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Darwin-L Message Log 34: 51–99 — June 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 June 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.”


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DARWIN-L MESSAGE LOG 34: 51-99 -- JUNE 1996
-------------------------------------------

DARWIN-L
A Network Discussion Group on the
History and Theory of the Historical Sciences

Darwin-L@raven.cc.ukans.edu is an international network discussion group on
the history and theory of the historical sciences.  Darwin-L was established
in September 1993 to promote the reintegration of a range of fields all of
which are concerned with reconstructing the past from evidence in the present,
and to encourage communication among academic professionals in these fields.
Darwin-L is not restricted to evolutionary biology nor to the work of Charles
Darwin but instead addresses the entire range of historical sciences from an
interdisciplinary perspective, including evolutionary biology, historical
linguistics, textual transmission and stemmatics, historical geology,
systematics and phylogeny, archeology, paleontology, cosmology, historical
anthropology, historical geography, and related "palaetiological" fields.

This log contains public messages posted to Darwin-L during June 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 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 and the
historical sciences, connect to the Darwin-L Web Server or send the e-mail
message INFO DARWIN-L to listserv@raven.cc.ukans.edu.

Darwin-L is administered by Robert J. O'Hara (darwin@iris.uncg.edu), Center for
Critical Inquiry in the Liberal Arts and Department of Biology, University of
North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, North Carolina 27412 U.S.A., and it
is supported by the Center for Critical Inquiry, University of North Carolina
at Greensboro, and the Department of History and the Academic Computing Center,
University of Kansas.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<34:51>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Thu Jun 20 15:28:53 1996

Date: Thu, 20 Jun 1996 16:28:47 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: Administrative notes from the list owner
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

The University of Kansas computer on which Darwin-L runs was apparently
decommissioned last week (without warning to me), and as some of you may
have noticed Darwin-L is now coming to you from a machine called
"raven.cc.ukans.edu" rather than the old "ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu".  I'm
sure that the old address will continue to work, indefinitely if we are
lucky.  But those who are sticklers for such things are welcome now to
send their Darwin-L mail to Darwin-L@raven.cc.ukans.edu and their
listserv commands to listserv@raven.cc.ukans.edu.

During the change of machines it is possible that a few messages were
lost.  If you sent a message three or four days ago and it has not yet
appeared you might want to submit it again, and accept my apologies for
the inconvenience.  The change of machine also came with a version
upgrade in the listserv software itself (also called "listproc"), and
this new version automatically deletes addresses from the subscriber list
whenever mail to the address is returned as undeliverable.  This is a
great help to me, since there are always people who move away and don't
cancel their subscriptions, and without the automatic deletion feature I
have to go in and delete their subscriptions manually.  (Darwin-L has
more than 700 subscribers, and it has been typical to get 4-5 bounced
messages every time something is posted to the list.)  The possible
disadvantage is that someone who is a subscriber might be automatically
deleted by the software because of a full mailbox or some similar reason.
If you or anyone you know is suddenly removed from the list, please check
to see that your own mailing address and mailbox are working correctly,
and then try to resubscribe.

Many thanks to all for your understanding and your continuing interest
in Darwin-L.

Bob O'Hara, Darwin-l list owner

Robert J. O'Hara (darwin@iris.uncg.edu)      |
Cornelia Strong College, 100 Foust Building  |  http://rjohara.uncg.edu
University of North Carolina at Greensboro   |  http://strong.uncg.edu
Greensboro, North Carolina 27412 U.S.A.      |

_______________________________________________________________________________

<34:52>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Thu Jun 20 17:58:14 1996

Date: Thu, 20 Jun 1996 18:58:09 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: New edition of Indo-European book (fwd from indoeuropean)
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

--begin forwarded message--------------

Date: Wed, 19 Jun 1996 10:52:23 -0700
From: alderson@netcom.com (Richard M. Alderson III)
To: indoeuropean@mcfeeley.cc.utexas.edu
Subject: Lehmann's _Theoretical Bases of Indo-European Linguistics_

I saw a notice regarding this book on LINGUIST; it is finally available
in paperback, so we can all have our own copies.

ISBN 0-415-13850-7:  Routledge.  Further info from http://www.routledge.com/,
including order info.  US$24.95 + shipping charges.

(I'm impressed as much with the mechanics of the book as its content:
Sewn signatures, heavy paper stock, reinforced grooves in the covers so
that it can be laid flat on a desk or table.)

                                                         Rich Alderson

--end forwarded message----------------

_______________________________________________________________________________

<34:53>From baratas@eucmax.sim.ucm.es Fri Jun 21 02:21:21 1996

Date: Fri, 21 Jun 1996 09:23:27 +0200
From: baratas@eucmax.sim.ucm.es
Subject: Re: @
To: darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu

Hello.

The symbol @ in spanish is used since 18th century. It means 'arroba' a
weight measure.

Alfredo Baratas.
Historia de la Biologia.
Facultad de Biologia.
Universidad Complutense Madrid.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<34:54>From mew1@siu.edu Fri Jun 21 13:46:52 1996

Date: Fri, 21 Jun 1996 13:40:13 -0500
To: darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu
From: "Margaret E. Winters" <mew1@siu.edu>
Subject: Re: @

I'd like to make one addition to Lawrence Cook's posting on the origin of @.
The circumflex in French is mostly used to mark places where older stages of
the language had an s before a consonant, but it is also found where an
unaccented e has disappeared. Example: Latin past participle of debere (to
be obliged, to have to) is devutus which over the course of sound change
gets to Old French disyllabic deu, now a single syllable written du^ with
the circumflex over the u.  There are two threads here, really: symbols
which were quickly written or stylized forms of the word itself like @ or
the ampersand (&) and those which symbolize something else like the use of
the circumflex for missing phonetic (and spelled) material.

Best,
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:	mew1@siu.edu

_______________________________________________________________________________

<34:55>From DEVONIS@acc.mcrest.edu Fri Jun 21 12:46:04 1996

From: "Dave Devonis" <DEVONIS@acc.mcrest.edu>
Organization:  Teikyo Marycrest University
To: darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu
Date: Fri, 21 Jun 1996 12:41:54 CST
Subject: Re: @

Following w/interest discussion re:@.....

There have been lots of neat stories about naming
the '@' critter --but I'm wondering why the
discussion seems to be tending more toward naming
it rather than seeing it in its grammatical
context.

What seems most interesting about '@' in e-mail
addresses is that sometimes it is interpreted as
'at', and sometimes not.  I find myself doing
this easily about half  the time when reading one
off: the other half of the time I find myself
casting around for something to call '@' (and,
usually, making some sort of flailing gesture
with my hand).

If '@' stands for 'at', does it stand for it in
the same way that 'at' functions in certain
nested descriptions of location, for instance,
those on birth or marriage certificates (e.g.
"Smith, born at Iowa City in Johnson County in
Iowa")?  Probably not---if it were, wouldn't we
hear the 'periods' or 'dots' in e-mail
addresses converted to "in" or "of"?

Has anyone heard of the 'period' referred to in
any other way than as 'period', 'dot', 'punto',
etc.?

Dave Devonis
History of Psychology/Dept Psychology
Marycrest Intl. University
Davenport IA 52804
319-326-9266
DEVONIS@acc.mcrest.edu

_______________________________________________________________________________

<34:56>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Fri Jun 21 16:00:28 1996

Date: Fri, 21 Jun 1996 17:00:22 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: Days of Wonder (more notes from the list owner)
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

Well, many strange things are happening with the Kansas listserv.  The
recent upgrade of hardware and software (progress, men call it) seems to
have caused messages to begin disappearing, even some I have been trying
to post from my list owner address.  If you tried to post a message
recently and it seems to have vanished, please accept my apologies and
try again in a day or two.  I think I have at least isolated the problem,
and have notified the Kansas computer operators who are looking into it.
In case anyone really wants to know, the machine seems to be interpreting
messages as duplicates even when they are not, and so tosses them out.
A clever philosopher could illustrate an essay on identity conditions
with this example.

Most remarkable of all, the list just spontaneously generated a copy of a
message originally sent in December 1995, and that had apparently been
lost in one of the darker corners of cyberspace for all this time.  It's
rather like one of those stories we read from time to time of a man who
had complained for years of indigestion, and then when he eventually died
the doctors found a rubber glove and a clamp in his stomach that had been
accidentally left there during an operation 20 years before.  Or better
yet, like a fossil long buried in the ground that is suddenly thrust up
to the surface as a result of an earthquake.

Back to the historical sciences.

Bob O'Hara, Darwin-L list owner (but not always list controller)

Robert J. O'Hara (darwin@iris.uncg.edu)      |
Cornelia Strong College, 100 Foust Building  |  http://rjohara.uncg.edu
University of North Carolina at Greensboro   |  http://strong.uncg.edu
Greensboro, North Carolina 27412 U.S.A.      |

_______________________________________________________________________________

<34:57>From mew1@siu.edu Fri Jun 21 16:36:58 1996

Date: Fri, 21 Jun 1996 16:30:19 -0500
To: darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu
From: "Margaret E. Winters" <mew1@siu.edu>
Subject: Re: Days of Wonder (more notes from the list owner)

I just read Bob O'Hara's posting on computer problems - annoying for him and
all of us, but after a long - very long - week of matters which felt as if
the forces of irrationality were against me personally, it was good to hear
that I'm not alone!  However, it is 4:30 Friday and I'm off with not too
full a briefcase for the weekend.  Maybe I'll even have time to do some
historical linguistics!

Have a good weekend, and a better week!

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:	mew1@siu.edu

_______________________________________________________________________________

<34:58>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Fri Jun 21 21:28:43 1996

Date: Fri, 21 Jun 1996 22:28:38 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: Thomas Kuhn
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

[I've tried to post this message about four times in the last
two days, and every time it has fallen victim to the software
demons.  I'm going to try just one more time.  --RJO]

I was very sorry to hear the news of Thomas Kuhn's death, and I thank
George Gale for passing the Times obituary on to us.  Although Kuhn
distinguished himself through many publications, he will always be
remembered first for _The Structure of Scientific Revolutions_, published
in 1962.  _Structure_ is a book of special importance to Darwin-L,
because what Kuhn was trying to do was to emphasize the importance of
scientific history to the philosophy of science, which in his time had
become an excessively a-historical subject.  The introduction to _The
Structure of Scientific Revolutions_ is titled "A Role for History",
which could almost be a subtitle for Darwin-L itself:

  History, if viewed as a repository for more than anecdote or
  chronology, could produce a decisive transformation in the image
  of science by which we are now possessed.  That image has previously
  been drawn, even by scientists themselves, mainly from the study
  of finished scientific achievements as these are recorded in the
  classics and, more recently, in the textbooks from which each new
  scientific generation learns to practice its trade.  Inevitably,
  however, the aim of such books is persuasive and pedagogic; a concept
  of science drawn from them is no more likely to fit the enterprise
  that produced them than an image of a national culture drawn from a
  tourist brochure or a language text.  This essay attempts to show
  that we have been misled by them in fundamental ways.  Its aim is a
  sketch of the quite different concept of science that can emerge from
  the historical record of the research activity itself.

"How far more interesting," said Darwin, do our studies become, "when
we regard every production of nature as one which has had a history."
Kuhn was saying the very same thing about science, that it becomes far
more interesting when we regard it not so much as an abstract system
of theory, but as the continuing product of a long and populational
history with all the adaptations, variations, and vestiges of any
other product of history.  I wonder if William Whewell, the father of
palaetiology and patron of Darwin-L, would have approved.

I typed the long quotation above from a well-worn copy of _Structure_
that I bought for $1.75 as an undergraduate, and that I was fortunate
enough to have Kuhn sign for me at a meeting of the Systematics and
Biogeography Discussion Group at Harvard when I was a graduate student.
Starting today I will give it special care.

Bob O'Hara, Darwin-L list owner

Robert J. O'Hara (darwin@iris.uncg.edu)      |
Cornelia Strong College, 100 Foust Building  |  http://rjohara.uncg.edu
University of North Carolina at Greensboro   |  http://strong.uncg.edu
Greensboro, North Carolina 27412 U.S.A.      |

_______________________________________________________________________________

<34:59>From GRANSOM@ucrac1.ucr.edu Sat Jun 22 04:19:26 1996

Date: Sat, 22 Jun 1996 2:18:45 -0700 (PDT)
From: GREG RANSOM <GRANSOM@ucrac1.ucr.edu>
To: DARWIN-L@RAVEN.CC.UKANS.EDU
Subject: a selective mechanism for Kuhnian evolution

Thomas Kuhn suggested that the desiderata for theory choice
shared by the members of a scientific community evolve with the
advance of science.  Kuhn, however, fails to provide a suitable
mechanism for affecting that evolution.  In a paper titled "Thomas
Kuhn and the Selection of Criteria for Theory Choice" I have proposed
a selective mechanism capable of underwriting the evolution of
scientific desiterata for theory choice (e.g. of such standards as
scope, accuracy, consistency, etc.).  The proposed mechanism is termed
_membership selection_ which accounts for the evolution of group
properties in terms of individual selection (_not_ Wynne-Edwardian
'group selection').  Using this new mechanism, it is shown that Kuhn's
own descriptive account of the scientific process as it moves through
time provides a sufficient basis for a selective proces in which the
criteria for theory choice are selected for and against.  The evolution
of the desiderata for theory choice can be accounted for as the product
of a selective mechanism operating withing the historical process of
scientific advance.

In Kuhn's account we can find the basic building blocks for a selective
account of the evolution of the desiderata for theory choice.  First, we
have a source of diversity in the unique value configurations (theory
choice desiderata) of individual scientists which is available as a target
of selection.  Second, we have a two staged historical process of normal
science and revolution which is available as the mechanism of that selection.
We have only to show how that selective mechanism opporates.  Fortunately,
Kuhn has provided us in his descriptive accoun of science with the resources
neened to fill out a selective model of the evolution of the desiderata
of theory choice.  These resources include three primary elements.  First,
a description of how values for theory choice are transmitted from one
generation of scientists to another.  Second, a description of how scientists
with a diversity in their configuration of desiderata for theory choice
converge upon a single normal science paradigm after a period of scientific
revolution.  And third, a description of how the transformation from one
period of normal science to the next through a span of scientific revolution
takes place as a consequence of the differential survival of only but not
all configurations of desiderata for theory choice.

My account of this mechanism introduces the concept of _membership
selection_.  Membership selection is a selective process which selects
over individuals for a property of those individuals which either does or
does not contribute to a group property, a property which cannot be
exhibited along by a single individual, but which can only be expressed
as a group property.  Through this proces which selects over individuals
and for a property these individuals either do or do not contributed to the
group, there will be selection for the group property which selected
individuals together exhibit.

In the process of membership selection, shared expression of a group
property by the members within the group will cost them no selective
disadvantage among themselves, but will contribute to each individuals
selective advantage over individuals who do not participate in expressing
a group property.

I have compared this to a hypothetical case in evolutionary biology, using
the example of the circular herding of individual musk-oxen, which is a
group property that gives each animal an adaptive advantage over other
individual musk-oxen who do not herd in a circle.  Individual musk-oxen
cannot express the property of hearding in a circle along as a single
individual.  but when an indiviual's proclivity for herding in a circle
is expressed in conjunction with other individuals who have inherited or
acquired this same proclivity, that individuals along with the other
individuals who share that proclivity will be selected over those individuals
who do not display this proclivity.  A similiar example can perhaps be
identified in the group property created by the disorienting movements of
individual striped zebra when in a group.

It is crucial to recognize here that herding individuals will have an
adaptive advantage over non-herding individuals as a result of the unique
_group_ properties of circular defense formations.  Herding individuals
are more fit than non-herding individuals becasue the group propery they
product through their own individual contributions -- an all horns out
circular defense postur -- increases the survival chances of each against
outside predators as compared to those individuals who face predators out
alone with their back-side exposed.  The individuals who display this group
property (in my theoretical case) are not disadvantage, however, vis-a-vis
other members of the group.  This, of course, directly constrasts with the
classical 'group selection' model as it is conventionally modeled.

My paper then goes on to show how the evolution of desiderata for theory
choice described by Kuhn is affected by this selective mechanism using the
components of Kuhn's own descriptive account of the scientific process.

My paper was submitted to Alex Rosenberg and Larry Wright in partial
fulfillment of the requirements for a Ph.D in philosophy at the University
of California, Riverside, and is originally dated 1990.  It has been in
limited private circulation, but has not been submitted for publication, due
to other demands upon my time.

Greg Ransom
Dept. of Philosophy
UC-Riverside
gransom@ucrac1.ucr.edu

_______________________________________________________________________________

<34:60>From rmccalli@sunmuw1.muw.edu Fri Jun 21 18:18:51 1996

Date: Fri, 21 Jun 1996 18:26:11 -0500
To: darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu
From: rmccalli@sunmuw1.muw.edu (Rick Mc Callister)
Subject: Re: @

Hablando de monstruos, my wife, who is from Costa Rica refers to it as a
"rabo de chancho" or "pigtail"

>> "..El sue=F1o de la razon produce monstruos ...".
>>
>Hello.
>
>The symbol @ in spanish is used since 18th century. It means 'arroba' a
>weight measure.
>
>Alfredo Baratas.
>Historia de la Biolog=EDa.
>Facultad de Biolog=EDa.
>Universidad Complutense Madrid.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<34:61>From wilkins@wehi.EDU.AU Sun Jun 23 19:18:26 1996

Date: Mon, 24 Jun 1996 10:19:51 +1100
From: wilkins@wehi.EDU.AU
Subject: Re: DARWIN-L digest 626
To: darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu

Greg

Would you be able to send me a copy of your paper, electronically or by
snailmail?

I am about to embark upon a PhD and my topic rests upon criteria for membership
inclusion into the Darwinian program. I aim to do a cladistic analysis and
compare it with a cluster analysis of theoretical attributes expressed by
leading figures of the program from Darwin to Williams via Gould and others.

You paper seems to me to be in close affinity with the approach I am taking. I
rest my views very heavily on those of Dawkins, David Hull and HC Plotkin and
it seems to me that Hull's views and yours are closely similar.

Regards

John Wilkins
Head of Communication Services
Walter and Eliza Hall Institute
<http://www.wehi.edu.au/~wilkins/www.html>
<mailto:wilkins@wehi.edu.au>

_______________________________________________________________________________

<34:62>From GRANSOM@ucrac1.ucr.edu Sun Jun 23 21:11:06 1996

Date: Sun, 23 Jun 1996 19:10:26 -0700 (PDT)
From: GREG RANSOM <GRANSOM@ucrac1.ucr.edu>
To: DARWIN-L@RAVEN.CC.UKANS.EDU
Subject: selection type theories

John, you might want to check out these references
as part of your study:

Lindley Darden and Joseph Cain, "Selection Type Theories", _Philosophy
of Science_, 56 (1989), pp. 106-129.

Gerald Edelman, "Group Selection and Phasic Reentrant Signaling:  A
Theory of Higher Brain Function" in _The Mindful Brain_ by Gerald Edelman
and Vernon Mountcastle,  Cambridge:  The MIT Press.

Joseph Cain and Lindley Darden, "Hull and Selection", _Biology and
Philosophy_

Donald Campbell, "A General 'Selection Theory', as Implimented in
Biological Evolution and in Social Belief-Transmission-with-Modification
in Science", _Biology and Philosophy_.

Gary Cziko, _Without Miracles_, Cambridge:  The MIT Press.  1995.

Also, check out Gary's web cite at:

http://www.ed.vivc.edu/facstaff/g-cziko/stb/

(hope I got that right)

Greg Ransom
Dept. of Philosophy
UC-Riverside
gransom@ucrac1.ucr.edu

--TAA16837.835581974/clack.ucr.edu--

_______________________________________________________________________________

<34:63>From joe@genetics.washington.edu Mon Jun 24 08:36:06 1996

From: Joe Felsenstein <joe@genetics.washington.edu>
Subject: Re: Thomas Kuhn
To: darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu
Date: Mon, 24 Jun 1996 06:45:08 -0700 (PDT)

Bob O'Hara noted that
> Although Kuhn
> distinguished himself through many publications, he will always be
> remembered first for _The Structure of Scientific Revolutions_, published
> in 1962.  _Structure_ is a book of special importance to Darwin-L,
> because what Kuhn was trying to do was to emphasize the importance of
> scientific history to the philosophy of science, which in his time had
> become an excessively a-historical subject.  The introduction to _The
> Structure of Scientific Revolutions_ is titled "A Role for History",
> which could almost be a subtitle for Darwin-L itself:

Thomas Kuhn's book had another, more unusual side effect, which he could not
have intended.  It was so widely known among scientists that, in the 1970's,
there was a plague of new graduate students all of whom concluded that in order
to make their mark in science they had to establish a new paradigm, and not do
"normal science".  Doing normal science was seen as the mark of a dullard.

This resulted in a lot of confusion, with everything and anything claimed to
be new and revolutionary.  While claims like that happen all the time,
they seened to be much more frequent in the 10-15 years after Kuhn's book
appeared.  I used to joke to friends that I would make my mark by being the
only member of my scientific generation who did not found a new paradigm.

Some day an historian of science needs to study the effect of Kuhn's book
on they way science was done.  Then if they can publish that work, and
if it is widely noticed among scientists ...

----
Joe Felsenstein         joe@genetics.washington.edu     (IP No. 128.95.12.41)
 Dept. of Genetics, Univ. of Washington, Box 357360, Seattle, WA 98195-7360 USA

_______________________________________________________________________________

<34:64>From g-cziko@uiuc.edu Mon Jun 24 09:07:56 1996

Date: Mon, 24 Jun 1996 09:09:44 -0500
To: darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu
From: g-cziko@uiuc.edu (Gary Cziko)
Subject: Revised Selection Theory Bibliography on Web

[from Gary Cziko 960624.1400 GMT]

Greg Ransom said:

>Also, check out Gary's web cite at:
>http://www.ed.vivc.edu/facstaff/g-cziko/stb/
>(hope I got that right)

Almost, except you put in "v"s for "u"s (maybe you need to change your
eyeglass prescription, or get a better monitor?).  The correct URL for the
Selection Theory Bibliograpy is:

http://www.ed.uiuc.edu/facstaff/g-cziko/stb/

This has been recently revised and now has an expanded quotes section which
I think many darwin-l'ers will find of interest.

And I am always looking for references and quotes to add that are relevant
to the application of selection theory beyond biological evolution (and
criticisms thereof).

--Gary Cziko

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

http://www.uiuc.edu/ph/www/g-cziko/
     __o
   _-\<,_
  (_)/ (_)
-------------------------------------------------------------------

_______________________________________________________________________________

<34:65>From ahouse@hydra.rose.brandeis.edu Mon Jun 24 09:10:34 1996

Date: Mon, 24 Jun 1996 10:15:24 -0400
To: darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu
From: ahouse@hydra.rose.brandeis.edu (Jeremy C. Ahouse)
Subject: linguistic & biological evolution

        When I initiated the thread on the pronunciation of '@' (by
crossposting something from the HUMANIST list) , I ventured that "Language
change through time really does seem different from organismal evolution."
Bob O'Hara and Kent Holsinger challenged this. I want to open this up a bit
more.

        I also suggested that genes and memes were not strongly analogous.
This clearly isn't the same as my first claim. So let me approach this
topic again.

        Biology has lineages. These ancestor descendant relationships
result in a topology of connections that is primarily branching
(dichotomously) above the species level. Some would even define species as
that level of organization where the number of reticulate branches whither.
This toplogy underwrites some of the ways that we can make inferences about
the relationships between organisms. (For one thing we expect them to be
nested.) Cladistics has taken this understanding of the topology (lineage +
dichotomous branching) and run with it. At what times/places does language
have these properties? When do memes? When a new technology is exposed to
numerous contexts (the "@" symbol) is there a clear analogy for this in
biology?

O'Hara begins to unpack this when he writes:
        Writing systems are independent of languages to a considerable
        extent, and one language may make use of more than one writing
        system over the course of its history (as Greek did, first with
        the Linear B syllabary which was lost, and then later with a
        modified Phonecian alphabet which is still in use).  In the case
        of the "@" sign, we have a very unusual case of a meaningful
        _character_ which was transmitted around the world with no sound
        attached, and speakers of different languages had to invent a
        name/sound for it.

        There is an overall enthusiasm for selectionist explanations in
biology. Generally these explanations are more nuanced than you find in
popular accounts. This explanatory framework (which too easily becomes a
framework for rationalization) is well outlined in a terrific essay by Ron
Amundson (Amundson, 1989). He offers the following features for a
selectionist explanation;

        a. Richness of variation: The domain (of behavior or biological
        morphology) shows variation which is:
                i. spontaneous
                ii. persistent (i.e.
                iii. abundant, and
                iv. small and continuous (or nearly so) in its effects.

        b. Nondirectedness of variation: The variation is nondirected
        with respect to the environmental needs of the organism.

        c. Nonpurposive "sorting" mechanism:  There is an environmental
        sorting (or "selecting") mechanism which results in the
        preferential persistence of those variations which happen to be
        suited to the environmental needs of the organism or species -
        and (most importantly) this sorting mechanism is itself
        nonpurposive.

        There are ideas that are like this (in some ways) and parts of
language as well... but I suspect that the analogy of genes with memes
rests more on c. than it does on the other desiderata. If Ron's minimum
criteria for selectionist explanations are a reflection of what is commonly
held, then we can even begin to suggest what parts of biology aren't
playing by these rules and start to broaden the explanatory machinery in
biology. It is in precisely this sense that biologists can mine the ideas
of those who study the evolution of language and ideas. I did not mean to
leave language out in the cold by suggesting that disanalogies "overwhelm",
but rather to broaden enthusiasm for different kinds of explanations for
evolving systems. So the disanalogies seem like an opportunity.

        Now Bob and Kent may actually be claiming that the analogies are
really quite tight (e.g. "The founder principle in creole genesis") and
nothing different is happening... then I suspect that at a minimum they
would agree that a selectionist explanatory framework may need to be
broadened to explain language, idea proliferation and change and biology.
If so we are standing close...

        - Jeremy

        Amundson, R. (1989). The Trials and Tribulations of Selectionist
Explanations. In K. Hahlweg & C. A. Hooker (Eds.), Issues in Evolutionary
Epistemology, (pp. 556-578). NY: SUNY Press.

        Jeremy C. Ahouse
        Biology Department
        Brandeis University
        Waltham, MA 02254-9110
ph:     (617) 736-4954
fax:    (617) 736-2405
email:  ahouse@hydra.rose.brandeis.edu
web:    http://www.rose.brandeis.edu/users/simister/pages/Ahouse

_______________________________________________________________________________

<34:66>From GRANSOM@ucrac1.ucr.edu Mon Jun 24 11:00:25 1996

Date: Mon, 24 Jun 1996 8:59:46 -0700 (PDT)
From: GREG RANSOM <GRANSOM@ucrac1.ucr.edu>
To: darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re: Thomas Kuhn

Kuhn's work honored and even glorified the role of normal
science in the advance of science, and the crucial role normal
science played in the training and certification of new
members of the scientific community.  Kuhn had no truck for the
notion that doing normal science was the mark of the dullard
-- Popper's claim against Kuhn which Kuhn rejected.

Anyone who concluded that doing normal science was not how one
'made their mark' in science, or how one became a member of the
scientific community, or even how one contributed to the advance
of science, had not read Kuhn very closely.

Greg Ransom
Dept. of Philosophy
UC-Riverside
gransom@ucrac1.ucr.edu

_______________________________________________________________________________

<34:67>From joe@genetics.washington.edu Mon Jun 24 13:24:47 1996

From: Joe Felsenstein <joe@genetics.washington.edu>
Subject: Re: Thomas Kuhn
To: darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu
Date: Mon, 24 Jun 1996 11:33:49 -0700 (PDT)

> Kuhn's work honored and even glorified the role of normal
> science in the advance of science, and the crucial role normal
> science played in the training and certification of new
> members of the scientific community.  Kuhn had no truck for the
> notion that doing normal science was the mark of the dullard
> -- Popper's claim against Kuhn which Kuhn rejected.
>
> Anyone who concluded that doing normal science was not how one
> 'made their mark' in science, or how one became a member of the
> scientific community, or even how one contributed to the advance
> of science, had not read Kuhn very closely.

Ah, but we graduate students in science had _not_ read Kuhn very
closely, or even read him at all.  But a lot of us drew
that conclusion and set out to establish our own paradigms.
The result was, to say the least, not very positive.

----
Joe Felsenstein         joe@genetics.washington.edu     (IP No. 128.95.12.41)
 Dept. of Genetics, Univ. of Washington, Box 357360, Seattle, WA 98195-7360 USA

_______________________________________________________________________________

<34:68>From bill@clyde.as.utexas.edu Mon Jun 24 13:09:37 1996

Date: Mon, 24 Jun 1996 13:12:16 -0500
From: bill@clyde.as.utexas.edu (William H. Jefferys)
To: darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re: Thomas Kuhn

This discussion of Kuhn reminds me that it almost
seems a hallmark of some pseudoscientific endeavors
that they incessantly talk about 'paradigms' and
'paradigm change' (with themselves, always, viewed as
the ones who are making such changes).

Bill

_______________________________________________________________________________

<34:69>From GRANSOM@ucrac1.ucr.edu Mon Jun 24 13:34:26 1996

Date: Mon, 24 Jun 1996 11:33:43 -0700 (PDT)
From: GREG RANSOM <GRANSOM@ucrac1.ucr.edu>
To: darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: RE: linguistic & biological evolution

Kuhn seems clearly to identify a context in which language
does have the property of having both discrete lineages and
dichotomous branching with differential whithering -- in
the physical sciences.  Across 'revolutions' linguistic significance
is incommensurable.  Other rivals to the surviving normal science
linguistic frame wither way -- and get destroyed in classic texts and
standard textbook treatments.

Greg Ransom
Dept. of Philosophy
UC-Riverside
gransom@ucrac1.ucr.edu

_______________________________________________________________________________

<34:70>From kent@darwin.eeb.uconn.edu Mon Jun 24 13:35:12 1996

Date: Mon, 24 Jun 96 14:34:27 EDT
From: kent@darwin.eeb.uconn.edu (Kent E. Holsinger)
To: darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re: Thomas Kuhn

>>>>> "GREG" == GREG RANSOM <GRANSOM@ucrac1.ucr.edu> writes:

    GREG> Anyone who concluded that doing normal science was not how
    GREG> one 'made their mark' in science, or how one became a member
    GREG> of the scientific community, or even how one contributed to
    GREG> the advance of science, had not read Kuhn very closely.

That may be, but I do share Joe Felsenstein's sense that many (well, a
reasonable fraction at least) biologists felt that introducing a new
paradigm was the way to `make their mark' in science, and that they
attributed this feeling to Kuhn's work. They may not have read Kuhn
very closely, they may not have read Kuhn at all, but they thought he
had justified their opinion.

-- Kent

P.S. The use of the past tense in the paragraph may not be entirely
appropriate. I still have the sense that many of us (and I *do*
include myself here explicitly) frequently behave as if the `real'
contributions are those that significantly change the intellectual
structure of our own subfields, even if that's not what we really
believe.

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

_______________________________________________________________________________

<34:71>From princeh@husc.harvard.edu Mon Jun 24 14:30:06 1996

Date: Mon, 24 Jun 1996 15:29:59 -0400 (EDT)
From: Patricia Princehouse <princeh@husc.harvard.edu>
To: darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re: @

Maybe this was just a regional phenomenon, but when I was a kid in SW
Ohio, @ could mean "at", or it could be shorthand for "around" or "about".
So a note might read: "Meet me @ 3 o'clock & bring @ 50 popsicle sticks".
Since e-mail, nobody seems to understand @ as "around".

-Patricia

_______________________________________________________________________________

<34:72>From straker@unixg.ubc.ca Mon Jun 24 15:15:59 1996

Date: Mon, 24 Jun 1996 13:15:56 -0700 (PDT)
From: Stephen Straker <straker@unixg.ubc.ca>
To: darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re: Thomas Kuhn

Joe Felsenstein <joe@genetics.washington.edu> suggested that:
> Thomas Kuhn's book had another, more unusual side effect[:]...  a
> plague of new graduate students all of whom concluded that in order
> to make their mark in science they had to establish a new paradigm, and
> not do "normal science".  Doing normal science was seen as the mark of
> a dullard.
> This resulted in a lot of confusion, with everything and anything
> claimed to be new and revolutionary...  Some day an historian of science
> needs to study the effect of Kuhn's book on they way science was done...

Then GREG RANSOM wrote:
> ...  Anyone who concluded that doing normal science was not how one
> 'made their mark' in science, or how one became a member of the
> scientific community, or even how one contributed to the advance
> of science, had not read Kuhn very closely.

*My* experience over about 25 years, teaching Kuhn's book to Science
students (undergrad and grad) and talking about it with many scientists
tends to confirm Ransom's observation: that no one had really "read" it
properly.  I found that scientists by and large accomplished an almost
effortless *translation* of what they had already learned (in textbooks?)
or believed into Kuhnese.  Instead of "theory" they now said "paradigm",
instead of "counterinstance" or "falsifying observation" they now said
"anomaly", and so forth.  Nothing but the language changed.

On the part of more senior scientists I did notice, however, a kind of
cheerful admission that "of course" everything we believe and teach right
now will be replaced by a "new paradigm" (which may even come next week);
but this didn't seem to bother them very much.

In short, my impression was that Kuhn's ideas (along with most of HPS and
STS in general) have had very little effect on actual scientific work and
thought.  Kuhn's ideas *have* (along with those of Piaget) had some
effect on how Faculties of Education do research and teach science
teachers, but *these* consequences, it seems to me, have by and large
been unhappy and not at all what Kuhn might have intended.

for what it's worth, probably not a book (or even an article)...

Stephen Straker             straker@unixg.ubc.ca
Arts One // History         (604) 822-6863
University of British Columbia  / FAX: (604) 822-4520
Vancouver, Canada  V6T 1Z1

_______________________________________________________________________________

<34:73>From hanss@zondisk.sepa.tudelft.nl Mon Jun 24 15:49:10 1996

From: "Hans-Cees Speel" <hanss@zondisk.sepa.tudelft.nl>
Organization:  TUDelft
To: ahouse@hydra.rose.brandeis.edu (Jeremy C. Ahouse),
        darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu
Date: Wed, 26 Jun 1996 22:46:29 +0000
Subject: Re: linguistic & biological evolution

>         I also suggested that genes and memes were not strongly analogous.
> This clearly isn't the same as my first claim. So let me approach this
> topic again.

I would like to ask analogous in what respect? This claim is not very
precise.

>         Biology has lineages. These ancestor descendant relationships
> result in a topology of connections that is primarily branching
> (dichotomously) above the species level.

My understanding of biological evolution rests mostly on David Hull,
or rather I know others but use his work so my critique will not
surprise you:

Species are the paradigm example of biological evolution.
Nevertheless they are a minority in the evolution of biological
lineages. In non-sexual lineages the genes form the lineages, without
being hussled by recombination. The view above is a
not general enough to account for all evolution in biology.

Some would even define species as
> that level of organization where the number of reticulate branches whither.
> This toplogy underwrites some of the ways that we can make inferences about
> the relationships between organisms. (For one thing we expect them to be
> nested.) Cladistics has taken this understanding of the topology (lineage +
> dichotomous branching) and run with it.

Only specific branches of cladistics.

 At what times/places does language
> have these properties? When do memes? When a new technology is exposed to
> numerous contexts (the "@" symbol) is there a clear analogy for this in
> biology?

I do not know when an analogy is clear nor exactly what you mean by
'this'. Mind you, I do think the question is important [it is to my
research], but could perhaps be stated more clearly.

> O'Hara begins to unpack this when he writes:
>         Writing systems are independent of languages to a considerable
>         extent, and one language may make use of more than one writing
>         system over the course of its history (as Greek did, first with
>         the Linear B syllabary which was lost, and then later with a
>         modified Phonecian alphabet which is still in use).  In the case
>         of the "@" sign, we have a very unusual case of a meaningful
>         _character_ which was transmitted around the world with no sound
>         attached, and speakers of different languages had to invent a
>         name/sound for it.
>
>         There is an overall enthusiasm for selectionist explanations in
> biology. Generally these explanations are more nuanced than you find in
> popular accounts. This explanatory framework (which too easily becomes a
> framework for rationalization) is well outlined in a terrific essay by Ron
> Amundson (Amundson, 1989). He offers the following features for a
> selectionist explanation;

I will look him up, I am exited to see that there is so much I have
not red about memetic evolution in this sense.

>         a. Richness of variation: The domain (of behavior or biological
>         morphology) shows variation which is:
>                 i. spontaneous
>                 ii. persistent (i.e.
>                 iii. abundant, and
>                 iv. small and continuous (or nearly so) in its effects.
>
>         b. Nondirectedness of variation: The variation is nondirected
>         with respect to the environmental needs of the organism.
>
>         c. Nonpurposive "sorting" mechanism:  There is an environmental
>         sorting (or "selecting") mechanism which results in the
>         preferential persistence of those variations which happen to be
>         suited to the environmental needs of the organism or species -
>         and (most importantly) this sorting mechanism is itself
>         nonpurposive.
>
>         There are ideas that are like this (in some ways) and parts of
> language as well... but I suspect that the analogy of genes with memes
> rests more on c. than it does on the other desiderata.

I think that also b is very important. Not very much memes are
created by intentional or purposefull behavior of humans. Some is
clearly, but a lot is created in group-processes, where no clear
intentions are apparent, at the best they are a mix, and at worse
nobody has much influence. I study policy processes, and there it is
very clear that most participants that make up policy-solutions or
variation in solutions are very dis-content that they are not able to
influence if there is much variation.
I take it your examples are different, and i would like to hear more
about them.

 If Ron's minimum
> criteria for selectionist explanations are a reflection of what is commonly
> held, then we can even begin to suggest what parts of biology aren't
> playing by these rules and start to broaden the explanatory machinery in
> biology.

This is of course already so in explanations like genetic drift and
the like, as well for a part by the hierarchical view of selection.

 It is in precisely this sense that biologists can mine the ideas
> of those who study the evolution of language and ideas.

I think that a lot of selection in human affairs is not intentional,
becuase there are a lot of actors involved, and not much thinking why
certain variations are picked above others. The Dawkins viral-meme
examples are instances of humans are not in control of selection
or variation-creation. But I am not sure if you are taking these
examples as the ones biologists could mine?

 I did not mean to
> leave language out in the cold by suggesting that disanalogies "overwhelm",
> but rather to broaden enthusiasm for different kinds of explanations for
> evolving systems. So the disanalogies seem like an opportunity.

I fully agree, but not quit understand the things you mean above.

>         Now Bob and Kent may actually be claiming that the analogies are
> really quite tight (e.g. "The founder principle in creole genesis") and
> nothing different is happening... then I suspect that at a minimum they
> would agree that a selectionist explanatory framework may need to be
> broadened to explain language, idea proliferation and change and biology.

Of course human memetic evolution can involve intention and thought,
but that can be viewed selectionistic.

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 hanss@sepa.tudelft.nl
HTTP://www.sepa.tudelft.nl/~afd_ba/hanss.html featuring evolution and memetics!

_______________________________________________________________________________

<34:74>From s-mufwene@uchicago.edu Mon Jun 24 20:03:08 1996

Date: Mon, 24 Jun 1996 20:04:08 -0500
To: darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu
From: s-mufwene@uchicago.edu (Salikoko S. Mufwene)
Subject: Re: linguistic & biological evolution

Jeremy  C. Ahouse wrote:

>        Now Bob and Kent may actually be claiming that the analogies are
>really quite tight (e.g. "The founder principle in creole genesis") and
>nothing different is happening... then I suspect that at a minimum they
>would agree that a selectionist explanatory framework may need to be
>broadened to explain language, idea proliferation and change and biology.
>If so we are standing close...

       In the article of mine that Bob O'Hara was so kind to bring to the
attention of this List, I argue that in the context of language change,
which I take creoles to be outcomes of, it is necessary to compare
'language' not with 'organism' but with 'population'. Because I now
understand that members of a population need not share features, I should
have analogized 'language' more  strictly with 'species', assuming that
'idiolects', individual speakers' varieties from which 'language' is
projected, resemble and differ from each other virtually like members of a
species.

     The main idea is that there is language-internal variation similar to
species-internal variation, on which selection operates, so I understand,
in population genetics. I also tried to capitalize on the role of 'ecology'
in causing or affecting selection in one direction or another--favoring or
disfavoring some of the members in competition. I also wanted to highlight
the fact that part of the ecology of language change lies in the language
itself as a population/species of idiolects, perhaps put more adequately,
in the population of individual speaking it as they carry with them a wide
range of ethnographic factors triggering or favoring/disfavoring particular
kinds of  change.

     I then moved on to show that in the contact settings in which creoles
developed the role of ecology becomes more obvious as linguistic features
of the language adopted as the vernacular (that which produced most of a
creole's vocabulary--called "lexifier") compete not only among themselves
but also with competing alternatives in the other languages it came in
contact with through whoever was attempting to speak it (the lexifier).
Theoretically, the pool of competing alternatives increases proportionally
with the number of types of languages for every parameter. However, there
are a host of mitigating factors which fall in the context of ecology of
the change taking place.

      I have found the notion of ecology still difficult to articulate
fully and am still working on it. I discussed it in a paper in progress
titled "Language ecology and creole genesis." In this broad context I found
the Founder Principle especially useful. One gets interesting insights into
structural features of creoles by examining carefully the structural
features of the language varieties spoken by the founder populations. In
the case of creoles, at least those associated with European languages and
were originally associated with creole populations (that is, in the
colonies), it appears that it is very important to pay attention to the
nonstandard varieties of European lexifier  spoken by the largely European
indentured labor that worked side by side with the slaves. (The typical
mistake in the creole literature is to compare creoles with standard
varieties of European lexifiers!) Some of the indentured labor actually
spoke the European languages that subsequently creolized as second
languages, which complicates the whole scenario, as you may imagine
speakers of, say English, as a nonnative language serving as models to
other nonnative speakers or their childern. Setting the nonstandard
linguistic features of the European indentured labor with those of the
other languages that the European lexifiers came in contact with produces
an interesting "arena" of competing features on which selection must have
applied in ways we still should try to understand better.

      The Founder Principle adds an important time dimension to the gradual
restructuring that the lexifier was undergoing, as it became more and more
different and wound up being disfranchised as a "creole", a term which for
me has more sociohistorical than linguistic justification. I cannot rewrite
the whole article here of  course, but this is the gist of the analogs I
saw between evolution in a language and evolution in a population/species.
Perhaps I will refine the whole thing. Perhaps my perceptions will turn out
to be mistaken. But I found it useful to depart from the traditional
analogizing of 'language' with 'organism' in linguistics.

Sali.

*******************************************************************
Salikoko S. Mufwene                        s-mufwene@uchicago.edu
University of Chicago                      312-702-8531; FAX 312-702-9861
Department of Linguistics
1010 East 59th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
*******************************************************************

_______________________________________________________________________________

<34:75>From VISLYONS@ubvms.cc.buffalo.edu Mon Jun 24 20:50:43 1996

Date: Mon, 24 Jun 1996 21:50:27 -0500 (EST)
From: VISLYONS@ubvms.cc.buffalo.edu
Subject: nuclear winter/ global warming
To: darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University at Buffalo

If anyone has suggestions for short introductory readings for college
freshmen on global warming and/or nuclear winter I would appreciate you
sending them to me.  You can send it privately rather than to the List
Thank you
Sherrie Lyons
slyons@daemen.edu

_______________________________________________________________________________

<34:76>From rmccalli@sunmuw1.muw.edu Mon Jun 24 22:05:23 1996

Date: Mon, 24 Jun 1996 22:12:45 -0500
To: darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu
From: rmccalli@sunmuw1.muw.edu (Rick Mc Callister)
Subject: Re: linguistic & biological evolution

>O'Hara begins to unpack this when he writes:
>        Writing systems are independent of languages to a considerable
>        extent, and one language may make use of more than one writing
>        system over the course of its history (as Greek did, first with
>        the Linear B syllabary which was lost, and then later with a
>        modified Phonecian alphabet which is still in use).  In the case
>        of the "@" sign, we have a very unusual case of a meaningful
>        _character_ which was transmitted around the world with no sound
>        attached, and speakers of different languages had to invent a
>        name/sound for it.

O'Hara spoke too soon. Recently I've seen @ used on Linguist-L as a means
of writing the schwa sound in various languages. I've even seen $ used as a
sign for a postulated vowel sound in Ancient Egyptian. But he's right in
that for most of us it's an icon or a glyph rather than a letter.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<34:77>From HANSS@sepa.tudelft.nl Tue Jun 25 02:18:16 1996

From: "Hans-Cees Speel" <HANSS@sepa.tudelft.nl>
To: darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu
Date: Tue, 25 Jun 1996 09:21:53 MET
Subject: Re: linguistic & biological evolution/ecology

>       I have found the notion of ecology still difficult to articulate
> fully and am still working on it. I discussed it in a paper in progress
> titled "Language ecology and creole genesis." In this broad context I found
> the Founder Principle especially useful. One gets interesting insights into
> structural features of creoles by examining carefully the structural
> features of the language varieties spoken by the founder populations.

. I cannot rewrite
> the whole article here of  course, but this is the gist of the analogs I
> saw between evolution in a language and evolution in a population/species.
> Perhaps I will refine the whole thing. Perhaps my perceptions will turn out
> to be mistaken. But I found it useful to depart from the traditional
> analogizing of 'language' with 'organism' in linguistics.

Some general remarks that strike me when I see the analogy between
biology and language in action:

In my background [ecology], there was never much need to think about
evolution, because while it could explain why ecological processes
and relations were there in the way they were, it was processing at
a timescale undetectable for ecological experiment. The very nice thing
about memetic evolution, including language, is that the timescales for
evolution and ecological processes have collapsed into one time-scale.
This is nice because it gives us an opportunity to make clear what the
difference is between evolution and ecology, without the practicle time-scale
difference. When thinking about it I didn't get very far, exept for some
notions that ecology has to do with inter-organism interaction, but then
again so does selection. Species that disperse also interact, and quite
dramatically, as in examples of tyhe rabit introduced in Australia. So the
difficulty you state with ecology is a general problem as I see it. I do
not know any books beyond text-book level that takes this problem seriuosly
[who does, let me know!].

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 hanss@sepa.tudelft.nl
HTTP://www.sepa.tudelft.nl/~afd_ba/hanss.html featuring evolution and memetics!

_______________________________________________________________________________

<34:78>From MNHVZ082%SIVM.BITNET@KUHUB.CC.UKANS.EDU Tue Jun 25 08:41:27 1996

Date: Tue, 25 Jun 1996 09:28:12 -0400 (EDT)
From: Kevin de Queiroz <MNHVZ082%SIVM.BITNET@KUHUB.CC.UKANS.EDU>
Subject: Re: Thomas Kuhn
To: Darwin-L <darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu>

I would think that the tendency to view "paradigm-changing" work as the
way to make one's mark in science is not attributable to Kuhn alone but
to the general way that we scientists tend to describe the history of
science.  We tell this history as a chronicle of "great thinkers" and
their "revolutionary ideas" often de-emphasizing the continuity of
intellectual change.  In this context, it hardly seems surprising that
we think the best way to be remembered is to do something "revolutionary."

Kevin de Queiroz
mnhvz082@sivm.si.edu

_______________________________________________________________________________

<34:79>From ggale@CCTR.UMKC.EDU Tue Jun 25 12:58:55 1996

Date: Tue, 25 Jun 1996 12:57:38 CST
From: ggale@CCTR.UMKC.EDU
To: darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: RE: DARWIN-L digest 628

Patricia Princehouse notes that "@" could also be used locally as "around"
in, e.g., "around 9" = "I'll meet you @9".

In my family we always used "c." for the temporal/numerical sense of
"around" = "Approximately".

"@" was reserved for "each" as in the grocery list item "3 @ tomatoes".

All this was in written communication, of course.

Geo

_______________________________________________________________________________

<34:80>From wilkins@wehi.EDU.AU Wed Jun 26 03:15:29 1996

Date: Wed, 26 Jun 1996 18:14:33 +1100
From: wilkins@wehi.EDU.AU
Subject: Re: DARWIN-L digest 629
To: darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu

On a more general note, I am wondering if there have been any good and thorough
treatments of the relationships between evolution, epidemiology and ecology. It
strikes me that epidemiology is evolution, but viewed from the perspective of
the host organism. I am unclear if that means the host organism on a short
timescale is best viewed as an ecological class of the pathogen species, and
that the resultant arms race is similar in structure to the hypercycles of
ecosystems.

On memetic evolution, it is interesting that Dawkins has for over a decade
preferred to refer to "mind-viruses" and memetic infections in contrast to his
earlier evolutionary model. Now, I understand that the equations describing
pathogen dispersal and evolution are formally identical to those used in
population genetics. Is there any work that clears this up to anybody's
satisfaction?

John Wilkins
Head of Communication Services
Walter and Eliza Hall Institute
<http://www.wehi.edu.au/~wilkins/www.html>
<mailto:wilkins@wehi.edu.au>

_______________________________________________________________________________

<34:81>From abrown@lazy.demon.co.uk Wed Jun 26 07:35:26 1996

Date: Wed, 26 Jun 1996 13:24:28 +0000
To: darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu
From: Andrew Brown <abrown@lazy.demon.co.uk>
Subject: RE: linguistic & biological evolution

GREG RANSOM wrote, at 11:33 24/06/96 -0700, that:
>Kuhn seems clearly to identify a context in which language
>does have the property of having both discrete lineages and
>dichotomous branching with differential whithering -- in
>the physical sciences.  Across 'revolutions' linguistic significance
>is incommensurable.  Other rivals to the surviving normal science
>linguistic frame wither way -- and get destroyed in classic texts and
>standard textbook treatments.

So we have species selection in language, even if nowhere else.

Andrew Brown
Religious Affairs Correspondent, The Independent, London
Not in the office right now. abrown@lazy.demon.co.uk / andrewb@well.com

_______________________________________________________________________________

<34:82>From rmccalli@sunmuw1.muw.edu Wed Jun 26 11:44:25 1996

Date: Wed, 26 Jun 1996 11:51:50 -0500
To: darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu
From: rmccalli@sunmuw1.muw.edu (Rick Mc Callister)
Subject: Re: @

I'm also from SW Ohio but I always thought everybody did that on memos and
messages and that @ meant "at" or "about." I also remember seeing it in
stores for pricing things that came in multiples; e.g. thingamajigs: 10 @
$1.00

>Maybe this was just a regional phenomenon, but when I was a kid in SW
>Ohio, @ could mean "at", or it could be shorthand for "around" or "about".
>So a note might read: "Meet me @ 3 o'clock & bring @ 50 popsicle sticks".
>Since e-mail, nobody seems to understand @ as "around".
>
>-Patricia

_______________________________________________________________________________

<34:83>From HANSS@sepa.tudelft.nl Thu Jun 27 07:59:37 1996

From: "Hans-Cees Speel" <HANSS@sepa.tudelft.nl>
Organization:  TU Delft
To: darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu
Date: Thu, 27 Jun 1996 14:58:29 MET
Subject: linguistic & biological evolution/ecology

> On a more general note, I am wondering if there have been any good and
> thorough treatments of the relationships between evolution, epidemiology
> and ecology. It strikes me that epidemiology is evolution, but viewed from
> the perspective of the host organism. I am unclear if that means the host
> organism on a short timescale is best viewed as an ecological class of the
> pathogen species, and that the resultant arms race is similar in structure
> to the hypercycles of ecosystems.

This only shows that we do not have a good way to distinguish
evolution and ecology besides the timescales. Exept that we generally
accept [I hope] that in biology we are talking about evolution of
lineages, and not of eco-systems. Not that they don't evolve in some
way but we just do not refer to them commonly as evolving.
I see virus from the host-organism as both ecological, hence by
definition concerning the relations between organisms and their
environment, as wel as evolution.
However in the same time viruses evolve by variation and selection,
and the relation is not a relation between organisms belonging to
lineages that do not change, in the time frame we use to look at them
[as is common in ecological theories].
I see epidemiology as ecological mainly, becuase the virus spreads
through an environment [its hostpopulation], but also as evolution
from the virus respect, because they show adaptation.

However, the language and concepts we use are not designed fro the se
problems, and I would like to hear from those who have better words
to distinguish.
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 hanss@sepa.tudelft.nl
HTTP://www.sepa.tudelft.nl/~afd_ba/hanss.html featuring evolution and memetics!

_______________________________________________________________________________

<34:84>From snoe@ivy.tec.in.us Thu Jun 27 08:50:37 1996

Date: Thu, 27 Jun 1996 08:54:29 +0500
To: darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu, darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu
From: snoe@ivy.tec.in.us (Stephen Noe)
Subject: Re: @, for what it's worth

In his novel _The Demolished Man_, Alfred Bester wrote a police procedural
set in a society that included telepaths, i.e. individuals capable of
communicating with each other by an extra sense.  These individuals often
referred to each other with symbols from the qwerty keyboard as a substitute
for the alphabet.  For example, an individual named 'Atkins' was always
referred to by the symbol '@kins,' when using the extra sense. (They also
used other typography symbols that my Mac at home can show, but this DOS
unit refuses to consider, such as the symbol for cents (1/100 US dollar), as
a lower-case 'c' with an incomplete vertical slash.)
As a side point, I find myself 'hearing' most letters in an address as
sounds, but the @ symbol stays visual, until I have to orally describe it to
someone.
Steve Noe  snoe@ivy.tec.in.us
 Anatomy & Physiology,  Ivy Tech State College Indianapolis, IN

We are not passengers on Spaceship Earth, we are crew,
and it's about time we took our duties seriously.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<34:85>From mayerg@cs.uwp.edu Thu Jun 27 13:55:40 1996

Date: Thu, 27 Jun 1996 13:55:35 -0500 (CDT)
From: Gregory Mayer <mayerg@cs.uwp.edu>
Subject: Re: Thomas Kuhn
To: darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu

I am quite sympathetic to Joe Felsenstein's notion that the effects of
Kuhn's ideas (at least as presented to scientists by his explicators)
upon the practice of science were not entirely salutary.  I am entirely
willing to accept that this was based in most instances on only a nodding
acquaintance with what Kuhn actually would have been willing to defend.
I recall as a graduate student (in science) coming to the conclusion that
if someone said they had a new "paradigm" it was because they didn't have
any actual evidence for their ideas, and the word was just used as a
blunt instrument for battering the unconvinced, since historians had
shown that those who don't accept the new paradigm are just irrational
die-hards.  Although users of the word thought they were at the height of
philosophical sophistication, it seemed to me to more often accompany
just the opposite.

I am intrigued by Stepehen Straker's notion that the use of "paradigm"
and other such words was only a change in vocabulary, and not in form of
argumentation.   This idea deserves further exploration by comparing how
scientific arguments went pre- and post-Kuhn.  However, I would note that
saying you have a new theory is not quite the same as saying you have a
new paradigm.  While scientists know that theories and their
modifications come and go, and thus criticism of a new theory is to be
expected, the outstanding exemplar of a new paradigm was Copernicanism,
and thus to criticize someone's new paradigm put one in the (for a
scientist) unhappy company of Ptolemaic astromomers.  Thus to herald
one's ideas as a paradigm shift had a stronger rhetorical effect on
critics than merely introducing a new theory.

I also think Kevin de Queiroz's point that the historiography of science
emphasizes revolution, and deemphasizes intellectual continuity is well
taken (although there is also a strong progressivist strain in history of
science, at least among scientists).  I wonder how much of the
revolutionary historiography, however, was influenced, directly or
indirectly, by Kuhn's ideas.  While Kevin and I may no longer be very
young, we are young enough that our scientific educations are post-Kuhn in
their entirety, so that what seems to us constant talk of "scientific
revolutions" may have been less constant earlier.  Certainly, much
historical discussion post-Kuhn has had its terms set by Kuhn, his
explicators, and his critics.

Perhaps what a scientific revolution is has been changed by Kuhn.  Prior
to Kuhn, a scientific revolution overthrew some traditional non-scientific
view (e.g.  as in White's "Warfare").  The revolution often opened up
previously taboo areas to scientific inquiry.  Scientists who came before
the revolution needn't be stigmatized.  I much admire Louis Agassiz for
his work in anatomy and morphology, and for establishing institutions and
traditions of research and training which had a great effect on the
founding of zoology as a professional discipline in America.  That he
remained a creationist (he was, in fact, the last great scientist to be a
creationist) does not dispel his achievements.  Since Kuhn, the claim of
"paradigm shift" has been used by scientist against scientist, (or, as
another commentator noted accurately, by pseudoscientist against
scientist) so that the revolution is designed to overthrow scientific
critics.  A Kuhnian historiography might be less sympathetic to Agassiz
than I am (although it also might be less sympatheic to Darwin, as well;
most who wield the sword of paradigm shift seem not to notice that it cuts
both ways).

Thus although the new graduate students who plagued Joe Felsenstein may have
had a superficial grasp of Kuhn's thinking, and, as Kevin de Q. points
out, there may be other sources of the desire to be remembered as a
revolutionary, I think Kuhn did have an effect.

Gregory C. Mayer
mayerg@cs.uwp.edu

_______________________________________________________________________________

<34:86>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Thu Jun 27 22:57:13 1996

Date: Thu, 27 Jun 1996 23:57:09 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: Evolution of pathogens (reply to John Wilkins)
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

John Wilkins asks:

>On a more general note, I am wondering if there have been any good and
>thorough treatments of the relationships between evolution, epidemiology
>and ecology.

One book I have heard mentioned is cited below.  I have not read it
myself, but I seem to remember seeing good reviews of it when it appeared.

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

 CALL NUMBER: RC112 .E93 1994

      AUTHOR: Ewald, Paul W.

       TITLE: Evolution of infectious disease / by Paul W. Ewald.
   PUBLISHED: Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1994.
      PAGING: vii, 298 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.

       NOTES: Includes bibligraphical references (p. 223-292) and
                  index.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<34:87>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Thu Jun 27 23:24:56 1996

Date: Fri, 28 Jun 1996 00:24:52 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: Before and after Kuhn (and Sulloway) (reply to Joe Felsenstein)
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

Joe Felsenstein commented interestingly on the influence of Kuhn's
work on scientists who, in a sense, became self-conscious of their own
historical roles as a result of what Kuhn wrote (or at least what they
thought he wrote):

>Thomas Kuhn's book had another, more unusual side effect, which he could
>not have intended.  It was so widely known among scientists that, in the
>1970's, there was a plague of new graduate students all of whom concluded
>that in order to make their mark in science they had to establish a new
>paradigm, and not do "normal science".  Doing normal science was seen as
>the mark of a dullard ....
>
>Some day an historian of science needs to study the effect of Kuhn's book
>on they way science was done.  Then if they can publish that work, and if
>it is widely noticed among scientists ...

We might describe this as a case of the observer (Kuhn) influencing how
the subjects (the working scientists) behave, rather like an anthropologist
who influences a culture by observing it (or having the members of the
culture read the description the anthropologist writes of them).

I predict that a very similar situation will occur again later this year
when Frank Sulloway's book on birth order and revolution comes out.  If I
am right, this book will have an impact as great as Kuhn's _Structure_,
and will influence an entire generation in the same way.  For those who
have not heard about this work, Sulloway (still at MIT, I believe) has
assembled a very large database on participants in all sorts of revolutions
over the last several centuries (both scientific and political revolutions).
His claim is that the single most important factor in whether one is a
revolutionary or a conservative in such settings is one's birth order:
youngest children almost invariably come out on the revolutionary side,
and oldest children almost invariably come out on the conservative side.
This effect, he says, completely swamps age, social class, economic
status, and all sorts of other variables.  His argument is extensive and
detailed, and I don't know it well enough to be able to explain it better
that I have, but I have no doubt that it will send quite a shockwave
through history and sociology.  It will also raise some very important
questions about the nature of explanation in these fields.

Joe suggested that a study of scientific practice or language before and
after Kuhn would be interesting, and I agree.  Sulloway's book will
present a similar opportunity, but any interested sociologists better
get to work studying the "before" phase while the community is still
naive, because the book should be out in a few months!  ;-)

Here's the publication data:

 Author: Frank J. Sulloway
 Title: Born to Rebel: Birth Order, Family Dynamics and
   Revolutionary Genius
 Hardcover; List: $30.00
 Published by Pantheon Books
 Publication date: October 1996
 ISBN: 0679442324

Bob O'Hara, Darwin-L list owner

Robert J. O'Hara (darwin@iris.uncg.edu)      |
Cornelia Strong College, 100 Foust Building  |  http://rjohara.uncg.edu
University of North Carolina at Greensboro   |  http://strong.uncg.edu
Greensboro, North Carolina 27412 U.S.A.      |

_______________________________________________________________________________

<34:88>From ahouse@hydra.rose.brandeis.edu Fri Jun 28 17:19:43 1996

Date: Fri, 28 Jun 1996 18:24:35 -0400
To: darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu
From: ahouse@hydra.rose.brandeis.edu (Jeremy C. Ahouse)
Subject: Evolution of pathogens (another reference)

>>On a more general note, I am wondering if there have been any good and
>>thorough treatments of the relationships between evolution, epidemiology
>>and ecology.

        cleaning my desk today I came across another reference.

Schrag, S. J., and Wiener, P. (1995). Emergine infectious disease: what are
the relative roles of ecology and evolution? TREE 10, 319-324.

        - Jeremy (ahouse@hydra.rose.brandeis.edu)

_______________________________________________________________________________

<34:89>From ahouse@hydra.rose.brandeis.edu Fri Jun 28 11:15:54 1996

Date: Fri, 28 Jun 1996 12:20:12 -0400
To: darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu
From: ahouse@hydra.rose.brandeis.edu (Jeremy C. Ahouse)
Subject: Re: Evolution of pathogens (reply to John Wilkins)

>John Wilkins asks:
>
>>On a more general note, I am wondering if there have been any good and
>>thorough treatments of the relationships between evolution, epidemiology
>>and ecology.

        I covered this briefly with my class last semester (not a thorough
treatment). Bob suggested the book by Ewald. I think you will also find the
article by Bull interesting. The short handout for that class discussion
can be found on the course web pages
(http://icg.harvard.edu/~bio17/jeremy/readings10.html)

        There is a current little surge of interest in what is called
Darwinian (or evolutionary) medicine. Most of the useful stuff seems to be
more ecologically sensitive medicine rather than evolutionary... but it is
always nice to have more people at the party.

        I found Nesse and Williams too full of just-so stories, but you may
enjoy it. Oliwenstein is a popular review.

        cheers,

        - Jeremy

__________________

Bull, J. J. (1994). Virulence. Evolution 48, 1423-1437.

Oliwenstein, L. (1995) Dr. Darwin. Discover October 111-117.

Nesse, R.M. and G.C. Williams (1994) "Why we get sick: the new science
of Darwinian medicine" New York: Times Books.

Ewald, P.W. (1994) "Evolution of infectious disease" Oxford: Oxford
University Press.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<34:90>From jsl@rockvax.rockefeller.edu Fri Jun 28 09:02:18 1996

To: darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Evolution of pathogens (reply to John Wilkins)
Date: Fri, 28 Jun 1996 10:08:09 EDT
From: Joshua Lederberg <jsl@rockvax.rockefeller.edu>

John Wilkins asks:

>On a more general note, I am wondering if there have been any good and
>thorough treatments of the relationships between evolution, epidemiology
>and ecology.

------
The canonical works include:

CN WC100/B964/ed.3
Aa Burnet, Frank Macfarlane
TI Natural history of infectious disease.
CL 377 p.  front.
PP Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
DA 1962.

CN WC500/B964
Aa Burnet, Frank Macfarlane
TI Virus as organism.
ST Evolutionary and ecological aspects of some human virus
   diseases.
CL 134 p.
PP Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press.
DA 1945.

CN Q11/N532/A613/v.740
Aa Wilson, Mary E, ed.
Ab Levins, Richard, ed.
Ac Spielman, Andrew, ed.
TI Disease in evolution: global changes and emergence of infectious
   diseases.
CL 503 p.
PP New York: New York Academy of Sciences.
DA 1994.

CN QZ40/S662
Aa Smith, Theobald
TI Parasitism and disease.
CL 196 p.
PP Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press.
DA 1934.

CN QL757/T765
Aa Trager, William
TI Living together.
ST The biology of animal parasitism.
CL 467 p.
PP New York: Plenum Press.
DA 1986.

CN QH301/L722/no.25
Aa Anderson, Roy M, ed.
Ab May, Robert McCredie, ed.
TI Population biology of infectious diseases.
CL 315 p.
PP Berlin: Springer-Verlag.
DA 1982.

CN WA110/A549
Aa Anderson, Roy Malcolm
Ab May, Robert McCredie
TI Infectious diseases of humans: dynamics and control.
CL 757 p.
PP Oxford: Oxford University Press.
DA 1991.

CN WC100/I59/1992
Aa Institute of Medicine. Committee on Emerging Microbial Threats
   to Health.
TI Emerging infections: microbial threats to health in the United
   States.
CL 294 p.
PP Washington DC: National Academy Press.
DA 1992.

CN WC500/M886
Aa Morse, Stephen S, ed.
TI Emerging viruses.
CL 317 p.
PP New York: Oxford University Press.
DA 1993.

---
and Ewald's book mentioned by another correspondent.

See also Laurie Garrett's  "The Coming Plague" which touches
on these themes in a lively journalistic style, but also has
extensive bibliography.

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

_______________________________________________________________________________

<34:91>From levy@cems.umn.edu Fri Jun 28 10:51:35 1996

Date: Fri, 28 Jun 1996 10:51:27 -0500 (CDT)
From: Roger Levy <levy@cems.umn.edu>
To: darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Birth order and revolution

If oldest children support old orders and youngest children revolt, then
what might possibly happen in China over the next thirty years?  It has
all the best reasons in the world to undergo a revolution--rapid economic
change creating a rich class but leaving most people poor and in the
dust; centralized government with only limited control over outer
provinces; suppression of free expression and of some minorities.  And it
is a nation of only children.
  The flip side of an argument linking revolutionary activity with birth
order might be: is the occurance of (political, social) revolutions
linked to the distribution of family size in a country?  Perhaps short
term increases in family size are often the precursor to revolution...

Roger Levy
levy@itasca.cems.umn.edu

_______________________________________________________________________________

<34:92>From jsl@rockvax.rockefeller.edu Sat Jun 29 17:13:05 1996

To: darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Birth order and revolution
Date: Sat, 29 Jun 1996 18:18:57 EDT
From: Joshua Lederberg <jsl@rockvax.rockefeller.edu>

We'd better have a chance to see Sulloway's book before we crystallize
any opinions; but I have witnessed a long history of methodological
fiascoes in studies of birth order.  So I will want to look
critically at the details of the analysis.

For some more critical perspectives, see Zajonc's works, e.g.
  Zajonc RB.  Markus H.  Markus GB.
Title
  The birth order puzzle.
Source
  Journal of Personality & Social Psychology.  37(8):1325-41, 1979 Aug.

and
  Belmont L.  Marolla FA.
Title
  Birth order, family size, and intelligence.
Source
  Science.  182(117):1096-101, 1973 Dec 14.

This kind of research, tabulating biographical compendia seems so
easy to do!!  Yet full of traps.*   The most reliable would be
intra-kindred comparisons by birth rank; but rarely do we have
usable datasets.  There are of course biological effects of parental
age re congenital defects; but these would presumably be second order
for the present discussion.

One particularly has to look at whether the confounding of family size (with
social class etc) has been taken account of.

In many cultures, the distribution of property by rules of
primogeniture has assured different life prospects for the firstborn
son compared to the cadets (literally the laterborn who went into
priesthood or military, or figurative equivalents.)

Attribution to family psychodynamics is quite plausible, but as
far as rigorous analysis goes is a residual, unless at least the
inheritance of property has been accounted for.  And there are plenty
of intergenerational issues, as well as reactions within the sibship,
that have to be attended to.

* See, e.g.  Continuing confusion. [re social status and sex ratio]
Nature 1993 2:8.

_______________________________________________________________________________

<34:93>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Sat Jun 29 19:46:40 1996

Date: Sat, 29 Jun 1996 20:46:33 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: June 29 -- Today in the Historical Sciences
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

JUNE 29 -- TODAY IN THE HISTORICAL SCIENCES

1895: THOMAS HENRY HUXLEY dies at Hodslea, Eastbourne, England.  The youngest
of seven children, Huxley had little formal schooling in his youth, but read
widely in science and philosophy and received a scholarship to Charing Cross
Hospital.  After completing his medical studies he entered the Royal Navy
and spent four years as a surgeon aboard H.M.S. Rattlesnake on its voyage to
survey the coasts of Australia.  The comparative studies of invertebrates he
conducted on that voyage earned him election to the Royal Society in 1850.  In
1854 he was appointed lecturer in natural history in the Government School of
Mines, the primary position he held throughout his career.  Huxley's vigorous
defense of evolutionary ideas immediately following the publication of the
_Origin of Species_ in 1859 earned him the nickname "Darwin's Bulldog", and he
continued through his life to be one of Darwin's strongest advocates.  From
the 1860s on, most of Huxley's zoological work was directed at the comparative
anatomy and evolution of vertebrates, and he published important papers on the
avian skull (1867), the fossil fishes of the Devonian (1861), dinosaurs
(1869), and mammals (1880).  An indefatigable lecturer and controversialist,
Huxley had an exceptionally wide impact on educational reform at all levels,
publishing widely and serving on many government boards and commissions.
He was elected President of the Royal Society in 1883, and will later be
remembered by his student E. Ray Lankester as "the great and beloved teacher,
the unequalled orator, the brilliant essayist, the unconquerable champion and
literary swordsman."

1919: KARL FRIEDRICH BRUGMANN dies at Leipzig, Germany.  One of the leading
members of the Neogrammarian school, Brugmann studied philology at Halle and
Leipzig, and eventually became Professor of Indogermanic Linguistics at the
University of Leipzig.  His extensive comparative studies of Indo-European
grammar led to the publication with Delbruck of the influential _Grundriss der
vergleichenden grammatik der indogermanischen Sprachen_ (Berlin, 1893), and to
the view that it was only by discovering shared innovations that the history
of languages could be reconstructed.

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

_______________________________________________________________________________

<34:94>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Sun Jun 30 00:38:15 1996

Date: Sun, 30 Jun 1996 01:38:10 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: June 30 -- Today in the Historical Sciences
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

JUNE 30 -- TODAY IN THE HISTORICAL SCIENCES

1709: EDWARD LHUYD, Welsh antiquarian, philologist, and naturalist, dies
in the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford University, after "sleeping in a damp and
close room...which he chose to sleep in, for the convenience of pursuing his
studies."  Born in 1660, Lhuyd studied as an undergraduate with Robert Plot
at Jesus College, and he succeeded Plot as Keeper of the Ashmolean in 1690.
Lhuyd traveled extensively throughout his career collecting natural history
specimens and antiquities for the Museum, and gathering comparative materials
on the Celtic languages.  His best known work, _Archaeologia Britannica: An
Account of the Languages, Histories, and Customs of Great Britain, from
Collections and Observations in Travels Through Wales, Cornwall, Bas-Bretagne,
Ireland, and Scotland_ (Oxford, 1707), contained the first comparative Celtic
dictionary ever published, and an earlier work on the fossils in the Ashmolean
collection, _Lithophylacii Britannici Iconographia_ (London, 1699), was one of
the earliest illustrated works in paleontology.  He was elected a fellow of
the Royal Society in 1708, a year before his death.

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

_______________________________________________________________________________

<34:95>From mycol1@unm.edu Sat Jun 29 22:29:11 1996

Date: Sat, 29 Jun 1996 21:29:08 -0600 (MDT)
From: Bryant <mycol1@unm.edu>
To: darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re: Birth order

All:

  We just finished a pilot study on developmental stability and
psychometric intelligence here at UNM.  One of the unexpected things we
found was that fluctuating asymmetry (a measure of the physical stress faced
during prenatal and early childhood development) is significantly higher
amongst younger siblings than first-borns.

  This suggests some degree of physical/developmental involvement in
differences amongst sibs of different birth orders... not just different
degrees or types of social interaction, etc.  Unfortunately, we didn't ask
for the gender of subjects' sibs, just numbers... and we didn't get mother's
age at birth of subject, either.  Our sample size was 122 undergrads.

  We also found that our homosexual subjects (~6%, or 8 individuals) were
significantly later in birth order than was the mean for hetero's.
(The correlation was stronger with *female* homosexuals, but who knows with
such small numbers whether it's a real trend or not!)

Bryant Furlow
UNM Biology

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<34:96>From mdj@gac.edu Sun Jun 30 14:37:09 1996

Date: Sun, 30 Jun 1996 14:37:06 -0500
To: darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu
From: mdj@gac.edu (Mark D. Johnson)
Subject: Re: Birth order and revolution

I suppose another flip side of birth order and revolution is to note that
is it a very small percentage of younger children that actually stage
revolutions. Thus, in terms of birth order 'explaining' human behavior,
there is still a lot of other stuff going on that lead 2nd, 3rd, and 4th
children to revolt.

Mark D. Johnson
Department of Geology, Gustavus Adolphus College
800 W. College, St. Peter, MN 56082
mdj@gac.edu  (507) 933-7442

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<34:97>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Sun Jun 30 20:58:04 1996

Date: Sun, 30 Jun 1996 21:57:58 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: Kuhn (fwd from Ron Roizen)
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

--begin forwarded message--------------

I met Thomas Kuhn just once, in an office hour in Dwinelle Hall on the
Berkeley campus in 1964.  He was very tall--Licolnesque even, I
thought--and hardly said anything.  If I remember correctly, I made the
appointment to discuss the term paper I was writing for P.K.
Feyerabend's Philosophy 120 (philosophy of science) class.  Feyerabend
had thoroughly unbraided Kuhn's theory of scientific change (it was a
big issue whether to use the word "change" or "progress" here) by
saying, with Popper, that scientists did not have to act like the
paradigmatic drones Kuhn described, esp. not after they had read Kuhn's
description of their "normal science" conduct.  Science would be better
off, Feyerabend argued, if disconfirmed theories, theories with
anomalies springing up all over the place, were simply discarded and
new thinking embarked upon.  I wrote my term paper on Fleeming Jenkin
and his "paint-pot" objection to Darwinian theory (something I had
learned about in Loren Eiseley's wonderful book, _Darwin's Century_).
I thought the Jenkin case afforded the perfect example of a big theory
that should not be junked just because a seemingly good objection had
been raised.  Therefore it was also a perfect counterinstance to
Feyerabend's objection.  I wrote up my paper very staight:  if
Darwinian selection theory had been rejected by Jenkin's altogether
sound-seeming pre-Mendelian reasoning, then where the hell would we be
now, I argued.  Feyerabend scribbled all sorts of notes in a kind of
secret shorthand over the paper.  In his class you had to write your
paper and then, on an appointed office-hour occasion, defend it against
his criticisms.  Feyerabend was not the sort of teacher who made any of
his students look forward to this occasion.  Kuhn's theory was oddly
old hat among historians of science when _Structure_ was first
published.   After all, didn't everybody know all this already?  I
myself, a mere undergrad, remember being steeped in Herbert
Butterfield, Joseph Aggasiz, Arthur Koestler (esp. _The Sleepwalkers_),
Conant, and Polanyi's brilliant _Personal Knowledge_ by the time I read
_Scientific Revolutions_--all of them authors with much the same
Kantian, perceptualist picture of science and deep disinclination
toward a 19th-century image of building-block, Baconian empiricism.
But Kuhn's book had something special--a clarity of purpose and prose
as astonishingly graceful as Freud's, Steinbeck's, or J.D. Salinger's.
I walked around with _Structure_ in my hand on campus at times, and
would tell people that it was going to change the world one day.  Very
adolescent behavior, really--but what a damn honor to have been at
Berkeley when Kuhn and Feyerabend fought their good fight.

--
Ron Roizen
voice:  510-848-9123
fax:    510-848-9210
home:   510-848-9098
1818 Hearst Ave.
Berkeley, CA 94703
U.S.A.
rroizen@ix.netcom.com

--end forwarded message----------------

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<34:98>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Sun Jun 30 21:23:47 1996

Date: Sun, 30 Jun 1996 22:23:43 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: Birth order and historical explanation
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

I would certainly agree with Joshua Lederberg and others that Sulloway's
work will have to be looked at very carefully before it is accepted.  My
guess is that it is going to be pretty good, because Frank is an awfully
smart guy.  But then Darwin and Wallace were smart guys and pangenesis and
phrenology are both wrong.

In addition, if we suppose that Sulloway's correlations do hold, it still
doesn't mean that simply being a later-born child necessarily makes one a
revolutionary, as Mark Johnson pointed out.  This is why there are
interesting issues of historical explanation involved here.  What exactly
is "explained" by such a correlation?  Certainly not the individuality of
the historical actors; but that is what history is commonly thought to
consist in: the particular (as opposed to the general).  In comparing
Sulloway's forthcoming book to Kuhn, I mean to say that it may have both
a positive scholarly impact and a negative popular impact.  Kuhn stimulated
a great deal of work in philosophy and history of science, and so advanced
the field through controversy.  But if elementary school teachers are
trying to teach children about scientific "paradigms", well, that's kind of
scary because it probably isn't being done very subtly at all.  Likewise,
Sulloway will probably provoke a great deal of good work in history of
science and psychology; but any subtle distinctions involved will be lost
in the popular media and this will give rise to a lot of junk.

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

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<34:99>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Sun Jun 30 21:37:55 1996

Date: Sun, 30 Jun 1996 22:37:51 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: Deep linguistic relationships (fwd from nostratic)
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

--begin forwarded message--------------

Date: Thu, 27 Jun 96 09:25:20 +0200
From: Claude.Boisson@mrash.fr (Claude.Boisson)
To: nostratic@mcfeeley.cc.utexas.edu
Subject: New article on "Amerind" pronouns

I forward this message (to the Ancient Near East mailing list) to all of you
who may be interested in long-range relationships:

From: ECOLING@aol.com
Date: Wed, 26 Jun 1996 13:54:51 -0400
Subject: Deep hist lang relations - new article

To all of you involved in the Great Debates on distant genetic
relationships:

There is an important article in the issue of the journal Language which
just arrived.

Normally I would not refer to such a specific technical journal for an
audience with such a wide range of interests, but I regard this article as a
breakthrough.

Johanna Nichols and David A. Peterson: The Amerind Personal Pronouns
pp.336-371, Language vol.72 #2, June 1996.

What the article communicates is the following:

The hypotheses of distant genetic relationship ***ARE*** worth investigating
(that is why the authors took the time).

[I would add, on this single point, the proponents of attempting
wide-ranging comparisons get unqualified support.  That is distinct from
saying any particular proponent has done it right.  But it does directly
contradict those stick-in-the-muds who have said "we already *know* that no
information whatsoever could be preserved from such time depths" (whatever
the time depths are supposed to be).]

As to more specific claims, both sides of the Great Debate are both right
and wrong.  As the authors say:

"Both sides cite only the evidence supporting their claims, and neither
cites enough of that positive evidence to convince the reader of the
distribution of the n:m pronominal system in Amerind or elsewhere; neither
side offers a proper survey that can capture evidence, both positive and
negative, without bias so that the field can assess the distribution and
status of this pronominal system."

From their abstract conclusions (citing the parts that refer to actual
facts):

"A controlled cross-linguistic survey shows that these pronouns [n in first
person, m in second person] have an extensive yet restricted geographic
range limited to the western Americas, and that they recur (though not
frequently) elsewhere around the Pacific rim.  ...In addition, on
statistical grounds the n:m paradigm fails as a diagnostic of genetic
relatedness, though equally clearly it cannot be due to universals or random
chance.  Certain other linguistic features and one mitochondrial DNA
lineage have much the same geographical and statistical distrubition..
Though the langauge families in which these features appear cannot be shown
to be genetically related, the families have clearly had some shared history
(the type and degree not precisely specifiable) in the distant past.  The
n:m pronouns reflect a single, datable, noninitial and nonterminal phase in
the settlement of the Americas..."

This article may be a productive basis for removing the Great Debate from
the realm of politics, where it has been contorted so long, and moving it
firmly into the realm of discovering the history of human beings.

I certainly hope so.  This is long overdue.

Lloyd Anderson

--end forwarded message----------------

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Darwin-L Message Log 34: 51-99 -- June 1996                                 End

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