), 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. _______________________________________________________________________________ <29:1>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Mon Jan 1 00:16:20 1996 Date: Mon, 01 Jan 1996 01:15:58 -0400 (EDT) From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Subject: List owner's monthly greeting To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: University of NC at Greensboro Greetings and a very happy new year 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. For additional information about the group please visit the Darwin-L Web Server (http://rjohara.uncg.edu). Darwin-L is an international discussion group for professionals in the historical sciences. The group is not devoted to any particular discipline, such as evolutionary biology, but rather seeks to promote interdisciplinary comparisons across the entire range of "palaetiology". Darwin-L currently has more than 600 members from over 30 countries. Because Darwin-L does have a large membership and is sometimes a high-volume discussion group it is important for all participants to try to keep their postings as substantive as possible so that we can maintain a favorable "signal-to-noise" ratio. Personal messages should be sent by private e-mail rather than to the group as a whole. Subscribers who feel burdened from time to time by the volume of their Darwin-L mail may wish to take advantage of the digest option described below. Because different mail systems work differently, not all subscribers see the e-mail address of the original sender of each message in the message header (some people only see "Darwin-L" as the source). It is therefore very important to include your name and e-mail address at the end of every message you post so that everyone can identify you and reply privately if appropriate. Remember also that in most cases when you type "reply" in response to a message from Darwin-L your reply is sent to the group as a whole, rather than to the original sender. The following are the most frequently used listserv commands that Darwin-L members may wish to know. All of these commands should be sent as regular e-mail messages to the listserv address (email@example.com), not to the address of the group as a whole (Darwin-L@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu). In each case leave the subject line of the message blank and include no extraneous text, as the command will be read and processed by the listserv program rather than by a person. To join the group send the message: SUBSCRIBE DARWIN-L Your Name For example: SUBSCRIBE DARWIN-L John Smith To cancel your subscription send the message: UNSUBSCRIBE DARWIN-L If you feel burdened by the volume of mail you receive from Darwin-L you may instruct the listserv program to deliver mail to you in digest format (one message per day consisting of the whole day's posts bundled together). To receive your mail in digest format send the message: SET DARWIN-L MAIL DIGEST To change your subscription from digest format back to one-at-a-time delivery send the message: SET DARWIN-L MAIL ACK To temporarily suspend mail delivery (when you go on vacation, for example) send the message: SET DARWIN-L MAIL POSTPONE To resume regular delivery send either the DIGEST or ACK messages above. For a comprehensive introduction to Darwin-L with notes on our scope and on network etiquette, and a summary of all available commands, send the message: INFO DARWIN-L To post a public message to the group as a whole simply send it as regular e-mail to the group's address (Darwin-L@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu). I thank you all for your continuing interest in Darwin-L and in the interdisciplinary study of the historical sciences. Bob O'Hara, Darwin-L list owner Dr. Robert J. O'Hara (firstname.lastname@example.org) Senior Tutor, Cornelia Strong College The University of North Carolina at Greensboro Greensboro, North Carolina 27412 U.S.A. _______________________________________________________________________________ <29:2>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Mon Jan 1 00:37:58 1996 Date: Mon, 01 Jan 1996 01:37:37 -0400 (EDT) From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Subject: January 1 -- Today in the Historical Sciences To: email@example.com Organization: University of NC at Greensboro JANUARY 1 -- TODAY IN THE HISTORICAL SCIENCES 1737: PIER ANTONIO MICHELI dies at Florence, Italy. Born into poverty, Micheli's interest in and knowledge of plants won him patronage from the Medici family and widespread recognition from the professional botanists of his day. He collected widely throughout Italy and central Europe, and in his _Nova Plantarum Genera_ (Florence, 1729) he described more than 1400 new species of plants, many of them mosses, liverworts, and lichens, in which he had a special interest. Micheli's extensive travel allowed him to contribute to historical geology as well as botany, and the geological similarities he observed between many of the quiet hills of his native Italy and the active Vesuvius led him to infer correctly that the Italian landscape was in fact dotted with ancient volcanos. 1778: CHARLES-ALEXANDRE LESUEUR is born at Le Havre, France. As a young man Lesueur will sail aboard the _Geographe_ and the _Naturaliste_ to Australia, where, in the company of Francois Peron, he will collect tens of thousands of zoological specimens. Lesueur's considerable skill as an artist will enable him to illustrate many of the expedition's finer specimens, but the early death of Peron will delay the completion of the expedition's report, and most of Lesueur's illustrations will never be published. In 1815 Leuseur will sail for North America, and will spend the next twenty-two years travelling in the interior of the United States collecting and illustrating mollusks, insects, fishes, and fossils. Upon his return to France in 1837 he will be appointed curator of the new Museum d'Histoire Naturelle du Havre, and he will die there in December of 1846. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or connect to the Darwin-L Web Server (http://rjohara.uncg.edu) for more information. _______________________________________________________________________________ <29:3>From IAP8EWH@MVS.OAC.UCLA.EDU Mon Jan 1 17:50:39 1996 Date: Mon, 01 Jan 96 15:51 PST To: DARWIN-L@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu From: IAP8EWH@MVS.OAC.UCLA.EDU Subject: past time This is in response to Bob O'Hara's question about how past time is conceived in different languages or cultures. In an article called (I think) Nature and the Greeks, Erwin Schroedinger said that although nowadays we think of ourselves as moving forward through time with the future in front of us, the ancient Greeks thought of themselves as moving through time facing backward toward the past. The latter point of view makes sense given that we know more about the past than the future. I don't know where the article was originally published, but it is included in a collection of Schroedinger essays called 'What is Life?' Happy New Year (looking back to 1995 or forward to 1996?) Eric Holman email@example.com _______________________________________________________________________________ <29:4>From firstname.lastname@example.org Mon Jan 1 20:12:28 1996 Date: Mon, 1 Jan 1996 21:12:07 -0500 (EST) From: Daniel Dennett <email@example.com> To: "Jeremy C. Ahouse" <firstname.lastname@example.org> Cc: Darwin List <Darwin-L@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu> Subject: Re: rejoinder to DCD (part 1 of 2) Jeremy Ahouse's rambling two-part response to my inserted rebuttals to his earlier comments evades the quite sharp challenges I raised. I demanded that he back up his attack with details. We still have no details. He admits he doesn't know what to say about the 4 falsehoods I claim people have (mis-)learned from Gould. He ignores my other corrections of his errors. Enough said. Daniel Dennett _______________________________________________________________________________ <29:5>From email@example.com Tue Jan 2 14:40:26 1996 Date: Tue, 2 Jan 1996 12:35:08 -0800 From: Phillip E Johnson <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com Subject: The Dennett/Ahouse debate _Stephen Jay Gould's Ambiguity_ Perhaps the Dennett/Ahouse controversy can be clarified with a concrete example of the kind of statement by Gould that has led the "ultra-Darwinists" (who would prefer to be called "modern Darwinists") to describe him, in the words of John Maynard Smith, as "a man whose ideas are so confused as to be hardly worth bothering with, but who should not be publicly criticized because he is at least on our side against the creationists," and as a man who "is giving non-biologists a largely false picture of the state of evolutionary theory." In _Wonderful Life_, Gould writes that there are two theories to explain the absence of fossil ancestors for the animal phyla that appear first in the Cambrian rocks: Two different kinds of explanations for the absence of Precambrian ancestors have been debated for more than a century: the artifact theory (they did exist, but the fossil record hasn't preserved them), and the fast-transition theory (they really didn't exist, at least as complex invertebrates easily linked to their descendants, and the evolution of modern anatomical plans occurred with a rapidity that threatens our usual ideas about the stately pace of evolutionary change). Then Gould describes the discovery of new phyla in the Burgess shale as the "death knell of the artifact theory," because If evolution could produce ten new Cambrian phyla and then wipe them out just as quickly, then what about the surviving Cambrian groups? Why should they have had a long and honorable Precambrian pedigree? Why should they not have originated just before the Cambrian, as the fossil record, read literally, seems to indicate, and as the fast-transition theory proposes? [_Wonderful Life_ (1989), pp. 271-273] It was reasonable for Dennett's philosopher friend to read this passage as saying that the ancestors "really didn't exist." The qualifier that follows this phrase-- "at least as complex invertebrates easily linked to their descendants" -- is meaningless in this context. OF COURSE there are no fossil ancestors that can easily be identified and linked to specific descendants; that is precisely the problem that the artifact theory addresses by claiming that the ancestors existed but were not preserved in the fossil record. Insofar as Gould's fast- transition theory contradicts the artifact theory, it must be denying that claim. The reason that the philosopher's interpretation seems absurd to both Ahouse and Dennett is that it makes Gould effectively a creationist -- and his emphatic stand against creationism is something even Gould's detractors in evolutionary biology give him credit for. So Gould must not mean what he seems to be saying, but why (Dennett asks) does a master communicator produce such miscommunication? Why doesn't he clear up the muddle by explaining that he does believe in the artifact theory after all, but had merely meant to say that the critical Darwinian evolutionary change occurred relatively rapidly (by geological standards) just before the Cambrian? Perhaps the correct interpretation is that Gould still believes as he did when he wrote in _Paleobiology_ in 1980 that Mayr-style neo-Darwinism "as a general proposition, is effectively dead, despite its persistence as textbook orthodoxy." Perhaps he still believes that a "new and general theory" is needed, not just a modification that can be reconciled with evolution as Maynard Smith, Dawkins, Williams, and Dennett understand it. On this supposition the ambiguity in the expression is easily explained as a deliberate camouflage. Gould has learned that his anti- Darwinian statements are read by creationists and used very effectively in their literature to discredit the textbook orthodoxy. This puts his own reputation in danger, because the one consideration that has restrained those friends and allies of John Maynard Smith from attacking him openly (or more openly than they already do) is that to attack a man whom the public identifies with Darwinism would also aid the creationists. In this delicate situation Gould has to make his anti-Darwinian points by implication, while holding on to a safe line of retreat to use when necessary. As the Dennett book and the Maynard Smith review indicate, the patience of the orthodox party is about exhausted, and now they are openly demanding that Gould clarify those statements that have been "giving non-biologists a largely false picture of the state of evolutionary theory." Which is the correct interpretation? Gould could easily clear up the confusion. If he doesn't, it is not because he doesn't know how to, but because he doesn't want to. Phillip E. Johnson School of Law University of California, Berkeley 94720 firstname.lastname@example.org _______________________________________________________________________________ <29:6>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Wed Jan 3 00:01:12 1996 Date: Wed, 03 Jan 1996 01:00:44 -0400 (EDT) From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Subject: Early dictionary society (fwd from HUMANIST) To: email@example.com Organization: University of NC at Greensboro --begin forwarded message-------------- Date: Tue, 2 Jan 1996 09:49:40 -0500 From: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Early dictionary society This is to announce the existence of SIEHLDA (Societe internationale d'etudes historiques et linguistiques des dictionnaires anciens), the International Association for the Historical and Linguistic Study of Early Dictionaries, founded in Lyon, France in the spring of 1995. It is an association for the advancement of research concerned with the historical, linguistic and semiotic analysis of early dictionaries. Its objectives are: the publication, in print and electronic form, of monographs and collections of articles on early dictionaries, particularly the proceedings of colloquia and symposia; the promotion of the capture of early dictionaries and the creation of databases through the development of methodological tools, the distribution of bases via shared (Internet) and individual (CD-ROM) media, and the establishment of a collection of electronic early dictionaries; the computerization of the eight editions of the Dictionnaire de l'Academie francaise (of which a sample base can be viewed on the Internet at ARTFL, University of Chicago). SIEHLDA has a web address at: http://www.epas.utoronto.ca:8080/~wulfric/siehlda/ where details can be found of its first published volume (on the etymologist Gilles Menage) and of a June 1996 symposium to be held in Clermont-Ferrand on electronic 16th-17th-century French dictionaries. Russon Wooldridge University of Toronto ------------ Russon Wooldridge, Department of French, Trinity College, University of Toronto, Toronto M5S 1H8, Canada Tel: 1-416-978-2885 -- Fax: 1-416-978-4949 E-mail: email@example.com Internet: http://www.epas.utoronto.ca:8080/~wulfric/ --end forwarded message---------------- _______________________________________________________________________________ <29:7>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Wed Jan 3 00:08:48 1996 Date: Wed, 03 Jan 1996 01:07:36 -0400 (EDT) From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Subject: January 3 -- Today in the Historical Sciences To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: University of NC at Greensboro JANUARY 3 -- TODAY IN THE HISTORICAL SCIENCES 1822: WILLIAM NYLANDER is born at Uleaborg, Russia (now Oulu, Finland). Following medical study at the University of Helsinki, from which he will graduate in 1847, Nylander will travel extensively throughout Finland and will devote himself exclusively to botany and entomology. In 1848 he will go to Paris to study lichens at the Museum d'Histoire Naturelle, and will soon become one of the world's leading lichenologists. He will be appointed to the first professorship of botany at the University of Helsinki in 1857, but dissatisfaction with his position there will lead him to emigrate to France, where he will remain until his death in 1899. 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 email@example.com or connect to the Darwin-L Web Server (http://rjohara.uncg.edu) for more information. _______________________________________________________________________________ <29:8>From firstname.lastname@example.org Wed Jan 3 01:49:07 1996 Date: Tue, 2 Jan 1996 23:48:32 -0800 (PST) From: Bill Owens <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Re: past time I believe that the Roman God *Janus* from which we get the name of our month of January had two faces, one looking at the past and the other looking to the future. regards: Bill Owens "In prosperity, - it is very easy Geography to find a friend; in adversity, University of Idaho nothing is so difficult to find!" e-mail email@example.com Epictetus _______________________________________________________________________________ <29:9>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Wed Jan 3 21:06:28 1996 Date: Wed, 03 Jan 1996 22:06:04 -0400 (EDT) From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Subject: Duke papyrus collection on the Web (fwd from PAPY) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: University of NC at Greensboro Here's a beautiful collection of web pages that may be of interest to Darwin-L readers. It is an outstanding example of how research collections can be made available on the Internet. Bob O'Hara (email@example.com) --begin forwarded message-------------- Date: Tue, 2 Jan 1996 14:55:43 -0500 (EST) From: "John F. Oates" <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: papyri-list <email@example.com> The Duke Papyrus Archive on the World Wide Web at: http://scriptorium.lib.duke.edu/papyrus/ has now virtually completed the task, which began in September of 1992, of making the Duke papyri more accessible. Available are records and images of all 1373 inventory numbers of papyri in the Duke University Collection. (About 200 images remain to be added.) The approximately 2000 images of these texts are presented in three ways: a "thumbnail," a 72 dpi image and a 150 dpi version. All images are linked to catalogue records. You will find on the home page an entry, "How to use the Duke Papyrus Archive," which gives information on search procedures. It is possible to use key word searches or to choose from the menu of topics and languages to find pertinent material. The Duke Papyrus Archive Project was funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, an independent agency of the United States Government. John Oates, Professor of Ancient History at Duke University, and Steven Hensen, Assistant Director of the Special Collections Library at Duke University, were the Co-Directors of the Project. Peter van Minnen, Senior Research Associate, and Suzanne Corr, Cataloguer, were responsible for the conservation, cataloguing and imaging, and arrangement of the material on the web page. Technical assistance has been provided by Paolo Mangiafico, Library Systems Coordinator in the Special Collections Library of Duke University. We welcome any suggestions for refinement in the Duke Papyrus Archive. John F. Oates (firstname.lastname@example.org) Peter van Minnen (email@example.com) --end forwarded message---------------- _______________________________________________________________________________ <29:10>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Thu Jan 4 19:15:52 1996 Date: Thu, 04 Jan 1996 20:15:26 -0400 (EDT) From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Subject: Re: Hugh Miller Memorial Sonnet To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: University of NC at Greensboro John Constable asks for the source of the Hugh Miller sonnet that appeared recently in Today in the Historical Sciences. I don't have the original source, but I got it from the first American edition of Miller's _Testimony of the Rocks_ (Boston: Gould & Lincoln, 1857), where it is on the back of the inner half-title. This book was completed just days before Miller died, and the American publisher has printed a series of memorials to Miller in the front of the volume before the text. The sonnet is one of those; no author is given, and the only information about its source is the line "Edinburgh, December, 1856" after the last line. If I had to guess I would say that it was probably first printed in an Edinburgh newspaper or journal immediately after Miller's death, but perhaps someone else on Darwin-L will know more. >I am at present collecting poems, both metrical and non-metrical, >for an anthology, concentrating on materials actually by scientists... If you come across any relating to the historical sciences I hope you'll share them with us. I know there are a few others scattered through the Today... messages; most of these are about scientists, but not by them. There is a marvellous one about Louis Agassiz in December, and I have seen poems about Buckland, the legendary Oxford geologist of the 19th century. Bob O'Hara, Darwin-L list owner Robert J. O'Hara (email@example.com) Cornelia Strong College, 100 Foust Building University of North Carolina at Greensboro Greensboro, North Carolina 27412 U.S.A. _______________________________________________________________________________ <29:11>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Mon Jan 8 00:10:53 1996 Date: Mon, 08 Jan 1996 01:10:27 -0400 (EDT) From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Subject: January 8 -- Today in the Historical Sciences To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: University of NC at Greensboro JANUARY 8 -- TODAY IN THE HISTORICAL SCIENCES 1823: ALFRED RUSSEL WALLACE is born at Usk, Monmouthshire, Wales. Following an apprenticeship to his brother as an assistant surveyor and an interval of school teaching, Wallace will propose to his friend Henry Walter Bates that they take advantage of their common interest in natural history and become commercial collectors. Although their first expedition to South America will be successful, their ship and nearly all their collections will be destroyed by fire on the return voyage to England. Undeterred, Wallace will depart on a second expedition to the Malay Archipelago in 1854. In March of 1858 on the island of Gilolo, in the midst of a malarial fever, Wallace will conceive of the idea of evolution by natural selection, and will immediately send a manuscript to Charles Darwin that will contain a nearly perfect summary of Darwin's own views, which were then unpublished and which Wallace had never seen. On the advice of Charles Lyell and J.D. Hooker, Darwin will consent to publish, under the pressure of this coincidence, two extracts from his own work in progress, along with the manuscript of Wallace, in the _Journal of the Proceedings of the Linnean Society_. Wallace's paper, "On the tendency of varieties to depart indefinitely from the original type", will conclude thus: "We believe we have now shown that there is a tendency in nature to the continued progression of certain classes of _varieties_ further and further from the original type -- a progression to which there appears no reason to assign any definite limits -- and that the same principle which produces this result in a state of nature will also explain why domestic varieties have a tendency to revert to the original type. This progression, by minute steps, in various directions, but always checked and balanced by the necessary conditions, subject to which alone existence can be preserved, may, it is believed, be followed out so as to agree with all the phenomena presented by organized beings, their extinction and succession in past ages, and all the extraordinary modifications of form, instinct, and habits which they exhibit." Today in the Historical Sciences is a feature of Darwin-L, an international network discussion group on the history and theory of the historical sciences. Send the message INFO DARWIN-L to email@example.com or connect to the Darwin-L Web Server (http://rjohara.uncg.edu) for more information. _______________________________________________________________________________ <29:12>From LCOOK@fs2.scg.man.ac.uk Mon Jan 8 05:00:18 1996 From: Laurence Martin Cook <LCOOK@fs2.scg.man.ac.uk> To: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: Mon, 8 Jan 1996 11:01:36 GMT Subject: Re: verse by scientists O blest Atlantis! can the legend be Built on wild fancies which thy name surround? Or doth the story of thy classic ground With the stern facts of Nature's face agree? What if no tongue may tell?-thy halo fair Still lingers round the isles that slumber there; And as those towering peaks, sun-gilded, rise Into the bosom of primeval skies, bathed in God's glance, and ocean-girt, they stand Like trophies left by Time to mark that shadowed land. excerpt from a poem by T. Vernon Wollaston published in his Lyra Devoniensis (1868) and at the front of Testacea Atlantica (1878). Wollaston (born 1822) will write "On the variation of species" (1856) and a number of books and papers relating to the fauna of the Atlantic islands. Laurence M. Cook The Manchester Museum University of Manchester Manchester M13 9PL _______________________________________________________________________________ <29:13>From email@example.com Mon Jan 8 14:14:57 1996 To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: McGinn on Dennett on Darwin; paradox of complexity? Date: Mon, 08 Jan 1996 15:19:47 EST From: Joshua Lederberg <email@example.com> The Nov. 24th TLS has an interesting review of "Darwin's Dangerous Idea". One contention by McGinn: "... there really is a puzzle about why organisms display the kind of complexity we observe." "Why a trend to complexity?" "The best survivor of all would be some hard little simple object...." I don't see any paradox. The universe began at very high temperature, hence with simpler constituents. As it expanded and cooled, we then have numerous experiments, with local selective advantage to some more complex structures, including eventually intelligent ones. Had we begun with nothing but the latter, evolutionary diversification would have generated many simpler "regressions", and we indeed see many of these as parasites, and especially as viruses (mainly of quite uncertain origin). The game isn't over, and some "hard little simple object" like a virulent plague bacterium may still be the ultimate winner. And then one of those bugs will try to outsmart the others with more complex evolutions: hyperparasitism, phagocytosis, social cooperation and colonial defenses..... All of the above need invoke anything beyond contemporary Darwinism. So any system is likely to evolve into a compound of simpler and more complex organisms. If we begin in historic time with primarily the former, we will think there is a trend toward complexity. ------- And another: "... the genetic transmission of acquired traits is not ruled out conceptually and has clear advantages. It is puzzling why Lamarck's hypothesis is empirically false." Well, we're still arguing about that contingency for unicellular organisms. With some contortions and wishful thinking, one might squeeze DNA mechanisms into a mold that sometimes gives the environment some role in modulating the directions of mutational change. ** For multicellulars, there is a BIG conceptual problem getting the learned experience of the soma to communicate with the germ in the DNA language it understands. ** See,,e.g. Aa Jablonka, Eva Ab Lamb, Marion J TI Epigenetic inheritance and evolution: the Lamarckian dimension. PP Oxford: Oxford University Press. DA 1995. Thaler DS. The evolution of genetic intelligence Science. 264(5156):224-5, 1994 Apr 8. +++++++++++++ Reply-to: (J. Lederberg)firstname.lastname@example.org -------- Prof. Joshua Lederberg The Rockefeller University 1230 York Avenue New York, NY 10021-6399 _______________________________________________________________________________ <29:14>From email@example.com Tue Jan 9 03:29:11 1996 From: Kevin Korb <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Re: McGinn on Dennett on Darwin; paradox of complexity? To: email@example.com Date: Tue, 9 Jan 1996 20:28:45 +1100 (EST) Joshua wrote: > The Nov. 24th TLS has an interesting review of "Darwin's Dangerous > Idea". One contention by McGinn: > > "... there really is a puzzle about why organisms display the kind of > complexity we observe." > "Why a trend to complexity?" > "The best survivor of all would be some hard little simple object Perhaps McGinn has not heard of viruses. I should think the "trend" is very much in the eye (?) of the beholder. Kevin _______________________________________________________________________________ <29:15>From GRANSOM@ucrac1.ucr.edu Tue Jan 9 04:03:38 1996 Date: Tue, 9 Jan 1996 2:02:40 -0800 (PST) From: GREG RANSOM <GRANSOM@ucrac1.ucr.edu> To: DARWIN-L@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu Subject: the central explanatory problem in Darwinian biology What seems to get lost in the formal tautologies of mathematical population biology, and in the historical-path charting of paleontology is the problem of the manifest teleology of biological organisms and their parts which Darwin himself identified as his central problem blocking the way to an account of the origin of species by modification and descent. IN order for this account of the origin of species to go through, Darwin had to explain how plants, animals and other organisms have been endowed by nature with manifestly teleological properties. I discuss all this in my working paper "Insuperable Limits to Reduction in Biology" (98 pages) written in the winter of 1991-1992 for Alexander Rosenberg and Larry Wright at the University of California-Riverside. Some of the arguments contained in that paper can now be found in Alexander Rosenberg, _Instrumental Biology or the Disunity of Science_ (1994). Dennett, as a metaphysical atomist/empiricist of the Quinian/holistic camp (see Richard McDonough, "A Culturalist account of folk psychology", in John Greenwood, ed. _The future of Folk Psychology_, Cambridge U. Press, or Richard McDonough, "Towards a Non-Mechanistic Theory of Meaning", in _Mind_, Jan. 1989, vol. xcviii, no. 389, pp. 121) looks for an explanatory problem in the computational formalism of mathematical population biology, as does John Maynard Smith and Richard Dawkins, Gould, as a something of a historical materialist, looks for an explanatory problem in the contingency of the path of history. Darwin, as a practical scientist, and not a scientistic mathematician, or a relativistic historian, looks at the mani- fest teleology of wings and antlers, and sees an explanatory problem for the theory of the origin of species by modification and descent. As Charles Darwin explains, " .. such a conclusion [the origin of species by descent], even if well founded, would be unsatisfactory, until it could be shown how the innumerable species inhabiting this world would have been modified, so as to acquire that perfection of structure and coadapt- ation which justly excites our admiration." (Charles Darwin, _The Origin of Species_, 1964, p. 3) Greg Ransom Dept. of Philosophy UC-Riverside _______________________________________________________________________________ <29:16>From firstname.lastname@example.org Tue Jan 9 21:39:00 1996 Date: Tue, 9 Jan 1996 21:39:39 -0600 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (CZIKO Gary) Subject: No paradox of complexity [from Gary Cziko] Joshua Lederberg wrote: >I don't see any paradox. The universe began at very high >temperature, hence with simpler constituents. As it expanded and >cooled, we then have numerous experiments, with local selective >advantage to some more complex structures, including eventually >intelligent ones. Had we begun with nothing but the latter, >evolutionary diversification would have generated many simpler >"regressions", and we indeed see many of these as parasites, and >especially as viruses (mainly of quite uncertain origin). The game >isn't over, and some "hard little simple object" like a virulent >plague bacterium may still be the ultimate winner. And then one of >those bugs will try to outsmart the others with more complex >evolutions: hyperparasitism, phagocytosis, social cooperation and >colonial defenses..... > >All of the above need invoke anything beyond contemporary Darwinism. > >So any system is likely to evolve into a compound of simpler and more >complex organisms. If we begin in historic time with primarily the >former, we will think there is a trend toward complexity. This, I find, is very well put, except for the sentence: >All of the above need invoke anything beyond contemporary Darwinism. which is in desperate need of a "not" before "invoke," and I assume that it was unintentionally omitted. There is a wonderful diagram and caption on page 86 of Steven Jay Gould's article in the October 1994 _Scientific American_ ("The Evolution of LIfe on Earth", pp. 85-91) which makes the same point graphically. It shows a very positively skewed distribution of life forms (i.e., very long thin tail to the right) with the y-axis "frequency of occurrence" and the x-axis "complexity." At the extreme left there is a "left wall of minimal complexity. The bacteria sit at the mode (highest point) of the distribution on the left side, with man way out right on the skinny tail. The caption reads: "Progress does not rule (and it not even a primary thrust of) the evolutionary process. For reasons of chemistry and physics, life arises next to the "left wall" of its simplest conceivable and preservable complexity. This style of life (bacterial) has remained most common and most successful. A few creatures occasionally move to the right, thus extending the right tail in the distribution of complexity. Many always move to the left, but they are absorbed within space already occupied. Note that the bacterial mode has never changed in position, but just grown higher." Keeping this graph in my mind has given me a much clearer understanding of how evolution works. But, of course, as Joshua Lederberg (should have) said, all of the above need NOT invoke anything beyond contemporary Darwinism. --Gary Cziko _______________________________________________________________________________ <29:17>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Wed Jan 10 14:35:50 1996 Date: Wed, 10 Jan 1996 15:35:24 -0400 (EDT) From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Subject: Tree of life project on the World Wide Web (fwd) To: email@example.com Organization: University of NC at Greensboro This exemplary use of the Web for research in the historical sciences may be of interest to many Darwin-L members. Perhaps the historical linguists among us might be able to set up a similar project for language phylogeny? Bob O'Hara (firstname.lastname@example.org) --begin forwarded message-------------- From: email@example.com (David Maddison) Subject: Tree of Life: grand opening Date: 5 Jan 1996 22:19:29 GMT Organization: University of Arizona The Tree of Life Project is having its grand opening today, 5 January 1996. The project is a collection of WWW pages. Each page contains information about a group of organisms: a phylogeny, introduction, characteristics, discussion of phylogenetic relationships, references, and so on. The pages are linked together (with, for example, the terminal taxon name Green Plants on the Crown Eukaryotes page being a hypertext link to the Green Plants page), so that combined they form a phylogenetic tree of all living organisms. The eventual goal is to have this Tree complete to the species level in many different groups of organisms. This is being accomplished with the help of many collaborators: there are currently over 120 contributors to the project. The pages are distributed over the web, so that different branches of the Tree reside on different computers. Today there are 948 pages in the Tree, on seven different computers on two continents. Both the number of pages, and the completeness of each page, will grow through time. While the project has been online for a little over a year, it has never been formally announced. For this grand opening, numerous contributors produced pages of various groups including vertebrates, frogs, green plants, beetles, jumping spiders, etc. There is now a searchable index of taxon names. And lots more pictures. The URL for the home page of the project is: http://phylogeny.arizona.edu/tree/phylogeny.html David Maddison Wayne Maddison David R. Maddison Department of Entomology University of Arizona Tucson, AZ 85721 firstname.lastname@example.org --end forwarded message---------------- _______________________________________________________________________________ <29:18>From GRANSOM@ucrac1.ucr.edu Wed Jan 10 17:58:24 1996 Date: Wed, 10 Jan 1996 15:57:24 -0800 (PST) From: GREG RANSOM <GRANSOM@ucrac1.ucr.edu> To: DARWIN-L@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu Subject: "Insuperable Limits to Reduction in Biology" (section 10) [warning long] Enough folks has sent me notes expressing interest in my working paper "Insuperable Limits to Reduction in Biology" (98 pages) written for Alexander Rosenberg and Larry Wright as a proposition in the PH.D. program at the Dept. of Philosophy, UC-Riverside, in the winter of 1991-1992, that I thought I might share the section of that paper of most interest to the members of this list. (Rosenberg has managed to detour me away from the dissertation I had planned to write on this topic and into a dissertation on the work of Friedrich Hayek, which some of the members of this may be familiar with in the field of neuroscience and complex phenomena -- Hayek is the co-originator of the Hayek-Hebb synaptic account of learning, memory, and classification, and a critic of Popper's work in the philosophy of biology.) section 10 of "Insuperable Limits to Reduction in Biology", pp. 73-98. 10. REDUCTION FROM A GOD'S EYE POINT OF VIEW Another tack taken by some empiricist's in their attempt to motivate the demand for the 'in principle' reducibility of teleological phenomena in biology is to image the process of natural selection from a position of complete omniscience -- i.e. from a God's eye point of view (compare Rosenberg, 1985; Rosenberg, 1986; Rosenberg, 1989). Here the empiricist's account of teleological reduction to causal explanation typically takes the form of a two step procedure. In the first step the empiricist ident- ifies teleologically patterned phenomena as the sort of phenomean which are explained in terms of their effects. In the second step the empiricist demonstrates how the effects of teleological phenomena can be tied to a set of physically characterized causal antecedents according to the causal laws of physics and chemistry. With the successful completion of this second step, the reduction of teleologically explained biological phenomena to physics and chemistry is viewed as accomplished. The full scope of these two steps is clarified somewhat by two other assumptions which inform the empiricist's reductive criterion for legitimate scientific explanation. First, the empiricist assumes that every instance of a teleologically patterned biological phenomenon is one which can -- in principle -- be identified as the sort of phenomena which finds its explanation in terms of its effects. Second, the empiricist assumes that for every situation in which teleological phenomena have been identified the causal antecedents and the consequence classes of such a pattern can -- in principle -- be given physical characterizations which may be linked by the causal laws of physics and chemistry. Having posted these 'in principle' caveats, the empiricists typically goes on to claim that any biological phenomena which can be given a legitimate teleological explanation can -- in principle -- be given a physical explanation. Yet troubling questions about the epistemic tatus of the empiricist's reductive standard of scientific legitimacy are raised by the manner in which this claim is stated. Why, for example, has the empiricist allowed for the mere 'in principle' reduction of teleological explanation to the causal laws of physics and chemistry? Why, instead, has the empiricist not insisted upon the _in fact_ reduction of all teleological phenomena to nomologically linked physical specifications of their causal antecedents and consequence classes? Why, indeed, doesn't the empiricst propose the actual completion of teleological reduction as his criteria for the scientific legitimacy of teleological explanations in biology? A clear answer to these questions has recently been put forward by Alexander Rosenber (see Rosenberg, 1985, 1989; compare also Kitcher, 1984, and Hayek, 1967). Significancely, it is an answer thought to be fully compatible with traditional empiricist intuitions about the nature of scientific explanation. On Rosenberg's account the empiricist's appeal to mere 'in principle' reduction is a simple concession to the numerical complexity of biological phenomena and to the computational limitations of the human brain. For Rosenberg an empiricist's appeal to 'in principle' reduction rather than to _in fact_ reductin as the standard of scientific legitimacy in biology simply takes into consideration the manifest truth that while the computational capacities of the human brain are finite, the descriptive complexities of biological phenomena are -- for all practical purposes -- numerically infinite. Let me ber very clear about the precise force of Rosenberg's appeal to the cognitive limitations of the human brain and to the complexities of biological phenomena. ON the human side of the equation, Rosenberg argues that the cognitive limitations which are placed upon biological reduction can be accounted for as a simple product of the finite storage capacities and the limited computational powers of the human brain (Rosenberg, 1989). It is important to notice here that Rosenberg's account of the human cognitive limitations which restrict biological reductin does not appeal to the nature of human perceptual capacities and recognitional skiils (as was done earlier in this paper). Neither does his appeal to any inherent limitation which the physical make-up of the world and of our own sensory apporatus might place upon our perceptual access to the patters which constitute the initional conditions and consequence classes which figure in scientific explanations (as was done earlier in this paper). In a similar vein, Rosenberg's notion of complexity in biology does not reflect the sort of mathematical, phenomenological or conceptual complexity which is today described by those studying the mathematical patterns of non- linear phenomena (compare Hayek, 1967, Campbell, 1984, Prigogine, 1985). Rather, the notion of complexity which Rosenberg proposes as a restriction upon teleological reductin is a notion which simply reflects the immensely large number of different physical descriptions which would be required to complete the reduction of each and every teleological explanation to causal variables (see Rosenberg, 1985, p. 61 and p. 118; and compare Rosenberg, 1989, p. 254 and p. 262). Rosenberg, however, does provide a rather elegant argument which explains just why biological phenomena should exhibit the sort of numericallly rich descriptive complexity which -- for purely practical reasons -- prevents the complexion of teleological reduction in biology. Rosenberg's argument appeals to the fact that natural selection explains the persistence of particular biological structures by reference to a limited class of the effects of such structures. Let me turn, then, to Rosenberg's explanation for the fact that biological phenomana are characterized by the sort of complexity which is naturally susceptible to teleological explanation. Although nearly all writers on teleology have acknowledge the practical usefulness of teleological language to characterize the kind of phenomena found in the biological world, few physicalist have attempted to account for the natural applicability of this sort of expression within the biological sciences. Among those who have, the majority have appealed to the fact that biological phenomena are naturally characterized by the display of what is almost universally recognized as a plasticity and persistence in their behavior (compare Nagel, 1977, p. 272). Empiricists have widely interpreted this plasticity and persistence as an indication that biological phenomena whare formed out of a diversity of different physical structures and multiplicity of alter- native causal pathways all of which are capable of producing or maintaingn the very same state or effect. (compare Nagel, 1977, p. 272). While many empiricist have felt satisfied merely with a causal inter- pration of the readily apparent phenomenal features of biological phen- omena, other empiricists have sought to account for the very existence of phenomena which are marked by such qualities. The concern here is to explain the origin and persistence of phenomena marked by the behavioral features of plasticity and persistence while avoiding the sort of conceptual novelties which would take the physicalist outside the domain of purely causal principles (compare Wright, 1968, p. 221). Among the empiricist's who have attempted to provide such an explanation, Alexander Rosenberg's selective account is by far the most comprehensive (see Rosenberg, 1985, 1989). Although Rosenberg's explicit concern is to provide a purely causal explanation for the numerical complexity of biological phenomena which makes the strict reductin of teleological phenomena to causal laws practically impossible, in the course of his account Rosenberg inadvertently provides us with a causal explanation for the origin and persistence of biological phenomena which naturally display the characteristics of teleological phenomena. Rosenberg's unstated premise is that the mechanism of natural selection provides us with a purely causal explanation for the origin and persist- ence of phenomena which we naturally identify as teleological in character. On this account, a multitude of diverse physical structures and alternative causal pathways all jointely share the sort of selectively significant common effects which lead to the further replication and persistence of these smae structures and pathways. IN fact, these structures and path- ways are just the sort of phenomena which we invariably characterize as teleological phenomena. As Rosenberg puts it, "Natural selection 'chooses' variants by some of their effects, those we identify as their functions." (Rosenberg, 1989, p. 248) Rosenberg implicitly suggest that teleological characterizatins are naturally applicable to the sort of phenomena which are selected for their common effects just when those common effects are produced by a multitute of different physical structures and causal pathways. On this view, it is the operation of a process which selections for diverse structures with common effects which produces phenomena which can (and are) explained in terms of their effects. It is crucial here to distinquish between phenomena which are defined in terms of their effects and phenomean which are explained in terms of their effect. For example, in the great majority of cases we do not identify the multiple causes of a single effect as teleological phenomena, nor, in the great majority of cases, do we identify the replication of the very same of identical physical structures or causal processes as teleological phenomena. Thus we don't identify the common effect of acetic acid and hydrochloric acid on litmus paper as teleological pheno- mena, although we do define these chemicals as acids on account of their comon effect (compare Hull, 1982, p. 302). In a similar fashion, we do not identify the replication and persistence of the crystalline structure of a carbon diamond as teleological phenomena and nor do we identify the replication and persistence of a nuclear reaction as teleological phenomena. Although the patterns of a nuclear reaction or of a carbon crystal persist through replication, these processes do not cout as teleological phenomena because their causaes and effects involve entities and process which are structurally and causally identical. In effect, Rosenberg implicitly suggests that we are dealing with teleological phenomena when we are dealing with a diversity of different physcial structures and causal pathways which consistently produce the sort of common effects which cause these various structures and pathways to persist through replication. As Rosenberg puts it, "A given physical system may have idefinitely many effects on its environment. ONly a subest of these are actually identified functins -- i.e. selected for by the systems' environment." (Rosenberg, 1989, p. 251) Rosenberg's strategy is to account not only for the natural applicability of teleological characterizations but also for the numerical complexity of biological phenomena by showing how functional language is used to identify a great diversity of structures and causal pathways all of which produce the same selective effects. We need to take a somewhat closer look at this argument. Rosenberg likens Darwinian evolution to a race in which duplicate prizes are awarded for first place in the 'race' to be selected. The contestants in this race are diverse physical structures and multiple causal pathways. The duplicate 'prize' which is awarded to these structures and pathways is the opportunity to persist through replication. Significantly, the criteria for winning this race is set by external causal forces which deman a specific common effect before the prize of replication is conferred. Rosenberg's larger argument can be stated as the claim that the numerical complexity of teleolgical phenomena and the natural applica- bility of teleological language is the straightforward product of a causal process through which a variety of different physical structures and alternative causal pathways replicate and persist as a result of satisfying the same winning criterion. Of course, this criterion is to be understood as a strictly causal criterion which consists in the replication and persistence of these diverse structures and pathways. Significanctly, however, Rosenberg allows that a polulation of physically distinct structures and alternative causal pathways need not produce strictly _identical_ common effects in order to be awarded a prize in the race for replication and persistence. Rather, it is sufficient for the pruposes of replication for a structure of pathway to finish a close second or third in the race of natural seleciton (see Rosenberg, 1989, p. 252). Rosenberg explains that this anomalous effect is the direct relust of the fact tht non-selective accidents allow for the replication and perisistence of diverse structures and pathways which produce less than optimally adaptive effects -- producing what evolutinary biologists call genetic drift. It seems, then, as if Rosenberg has given us not just one, but actually two different accounts of teleological phenomena. On the first account, a function or goal-directed behavior can be identified as one of a diverse collection of different physical structures or causal pathways all of which are capable of producing causally _identical_ effects of the sort which will allow for the persistent representation of these structures and processes in a population (see Rosenberg, 1989, pp. 248- 249). ON the second account, a function or goal-directed behavior can be identified as ne of a diverse collection of different physical structures or causal pathways all of which are merely _similar_ rather than strictly identical in their effects, although all of which contribute to the replication and persistence of these very same structures (or at least resempling structures) in the members of a particular species (see Rosenberg, 1989, p. 252). Under the first description, teleological phenomena can be characterized as structurally or causally diverse phenomena with some precisely equivalent effects. On this account, teleological phenomena form disjuctive classes of multiple causal pathways and physically distinct structures which produce strictly identical effects. Although these are disjunctive classes, the disjuncts of such classes will be finite and well-defined due to the strict identify of some of their causal effects. Rosenberg refers to such classes as 'relatively restricted functions' and gives as a particular example the relatively restricted function 'codes for valine' which is satisfied by exactly three structurally distinct DNA sequences. Significancely, because the criteria for membership within the finite disjunctive class of a relatively restricted function is found in the precisely identical effects of diverse structures and pathways, the members of such a class may be independently identified or causally difined outside of the actual historical course of the evolutionary process. On the second account, Rosenberg broadens the criteria used to identify a fucntion or a goal-directed behavior, extending it to include structures and pathways which are only merely _similar_ rather than strictly identical in their effects (see Rosenberg, 1989, pp. 252-253, especially where he says, "the systems are merely quite similar in respect of fulfilling _one_ function." [underlining added].). Although Rosenberg fails to indicate just what it is about the diverse effects of these structures and pathways which make them all in some sense similar, let me suggest that _this similarity need consist in nothing more than the common effect these structures and pathways have in producing the same level of replication and persistence of entities sharing the same historical origins and which constitute parts of an evolving historical individual (on evolving historical individuals see Hull, 1989, pp. 126-127). I will refer to members of such a class as 'relatively unruly functions' and give as an example the relatively unruly function "protects members of the species X from birds, or snakes, or the wind, or the sun, or will protect them from something else which is as yet unknown" which has been satisfied by the physical structures and or causal pathways A, B, C, D, or will be satisfied by some other structure or pathway as yet unknown. Like the members of the 'relatively restricted function', the members of a 'relatively unruly function' will constitute a disjunctive class. But unlike the membership class of a 'relatively restricted function' the membership class of a 'relatively unruly function' is not closed by any causal criterion and therefore is neither well-defined nor denumberbly finite. This conclusion is a direct result of the phenomena of evolutionary drift which allows for the possibility of non-selective accidents in the course of evolution. Significantly, then, because the criteria for membership within a relatively unruly function is only found in the actual courseof evolution, the members of such a class cannot be independently identified or defined outside of the actual historical course of the evolutionary process. Rather, the membership of such a class can only be discovered through the inspection of the atual actual outcome of the unfolding course of evolution (compare Stone, 1989, pp. 126-127, on non-linear mathematics and non-linear phenomena). As we have seen, Rosenberg wishes to show that the empiricist appeal to 'in principle' reduction is merely a practical concession to the numerical complexity which characterizes teleological phenomena. His strategy has been to show how this numerical complexity has been the direct result of the process of natural selection. Rosenberg's claim is that Darwinian evolution generates a diversity of different physical structures and causal pathways which are capable of producing the kind of common effects which contribute to the replication and persistence of these structures and pathways. Rosenberg implicitly suggests that we identify these diverse structures and pathways as teleological phenomena just becasue they produce the kinds of effects which make it possible to explain these structures and pathways in terms of those effects. On Rosenberg's account, then, the teleological phenomena we readily identify in the biological world cannot -- in principle -- be reduced reduced to a finite list of divergent structural and causal disjunctions as a simple result of the fact that natural selection generates so many different ways to produce the same selectively significant effects that men with finite brains are incapable of calculating and enumerating all of the different relevant structures and causal pathways. It should be obvious that Rosenberg's argument depends only upon the existence of 'relatively restricted functions' and could be made without reference to the class of 'relatively unruly functions'. In fact, Rosenberg can frequently be read as presentinf the argument in just this form (see, for example, Rosenberg, 1989, p. 252, where he says, "Natural selectin thus makes functional _equivalence_-cum structural diversity the rule and not the exception .. This difference, resulting from the operation of selection for effects, explains why reduction goes smoothly in the physical sciences, but apparently not at all, in biology," [underlining added].). Indeed, the plausibility of Rosenberg's claim that teleological explanations are _in principle_ reducible to the causal laws of physics and chemistry largely relies upon the purely causal identity conditions which are built into the category of 'relatively restricted functions' which are defined by the fact that such functions produce causally identical effects. By constrast, the category of 'relatively unruly functions' includes a collection of structures and causal pathways non of which need produce identical effects, but which instead merely produce effects which are in some sense 'similar'. The challenge for Rosenberg and other empiricist is to show how the class of 'relatively unruly functions' can _in principle_ be reduced to the structures and causal pathways of physics and chemistry by showing us how the similarity relation which binds the members of any particular 'relatively unruley function' can be causally specified or defined. The criteria for a successful demonstration that this relation the classes it defines can _in principle_ be reduced to the causal laws of physics and chemistry is of course the standard empiricist desiderata which demands that any scientifically reputable class or relation must represent properties or magnitudes which co-vary in a predictably linear fashion, such as in the relation of constant conjunction. That is, the physicalist must _in priciple_ be able to define _in advance_ the classe of 'relatively unruly functions' by "distinguishing exactly what is owing to _chance_ and what proceeds form _causes_" (Hume, 1985, p. 111). And again, the physicalist must _in principle_ be able to make such a distinction _in advance_ of the appearance of the phenomena to be eplianed. Let me now suggest why the physicalist will be unable to meet this challenge. My arguent cam be illustrated through a paralle example from the domain of immunological theory. The immune system is a selective system wich produces hundreds of millions of antibodies each with its own unique bonding surface which aderes to a different range of invading antigen to a greater or lesser degree. After adhering to an antigen, the cell bearing a particular antibody responds by replicating additional cells displaying more of the same antibody. In fact, however, we don't knowl the particular funcitn of any given antibody until we identify a particular antigen to which a cell bearing that antibody has a response (compare Edeoman, 1982, p. 32). As Gerald Edelman explains, ".. hosts of antibodies exist that do not 'know' what they are for, like characters in a Pirandello play. When a selective even occurs, however, they do 'know' what thye are for -- In an immune system a posteriorie, an antibody stands for a particular foreign molecule. But a priori this is not the case; when one looks at an antibody in the immune system, one does not know what it is for..." (Edelman, 1985, pp. 34-35). The a posteriori nature of functional attribution in immunology is particularly evident in the case of antibodies which bond to no curerntly known substance. In effect, these antibodies have no currently known funciton. Consider, however, an antibody of this sort which acts at some future date to remove an as yet unknown and therefore undeveloped hepten (i.e. man-made antigen which does not exist naturally in the environment) from the body. The possibility of the existence of such a substance is demanded by the assumption that there is such a thing as the growht of human knowledge (compare Popper, 1957, p. vii). As Karl Popper explains, "We cannot predict, by rational or scientific methods, the future growth of oru scientific knowledge .. this refutes the possibility of predicting historical developments to the extent to which they may be influenced by the growth of our knowledge." (Popper, 1957, p. vii) It follwos, then, that an antibody of this sort will acquire a purpose at some future date which no current scientsit could predict in advance. [cut off at page 90] Greg Ransom Dept. of Philosophy UC-Riverside email@example.com _______________________________________________________________________________ <29:19>From GRANSOM@ucrac1.ucr.edu Thu Jan 11 10:37:39 1996 Date: Thu, 11 Jan 1996 8:36:40 -0800 (PST) From: GREG RANSOM <GRANSOM@ucrac1.ucr.edu> To: DARWIN-L@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu Subject: Insuperable Limits to Reduction in Biology (section 9) I fear my last post was too abstract and too long. Here is a much more accessable and shorter alternative argument against the possibility of 'in principle' reduction in biology. It comes for section 9 of my 1992 working paper "Insuperable Limits to Reduction in Biology" written for Alexander Rosenberg and Larry Wright in the Phil. Dept. of the U. of California -- Riverside. [warning long] section 9 of "Insuperble Limits to Reduction in Biology", pp. 62-73. 9. TELEOLOGICAL REDUCTION BLOCKED My suggestion is that teleological catergories based on manifestly useful effects are what biologists call adaptations and that the continued action of the demands of natural selection are what biologists call the process of adaptation. The problem created by this conceptual division, as Richard Lewontin explains, ".. is how species can be at all times both adapting and adapted." (Lewontin, 1984, p. 238; compare Darwin, 1964, p. 95). The central paradox of evolutionary biology is that the theory of natural selection explains the manifestly perceptible biological features of an organism -- i.e. its gross teleological characteristics -- by positing the indiscernible action of a process which acts gradully upon imperceptibly small biological differences -- i.e. Darwin's 'slight variations' -- which influence long-term organism reproduction and survival rates. (Compare Darwin, 1964, pp. 3-4, pp. 33-35, p. 85, p. 91, p. 95, p. 460, p. 471; see also Maynard Smith, 1989, p. 4, and p. 37-38; Williams, 1966, p. 100.) My argument is that the explanatory gulf which exists between the manifestly teleological properiest of organisims and the underlying process of natural selection accounts for why evolutionary biologists use the notion of selective competition and speak of the relative adaptedness of teleological features -- i.e. of the relative advantage of competeing phenotypes which are recognized as serving the same purpose (compare Darwin, 1964, pp. 6-63, p. 433; Brandon, 1981, pp. 97-98; Sober, 1984, p. 42). Charles Darwin, for example, speaks of the _relative_ selective advantage enjoyed by larger antlers, thicker fir, the swiftest wolves, the largest glands, the most nectar, the swifter horses (artifical selection), and shorter or longer beaks (artificial selection). (see Darwin, 1964, pp. 90-92). My claim is that we use the notion of competition when we do not know in advance the facts that determine the actions of competitors (compare Hayek, 1978, p. 179). Let me suggest also that a direct consequence of the evolutionary biologists' need for the use of the notion of competition is that a specific hypothesis of relative adaptiveness often cannot be tested empirically (compare Hayek, 1978, p. 180; Rosenberg, 1985, pp. 166-172; Rosenberg, 1986, p. 198) What I will call the paradox of adaptation is manifested in especially illuminating terms by the conceptual and observational gulf which stants between the categorical clarity of Mendelian based population genetics and the infinitesimally small physical gradations which characterize most phenotypic differences -- a problem which is only compounded by the problematic many-many relationship which exists between genotype and phenotype (compare Lewontin, 1974; Hull, 1974, pp. 16-17; Kitcher, 1984; Rosenberg, 1985). As Lewontin explains, "In contradition to the discretness of genotypic classes demanded by Mendelian analysis lies the quasi-continuous nature of the phenotypic differences that are the stuff of evolutionary changes." (Lewontin, 1974, p. 21) The problem of phenotypic gradation is found throughout the paleontological record. As G. G. Simpson explains, speaking of a particular phenotypic difference in tooth character within the species which later became equine horses, "In these cases, and generally in similar paleontological data, the phenotypics expressins or mutations do not, even aside from the fact that they are smaller, have the clear-cut nature of such mutations as 'forked' in _Drosophila_ or 'sinistral' in _Partula_. Even when such characters first appear, frequently they cannot be classed as 'wholly present' and 'wholly absent', but already show variation both in size and in extent; for instance, in the number and location of the teeth that show them." (Simpson, 1944, pp. 60-61) My claim is that the epistemic conditions which lead to the paradox of adaptation provide gross and insuperable barriers to reduction in biology. The central difficulty is that the successful reduction of teleological features to physics and chemistry requires of the evolution- ary biologist that he solve in the most minute physical and chemical detail what Alexander Rosenberg has described as, "the problem of rightly distinguishing functions from other beneficial and incidental effects of an item." (Rosenberg, 1980, p. 75) The problem here, as George Williams explains, is that we lack the kind of explicit criteria which would allow us to precisely distinguish adaptations from either fortuitous or merely incidental effects (see Willians, 1966, p. 8 and p. 15). In order to acquire these criteria, however, we would need to be in an epistemic position sufficient to precisely state, as Richard Lewontin explains, "what are the physical schemata to which organisms are adapting and adapted." (Lewontin, 1984, p. 247) Yet it is just htese physical descriptions which are irredeemably beyond our ability to acquire in the needed detail due to our inability to adequately identify the appropriate dimensions of the environmental constraints which are shaping evolution through natural selection. This result is a consequence of the fact that we have no independent means of ascertaining the precise selecive dimensions fo the environment which rivals the evidence seen in the direct effects of the environment upon a biological population itself. In other words, because the features of organisms provide the best evidence of the dimensions of their own niches, we have no independent means of specifying the selective forces at work in the environment. As Richard Lewontin explains, "There is no way to use adaptation as the central principle of evolution without recourse to a predetermination of the states of nature to which this adaptation occurs, yet there seems no way to choose these states of nature, except by reference to already existing organisms." (Lewontin, 1984, p. 240) The demand for reference to the attributes of alreacy existing organisms presents an insuperable barrier to the completed characterization of the physical states of a selective environment. As Rosenberg explains, "Exactly how large the dimensionality of an evolutionary environment is we cannot tell, because we know too little about the structe and behavior of organisms, and about how external forces affect them." (Rosenberg, 1983, p. 459). This sort of difficulty is particularly acute in the field of animal behavior, where experimental conditions in the laboratory often diverge radically from the selective envirnment which confornts the wild organism. Indeed, Lewi Petronovich, citing the work of Egon Brunswik, argues that, "systematic desing [in behavioral psychology] almost inevitably involves the use of atypical backgrounds for the behaviors in questions and embeds the behaviors in atypical contexts." (Petrinovich, 1979, p. 374) Petrinovich's conclusion is that, "If we are interested in explaining how organisms behave in their environment .. we will have to study the environment as carefully as we do the organism." (Petrinovich, 1979, p. 378) It is easy tp see how this requirement would represent an insuperable barrier to the fully completed physical or chemical characterization of either organisms or environments due to the reciprocal effects which each of these have upon the other. As Lewontion explains, "The activity of all living forms transforms the external world in ways that both promote and inhibit the organism's life -- In this way the environment is a product of the organism, just as the organism is a product of the environment." (Lewontin, 1984, p. 238) My claim, then, is that if neither organism nor environment can be fully characterized independently of one another, then the dynamical relationship which exists between organism and environoment will constitute an insuperable barrier to teleo- logical reduction. Recall that an empiricist in the Humean tradition insits that for any legitimate teleological ascription in biology a specific physical or chemical reduction to 'causal laws' must _in principle_ be available to any scientist who manages to possess enough storage and computational capacity. For example, Ernest Nagel contends, ".. every statement about the subject matter of a teleologcial explanation can in principle be rendered in nonteleological language.." (Nagel, 1962, p. 421). IN slightly different terms, Nagel alternatively insists that, ".. every teleological explanation is translatable into an equivalent nonteleological one." (Nagel, 1962, p. 421). As was suggested earlier in this paper, for the Humean empiricist this meand that it must be possible -- at least in theory, ie. in principle -- to reduce all of the teleological explanations in biology to the terms of some lower-level disjunctin of universal laws and physically characterized and nomologically defined items -- and as Kincaid has suggested this demand, ".. minimally requires that someone or some group of people with sufficient computational ability could provide the relevant disjunct." (Kincaid, 1988, p. 273) I will now use the example of Ernest Nagel's work on 'directively organized systems' as a meansa for showing just why it is that our inablity to provide a completed characterization of the adaptive environment constitutes an absolute barrier to teleological reduction in biology. The idea of a directly organized system is the idea of a system which consists of several mutually independent component sub-systems each of which are linked together by a series of causal laws which serve to maintain the overall system at some particular goal state (compare Nagel, 1962; see also Nagel, 1977; Rosenberg, 1985). The difficulty for Nagel is to provide independent grounds and objective criteria for specifying any particular state as the actual goal state of the system. As David Hull explains, "Nagel's definition of teleological systems in terms of negative feedback depends on a prior knowledge of what counts as a goal-state." (Hull, 1974, p. 109) The problem here, of course, is that the only rationale beyond our own gross and very immediate teleological perceptions for positing the existence of a specific goal-state for a biological system consists in the adaptive effects which the attainment and maintenance of such a state would ahve upon a biological organism. As suggested earlier in this paper, however, the only way in which the precise adaptive effects of any biological items can be ascertained is through an adequate physical characterizatioon of the adaptive environment. The central problem for the reductionist, as Richard Lewontin explains, is that, ".. the external world can be divided up in a non-countable infinity of ways so that there is a non-countable infinity of conceivable ecological niches." (Lewontin, 1984, p. 237) But as we have already seen, because of the dynamically reciprocal relationship which exists between the characterization of organism and environment, a completed physical characterizatin of an adaptive ecological niche is not possible. Without a completed physical characterization of the adaptive environment there can be no precise specification of the goal state of a system, and without a precise specification of the goal state of the system there can be no completely reduction of a bit of teleological phenomena to a specific disjunct of causal laws and physical descriptions. Consider, for example, the case of human thermal regulation. We might image that the process of regulating somatic relationships in the body and the process of regulating fat cell production are independent sub-systems which help to maintain a specific range of internal bodily temperatures wich is the goal state of the directively organized system of thermal regulation. The crucial questin for the reducitonist is this: how are we to determine what the precise goal stae of this system is? My answer is that outside of the theory of natural selection we have no means for identifying such a norm other than our innate human ability to perceive teleological phenomena directly. And yet, as I have already shown earlier in this paper, within the theory of natural selection the precise specificatin of such a goal state is impossible. We can see this through the example provided by Nagel of the goal state for human thermal regulation. Nagel suggests that we characterize the goal state of human thermal regulation in terms of the internal termperature required to prevent a human bieng from sustaining fatal bodily injury. As Nagel puts it, "Thus, the internal temperatue of the body must remain fairly constatn if it is not to be fatally injured. In point of fact, the temperature of the normal human bieng varies dureing the day only from about 97.3 F to 99.1 F, and cannot fall much below 74 F or rise much above 110 F without permanent injury to the body." Nagel, 1962, p. 409) Surely, however, for the purposes of natural selection the goal state of internal thermal regulation would be useless if it did not also provide an animal with the ability to reproduce -- yet we can image a particular organism which manages to maintain a bodily temperature which allows it to remain alive but without the ability to reproduce. Despite their inability to establish physically precise specifications of the goal state for any particular system, biologists are still won to speak of the 'given' needs of organisms and of the 'agreed upon' functins of particular biologial features (compare Rosenberg, 1980, p. 61). The intersubjective perception of goal targets among evolutionary biologists is particularly true in the case of animal behavior. As Larry WRight explains, "In a large number of cases the goal-directedness of a bit of behavior is obvious on its face. Many of our teleological judgments are as reliable and intersubjective as the run of normal perceptual judgments. Occassinally there simply is no questions about it: the rabbit is fleeing, the cat stalking, the squirrel building a nest." (Wright, 1972, p. 206) Wright goes on to suggest that, ".. we should view with suspicion any analysis which contends that goal-directedness consists in a relationship among parameters of which we are quite usually ignorant in the context of these reliable judgments." (Wright, 1972, p. 206) In fact, Nagel himslef admits that his account of directively organized systems, ".. deals only with what is assumed to be the common distinctive structure of teleological systems .." (nagel, 1962, p. 418) In other words, Nagel's own examples are not meant to be understood as completed reduction of any particular teleogical system -- but are meant instead as a blue-print for the logical structure of completed teleological reductions as they are effected by practicing biologists. As Nagel explains, "This must suffice as an outline of the abstract structure of goal-directed or teleological systems. The account given deliberately leaves undiscussed the detailed mechanisms involved in the operation of particular teleological systems; and it simply assumes that all such systems can in principle be analysed into parts wich are causally relevant to the maintainance of some feature in those systems, and which stand to each other and to environmental factors in deternate relations capable of being formulated as general laws." (Nagel, 1962, p. 418) Yet as I have shown above, such an assumption is mistaken due to certain features inherent in the structure of biological explanation. Greg Ransom Dept. of Philosophy UC-Riverside firstname.lastname@example.org _______________________________________________________________________________ <29:20>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Fri Jan 12 00:52:23 1996 Date: Fri, 12 Jan 1996 01:51:54 -0400 (EDT) From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Subject: January 12 -- Today in the Historical Sciences To: email@example.com Organization: University of NC at Greensboro JANUARY 12 -- TODAY IN THE HISTORICAL SCIENCES 1778: WILLIAM HERBERT is born at Highclere, Hampshire, England. A junior member of an aristocratic family, Herbert will study at Eton and Oxford, and then take a seat in the House of Commons. Leaving politics for the ministry in 1814, Herbert will move to the parish of Spofforth in Yorkshire, where he will remain for the rest of his life. An interest in botany will lead Herbert to become a skilled horticulturalist, and his extensive studies of plant hybrids will form the basis of part of Darwin's discussion of hybridism and sterility in the _Origin of Species_ (1859). 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or connect to the Darwin-L Web Server (http://rjohara.uncg.edu) for more information. _______________________________________________________________________________ <29:21>From email@example.com Fri Jan 12 09:15:48 1996 Date: Fri, 12 Jan 1996 07:15:21 -0800 (PST) From: Stephen Straker <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com Subject: Re: Tense The small discussion about "Today in the ..." reminded me of -- here's a blast from the late Mesozoic! -- Walter Cronkite's CBS TV show in the 1950s, "YOU ARE THERE". Uncle Walter interviewed Julius C. BEFORE he crossed the Rubicon, Uncle Abe on his way to the theatre, JW Booth sitting and brooding in a saloon, etc. (I'm probably making some of this up, but you get the idea.) It also brought up a problem I -- though not a literary person (see below) -- have also felt fussy about: how properly to write about past belief? Suppose you're writing in the past tense: Do you say "Copernicus believed that the earth was a planet" or do you say "Copernicus believed that the earth is a planet"??? The first is common (and false -- what is the earth doing in 1542?); the second is usually not preferred (yet true). If you didn't already KNOW the subject, you'd get the wrong impression from the first. Consider: "Herbert believed that the indigenous people actually spoke pure Hittite." Just what is it that he believed? Sometimes it matters: "Luther believed that man was born in sin." "Luther believed that man is born in sin." If you didn't know the subject, you could take the first to mean that Luther believed that once "men" were born in sin but by his day something had happened and they no longer are. I encounter this sort of thing all the time: a past belief is presented as itself about the past, whereas in the past the belief is present in both senses: present to the past believer AND for the past believer something that is always true. Consequently it always sounds wrong to me when someone writes: "Darwin held that species evolved by natural selection." What do you think? pedantically yours, Stephen Straker firstname.lastname@example.org Arts One // History (604) 822-6863 University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada V6T 1Z1 _______________________________________________________________________________ <29:22>From email@example.com Fri Jan 12 16:02:55 1996 To: Stephen Straker <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com Subject: Re: Tense -- in autobiography Date: Fri, 12 Jan 1996 17:07:37 EST From: Joshua Lederberg <firstname.lastname@example.org> Can you folks help me out with a related problem in narrative expression, in autobiography? How to locate and datestamp the voice --of the author as a present narrator, and as a subject whose past actions and beliefs are being described and criticized. To say, e.g. "I thought X" -- which "I" is that? Have past writers dealt with this explicitly, either in comment on their own autobiography, or on the genre? Reply-to: (J. Lederberg)email@example.com -------- Prof. Joshua Lederberg The Rockefeller University 1230 York Avenue New York, NY 10021-6399 _______________________________________________________________________________ <29:23>From GRANSOM@ucrac1.ucr.edu Sat Jan 13 08:02:52 1996 Date: Sat, 13 Jan 1996 6:01:53 -0800 (PST) From: GREG RANSOM <GRANSOM@ucrac1.ucr.edu> To: DARWIN-L@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu Subject: Insuperable Limits to Reduction in Biology (intoduction) For those interested, here is the first page or two of my introduction to my working paper "Insuperable Limits to Reduction in Biology" (98 pages) written for Alexander Rosenberg and Larry Wright in the winter of 1991-1992. It provides a needed context for my argument against the in principle possibility of complete reduction to physical categories and laws in biology. from "Insuperable Limits to Reduction in Biology" INTRODUCTION One of the central claims of my paper is that within the complex sciences (like evolutionary biology) we must be satisfied with the prediction and explanation of the abstract characteristics of a general pattern of events -- and we can never hope for anything more precise than a multiply-realized and often open-ended or incomplete how-possible causal explanation of a particular event appropriately identified as falling within a complex science (compare Hayek, 1967, Prigogine, 1985, Kincaid, 1988, Stone, 1989, Kincaid, 1990, Brandon, 1990). My conclusion is that the model oof science which looks to the subsumption of particulars under causal laws as the mark of scientific truth and metaphysical reality is inadequate for those sciences which rely upon the direct perception of pattens which defy adequate or exhaustive description in purely causal terms. There is, however, a presumptive philosophical position which asserts that teleological explanations and ascriptions in the biological sciences are scientifically legitimate only because as a matter of principle thse explanations may be reduced to a completed set of causal explanations by scientists who possess sufficiently expansive cognitive resources (compare Rosenberg, 1982, Rosenberg, 1989). It is my aim in this paper to establish that no such reductions are in principle possible in the biological science due at one to innate characteristics of our human perceptual faculties and due concurrently to certain features which are intrinsic to the structure of biological explanation. In spite of these insuperable limitations to causal reduction in the biological sciences, I wish to defend the legitimacy of teleological explanations in biology against those who would give priviledged statu to causal explanation in the physical sciences. Toward this end, I intend to identify and account for the explanatory power of teleological ascriptions by characterizing scientific explanation itself as a process of pattern modeling. I plan, what is more, to argue for the independent and secure status of teleological explanations in biology by pointing to the well-established reliability and overwhelming intersubjectivity of our teleological perceptions which I claim suffers nothing in comparison to the reliability and intersubjectivitiy of our perceptions of constant conjunction. In this paper I also propose an original characterization of the structure of teleological phenomena and suggest a somewhat novel account of our relation as human being to such phenomena. My account of teleological phenomena will unfold through the course of the middle section of the paper. There are, of course, a number of important desiderata by which to judge the philosophical adequacy of any proposed construal of our linguistic and scientific practices with respect to teleological phenomena. For my own money, I beleive that an adequate construal of teleological explanation and ascription should be able to both characterize and account for each of the following: 1) our ability to directly comprehend and perceive teleological phenomena without need for higher intellectual reflection; 2) erroneous teleological ascriptions; 3) the analogy between human purposes, artifacts and biological adaptations; and 4) metaphysical worries about the subjective or chimerical status of teleological ascriptions. In the following pages I attempt to show how my account of teleology can successfully address these difficult concerns without conceding to the 'in principle' reducibility or normatively mandated eliminatibility of teleological ascriptions and explanations to a set of nomologically defined physical states and a set of physical laws from physics and chemistry. -------------- Some references: Larry Wright, _Teleological Explanation_. Friedrich Hayek, "Degrees of Explanation", in Hayek, 1967. Friedrich Hayek, "The Theory of Complex Phenomena", in Hayek, 1967. Friedrich Hayek, "Rules, Perception, and Intelligibility", in Hayek, 1967. Friedrich Hayek, _Studies in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics_, 1967. Friedrich Hayek, _The Sensory Order_, 1952. (Hayek-Hebb learning rule) Alexander Rosenberg, _The Structure of Biological Science_, 1985. Greg Ransom Dept. of Philosophy UC-Riverside firstname.lastname@example.org _______________________________________________________________________________ <29:24>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Tue Jan 16 00:31:26 1996 Date: Tue, 16 Jan 1996 01:30:56 -0400 (EDT) From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Subject: January 16 -- Today in the Historical Sciences To: email@example.com Organization: University of NC at Greensboro JANUARY 16 -- TODAY IN THE HISTORICAL SCIENCES 1894: ALEKSANDER FEDOROVICH MIDDENDORF dies at Khellenurme, Estonia. Middendorf received his medical degree from Dorpat University in 1837, and continued his studies of natural history in Germany and Austria. During 1839 he travelled with von Baer to the Kola Peninsula, and in 1843 and 1844 he explored Siberia under the auspices of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences, a trip that led to the founding of the Russian Geographical Society. In the report on his Siberian expedition, _Reise in den aussersten Norden und Osten Sibiriens wahrend der Jahre 1843 und 1844_ (St. Petersburg, 1848-1875), Middendorf made a number of important observations on the nature of species and on biogeographical patterns in the polar region. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or connect to the Darwin-L Web Server (http://rjohara.uncg.edu) for more information. _______________________________________________________________________________ Darwin-L Message Log 29: 1-24 -- January 1996 End
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