Darwin-L Message Log 32: 1–25 — April 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 April 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 32: 1-25 -- APRIL 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 the public messages posted to Darwin-L during April 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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 email@example.com, or connect to the Darwin-L Web Server. Darwin-L is administered by Robert J. O'Hara (firstname.lastname@example.org), 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. _______________________________________________________________________________ <32:1>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Mon Apr 1 21:54:53 1996 Date: Mon, 01 Apr 1996 22:54:23 -0500 (EST) From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Subject: List owner's monthly greeting To: email@example.com Organization: University of NC at Greensboro Greetings to all Darwin-L subscribers. On the first of every month I send out a short note on the status of our group, along with a reminder of basic commands. For additional information about the group please visit the Darwin-L Web Server (http://rjohara.uncg.edu). Darwin-L seems to be experiencing some technical difficulties at the moment with the listserv software. I am investigating the problem and hope to have it straightened out shortly. It is possible that some people may receive two copies of this message; if so, I apologize. 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", including evolution, historical linguistics, archeology, geology, cosmology, historical geography, textual transmission, and history proper. Darwin-L currently has more than 700 members from over 35 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org), 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 (email@example.com) Senior Tutor, Cornelia Strong College The University of North Carolina at Greensboro Greensboro, North Carolina 27412 U.S.A. _______________________________________________________________________________ <32:2>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Tue Apr 2 04:50:09 1996 Date: Tue, 02 Apr 1996 01:13:18 -0500 (EST) From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Subject: April 2 -- Today in the Historical Sciences To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: University of NC at Greensboro APRIL 2 -- TODAY IN THE HISTORICAL SCIENCES 1747: JOHANN JACOB DILLENIUS dies at Oxford, England, after an attack of apoplexy. Born in Germany in 1687, Dillenius studied medicine at Giessen and was eventually appointed doctor to the town. His interest in botany won him election to the Caesare Leopoldina-Carolina Academia Naturae Curiosum, and he soon published a flora of the region around Giessen, _Catalogus plantarum circa Gissam sponte nascentium_ (Frankfurt am Main, 1718). Because Dillenius was critical of Bachmann, whose botanical system was then popular, he did not find favor in German systematic circles, and he emigrated to England in 1721 at the invitation of William Sherard, who hired Dillenius to work on his botanical encyclopedia. In England Dillenius was elected a fellow of the Royal Society, and in 1724 he oversaw the publication of the final edition of John Ray's _Synopsis plantarum_ (London, 1724). He played host to Linnaeus in 1736 when the Swedish botanist visited Oxford, and published _Historia muscorum_, an influential study of the cryptogams, in 1741. His herbarium will be preserved in the collections of Oxford University. 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. _______________________________________________________________________________ <32:3>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Wed Apr 3 00:33:50 1996 Date: Wed, 03 Apr 1996 01:33:20 -0500 (EST) From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Subject: April 3 -- Today in the Historical Sciences To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: University of NC at Greensboro APRIL 3 -- TODAY IN THE HISTORICAL SCIENCES 1683: MARK CATESBY is born at Castle Hedingham, Essex, England. The son of a lawyer and public official, the young Catesby will develop an early interest in botany and will become a friend of the prominent English naturalist John Ray. From 1712 to 1719 Catesby will live with his sister in the Virginia colony, and the plants he will collect during his stay in America will bring him to the attention of a number of other prominent naturalists, including Sir Hans Sloane. Catesby will be commissioned to return to America for the purpose of natural history exploration and collecting, and from 1722 to 1726 he will travel through South Carolina, Florida, and the West Indies. Upon his return to England he will publish the acclaimed _Natural History of Carolina, Florida, and the Bahama Islands_ (1731-1743), a work that will be used by Linnaeus as the source for his descriptions of North American birds. 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. _______________________________________________________________________________ <32:4>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Fri Apr 5 01:42:28 1996 Date: Thu, 04 Apr 1996 23:51:35 -0500 (EST) From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Subject: Narrative in the historical sciences To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: University of NC at Greensboro The nature and function of narrative has long been a topic of interest in the general philosophy of history, and ought to be a topic of interest in the historical sciences as well. A colleague recently passed along to me a short item in _Scientific American_ about the role of narrative in economics, and I will forward extracts from it in another message shortly. It occurs to me that it might be helpful to put together a working bibliography of papers on narrative in the historical sciences, and in a few minutes poking around my office I have come up with the following starters. Can any other Darwin-L folks suggest additions? There is a lot of literature on narrative generally, but I would be interested in works that specifically deal with narrative in the historical sciences. There must be literature out there from archeology, perhaps, or linguistics? And more from evolutionary biology? Bob O'Hara (email@example.com) --preliminary list--------------------- Hull, David L. 1975. Central subjects and historical narratives. History and Theory, 14:253-274. [Discusses the species problem.] Hull, David L. 1981. Historical narratives and integrating explanations. Pp. 172-188 in: Pragmatism and Purpose: Essays Presented to Thomas A. Goudge (Sumner, Slater, & Wilson, eds.). Toronto: University of Toronoto Press. Landau, Misia. 1991. Narratives of Human Evolution. New Haven: Yale University Press. McCloskey, Donald N. 1995. Once upon a time there was a theory. Scientific American, February 1995, p. 25. [Note on narrative in economics.] O'Hara, Robert J. 1988. Homage to Clio, or, toward an historical philosopy for evolutionary biology. Systematic Zoology, 37:142-155. O'Hara, Robert J. 1992. Telling the tree: narrative representation and the study of evolutionary history. Biology and Philosophy, 7:135-160. Richards, Robert J. 1992. The structure of narrative explantion in history and biology. Pp. 19-53 in: History and Evolution (Nitecki & Nitecki, eds.). Albany: SUNY Press. Rouse, Joseph. 1990. The narrative reconstruction of science. Inquiry, 33:179-196. Ruse, Michael. 1971. Narrative explantion and the theory of evolution. Canadian Journal of Philosophy, 1:59-74. --------------------------------------- _______________________________________________________________________________ <32:5>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Fri Apr 5 01:42:34 1996 Date: Fri, 05 Apr 1996 00:14:33 -0500 (EST) From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Subject: McCloskey essay on narrative in economics To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: University of NC at Greensboro This is the short piece by McCloskey on the role of narrative in economics that I mentioned in my previous message. I don't find everything he says convincing, but it is just a short item for a popular journal. Can anyone point us to other sources on the importance of narrative in economics? Bob O'Hara (email@example.com) --begin forwarded article-------------- From: McCloskey, Donald N. 1995. Once upon a time there was a theory. Scientific American, February 1995, p. 25. Determining what drives economic growth or decline depends as much on storytelling as on data. For the past decade or so, a new crop of theorists, including Paul Romer of the University of California at Berkeley and Robert Lucas of the University of Chicago, has been pushing "endogenous" growth. These economists argue that development results entirely from economic factors: once upon a time the U.S. was poor; then its population grew and became urbanized, allowing business to exploit economies of scale. As a result, the country became rich. There are even mathematical models to prove it. Economists understand all the variables in this story -- population, production costs and profits -- and so it is called endogenous (inside the economics). Economic historians such as Joel Mokyr of Northwestern University and Nathan Rosenberg of Stanford University, meanwhile, favor "exogenous" explanations based on outside factors, in particular technological change. Once upon a time we were all poor; then a wave of gadgets swept over England. As a result we are all rich, or well on our way to it, if we will let people alone. This story does a better job of explaining, for instance, why China's per capita income grows by 10 percent a year: the Chinese, like the Koreans and Japanese before them, adopt the best methods invented thus far and quickly catch up with more advanced nations, regardles of endogenous factors in their economy. The exogenous version has its own problems, but one of the major reasons the endogenist economic theorists argue against it seems to be that it offends their narrative sense. They do not like to have to step outside of economics to talk about the nature and causes of the wealth of nations. Are endogenists being unscientific in wanting to tell one kind of story rather than another? Is economics as a whole simply not a science because its practitioners rely on narrative?.... The notion of "science" as divorced from storytelling arose largely during the past century. Before then the word -- like its French, Tamil, Turkish and Japanese counterparts -- meant "systematic inquiry.".... Most sciences do storytelling and model building. At one end of the gamut sits Newtonian physics -- the _Principia_ (1687) is essnetially geometric rather than narrative. Charles Darwin's biology in _The Origin of Species_ (1859), in contrast, is almost entirely historical and devoid of mathematical models. Nevertheless, most scientists, and economists among them, hate to admit to something so childish-sounding as telling stories. They want to emulate Newton's elegance rather than Darwin's complexity. One suspects the relative prestige of the two methods has more to do with age than anything else. If a proto-Darwin had published in 1687, and a neo-Newton in 1859, you can bet the prestige of storytelling versus timless modeling would be reversed. [I don't find that at all obvious; it would seem to me the nature of the materials being studied is more important. --RJO] Even when economists rely on models, decisions about what to include or what conclusions to draw turn on some principle of storytelling. Particularly important is the sense of beginnings and endings. To an eclectic Keynesian, the story "oil prices went up in 1973, causing inflation" is full of meaning. But for a monetarist, it ends too soon: a rise in oil prices without some corresponding fall elsewhere is not an equilibrium. Meanwhile Keynesians accuse the monetarist plotline of an ill-motivated beginning: focusing on money, the end of production, ignores where it comes from and why. So when forecasters debate the impact of Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan's latest hike in interest rates, they are not just contesting the coefficients of their equations. They are debating which narrative style best describes the economy. And in economics, as in other sciences, you cannot get away from the aesthetics of human stories.... --end forwarded article---------------- _______________________________________________________________________________ <32:6>From firstname.lastname@example.org Thu Apr 4 16:51:51 1996 Date: Thu, 4 Apr 1996 17:53:37 -0500 To: Darwin-L@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu (Darwin List) From: email@example.com (Jeremy C. Ahouse) Subject: new "evolution" web sites Hi DarwinL, The Harvard evolution course page (http://icg.harvard.edu/~bio17) keeps changing. The running list of study questions may be of particular interest to those of you who are teaching introductory courses. You can find the questions by clicking on "A list of questions based on the lectures" on the "Problem sets & special topics" page. Please send me any suggestions. These two sites were announced on the evolutionary programming list*. (1) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Jim Golden) Date: Tue, 5 Mar 1996 14:28:34 -0800 Subject: Natural Selection Web Page We are pleased to announce our new home page at www.natural-selection.com. Please feel free to visit us there. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. Jim Golden email@example.com ------------------------------ (2) From: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: Sun, 10 Mar 1996 12:27:55 -0600 Subject: New Genetic Programming Web Site I have created a new genetic programming web site. Its address is: http://tommy.jsc.nasa.gov/~jjf/gp/ If you have any problems with that URL you can also try: http://www.owlnet.rice.edu/~jjf/gp/ http://www.ecisa.com/users/jjf/www/gp/ ____________ *Compressed back issues of the EP-List Digest are available for anonymous FTP from amazon.eng.fau.edu in /pub/ep-list/digest/vNN.nMMM.Z (where "NN" is the volume number, and "MMM" is the issue number).. Jeremy C. Ahouse Biology Department Brandeis University Waltham, MA 02254-9110 ph: (617) 736-4954 fax: (617) 736-2405 email: email@example.com web: http://www.rose.brandeis.edu/users/simister/pages/Ahouse _______________________________________________________________________________ <32:7>From DSJOUR01@ULKYVM.LOUISVILLE.EDU Fri Apr 5 07:55:01 1996 Date: Fri, 5 Apr 96 08:56:38 EST From: Debra Journet <DSJOUR01@ULKYVM.LOUISVILLE.EDU> Subject: Narrative in the historical sciences To: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Professor and Chair, Dept. of English Phone: 502-852-6801 Fax: 502-852-4182 I work in the rhetoric of science (an English faculty member) and have been interested in the role of narrative in the physical sciences for a while. I have found the following (most of which deal with the representation of narrative) quite useful: Miller, C. and S. M. Halloran. "Reading Darwin, Reading Nature: Or, on the Ethos of Historical Science." Understanding Scientific Prose. Ed. J. Selzer. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1993, 106-126. Myers, G. Writing Biology: Texts in the Social Construction of Scientific Knowledge. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1989. Mitchell, W.J.T., ed. On Narrative. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981. [Essays dealing with narrative in a number of disciplines, including psychoanalysis, history, anthropology] These may be outside the interests of Darwin-L readers, but two works which are useful in showing how representations of Darwinian narratives influenced larger cultural narratives include Beer, G. Darwin's Plots. London: Ark, 1983. Levine, G. Darwin and the Novelists: Patterns of Science in Victorian Fiction. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1987. Examples of my own work applying narrative theory to biological texts include Journet, Debra. "Ecological Theories as Cultural Narratives: F.E. Clements's and H. A. Gleason's 'Stories' of Community Succession." Written Communication. 1991 (8), 446-472. Journet, Debra. "Synthesizing Disciplinary Narratives: George Gaylord Simpson's Tempo and Mode in Evolution." Social Epistemology. 1995 (9), 113-150. Debra Journet Department of English, University of Louisville Louisville, KY 40292 email@example.com _______________________________________________________________________________ <32:8>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Sat Apr 6 00:30:43 1996 Date: Sat, 06 Apr 1996 01:30:37 -0500 (EST) From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Subject: April 6 -- Today in the Historical Sciences To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: University of NC at Greensboro APRIL 6 -- TODAY IN THE HISTORICAL SCIENCES 1732: JOSE CELESTINO BRUNO MUTIS Y BOSSIO is born at Cadiz, Spain. A student of medicine at Seville and Madrid, Mutis will be appointed physician to the viceroy of the Spanish colony of Nueva Granada, and he will sail to America in 1760. He will travel extensively, collecting plants throughout Nueva Granada, and will correspond with many botanists in Europe including Linnaeus. He will die in Santa Fe de Bogota (later Bogota, Colombia) in 1808, but the principal report of his explorations, _La Flora de la real expedicion botanica del Nuevo Reino de Granada_, will remain unpublished until 1954. 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. _______________________________________________________________________________ <32:9>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Mon Apr 8 01:15:43 1996 Date: Mon, 08 Apr 1996 02:15:37 -0500 (EST) From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Subject: April 8 -- Today in the Historical Sciences To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: University of NC at Greensboro APRIL 9 -- TODAY IN THE HISTORICAL SCIENCES 1739: WILLIAM BARTRAM, son of Ann Mendenhall and the botanist John Bartram, is born at Kingsessing, Pennsylvania. As a young man Bartram will accompany his father on his botanical travels through the Catskill Mountains and Connecticut in the early 1750s, and he will become a skillful natural history illustrator. His drawings will be sent to Peter Collinson in London, the elder Bartram's scientific patron, and Collinson and the British naturalist George Edwards will commission Bartram to produce some of the illustrations for Edwards's _Gleanings of Natural History_. After a series of unsuccessful business ventures, the elder and younger Bartrams will travel to Florida in 1765, and William will remain there to try his hand, unsuccessfully again, at farming. A new London patron, the physician John Fothergill, will offer to support Bartram on a collecting expedition across southeastern America, and the report of this trip, _Travels Through North & South Carolina, Georgia, East & West Florida, the Cherokee Counntry, the Extensive Territories of the Muscogluges or Creek Confederacy, and the Country of the Chactaws_ (Philadelphia, 1791), will be soon reprinted in London and translated into French, German, and Dutch, and will win Bartram fame throughout Europe. Bartram's vivid and graceful descriptions of American natural history in the _Travels_, as well as his accounts of the native peoples of the region, will influence the European Romantic writers of the early 1800s, and he will act as a teacher to a whole generation of American naturalists including Thomas Nuttall, Thomas Say, and Alexander Wilson. 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. _______________________________________________________________________________ <32:10>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Mon Apr 8 23:28:25 1996 Date: Tue, 09 Apr 1996 00:28:20 -0500 (EST) From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Subject: More suggestions on narrative in the historical sciences (fwd) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: University of NC at Greensboro --begin forwarded message-------------- Date: Fri, 05 Apr 1996 09:31:53 -0500 From: "Linnda R. Caporael" <email@example.com> Subject: Narrative To: firstname.lastname@example.org Here is a contribution to your narrative in history list. Caporael, L. R. (1994). Of myth and science: Origin stories and evolutionary scenarios. Social Science Information, 33, 9-23. Latour, B., & Strum, S. C. (1986). Human social origins: Oh please, tell us another story. Journal of Social and Biological Structures, 9, 169-187. Maynard Smith, J. (1987). Science and myth. In N. Eldredge (Ed.), The Natural History reader in evolution (pp. 222-229). New York City: Columbia University Press. --end forwarded message---------------- _______________________________________________________________________________ <32:11>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Wed Apr 10 12:54:30 1996 Date: Wed, 10 Apr 1996 13:54:22 -0500 (EST) From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Subject: History of Monte Carlo simulations To: email@example.com Organization: University of NC at Greensboro --begin forwarded message-------------- Date: Tue, 9 Apr 1996 14:44:06 -0400 (EDT) From: Patricia Princehouse <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com Subject: Monte Carlo? A (non-biologically oriented) friend of mine is interested in the history of monte carlo simulations & wants to know/wants references for the first and/or most famous use in biology/evolutionary biology. Any suggestions will be most appreciated. Thanks, Patricia Princehouse firstname.lastname@example.org --end forwarded message---------------- _______________________________________________________________________________ <32:12>From maisel@SDSC.EDU Wed Apr 10 14:04:07 1996 Date: Wed, 10 Apr 1996 12:04:03 -0700 (PDT) From: Merry Maisel <maisel@SDSC.EDU> To: email@example.com Subject: Re: History of Monte Carlo simulations Dear Dr. Princehouse, I'll be forwarding your message to the SHOT-HC list (society for the history of technology, history of computing group), as the members there may well be able to add much to the little knowledge I possess. I am not familiar with the history of computational biology, but I do know that the Monte Carlo method is usually credited to Stanslaw Ulam, John von Neumann, and Nicholas Metropolis, who did some of the first Monte Carlo calculations on the ENIAC, during WW II. You might consult Metropolis's reminiscence in _A History of Scientific Computing_ (ACM via Addison-Wesley, 1990), ed. Stephen G. Nash, pp. 237ff. Merry Maisel firstname.lastname@example.org (San Diego Supercomputer Center) _______________________________________________________________________________ <32:13>From NJOHNSON@albert.uta.edu Wed Apr 10 14:52:13 1996 From: "NORMAN JOHNSON" <NJOHNSON@albert.uta.edu> Organization: University of Texas at Arlington To: DARWIN@steffi.uncg.edu, email@example.com Date: Wed, 10 Apr 1996 14:47:59 CST Subject: Re: History of Monte Carlo simulations There is a rather detailed section on Monte Carlo simulations and their application to the evolutionary dynamics of the t locus in mouse in a 1960 paper by Lewontin and Dunn. I think this may be one of the first uses of computer simulations in biology. It makes reference to a 1958 paper by Bofinger and Bofinger in J. Association for Computing Machinery. Lewontin, RC and LC Dunn. 1960 The evolutionary dynamics of a polymorphism in the house mouse. Genetics 45: 706-722. Norman ********************************************************************** Norman Johnson firstname.lastname@example.org _______________________________________________________________________________ <32:14>From email@example.com Thu Apr 11 00:13:39 1996 From: Joe Felsenstein <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Re: History of Monte Carlo simulations To: email@example.com Date: Wed, 10 Apr 1996 22:21:12 -0700 (PDT) Norman Johnson wrote: > There is a rather detailed section on Monte Carlo simulations and > their application to the evolutionary dynamics of the t locus in > mouse in a 1960 paper by Lewontin and Dunn. I think this may be one of > the first uses of computer simulations in biology. It makes reference > to a 1958 paper by Bofinger and Bofinger in J. Association for > Computing Machinery. That is one early genetic simulation paper but not by any means the first. (Bofinger and Bofinger is a paper on generating random numbers). An earlier influential pair of papers was by Alex Fraser in 1957 simulating multiple-locus artificial selection systems: Fraser, A. S. Simulation of genetic systems by automatic digital computers. I. Introduction Australian J. Biological Sciences 10: 484-491 1957 Fraser, A. S. The simulation of genetic systems by automatic digital computers. II. The effects of linkage on the rates of advance under selection Australian J. Biological Sciences 10: 492-499 1957 But even these are not the earliest. David Fogel, who works on Evolutionary Computation, pointed out to me that the very first person to do genetic simulations was (the late and very eccentric) Nils Aall Barricelli, who had a paper in 1954 in Italian in the journal Methodos. Interestingly, he was using simulated genetic systems to solve nongenetic problems, and is thus the true pioneer of what is now called The Genetic Algorithm. Barricelli, who was independently wealthy (his family owned Norway) was associated at that time with John von Neumann and the computer at the Institute for Advanced Study. Most academics didn't see computers until about 1957, hence Fraser's papers then. There may be earlier Monte Carlo studies in ecology, but these are the first in population genetics. However, if one doesn't require the use of a computer, note Sewall Wright and H. C. McPhee's random-sampling method for approximating inbreeding coefficients in large pedigrees (of cattle): McPhee, H. C. and S. Wright Mendelian analysis of the pure breeds of livestock. IV. The British dairy shorthorns J. Heredity 17: 397-401 1926 By the way, the first use of computers (not of Monte Carlo methods) in biology must be Fisher, R. A. Gene frequencies in a cline determined by selection and diffusion Biometrics 6: 353-361 1950 which was done on one of the first two stored-program digital computers within months of its becoming operational (see the mention by Maurice Wilkes in a 1975 paper in Nature). -- Joe Felsenstein firstname.lastname@example.org (IP No. 220.127.116.11) Dept. of Genetics, Univ. of Washington, Box 357360, Seattle, WA 98195-7360 USA _______________________________________________________________________________ <32:15>From email@example.com Thu Apr 11 16:11:43 1996 Date: Thu, 11 Apr 1996 16:09:30 -0500 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: "Margaret E. Winters" <email@example.com> Subject: Re: History of Monte Carlo simulations I had never seen the term "Monte Carlo simulations" until this thread started -- I can figure out from the discussion what they are (VERY ROUGHLY), but where does the term come from??? Thanks, Margaret ----------------------- Dr. Margaret E. Winters Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs (Budget and Personnel) Southern Illinois University at Carbondale Carbondale, IL 62901 tel: (618) 536-5535 fax: (618) 453-3340 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org _______________________________________________________________________________ <32:16>From email@example.com Fri Apr 12 11:01:40 1996 From: Danny Fagandini <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com Subject: Re: History of Monte Carlo simulations Date: Fri, 12 Apr 1996 14:17:56 BST "Margaret E. Winters" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: > I had never seen the term "Monte Carlo simulations" until this thread > started -- I can figure out from the discussion what they are (VERY > ROUGHLY), but where does the term come from??? Monte Carlo methods as applied to multi-dimensional integration employ random numbers as a principle data source thereby reducing the amount of calculation required. Many physical and technological problems can be expressed as functions of more than just a few variables so that conventional calculus expands exponentially. Given a sound random number generator (no trivial matter), statistical methods can be used and a good text dealing with them will provide ample explanation of where and when the Monte Carlo method can be properly used. I should add that it will not be light reading.... -- danny email@example.com _______________________________________________________________________________ <32:17>From firstname.lastname@example.org Fri Apr 12 15:50:10 1996 From: Joe Felsenstein <email@example.com> Subject: Re: History of Monte Carlo simulations To: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: Fri, 12 Apr 1996 13:57:44 -0700 (PDT) Margaret Winters asked: > I had never seen the term "Monte Carlo simulations" until this thread > started -- I can figure out from the discussion what they are (VERY > ROUGHLY), but where does the term come from??? They are simulations (mimicking the behavior of natural entities) using random numbers. The "Monte Carlo" is simply there because of the random numbers -- one is drawing randomly much as one does at the roulette wheel. The term dates back to about 1950, I think. -- Joe Felsenstein email@example.com (IP No. 18.104.22.168) Dept. of Genetics, Univ. of Washington, Box 357360, Seattle, WA 98195-7360 USA _______________________________________________________________________________ <32:18>From firstname.lastname@example.org Sat Apr 13 10:58:36 1996 To: Joe Felsenstein <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Re: History of Monte Carlo simulations Date: Sat, 13 Apr 1996 12:04:06 EDT From: Joshua Lederberg <email@example.com> Beyond biology, according to my Encyclopedia Britannica, Monte Carlo simulations go back many years to "Student" (Gossett) in the early days of statistics. For numerical solutions differential equations in physics, see Ulam-von Neumann as founders, ca. 1947 in Aa Rowe, David E, ed. Ab McCleary, John, ed. TI The history of modern mathematics. ST Institutions and applications. PP Boston MA: Academic Press. 1989 CT Aspray, William pp. 307-322 The transformation of numerical analysis by the computer: an example from the work of John von Neumann. _______________________________________________________________________________ <32:19>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Tue Apr 16 14:32:21 1996 Date: Tue, 16 Apr 1996 15:32:10 -0500 (EST) From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Subject: April 16 -- Today in the Historical Sciences To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: University of NC at Greensboro APRIL 16 -- TODAY IN THE HISTORICAL SCIENCES 1788: GEORGES-LOUIS LECLERC, COMTE DE BUFFON, dies at Paris after a long illness. One of the most important scientific figures of 18th-century France, Buffon worked in optics, chemistry, mathematics, botany, and geology, and published the encyclopedic _Histoire Naturelle_ in 36 volumes beginning in 1749: "Just as in civil history one refers to titles, looks for medals, or deciphers ancient inscriptions, in order to work out the epochs of human revolutions and establish the dates of intellectual events, so also in natural history it is necessary to rummage through the archives of the world." Today in the Historical Sciences is a feature of Darwin-L, an international network discussion group on the history and theory of the historical sciences. Send the message INFO DARWIN-L to email@example.com or connect to the Darwin-L Web Server (http://rjohara.uncg.edu) for more information. _______________________________________________________________________________ <32:20>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Fri Apr 19 00:57:56 1996 Date: Fri, 19 Apr 1996 01:57:46 -0500 (EST) From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Subject: April 19 -- Today in the Historical Sciences To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: University of NC at Greensboro APRIL 19 -- TODAY IN THE HISTORICAL SCIENCES 1882: CHARLES ROBERT DARWIN, the most celebrated naturalist of his age, dies at Down House, his home, in Kent, England. He will be buried in Westminster Abbey, "a few feet from the grave of Sir Isaac Newton". The son of a medical doctor, Darwin contributed to almost every department of natural history in many papers and in more than twenty books. His most influential work, _On the Origin of Species_ (London, 1859), explained the diversity and adaptation of living things through the processes of descent and natural selection, and brought systematics into the fold of the historical sciences: "The affinities of all the beings of the same class have sometimes been represented by a great tree. I believe this simile largely speaks the truth. The green and budding twigs may represent existing species; and those produced during each former year may represent the long succession of extinct species. At each period of growth all the growing twigs have tried to branch out on all sides, and to overtop and kill the surrounding twigs and branches, in the same manner as species and groups of species have tried to overmaster other species in the great battle for life. The limbs divided into great branches, and these into lesser and lesser branches, were themselves once, when the tree was small, budding twigs; and this connexion of the former and present buds by ramifying branches may well represent the classification of all extinct and living species in groups subordinate to groups. Of the many twigs which flourished when the tree was a mere bush, only two or three, now grown into great branches, yet survive and bear all the other branches; so with the species which lived during long-past geological periods, very few now have living and modified descendants. From the first growth of the tree, many a limb and branch has decayed and dropped off; and these lost branches of various sizes may represent those whole orders, families, and genera which have now no living representatives, and which are known to us only from having been found in a fossil state. As we here and there see a thin straggling branch springing from a fork low down in a tree, and which by some chance has been favoured and is still alive in its summit, so we occasionally see an animal like the Ornithorhynchus or Lepidosiren, which in some small degree connects by its affinities two large branches of life, and which has apparently been saved from fatal competition by having inhabited a protected station. As buds give rise by growth to fresh buds, and these, if vigorous, branch out and overtop on all sides many a feebler branch, so by generation I believe it has been with the great Tree of Life, which fills with its dead and broken branches the crust of the earth, and covers the surface with its ever branching and beautiful ramifications." 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. _______________________________________________________________________________ <32:21>From HANSS@sepa.tudelft.nl Fri Apr 19 10:15:26 1996 From: "Hans-Cees Speel" <HANSS@sepa.tudelft.nl> To: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: Fri, 19 Apr 1996 17:17:28 MET Subject: path dependency and Darwinian theory A biological question with regard to path-dependency. In biological evolutionary theory path dependency plays a role. In my view path dependency means that a species or population cannot change into a new form, or statistical genotype-configuration in big steps, but such changes take many small steps [where the question what big steps and small steps are is important]. The word path-dependency thus expresses the fact that the possibilities of new forms are limited by the organisms, or species as they are at any one moment. Different views are common, and wel-known is the punctuated opinion versus the small-steps opinion. I do not want to go into what is right but would like to know the different mechanisms that are used as arguments for explanation. The first argument is of course that we see in the geological record that there are big steps, or that we don't see them. I do not want to discuss that, it has been done extensively. What I do want to know is what explanations are given by whom. I can think of three different classes of explanations: First of all, an organismal internal explanation. Because all organisms have to grow [more or less], and function, and internal [grow-] processes are quite complex in their functional characteristics, many changes will cause organisms that will die before becoming adult. This internal selection mechanism weeds out big variations that might occur within one generation. Second, the external explanation, by which I mean that such big variations might occur, but such animals are very likely to loose in competition with other organisms without the new variation. Because species often exist of many different individuals, and these are in competition, big variation steps will be weeded out. Big variation steps that result in better fitting genotypes are thus unlikely. Third, it is possible that the mutation-mechanims simply do not allow big steps. I do not know if anyone holds that position. [Maybe there are more?] My question is thus, what explanations are used for either the punctuated position, or the opposite, small steps position. Hoping that someone can shed some light, greetings Hans-Cees Speel Theories come and go, the frog stays [F. Jacob] ------------------------------------------------------- |Hans-Cees Speel School of Systems Engineering, Policy Analysis and management |Technical Univ. Delft, Jaffalaan 5 2600 GA Delft PO Box 5015 The Netherlands |telephone +3115785776 telefax +3115783422 E-mail email@example.com HTTP://www.sepa.tudelft.nl/~afd_ba/hanss.html featuring evolution and memetics! _______________________________________________________________________________ <32:22>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Sat Apr 20 14:56:07 1996 Date: Sat, 20 Apr 1996 15:55:58 -0500 (EST) From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Subject: Conference on medical geography (fwd) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: University of NC at Greensboro --begin forwarded message-------------- Date: 20 Apr 96 10:32:00 +0200 From: RAINER.BROEMER@LINK-GOE.de (Rainer Broemer) Subject: Conference on Medical Geography To: email@example.com Conference announcement Medical Geography Goettingen (Germany) June 13th - 15th, 1996 Institute for the History of Medicine Humboldtallee 36 D-37073 GOETTINGEN Medical geography - the study of large-scale distribution patterns of human diseases as a function of environmental conditions - was a 19th- century preoccupation. It incorporated the earlier and contemporaneously continuing interest in medical topography - the description of the conditions of health and diseases of particular places. In recent years, medical geography has experienced a resurgence of popularity, as have in general our concerns with the relationship of health with theenvironment. In the wake of this resurgence, historians have begun to look at medical geography in historical perspective and examine its practices and theories, its national traditions and the socio-political conditions of its 19th-century popularity. The time appears ripe for a spring harvest of the results ofthese early historiographical studies. To this end, an international and interdisciplinary meeting is being organised at the Institute for the History of Medicine in Goettingen, bringing together historians who are working on complementary aspects of the history of medical geography. Their papers and the discussions may help shape aresearch agenda for this fledging of environmental and medical history. Thursday, 13 June Opening 18.00-18.15 Welcome by the Dean of the Medical Faculty 18.15-20.00 Melinda Meade (Chapel Hill): Medical geography today: a confluence of paradigms and potentials Friday, 14 June Diseases of Empire Chair: Ron Numbers (Madison) 09.00-09.30 Mark Harrison (Sheffield): Medical topography in early-19th century India 09.30-10.00 Bill Bynum (London): Before and after Ross: the geography of mosquitoes in India, 1890-1930 10.00-10.30 Annemarie de Knecht-van Eekelen (Amsterdam): Health and disease in tropical climates: the Dutch in the East Indies 10.30-11.00 Coffee Break 11.00-11.30 W. U. Eckart and Meike Cordes (Heidelberg): Small pox and vaccination in the former German colony of Togo, West Africa 11.30-12.00 Commentary by the chair/general discussion 12.00-14.00 Lunch Break Humboldtian Representations Chair: Ulrich Troehler (Freiburg i. Br.) 14.00-14.30 Rainer Broemer (Jena): The first global distribution map of human diseases: Schnurrers Charte berdie geographische Ausbreitung der Krankheiten 14.30-15.00 Jane Camerini (Madison): Worldwide disease maps: Berghaus and the geographische Verbreitung dervornehmsten Krankheiten 15.00-15.30 Nicolaas Rupke and Nicola Theus (Goettingen): Adolph Mhry: Goettingens Humboldtian medical geographer 15.30-16.00 Coffee Break 16.00-16.30 Nicolaas Rupke (Goettingen): Euro-triumphalism in mid-19th century medical geography 16.30-17.00 Commentary by the chair/general discussion 17.30-22.00 Dinner in the 12th-century Burg-Plesse Saturday, 15 June Discourses of Settlement Chair: Anne Buttimer (Dublin) 09.00-09.30 Conevery Bolton (Cambridge, USA): Medical geography and discourses of settlement in 19th-century America 09.30-10.00 Warwick Anderson (Melbourne): Geography, race and nation: medical geographies and tropical Australia, 1890- 1930 10.00-10.30 Richard Grove (Canberra) The East India Company, the Australians and the El Nino: colonial scientists andearly thinking about global telecommunications in the mechanisms and history of climatic fluctuations, 1750-1890 10.30-11.00 Coffee Break 11.00-11.30 Gerry Kearns (Cambridge, England): Writing the history of medical geography after Foucault 11.30-12.00 Commentary by the chair/general discussion 12.00-12.15 Closing remarks Exhibition Karen Wonders (Goettingen): Early maps of medical geography Contact: Prof. N. A. Rupke Phone: 0551 39 9006 (int. - 49 551 39 9006) Fax: 0551 39 9554 (int. - 49 551 39 9554) E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Sponsered by the Deutsche Forschungsmeinschaft (DFG) ## CrossPoint v3.02 ## --end forwarded message---------------- _______________________________________________________________________________ <32:23>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Fri Apr 26 13:52:58 1996 Date: Fri, 26 Apr 1996 14:52:45 -0500 (EST) From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Subject: Recent discoveries at Troy (fwd from ANCIEN-L) To: email@example.com Organization: University of NC at Greensboro --begin forwarded message-------------- Date: Tue, 23 Apr 1996 22:30:18 EDT From: Regan Barr <73132.1127@COMPUSERVE.COM> Subject: Recent discoveries at Troy To: Recipients of ANCIEN-L digests <ANCIEN-L@ULKYVM.LOUISVILLE.EDU> For those of you who haven't been able to get to Troy recently, and want to see what's going on in the recent excavations, the Institute for Mediterranean Studies has recently made available a video _in English_ (previously available only in German and perhaps Turkish) with highlights of the 1993 and 1994 excavation seasons. Hoepfully, 1995 wil be available soon, as well. Here are some highlights (straight from the order form): Troy Excavations 1993 -- Parts of the Bronze Age defensive system (a rock-cut ditch) are discovered in the Lower City; within the city, foundations of houses from Troy III and IV with dome ovens are uncovered. At Kumtepe, walls dating to the beginning of the 4th millennium are found. From the post-Bronze Age period, mosaic floors from the 4th century A.D. are found in the Lower City, and evidence of the Fimbria destruction of Troy in 85 B.C. is uncovered in the Sanctuary. Restoration of the Odeion continued and a cuirassed statue of the Roman emperor Hadrian, found in the rubble of the stage building, is restored. The Hellenistic stairs at the northeast bastion are also restored. Troy Excavations 1994 -- Burials of the 5th millennium B.C. are unearthed at Kumtepe, and levels from Troy I through V are excavated in and around the Schliemann trench. New Troy VII houses are found along the southern side of the mound. More of the Troy VI rock-cut defensive ditch was uncovered. From the post-Bronze Age period, a marble statuette of the goddess Cybele (once gilded) was found in a Roman well in the Lower City. The Sanctuary yielded a Hellenistic building with pebble mosaics, a new Archaic building with an Aeolic capital (!!), fibulas, and pottery from the "Dark Ages" (1000-700 B.C.). Anyone who is interesting in getting the video (or perhaps having their library order it) can get it from: The Institute for Mediterranean Studies 7086 East Aracoma Drive Cincinnati, OH 45237, USA fax: 513 631-1715 The cost is $39.95 for either USA or European (PAL) VHS tapes, plus shipping and handling (first tape is $4.00 for USA, $5.00 for Canada, $6.00 for overseas, with $1.00 added for each additional video). Checks should be made out to "Friends of Troy." Regards, Regan Barr cross-posting to aia, talaros, classics, aegeanet, museum-l, ancien-l --end forwarded message---------------- _______________________________________________________________________________ <32:24>From firstname.lastname@example.org Fri Apr 26 09:33:31 1996 Date: Fri, 26 Apr 1996 10:35:40 -0400 To: Darwin-L@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu (Darwin List) From: "Jeremy C. Ahouse" <email@example.com> Subject: David Stove's "Darwinian Fairytales" DarwinL, I've just been reading David Stove's recent book. I am wondering what you all think of it. I won't recapitulate the whole argument. He goes to the heart of the claim that populations are ever increasing save for limited food resources. He considers this claim to be core to the Darwinian selectionist hypothesis and since it is obviously false (many populations aren't tracking their food supply to the hilt) selectionism is tarnished. It may still be the best explanation but it is clearly far off the mark. This brevity doesn't do the argument justice. Still I am interested in your reactions to this piece. - Jeremy Stove, David (1995) "Darwinian Fairytales" Aldershot, Hants, England; Brookfield, Vt.: Avebury. 225 p. Series Name: Avebury series in philosophy. LC Card Number: 95083037 ISBN: 1-85972-306-3. p.s. David Stove died in 1994, an appreciation of him is available from the Australasian Association for the History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Science on the net: http://coombs.anu.edu.au/SpecialProj/ASAP/aahpsss/news48/aahpsss48_stove.html i _______________________________________________________________________________ <32:25>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Tue Apr 30 05:41:49 1996 Date: Tue, 30 Apr 1996 01:16:57 -0500 (EST) From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Subject: April 30 -- Today in the Historical Sciences To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: University of NC at Greensboro APRIL 30 -- TODAY IN THE HISTORICAL SCIENCES 1723: MATHURIN-JACQUES BRISSON is born at Fonetenay-le-Comte, Vendee, France. The eldest son of a prominent family, Brisson will study philosophy and theology at the College de Fontenay and the College de Poitiers, and will enter the seminary of St.-Sulpice in Paris, but in 1747 he will abandon theology for his true calling, natural history. Related by marriage to the naturalist Reaumur, Brisson will be appointed by the Academie des Sciences as curator and demonstrator of Reaumur's collections, and he will publish his comprehensive _Ornithologie ou Methode contenant la division des oiseaux en ordres_ in 1760. After Reaumur's death, Brisson's collections will pass from the Academie des Sciences to the Cabinet du Roi under the direction of Buffon, and personal animosity between the two naturalists will lead Buffon to deny Brisson any access to the specimens he had been studying for the previous eight years. Deprived of his collections, Brisson will turn from natural history to the study of physics, and will make valuable contributions to that field until his death in 1806. 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. _______________________________________________________________________________ Darwin-L Message Log 32: 1-25 -- April 1996 End
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