Darwin-L Message Log 37: 1–55 — September 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 September 1996. It has been lightly edited for format: message numbers have been added for ease of reference, message headers have been trimmed, some irregular lines have been reformatted, and error messages and personal messages accidentally posted to the group as a whole have been deleted. No genuine editorial changes have been made to the content of any of the posts. This log is provided for personal reference and research purposes only, and none of the material contained herein should be published or quoted without the permission of the original poster.
The master copy of this log is maintained in the Darwin-L Archives (rjohara.net/darwin) by Dr. Robert J. O’Hara. The Darwin-L Archives also contain additional information about the Darwin-L discussion group, the complete Today in the Historical Sciences calendar for every month of the year, a collection of recommended readings on the historical sciences, and an account of William Whewell’s concept of “palaetiology.”
----------------------------------------------- DARWIN-L MESSAGE LOG 37: 1-55 -- SEPTEMBER 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 September 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 email@example.com. Darwin-L is administered by Robert J. O'Hara (firstname.lastname@example.org), Center for Critical Inquiry in the Liberal Arts and Department of Biology, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, North Carolina 27412 U.S.A., and it is supported by the Center for Critical Inquiry, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and the Department of History and the Academic Computing Center, University of Kansas. _______________________________________________________________________________ <37:1>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Sun Sep 1 15:06:35 1996 Date: Sun, 01 Sep 1996 16:06:31 -0500 (EST) From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Subject: List owner's monthly greeting To: email@example.com Organization: University of NC at Greensboro Greetings to all Darwin-L subscribers. On the first of every month I send out a short note on the status of our group, along with a reminder of basic commands. For additional information about the group please visit the Darwin-L Web Server (http://rjohara.uncg.edu). Darwin-L is an international discussion group for professionals in the historical sciences. The group is not devoted to any particular discipline, such as evolutionary biology, but rather seeks to promote interdisciplinary comparisons across the entire range of fields concerned with historical reconstruction, including evolution, historical linguistics, archeology, geology, cosmology, historical geography, textual transmission, and history proper. Darwin-L currently has about 700 members from more than 35 countries. Because Darwin-L does have a large membership and is sometimes a high-volume discussion group it is important for all participants to try to keep their postings as substantive as possible so that we can maintain a favorable "signal-to-noise" ratio. Darwin-L is not a chat-oriented group, and personal messages should be sent by private e-mail rather than to the group as a whole. The list owner does lightly moderate the group in order to filter out error messages, commercial advertising, and occasional off-topic postings. Subscribers who feel burdened from time to time by the volume of their Darwin-L mail may wish to take advantage of the "digest" option described below. Because different mail systems work differently, not all subscribers see the e-mail address of the original sender of each message in the message header (some people only see "Darwin-L" as the source). It is therefore very important to include your name and e-mail address at the end of every message you post so that everyone can identify you and reply privately if appropriate. Remember also that in most cases when you type "reply" in response to a message from Darwin-L your reply is sent to the group as a whole, rather than to the original sender. The following are the most frequently used listserv commands that Darwin-L members may wish to know. All of these commands should be sent as regular e-mail messages to the listserv address (firstname.lastname@example.org), not to the address of the group as a whole (Darwin-L@raven.cc.ukans.edu). In each case leave the subject line of the message blank and include no extraneous text, as the command will be read and processed by the listserv program rather than by a person. To join the group send the message: SUBSCRIBE DARWIN-L Your Name For example: SUBSCRIBE DARWIN-L John Smith To cancel your subscription send the message: UNSUBSCRIBE DARWIN-L If you feel burdened by the volume of mail you receive from Darwin-L you may instruct the listserv program to deliver mail to you in digest format (one message per day consisting of the whole day's posts bundled together). To receive your mail in digest format send the message: SET DARWIN-L MAIL DIGEST To change your subscription from digest format back to one-at-a-time delivery send the message: SET DARWIN-L MAIL ACK To temporarily suspend mail delivery (when you go on vacation, for example) send the message: SET DARWIN-L MAIL POSTPONE To resume regular delivery send either the DIGEST or ACK messages above. For a comprehensive introduction to Darwin-L with notes on our scope and on network etiquette, and a summary of all available commands, send the message: INFO DARWIN-L To post a public message to the group as a whole simply send it as regular e-mail to the group's address (Darwin-L@raven.cc.ukans.edu). I thank you all for your continuing interest in Darwin-L and in the interdisciplinary study of the historical sciences. Bob O'Hara, Darwin-L list owner Dr. Robert J. O'Hara (email@example.com) | Darwin-L Server Cornelia Strong College, 100 Foust Building | http://rjohara.uncg.edu University of North Carolina at Greensboro | Strong College Server Greensboro, North Carolina 27412 U.S.A. | http://strong.uncg.edu _______________________________________________________________________________ <37:2>From RUSHTON@SSCL.UWO.CA Sat Aug 31 12:19:57 1996 Date: Sat, 31 Aug 1996 13:18:16 -0500 (EST) From: RUSHTON@SSCL.UWO.CA Subject: Re: Rushton's Race Evolution and Behavior To: firstname.lastname@example.org Of course no one yet knows where IQ genes are located or precisely what they do but any effects on IQ, whether gebetic or environmental, presumably have their effects on brain size in a directly analogous way the physical strength is mediated through muscle size. Thus, in the case of immune resistance, this presumably would work in that some individuals are more resistant to the neurons, synapses, or whatever in the brain being damaged than others. The 0.44 correlation between brain size and IQ established by Magnetic Resoinance Imaging techniques may it clear that the brain is a direct mediator. (Although the liver and the heart may be necessary, their size is unrel;ated to IQ scores). Details in my Psychonomic Bulletin and Review paper in the March 1996 issue which provides a full review of all the brain size/IQ correlations. Cheers, _______________________________________________________________________________ <37:3>From RUSHTON@SSCL.UWO.CA Sat Aug 31 13:10:44 1996 Date: Sat, 31 Aug 1996 14:09:06 -0500 (EST) From: RUSHTON@SSCL.UWO.CA Subject: Re: Rushton's Race Evolution and Behavior To: email@example.com Jon Marks misunderstands Rushton's remark about ideas disappearing from science. Errors of course disappear but truth is not supposed to. That the undeniable truth of the relation between brain size and IQ has disappeared from the scientific radar screen is a scandal of the first order. Similarly, that Africans and their descendants average 100 grams (1/4 pound) of brain tissue less than Europeans and their descendants has been falsely made to disappear by fraudulent means (as in Stephen Jay Gould's Mismeasure of Man). In Rushton's book there is study after study showing this brain size difference over 100 years. Gould, and others, charge that the difference is due to the racial bias of the brain size measurers but this is calumny. Implausibly, we are asked to believe that Paul Broca *leaned* on his autopsy scales when measuring wet brains by just enough to produce the same differences as Samuel George Morton caused by *overpacking* empty skullsa with filler as did Francis Galton's *extra-loose* grip on calipers while measuring heads. As for what Darwin believed, here is a quote from his 1871 descent of Man: No one, I presume doubts that the large size of the brain in man, relative to his body, in comparison to the gorilla or orang, is closely connected with his higher mental powers. we meet with closely analogous facts with insects, in which the cerebral ganglia are of extraordinary dimensions in ants; these ganglia in all the Hymenoptera being many times larger than in the less intelligent orders, such as beetles.... The belief that there exists in man some close relation between the size of the brain and the development of the intellectual faculties is supported by the comparison of the skulls of savage and civilized races, of ancient and modern people, and by the analogy of the whole vertebrate series. Vol 1, pp. 145-146, 1871. _______________________________________________________________________________ <37:4>From KOLB@ucla.edu Sat Aug 31 22:11:36 1996 Date: Sat, 31 Aug 1996 20:11:32 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Jack Kolb <KOLB@ucla.edu> Subject: new list I beg subscribers apologies with the following announcement: Announcing a new electronic mailing list! ELCS-L: A discussion of English literature, culture, and society 1880-1920. The ELCS-L list is dedicated to the sharing of information and ideas about any and all aspects of British, North American and European literature, culture and society in the four decades 1880-1920. The period 1880-1920 is often referred to as a 'transition' period: a movement from Victorian values to those of the Modernist aesthetic. This was a period of vast social, political, and artistic change, a progress as well as an exploration. At the same time, it was a period of tremendous social and political stability. It was this stability that in some ways permited, even encouraged, the movements in thought which took place. This apparent dichotomy is one of the reasons for the artistic and philosophical richness of the period. Discussion on all aspects of life and artistic endeavour during the period is encouraged. Topics might include (but are most certainly not limited to) literature, music and the fine arts, political and social movements, and how all these disparate elements of life relate to each other and change over this time period. To subscribe to the list, send an e-mail message addressed to: LISTSERV@LISTSERV.UTORONTO.CA No subject header is necessary. In the body of the message, put one line: SUBSCRIBE ELCS-L Yourfirstname Yourlastname When your subscription is accepted, you will receive a welcome message with further details about the list. You are strongly encouraged to introduce yourself with a short description of your research interests, and post any other message that you think might interest other members. Any problems or questions should be addressed to the listowner: Greg Grainger (email@example.com). _______________________________________________________________________________ <37:5>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Sun Sep 1 18:15:19 1996 Date: Sun, 01 Sep 1996 19:15:08 -0500 (EST) From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Subject: Linnaeus and the Polar Star To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: University of NC at Greensboro On the title page of the tenth edition of Linnaeus' _Systema Naturae_ I notice that he styles himself "Equitis De Stella Polari", which I take to be something like "Knight of the Polar Star" (a delightful title). Can any Darwin-L members give us any background on this title? The one biography of Linnaeus I have at hand doesn't mention it. I assume it is or was a Swedish order of merit of some kind. Bob O'Hara (email@example.com) _______________________________________________________________________________ <37:6>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Mon Sep 2 11:15:14 1996 Date: Mon, 02 Sep 1996 12:15:10 -0500 (EST) From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Subject: New list on museum conservation (fwd from NEW-LIST) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: University of NC at Greensboro --begin forwarded message-------------- Date: Sun, 1 Sep 1996 22:48:18 -0500 From: Cary Karp <email@example.com> Subject: NEW: ICOM-CC - Museum Conservation Distribution List ICOM-CC on LISTSERV@HOME.EASE.LSOFT.COM ICOM-CC is the International Conservation Committee of the International Council of Museums (ICOM). ICOM-CC organizes more than 1200 professionals concerned with the museum world and the conservation of objects. It has members from countries on every continent. Twenty-four Working Groups are the backbone of the Committee. They may deal with: - scientific investigations into objects of significance to cultural and natural history. - optimizing solutions to conservation problems, - developing standard techniques and manuals, - planning disaster management and preventive conservation. The Working Groups present and discuss their results at Triennial Meetings. The ICOM-CC distribution list is intended to serve as an electronic forum for the discussion of all issues within the Committee's field of concern. It will additionally serve as a medium for the exploration of applications of computerized networking technologies to the conservation profession. List members are encouraged to participate by posting information and queries on all subjects of concern to their discipline. Official announcements may also be posted by the ICOM Conservation Committee Board and Working Groups. The list is open for public subscription. However, only registered members of the ICOM Conservation Committee may submit contributions for posting to it. If you wish to join the ICOM-CC list please send a message to: firstname.lastname@example.org with the first line in the body of message containing the command: SUBSCRIBE ICOM-CC Yourfirstname Yourlastname Your subscription will be acknowledged by a text providing detailed information about the list and its operation. The names of newly registered list members will be verified against the ICOM Conservation Committee membership roster and list membership status will be set accordingly. If there is any question about the status of your Committee membership you may be requested to provide additional information. Owner: Mikkel Scharff <kulims@INET.UNI-C.DK> --end forwarded message---------------- _______________________________________________________________________________ <37:7>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Tue Sep 3 12:35:47 1996 Date: Tue, 03 Sep 1996 13:35:41 -0500 (EST) From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Subject: September 3 -- Today in the Historical Sciences To: email@example.com Organization: University of NC at Greensboro SEPTEMBER 3 -- TODAY IN THE HISTORICAL SCIENCES 1603: JOHN JONSTON is born at Sambter, Poland. Jonston will travel widely as a scholar and physician, and will study at universities in England, Scotland, Germany and the Netherlands. He will publish extensively on many subjects, but will be best remembered for his encyclopedic works on natural history. 1704: JOSEPH DE JUSSIEU is born at Lyon, France. Member of a distinguished family of botanists, Jussieu will travel to South America as a physician with the French navy in 1735. Although he will attempt to return to France at the conclusion of the voyage, financial difficulties and medical emergencies will keep him in South America, and he will spend the next 36 years exploring the continent. He will investigate the botanical sources of quinine and cinnamon, examine the Huancavelica mercury mines and the Potos silver mines, and collect birds at Lake Titicaca. Returning at last to France in 1771, he will spend the final years of his life in sickness and depression. 1801: CHRISTIAN ERICH HERMANN VON MEYER is born at Frankfurt, Germany. The son of a Frankfurt lawyer, Meyer will work for the greater part of his life in the disparate fields of finance and paleontology. Study at Berlin, Munich, and Heidelberg will bring him into contact with many of the leading scientists of his day, and he will quickly become known as a skillful paleontologist. Starting in 1837, however, he will make his living in the government financial service, turning down a professorship at Gottingen in order to maintain his academic independence. In 1846 with Wilhelm Duncker he will found the journal _Palaeontographica_, and in subsequent years that journal will publish many of his researches on fossil vertebrates. 1993: DARWIN-L, an interdisciplinary discussion group for professionals in the historical sciences, is opened to the public. Administered by Robert O'Hara from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Darwin-L will generate thousands of messages over the next three years and will come to have more than 600 members from 35 countries. Today in the Historical Sciences is a feature of Darwin-L, an international network discussion group on the history and theory of the historical sciences. Send the message INFO DARWIN-L to firstname.lastname@example.org or connect to the Darwin-L Web Server (http://rjohara.uncg.edu) for more information. _______________________________________________________________________________ <37:8>From LMILNE@ACD.MHC.AB.CA Mon Sep 2 00:59:02 1996 Date: Mon, 02 Sep 1996 00:00:48 -0700 (MST) From: LMILNE@ACD.MHC.AB.CA Subject: Bibliography of American Civil War To: Darwin-L@raven.cc.ukans.edu Approximately 2 months ago, one of the bulletin boards I subscribe to posted a bibliography of American Civil War sources. If anyone has access to this posting I would really appreciate receiving it. Thankyou. Laurie Milne Medicine Hat College Medicine Hat, Alberta T1A 3Y6 LMilne@acd.mhc.ab.ca _______________________________________________________________________________ <37:9>From Anders.Nilsson@big.umu.se Mon Sep 2 03:56:07 1996 Date: Mon, 02 Sep 1996 11:11:27 +0100 To: email@example.com From: Anders.Nilsson@big.umu.se (Anders Nilsson) Subject: Homology and characters Dear Darwin-readers, after reading the 1994 book on Homology edited by Brian Hall some puzzling aspects of this term in connection with cladistic analysis has continued to pop up in my mind every now and then. It seems homology has two different meanings here, at least, and one of them was never dealt with in the book. First, there is the homology between similar structures in different terminal taxa; and this homology displays itself after the shortest tree(s) have been found. Second, and this is my problem, there is the homology between two or more character states present in the same character (or characters in the same transformation series). This relationship is set before finding the trees, and is never tested by the tree in the same way as the first kind of homology. Wiley et al (1991) in The Compleat Cladist has some definitions of interest here: "An evolutionary novelty is an inherited change from a previously existing character (=character state; my addition) in an ancestor/descendant relationship.... Two characters in two taxa are homologues if ... they are different characters (=states) that have an ancestor/descendant relationship described as preexisting/novel". Yes, it looks convincing, but what is the test of this assumption? What will happen if our assumptions of homology between character states are wrong, and can this be seen? Any help to sort this problem out would be most welcome! Anders N. Nilsson Dept. of Biology, BIG S-901 87 Umee, Sweden tel. +46 90 165184 fax +46 90 167664 Email: Anders.Nilsson@BIG.UMU.SE _______________________________________________________________________________ <37:10>From firstname.lastname@example.org Mon Sep 2 06:47:17 1996 Date: Mon, 2 Sep 1996 13:56:07 +0200 To: email@example.com From: Gillis Een <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Linnaeus and the Polar Star "Equitis de Stella Polari" translates into Swedish "Riddare av Nordstjaerneorden", or in English "Knight of the North Star". This order of merit was first given by the Swedish King in 1748. Best regards Gillis Een _______________________________________________________________________________ <37:11>From email@example.com Mon Sep 2 07:22:07 1996 From: "Ole Seberg" <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com Date: Mon, 2 Sep 1996 14:22:35 GMT+0200 Subject: Homology Darwin-Listers The term homology is used in a variety of different contexts. In cytogenetics it is common practice to refer to chromosomes that pair during meiosis in a diploid organism as 'homologs' and to refer to the homologous pair in another species as 'homoeologs'. Whereas it is easy to trace the definition of the term 'homoeologous' (Huskins - J. Genet. 25 (1931) 113-124), it is difficult to trace the definition of 'homologs' (in a cytogenetic context) or to find the first use of the term to designate chromosome pairing. Who was the first to use 'homology' in this context? +------------------------------------------------+ | Ole Seberg | | Botanisk Laboratorium, Botanisk Institut | | University of Copenhagen | | Gothersgade 140, DK-1123 Copenhagen K | | Denmark | | Phone (voice): + 45 3532 2153 | | Fax: + 45 3313 9104 | +------------------------------------------------+ _______________________________________________________________________________ <37:12>From firstname.lastname@example.org Mon Sep 2 10:20:39 1996 Date: Mon, 2 Sep 1996 17:23:19 +0100 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Albertine C. Ellis-Adam) Subject: Re: Linnaeus and the Polar Star Dear Bob. "In 1753 Linnaeus was created a Knight of the Polar Star, and in 1761 (antedated 1757) he was ennobled, taking the name of von Linn=E9 * by which he is still generally known on the Continent." (pg 167) Blunt W with the assistance of William T. Stearn, 1971. The compleat naturalist. A life of Linnaeus. Collins, London. I do not understand which Continent the author means, here in Holland we call him Linnaeus! A (un)practical result of this change of name is that always to batches of cards are required in a library catalogue. Cheers, Albertine Ellis * with accent on e ------------------------------------------------------------------- PLEASE NOTE THAT MY OLD ADDRESS email@example.com CANNOT BE USED ANY MORE. THE ONLY CORRECT ADDRESS IS firstname.lastname@example.org ------------------------------------------------------------------- * Albertine C. Ellis - Adam * o University of Amsterdam o * Hugo de Vries Laboratorium * o Kruislaan 318 / 1098 SM Amsterdam o * Phone: xx (0)20 5257822 / Fax: xx (0)20 5257662 * o e-mail: email@example.com o _______________________________________________________________________________ <37:13>From firstname.lastname@example.org Mon Sep 2 15:09:17 1996 Date: Mon, 2 Sep 1996 15:09:16 -0500 To: email@example.com From: pinax <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Re: Linnaeus and the Polar Star Yes, the Order of the Polar Star (North Star or Pole Star) a.k.a the "Black Ribbon", was established in 1748 by Frederick I as an order of "civil merit." Betsy Shaw (email@example.com) _______________________________________________________________________________ <37:14>From NJOHNSON@ALBERT.UTA.EDU Mon Sep 2 16:22:29 1996 From: "NORMAN JOHNSON" <NJOHNSON@ALBERT.UTA.EDU> Organization: University of Texas at Arlington To: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: Mon, 2 Sep 1996 16:22:36 CST Subject: Re: Nature, red in tooth and claw Following up on the recent "In Memorium" post: There is a Natural history esay by SJ Gould written around 1994 (I don't have the reference on hand) that discusses Tennyson's "In Memorium" focusing on the geological and biological allusions (which are numerous). It is evident that Tennyson was familar with Malthusian ideas and perhaps Chambers' Vestiges. Norman Johnson email@example.com _______________________________________________________________________________ <37:15>From firstname.lastname@example.org Mon Sep 2 20:47:27 1996 Date: Mon, 2 Sep 1996 19:47:23 -0600 (MDT) From: Bryant <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Re: how about those [IQ] references? Some members of the list were interested in the study I mentioned which showed a causal link between trematode infection and low IQ scores. Here it is. Cheers, Bryant Nokes, C., Grantham-McGregor, S., Sawyer, A., Cooper, E., and Bundy, D. 1992. Parasitic helminth infection and cognitive function in school children. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London (Series B), 247: 77-81. _______________________________________________________________________________ <37:16>From harperl@CWU.EDU Tue Sep 3 01:28:18 1996 Date: Mon, 02 Sep 1996 10:21:08 -0700 (PDT) From: harperl@CWU.EDU Subject: Wollstonecraft on Preservation of Species In-Reply-To: <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org Dear DarwinL, Along the lines of the earlier quoted material from Tennyson's _In Memorium_ is the following comment I found in Mary Wollstonecraft's 1795 _Letters from a Short Residence in Sweden, Norway and Denmark_. This is from Letter 22 (pages 185-86 in the Penguin ed.): "Arriving at Schleswig, the residence of prince Charles of Hesse-Cassel, the sight of the soldiers recalled all the unpleasing ideas of German despotism, which impreceptibly vanished as I advanced into the country. I view, with a mixture of pity and horror, these beings training to be sold to slaughter, or be slaughtered, and fell into reflections, on an old opinion of mine, that it is the preservation of the species, not of individuals, which appears to be the design of the Deity throughout the whole of nature. Blossoms come forth only to be blighted; fish lay their spawn where it will be devoured: and what a large portion of the human race are born merely to be swept prematurely away. Does not this waste of budding life emphatically assert, that it is not men, but man, whose preservation is so necessary to the completion of the ground plan of the universe? Children peep into existence, suffer, and die; men play like moths about a candle, and sink into the flame: war, and 'the thousand ills which flesh is heir to,' [Hamlet] mow them down in shoals, whilst the more cruel prejudices of society palsies existence, introducing not less sure, though slower decay." I though this language, especially "preservation of species" rather interesting for this timeperiod. Wollstonecraft also has a passage predating Malthus on overpopulation in the same travel book. Does anyone know how common such ideas were in the 1790s? Lila Harper email@example.com _______________________________________________________________________________ <37:17>From rmccalli@sunmuw1.MUW.Edu Sun Sep 1 22:52:49 1996 Date: Sun, 1 Sep 1996 23:01:27 -0500 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: rmccalli@sunmuw1.MUW.Edu (Rick Mc Callister) Subject: Re: Rushton's Race Evolution and Behavior I'm not a scientist, so please excuse any errors in my facts, but I remember reading in some popular source that the smallest brain of a modern human ever examined belonged to the French writer Anatole France (I seem to remember it was something like 800 grams) while Neandertal gray matter outweighed contemporary human cerveaux by a good 100 grams or so. Now, given that I wear a 7 3/4 hat and I'm dolichocephalic (or however you spell that pseudo-scientific word for long head), I have nothing to gain from winning an argument disproving a connection between intelligence and brain size. To paraphrase Maria Muldaur's song about the other head, "it's not the meat, it's the motion." _______________________________________________________________________________ <37:18>From email@example.com Sun Sep 1 20:40:52 1996 Date: Sun, 1 Sep 1996 20:40:51 -0500 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Jonathan Marks) Subject: Re: Rushton's Race Evolution and Behavior > Jon Marks misunderstands Rushton's remark about ideas disappearing from >science. Errors of course disappear but truth is not supposed to. Of course, the problem is to tell the truth from the errors. Rushton's archaic ideas are generally regarded to be errors. >That the >undeniable truth of the relation between brain size and IQ has disappeared >from the scientific radar screen is a scandal of the first order. Similarly, >that Africans and their descendants average 100 grams (1/4 pound) of brain >tissue less than Europeans and their descendants No, that racist pseudoscience can be actively misrespresented as competent anthropology is the scandal of the first order. By the brain size criterion, of course, Neanderthals were the smartest members of our family; for contemporary humans, everything hinges on the composition of the samples (sex, age, nutritional status, life history) and the correction made for body size. The relation between brain size and IQ is "undeniable" for outliers, like microcephalics; but is not clear at all for the range of normalcy. Even if there were a real correlation, and if correlation implied causation, far more of the variation in IQ would still be explained by other factors. And IQ would still not be a scalar measure of innate brain force (i.e., "intelligence"), except to demagogues. Scandal, indeed! -- Jon Marks _______________________________________________________________________________ <37:19>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Tue Sep 3 21:21:29 1996 Date: Tue, 03 Sep 1996 22:21:14 -0500 (EST) From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Subject: Moderator's comment on the IQ thread To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: University of NC at Greensboro Somehow I had the feeling that tempers would flare eventually when I saw the topic of IQ come up on Darwin-L, and sure enough they have. Since the narrow topic of IQ isn't particularly within the scope of Darwin-L I would like to ask that the principals involved post one or two more messages (politely worded, please) and then take the discussion off-list. There are other internet groups for discussion of psychology and intelligence I am sure, and the conversation might be profitably continued on one of them. Bob O'Hara (email@example.com) _______________________________________________________________________________ <37:20>From firstname.lastname@example.org Wed Sep 4 13:15:10 1996 Date: Wed, 4 Sep 1996 14:14:37 -0400 To: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com From: Ed Lamb <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Call for Articles Hello All, I sending this call for articles to a few other lists. I apologize for any cross-postings. I am currently soliciting articles for the next, and future, issues of the journal PERSPECTIVES ON SCIENCE: HISTORICAL, PHILOSOPHICAL, SOCIAL The journal publishes studies of science, medicine, and technology that integrate historical, philosophical, and/or sociological understandings of the topic(s) being addressed. The editors of PERSPECTIVES believe that publishing interdisciplinary studies on specific scientific, medical, and technological topics will help scholars gain a more comprehensive understanding of the broader subjects of science, medicine, and technology. The journal has been published for five years by the University of Chicago Press. Past articles include: "The Resolution of Discordant Results," Allan Franklin "Rationality Among the Friends of Truth: The Gassendi-Descartes Controversy," Lynn S. Joy "Towards More Secrecy in Science? Challenges to an Ethics of Science," Mathias Kaiser "Cordelia's Love: Credibility, Validity, and the Social Studies of Science," Steven Shapin "Looting, Reparation, and Stewardship: Ethical Issues in Archaeology," Alison Wylie "The Political Cartography of the Human Genome Project," Brian Balmer. Articles on all topics related to science, medicine, and technology, written from all perspectives, are welcome. Each issue of PERSPECTIVES includes case studies, theoretical articles, and historiographic essays. For more information on the journal in general, or about submitting articles specifically, please contact me at the address given below. Thank you. Ed Lamb Managing Editor Perspectives on Science Department of Philosophy Virginia Tech Blacksburg, VA 24061-0126 Ph. (540) 231-7879 Fax (540) 231-6367 Email email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org _______________________________________________________________________________ <37:21>From LANGE@HUMnet.UCLA.EDU Wed Sep 4 16:35:09 1996 From: "Marc Lange Dodd 347 5-2291" <LANGE@HUMnet.UCLA.EDU> To: darwin-L@raven.cc.ukans.edu Date: Wed, 4 Sep 1996 14:39:05 PST Subject: Agassiz reference anyone? Dear Darwin-Lers, Does anyone know where Agassiz refers to species(?) as "the categories of His [God's] mode of thinking"? I would be very grateful for a reference. Marc Lange Philosophy, UCLA email@example.com _______________________________________________________________________________ <37:22>From firstname.lastname@example.org Thu Sep 5 14:37:17 1996 Date: Thu, 5 Sep 1996 15:37:51 -0400 To: email@example.com (Darwin List) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy C. Ahouse) Subject: Borges taxonomy (again) Dear DarwinL, When this list started in 1993 there was some discussion of a taxonomy from a Borges essay. I recently came across the classification again in a friend's signature file offered as an actual Chinese taxonomy. This caused me to look up the initial Borges essay, a wonderful short piece about the inability of languages to carry all the information we would want them to. This could serve as a caution to those who debate the demands we put on biological taxonomies. These ambiguities, redundancies, and deficiencies recall those attributed by Dr. Franz Kuhn to a certain Chinese encyclopedia entitled Celestial Emporium of Benevelent Knowledge. On those remote pages it is written that animals are divided into (a) those that belong to the Emperor, (b) embalmed ones, (c) those that are trained, (d) suckling pigs, (e) mermaids, (f) fabulous ones, (g) stray dogs, (h) those that are included in this classification, (i) those that tremble as if they were mad, (j) innumerable ones, (k) those drawn with a very fine camel's hair brush, (l) others, (m) those that have just broken a flower vase, (n) those that resemble flies from a distance. - Jorge Luis Borges (1964) This taxonomy is subsequently used by M. Foucault (in Archaeology of Knowledge) and by G. Lakoff (in Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things: What Categories Reveal about the Mind) You can find the Lakoff passage excerpted at; <http://www.virtualschool.edu/mon/SocialConstruction/LakoffWomenFireDanger. html> At the time this was first mentioned on the list Margaret Winters and Bob O'Hara offered that this taxonomy was one of Borges' wonderful inventions. I have not found discussion of the credit to Franz Kuhn. This sent me to Balderston (1986); Kuhn, Franz Felix Adalbert. German philologist and folklorist, 1822-1881, author of numerous works on comparative mythology, Indo-Germanic peoples and languages, German folktales and early literature, etc. He seems "real" enough. And I thought someone on this list might know more about him. Did Kuhn invent the taxonomy? - Jeremy Balderston, Daniel, 1952- (1986) The literary universe of Jorge Luis Borges: an index to references and allusions to persons, titles, and places in his writings. Greenwood Press: Westport CT. CALL NUMBER: PQ7797 .B635 Z459 1986 Borges, Jorge Luis, 1899- (1964) The Analytical Language of John Wilkens in [Otras inquisiciones, 1937-1952] Other inquisitions, 1937-1952. University of Texas Press. CALL NUMBER: PN518 .B643 The full text of "El Idioma Analitico de John Wilkins" in Spanish is available at: <http://www.tradepoint.fi/tecnotes/wilkins.html> _______________________________________________________________________________ <37:23>From email@example.com Tue Sep 3 21:37:56 1996 Date: Tue, 3 Sep 1996 20:41:15 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Tracy Harms) Subject: Re: Rushton's Race Evolution and Behavior On the topic of the manner and degree to which brain size might be relevant to intelligence, I am inspired to refer to the 11-year old boy I saw interviewed on television this week. He received his high-school credits at the age of five and is now in a Master's degree program. He began talking at four months and began reading at eight months. (I appologize for not having his name, but it can be found in the current Guiness Book of World Records.) Perhaps I overlook something, but it seems clear to me that since the brain of a five-year-old can support collegiate-preparatory accomplishments then brain size, per se, cannot be a chief determinant of intellectual capacity. Tracy Harms Boulder, Colorado _______________________________________________________________________________ <37:24>From sarich@qal.Berkeley.EDU Wed Sep 4 14:47:48 1996 From: Prof Vince Sarich <sarich@qal.Berkeley.EDU> Date: Wed, 4 Sep 1996 12:38:31 -0700 (PDT) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: brain size variation in modern humans Bob O'Hara comments: <<Somehow I had the feeling that tempers would flare eventually when I saw the topic of IQ come up on Darwin-L, and sure enough they have. Since the narrow topic of IQ isn't particularly within the scope of Darwin-L I would like to ask that the principals involved post one or two more messages (politely worded, please) and then take the discussion off-list. There are other internet groups for discussion of psychology and intelligence I am sure, and the conversation might be profitably continued on one of them.>> Let me politely disagree. I quote the late Bernard Davis: -------------------------------- Bernard D Davis, Evolution, Human Diversity, and Society. in Storm over Biology, Prometheus Books, Buffalo, 1986. pp 49-51. Original essay in Zygon 11:2: 80-95 (June, 1976). Let me further emphasize that, even if no one had ever devised a test for measuring IQ, we could still be confident, on grounds of evolutionary theory, that our species contains wide genetic variance in intelligence. The reason is that natural selection cannot proceed unless it has genetic diversity, within a species, to act on; and when our species is compared with its nearest primate relatives, it is obvious that our main selection pressure has been for an increase in intelligence. Indeed, this change proceeded at an unprecedented rate (on an evolutionary time scale): in the past three million years the brain size of the hominid line increased threefold. ..... Such rapid selection for increased intelligence could not have occurred unless the selection pressure had a large substrate of genetic variation to act on. We may also note that the uniqueness of man arose from this pressure for rapidly intensifying the valuable, novel traits of the hominid line, which increased its capacity to adapt to novel circumstances and to manipulate the environment. The result was that a single hominid species emerged to populate the whole earth, whereas other families of organisms have numerous species, occupying different ecological niches. Clearly, then, evolving mankind must have had a wide range of genes that affected behavioral traits. To be sure, these traits exhibit unusually great plasticity of response to the environment, so their genetic components are difficult to measure. For this reason, reinforced by emphasis on cultural evolution, some anthropologists have suggested that in our species cultural adaptability has replaced genetic diversity. But this is a fanciful concept. Such a dramatic shift from recent, great biological variation to present virtual homogeneity would contradict all we know about the mechanisms of population variation and the slow pace of evolution. There is every reason to believe, from first principles, that mankind is still evolving. Moreover, since our species still presents a large, easily demonstrable reservoir of genetic variation for both physical and biochemical traits, and since our behavioral traits have evolved even more rapidly, I would find it impossible to entertain serious doubts that these traits also have such a reservoir. We see widespread reluctance to accept this concept today, based on the fear that it will undermine the struggle for greater equality. Indeed, one of the implications of evolution, as noted above, is that long-separated populations, subject to the pressures of different environments, will accumulate statistical differences in genes that affect behavioral potentials, just as in their other genes. Evolution does not predict the magnitude or even the direction of such differences, but it does say that we cannot predict the numerical outcome of mental testing if barriers to equality of opportunity are removed. This is a painful message for those who are deeply concerned with social justice, and I wish we did not have to face it. But if we wish to pursue the goal of equality on a realistic basis we must recognize the fundamental differences between social equality, which we can legislate, and biological equality or inequality, which is beyond our control. If we insist on assuming a nonexistent biological equality between people we will pay a large price in the long run. Thus if we set unattainable goals in education we will demoralize our teachers by blaming them for every failure, and we will thrash around from one program to another because none reaches the assigned goals. We will ensure chronic social unrest by promoting a profound fallacy: that because unequal achievements have often been due to unequal opportunities (which is true) they are proof of unequal opportunities (which is false). We will promote guilt and friction among parents by making them consider their faulty guidance responsible for all behavioral problems in their children. And we will jeopardize the struggle for racial justice by basing it on fragile, conceivably disprovable assumptions about matters of empirical fact (the distribution of potentials) rather than on moral and political convictions. On the other hand, the better we can identify differences in various potentials, and in patterns and rates of learning, the better we will be able to provide true equality of educational opportunity Q that is, opportunity to have everyone's education equally designed for maximal fulfillment of his/her potentials. If equality of opportunity, combined with the existence of genetic heterogeneity, produces a result that does not satisfy society's strong pressure for greater equality of outcome, biological considerations suggest we should examine more closely what we mean by equality of outcome. At present we seem to be aiming at leaving the reward system more or less untouched, and instead trying to satisfy the social pressures by setting up quotas for distributing the more highly paid or prestigious jobs among various identifiable groups. This solution seems unstable to the biologist, compared with an economic rather than a vocational egalitarianism Q one that would match responsibilities with abilities but would then increase equality in the reward system. It is ironic that recognition of genetic diversity as an implication of evolution finds intense opposition from the Left today, just as the implications of evolution with respect to our origins aroused opposition from the Right a century ago. Yet a pluralistic society should be able to recognize our biological diversity as a great cultural asset. Indeed, just as our rapid biological evolution required a wide range of variation for natural selection to work on, so our rapid cultural evolution depends on the capacity of the population to generate, and then to select in its social practices, from a variety of behavioral responses to new challenges; and that variety in response obviously has been enormously increased by our variety of genetically conditioned potentials, drives, and preferences. Indeed, if nature had selected for behavioral genetic homogeneity in our species, or if we should set up a successful eugenic program with this ultimate egalitarian goal, then it is clear that even if we selected the most admirable traits we would have a much duller culture. We would also decrease the adaptability of our species to unforeseeable changes in the environment Q a property of the utmost importance for our survival. ---------------------------------- The question, for Jon Marks and others, then, is: Our brains have increased in size about three-fold in the last 2.5my. How was this managed by natural selection? In other words, what was (were) the advantage(s) of having a larger brain? Once you ask this, then Davis' point comes into play with respect to brain size variation today (whether at the individual or group average level): LET ME FURTHER EMPHASIZE THAT, EVEN IF NO ONE HAD EVER DEVISED A TEST FOR MEASURING IQ, WE COULD STILL BE CONFIDENT, ON GROUNDS OF EVOLUTIONARY THEORY, THAT OUR SPECIES CONTAINS WIDE GENETIC VARIANCE IN INTELLIGENCE. THE REASON IS THAT NATURAL SELECTION CANNOT PROCEED UNLESS IT HAS GENETIC DIVERSITY, WITHIN A SPECIES, TO ACT ON; AND WHEN OUR SPECIES IS COMPARED WITH ITS NEAREST PRIMATE RELATIVES, IT IS OBVIOUS THAT OUR MAIN SELECTION PRESSURE HAS BEEN FOR AN INCREASE IN INTELLIGENCE. INDEED, THIS CHANGE PROCEEDED AT AN UNPRECEDENTED RATE (ON AN EVOLUTIONARY TIME SCALE): IN THE PAST THREE MILLION YEARS THE BRAIN SIZE OF THE HOMINID LINE INCREASED THREEFOLD. ..... SUCH RAPID SELECTION FOR INCREASED INTELLIGENCE COULD NOT HAVE OCCURRED UNLESS THE SELECTION PRESSURE HAD A LARGE SUBSTRATE OF GENETIC VARIATION TO ACT ON. Vincent Sarich _______________________________________________________________________________ <37:25>From email@example.com Wed Sep 4 07:49:19 1996 Date: Wed, 4 Sep 96 08:49:15 EDT From: firstname.lastname@example.org (John Staddon) To: email@example.com Subject: Cool water... Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org Yes, it is indeed unfortunate that any discussion of IQ and any physiological or genetic -- or even social -- measure seems to give rise to heated language and the intrusion of ideological and political themes into the discussion. Nevertheless, it is also true that if what Rushton asserts is false, it is sufficient just to say so, and provide the evidence. As a recent posting pointed out, the correlation between intelligence (whatever that is) and brain size is obviously true in the limit, and (broadly speaking) between species. Therefore the only issue is whether it is true within the normal range of humans. Rushton says that IQ (a perfectly well defined, objective measure -- but not what everyone means by "intelligence") and brain size are somewhat correlated -- although the difficulties in obtaining such measurements are obvious. Until recently, we couldn't measure the brain size of people without slicing them up, something frowned upon by most human-subject committees. Nevertheless, there are some data. What do the data say? Let's just hear the evidence and can the rest. John Staddon _______________________________________________________________________________ <37:26>From sarich@qal.Berkeley.EDU Wed Sep 4 16:23:30 1996 From: Prof Vince Sarich <sarich@qal.Berkeley.EDU> Date: Wed, 4 Sep 1996 14:14:16 -0700 (PDT) To: email@example.com Subject: that old devil brain size I'm sending along some thoughts on the meaning of brain size variation in modern humans in a longer (1300 words), separate posting. My sense is that a demonstration of a zero correlation between brain size (within the "normal" range) and any aspect of cognitive function would be about as convincing a refutation of "descent with modification by means of natural selection" as I, with all due respect to our list owner, could imagine. Vincent Sarich I screwed up on the address for this one, and so it's not going to serve as a lead-in to the next, longer, piece. Sorry about that. _______________________________________________________________________________ <37:27>From firstname.lastname@example.org Thu Sep 5 13:41:23 1996 Date: Thu, 5 Sep 1996 14:33:51 -0400 From: email@example.com To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Re: Rushton's Race Evolution and Behavior Kenneth Beals, et al. (Current Anthropology 25 (3): 301-330) pointed out in 1984 that cranial capacity does not necessarily equal brain size. There is much inside the cranium besides grey matter, such as vascular tissue, and extracellular fluid. These two non- neural tissues may be under selection pressure, since thermoregulation of the brain is a critical matter. Hence, there may easily be geo- graphic variation in cranial capacity that is not related to brain size. spencer turkel nyit email@example.com _______________________________________________________________________________ <37:28>From firstname.lastname@example.org Fri Sep 6 11:38:15 1996 From: email@example.com (Steindor Johann Erlingsson) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: Fri, 6 Sep 1996 16:38:09 +0000 (GMT) Subject: Re: Agassiz reference anyone? Dear Darwin-Lers, > Does anyone know where Agassiz refers to species(?) as "the > categories of His [God's] mode of thinking"? I would be very grateful > for a reference. Ernst Mayr quotes Agassiz "Essay on Classification" in his book" Growth of Biological Thought" (p. 865): " All organized beings exhibit in themselves all those categories of structure and of extistence upon which a natural system may be founded...the human mind is only translating into human language the Divine thoughts expressed in nature in living realities" (p.136) Judgeing from the context I think it is very likely that the above mentioned quote comes from this essay. Full refernce: Agassiz, Louis. 1857. Essay on classification, in Contribution to the Natural History of the United States, vol. 1. Boston: Little, Brown and Co. (Reprinted 1962, ed. Edward Lurie. Cambridge: Harvard University Press). Steindor J. Erlingsson Science Institude University of Iceland email: email@example.com _______________________________________________________________________________ <37:29>From firstname.lastname@example.org Fri Sep 6 16:39:27 1996 From: Mary P Winsor <email@example.com> Subject: Louis Agassiz To: firstname.lastname@example.org (bulletin board) Date: Fri, 6 Sep 1996 17:39:30 -0400 (EDT) I discuss Agassiz's ideas on species in Reading the Shape of Nature (Univ. of Chicago Press, 1991), where I emphasize that it is not just species that are thoughts in the mind of God, genera, orders, and other taxonomic categories are equally His thoughts. I approached Agassiz's species from a different angle in an article "Louis Agassiz and the Species Question," Studies in History of Biology 3 (1979):89-117. This is a journal few libraries have, but I am glad to send a copy to anyone interested. Indeed the Essay on Classification is the chief source for his ideas. Harvard published a reprint in 1962. Agassiz published it first in 1857; he composed it in 54-56. Polly Winsor (Mary Pickard Winsor) email@example.com _______________________________________________________________________________ <37:30>From firstname.lastname@example.org Fri Sep 6 16:37:27 1996 Date: Fri, 6 Sep 1996 17:35:29 -0400 (EDT) From: Gary A Willingham-Mclain <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Re: Wollstonecraft on Preservation of Species Excerpts from mail: 2-Sep-96 Wollstonecraft on Preservat.. by harperl@CWU.EDU > I though this language, especially "preservation of species" > rather interesting for this timeperiod. Wollstonecraft also has a > passage predating Malthus on overpopulation in the same travel book. > Does anyone know how common such ideas were in the 1790s? Adam Smith had population expansion and contraction figured into his "laws" of economics in Wealth of Nations (1776). It went something like this: 1. self-interest drives capitalists to increase their profits 2. the resulting accumulating capital they reinvest in more machinery 3. they then raise wages to attract the additional labor needed to run those machines 4. problem (for Smith's system): this rise in wages cuts into the profits, bringing capitalism's progressive enrichment of a nation to a theoretical standstill 5. answer: higher wages has an accelerating effect on rate of reproduction in the working classes (less infant mortality due to better wages, food, etc.) 6. rise in worker population intensifies competition for jobs--wages go back down 7. profits go back up--(so capitalism is back on its cheerful road of indefinite progress). Given the centrality and national importance of Smith's text--fifteen years before Malthus--it would surprise me if there weren't more people writing about population. But they weren't WORRIED about population increase, as far as I know, until Malthus. But I'm not well-read in that time period. Gary Willingham-McLain 5. rising population _______________________________________________________________________________ <37:31>From Agner@login.dknet.dk Fri Sep 6 07:16:00 1996 From: Agner@login.dknet.dk (Agner Fog) To: email@example.com Subject: Cultural selection - Electronic book available for discussion Date: Fri, 06 Sep 1996 11:56:10 +0100 Allow me to introduce a new interdisciplinary theory for cultural change. This theory has important consequences for several branches of science, and therefore needs to be discussed in a broad forum. In order to facilitate this discussion, I have published my theory as an electronic book and made it available at: http://announce.com/agner/cultsel.htm Abstract of the book: --------------------- Cultural phenomena are subject to a selection process resembling natural selection due to the fact that some phenomena are more likely to be copied than others. There are many fundamental differences between biological evolution and cultural selection, however, so you cannot draw conclusions by analogy from one process to the other. Unlike traditional evolutionist thinkers, I do not infer that cultural selection always will lead in the same direction (called 'progress'). Rather, I have found that cultural selection may lead in different directions depending on the external conditions. In a militant environment, where war or threat of war is common, the society will develop towards a pronouncedly hierarchic organization characterized by a strict discipline. Individual freedom is restricted because ressources of the individual (time, energy, material possessions) must be heavily taxed because they are needed to strengthen the group. In an isolated or sparsely populated environment, where warfare is unlikely or impossible, the development will go in the opposite direction: You will se an egalitarian society where individualism and tolerance prevails. Here, individuals are believed to live for their own sake, rather than for the sake of the community. I am introducing the term 'regal' for the former type of society, and 'kalyptic' for the latter. The absolutely regal or absolutely kalyptic society does not exist. You should think of a graduated scale representing varying degrees of regality or kalypticity, rather than a polarization into ideal types or extremes. I have found that the regal/kalyptic (r/k-) dimension has a strong influence on many areas of cultural life: Religion, philosophy, world- view, and political principles are gradually developing in the direction which is most compatible with the position of the society on the r/k- scale. Interestingly, also the artistic style and music preferences of the population are strongly influenced by these factors. There seems to be a psychological mechanism which makes people prefer the style of art and music which is most congruent with the political structure, philosophy, and world-view of their social environment. Also the sexual behavior of the population is influenced: In a regal society the production of children is much higher than in a kalyptic society. The mechanisms behind all these processes are fairly complicated. You will find them explained in my book. Please tune in your web-browser at: http://announce.com/agner/cultsel.htm or: ftp://login.dknet.dk/pub/agner read my book, and give your opinion. I want to get a discussion going in the relevant newsgroups and mailing lists. I am aware that my cultural r/k-theory has important political consequences. Please keep the political and scientific arguments completely separate. Agner Fog, Ph.D. Denmark. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org _______________________________________________________________________________ <37:32>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Sat Sep 7 14:49:19 1996 Date: Sat, 07 Sep 1996 15:48:57 -0500 (EST) From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Subject: September 7 -- Today in the Historical Sciences To: email@example.com Organization: University of NC at Greensboro SEPTEMBER 7 -- TODAY IN THE HISTORICAL SCIENCES 1707: GEORGES-LOUIS LECLERC, later COMTE DE BUFFON, is born at Montbard, France. He will become one of the most important scientific figures of 18th century France, doing work in optics, chemistry, mathematics, botany, and geology, and publishing the encyclopedic _Histoire Naturelle_ in 36 volumes beginning in 1749. Convinced that the earth began in a molten state, Buffon will conduct experiments on the cooling of spheres of various sizes in an attempt to estimate its age. In _Epoques de la Nature_ (1779) he will propose 75,000 years as the age of the earth, but in his private manuscripts he will revise this to a more daring 3,000,000 years. Today in the Historical Sciences is a feature of Darwin-L, an international network discussion group on the history and theory of the historical sciences. Send the message INFO DARWIN-L to firstname.lastname@example.org or connect to the Darwin-L Web Server (http://rjohara.uncg.edu) for more information. _______________________________________________________________________________ <37:33>From harperl@CWU.EDU Sat Sep 7 14:01:43 1996 Date: Sat, 07 Sep 1996 12:01:24 -0700 (PDT) From: harperl@CWU.EDU Subject: Re: Wollstonecraft on Preservation of Species To: email@example.com Wollstonecraft was worried about famine and overpopulation. The following quote is from Letter 11 (pp. 130-131 in the Penguin). Her travels to Scandinavia took place in 1795; _Letters_ was published in 1796 and is generally considered a major influence on Romantic poets, who, in turn, did influence Darwin. (Yes, Darwin read Wollstonecraft also.) Two years later in 1789, Malthus published his Essay on Population. According to Richard Holmes, the editor of the Penguin edition, Malthus visited Scandinavia for further research in 1799. I don't know if Malthus read Wollstonecraft. He, of course, was a bitter rival of W.'s later husband, William Godwin. Speculation over such literary influence are interesting, although I am also aware that Wollstonecraft worked as a book reviewer and was immersed in both the natural history and political theory of her time so would be aware of what was "in the air." I have been through W.'s book reviews, however, and did not find a fit in ideas or phrases for this quote or the previous one I posted. These comments are made as W views Risor, a community of 200 homes crowded together on the edge of a rocky coast. Quote follows: "The view of this wild coast, as we sailed along it, afforded me a continual subject for meditation. I anticipated the future improvement of the world, and observed how much man had still to do, to obtain of the earth all it could yield. I even carried my speculations so far as to advance a million or two of years to the moment when the earth would perhaps be so perfectly cultivated, and so completely peopled, as to render it necessary to inhabit every spot; yes; these bleak shores. Imagination went still farther, and pictured the state of man when the earth could no longer support him. Where was he to fly to from universal famine? Do not smile: I really became distressed for these fellow creatures, yet unborn. The images fastened on me, and the world appeared a vast prison." I find these two passages rather intriguing. Lila Harper firstname.lastname@example.org _______________________________________________________________________________ <37:34>From RUSHTON@SSCL.UWO.CA Fri Sep 6 10:23:03 1996 Date: Fri, 06 Sep 1996 11:21:16 -0500 (EST) From: RUSHTON@SSCL.UWO.CA Subject: Brain size and IQ To: DARWIN-L@RAVEN.CC.UKANS.EDU Empirically speaking it is almost indisputable that there is a significant positive relation between brain size and IQ. It is as verifiable a relationship as is to be found in the behavioral sciences. If anyone wants a copy of my review paper of this literature that appeared in the March 1996 issue of Psychonomic Bulletin and Review (vol 3, 21-36) please send your snail mail address to me (J. P. Rushton): email@example.com Also indisputable at the simple empirical level is that (a) brain size varies by age, sex, social class, and race; and (b) cognitive ability varies by age, sex, social class,and race. These data are also reviewed in the PB&R paper. More interesting is how and why they evolved which might be a more useful discussion for this list....including why the differences evolved. As mentioned in my earlier post Charles Darwin and almost all scientists in the early part of the 20 th century believed in these relations. But moving on, this is not actually the most interesting aspect of race to discuss.....although it takes all the attention.....but I'll leave that for another post. _______________________________________________________________________________ <37:35>From firstname.lastname@example.org Fri Sep 6 04:38:13 1996 Date: Fri, 6 Sep 1996 04:38:12 -0500 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Jonathan Marks) Subject: Re: brain size variation in modern humans >LET ME FURTHER EMPHASIZE THAT, EVEN IF NO ONE HAD EVER DEVISED A TEST FOR >MEASURING IQ, WE COULD STILL BE CONFIDENT, ON GROUNDS OF EVOLUTIONARY THEORY, >THAT OUR SPECIES CONTAINS WIDE GENETIC VARIANCE IN INTELLIGENCE. THE REASON IS >THAT NATURAL SELECTION CANNOT PROCEED UNLESS IT HAS GENETIC DIVERSITY, WITHIN A >SPECIES, TO ACT ON; AND WHEN OUR SPECIES IS COMPARED WITH ITS NEAREST PRIMATE >RELATIVES, IT IS OBVIOUS THAT OUR MAIN SELECTION PRESSURE HAS BEEN FOR AN >INCREASE IN INTELLIGENCE. INDEED, THIS CHANGE PROCEEDED AT AN UNPRECEDENTED >RATE (ON AN EVOLUTIONARY TIME SCALE): IN THE PAST THREE MILLION YEARS THE BRAIN >SIZE OF THE HOMINID LINE INCREASED THREEFOLD. ..... SUCH RAPID SELECTION FOR >INCREASED INTELLIGENCE COULD NOT HAVE OCCURRED UNLESS THE SELECTION PRESSURE >HAD A LARGE SUBSTRATE OF GENETIC VARIATION TO ACT ON. It's been a while since I felt the urge to invoke Fisher's "fundamental theorem of natural selection" for anything, but the Sarich/Davis quotation makes it sound appropriate. If the action of natural selection reduces genetic variation, it strikes me that this argument has precisely the opposite import as it was intended to. If the argument is that we have just been through a period of intense directional selection for intelligence / brain size, then I do believe it follows that there should be relatively little genetic variance remaining and thereby worth arguing about. -- Jon Marks _______________________________________________________________________________ <37:36>From rmccalli@sunmuw1.MUW.Edu Fri Sep 6 00:28:01 1996 Date: Fri, 6 Sep 1996 00:36:44 -0500 To: email@example.com From: rmccalli@sunmuw1.MUW.Edu (Rick Mc Callister) Subject: Re: Rushton's Race Evolution and Behavior Biologists, help me out on this, but if I remember correctly, isn't convolution of the brain supposedly a more important factor than actual size. Not that it really matters since pinheads tend to run the world while the truly intelligent waste their lives on the internet--so much for any fantasy correlations between intelligence and the "evolutionarily ordained elite." _______________________________________________________________________________ <37:37>From firstname.lastname@example.org Fri Sep 6 14:14:09 1996 Date: Fri, 6 Sep 1996 13:13:54 -0600 (MDT) From: Bryant <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Re: Rushton's Race Evolution and Behavior On Tue, 3 Sep 1996, Tracy Harms wrote: > On the topic of the manner and degree to which brain size might be relevant > to intelligence, I am inspired to refer to the 11-year old boy I saw > interviewed on television this week. He received his high-school credits > at the age of five and is now in a Master's degree program. He began >[snip] > Perhaps I overlook something, but it seems clear to me that since the brain > of a five-year-old can support collegiate-preparatory accomplishments then > brain size, per se, cannot be a chief determinant of intellectual capacity. Like others, I tend to readily dismiss anecdotal accounts that do not conform to statistically significant trends. This is a weakness, not a virtue. This and some anecdotal cases described in a similar thread at a newsgroup called sci.anthropology have made me re-evaluate my impressions of the recent review (referenced by Rushton in this thread) which shows a strong relationship between brain size and IQ. I think that these anecdotes are evidence that the correlation may well *not* be a causal one. It may be that developmental instability (caused by varying degrees of stress during the translation of genes into phenotype) causes both better neuronal integrity (or neuron packing density, or some other IQ-relevant physiological parameter) and, separately, brain size. Could this not explain IQ/brain size correlations without requiring a causal relationship between size and intelligence? Bryant Furlow UNM Biology _______________________________________________________________________________ <37:38>From email@example.com Fri Sep 6 14:16:03 1996 Date: Fri, 6 Sep 1996 13:16:00 -0600 (MDT) From: Bryant <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com Subject: Re: Rushton's Race Evolution and Behavior > Kenneth Beals, et al. (Current Anthropology 25 (3): 301-330) > pointed out in 1984 that cranial capacity does not necessarily equal > brain size. There is much inside the cranium besides grey matter, > such as vascular tissue, and extracellular fluid. These two non- > neural tissues may be under selection pressure, since thermoregulation > of the brain is a critical matter. Hence, there may easily be geo- > graphic variation in cranial capacity that is not related to brain size. > > spencer turkel Nevertheless, cranial size does correlate positively and respectably with brain size, no? Bryant _______________________________________________________________________________ <37:39>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Sun Sep 8 21:43:37 1996 Date: Sun, 08 Sep 1996 22:43:29 -0500 (EST) From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Subject: The founder effect as a general historical principle To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: University of NC at Greensboro Some time ago we had a discussion of the founder effect as applied to linguistics, under which the character of a particular geographical dialect is explained by the composition of the dialect's founding population. I'm curious now about whether there is any general discussion of the founder effect (as it is called in evolutionary biology) as a widespread principle in the historical sciences. What I take to be the original description of the founder effect appears in Ernst Mayr's _Systematics and the Origin of Species_ (1942): The reduced variability of small populations is not always due to accidental gene loss, but sometimes to the fact that the entire population was started by a single pair or by a single fertilized female. These "founders" of the population carried with them only a very small proportion of the variability of the parent population. This "founder" principle sometimes explains even the uniformity of rather large populations, particularly if they are well isolated and near the borders of the range of the species. The reef heron (_Demigretta sacra_) occurs in two color phases over most of its range, a gray one and a white one, of which the white comprises about 10 to 30 percent of the individuals. On the Marquesas Islands and in New Zealand, two outposts of the range, only gray birds occur, while the white birds comprise 50 percent on the Tuamotu Islands, another marginal population (Mayr and Amadon 1941). The differences in the composition of these populations is very likely due to the genetic composition of the original founders. The same explanation probably covers most of the cases in which isolated populations of polymorphic species have much-reduced variability. This of course is a very simple idea, but its broad applicability became especially clear to me recently when I was reading an excellent historical monograph: Fischer, David Hackett. 1989. _Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America_. New York: Oxford University Press. This volume is a cultural history of the United States, and it traces a great variety of social practices (from child-naming to political attitudes to architecture) back to four founder populations: the Puritan immigration from East Anglia to Massachusetts (1629-1640), the Royalist immigration from the south of England to Virginia (ca. 1642-1675), the Quaker immigration from the North Midlands to the Delaware Valley (ca. 1675-1725), and the North British and Irish immigration to the Appalachian region in the mid-1700s. The whole volume is really a treatise on the founder effect, with hundreds of examples that are rather like Mayr's example of the Reef Heron above. Does anyone know if historians have written any essays on this principle in general, as it applies to all sorts of historical phenomena? It would certainly seem to be a fine example of one of the common principles of the palaetiological sciences. Bob O'Hara, Darwin-L list owner Robert J. O'Hara (email@example.com) | 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. | _______________________________________________________________________________ <37:40>From firstname.lastname@example.org Sat Sep 7 16:07:12 1996 Date: Sat, 7 Sep 1996 15:07:07 -0600 (MDT) From: Bryant <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Re: brain size variation in modern humans On Fri, 6 Sep 1996, Jonathan Marks wrote: > >LET ME FURTHER EMPHASIZE THAT, EVEN IF NO ONE HAD EVER DEVISED A TEST FOR > >MEASURING IQ, WE COULD STILL BE CONFIDENT, ON GROUNDS OF EVOLUTIONARY THEORY, > >THAT OUR SPECIES CONTAINS WIDE GENETIC VARIANCE IN INTELLIGENCE. THE REASON IS > >THAT NATURAL SELECTION CANNOT PROCEED UNLESS IT HAS GENETIC DIVERSITY, This is a common error, I think. In fact, directional selection can relatively rapidly "fix" alleles in a population. There is little heritability in the number of fingers or hands in human beings, for instance. Traits which seriously impact fitness should be driven by directional selection to fixation more quickly than other characteristics might. Bryant _______________________________________________________________________________ <37:41>From email@example.com Sat Sep 7 20:03:13 1996 Date: Sat, 7 Sep 1996 21:06:18 -0500 To: firstname.lastname@example.org (Darwin List) From: email@example.com (Jeremy C. Ahouse) Subject: Borges question reference correction Dear List, I my question about the taxonomy found in Borges' essay, I wrote that Foucault used the same list as an example in _Archaeology of Knowledge_. That is incorrect. You will find it as the focus of the preface of _The Order of Things: an archaeology of the human sciences_. Foucault credits Borges (not Franz Kuhn), as he discusses the wonderful effect that the taxonomy has on the reader. This book first arose out of a passage in Borges, out of the laughter that shattered, as I read the passage, all the familiar landmarks of my thought - our thought, the thought that bears the stamp of our age and our geography - breaking up all the ordered surfaces and all the planes with which we are accustomed to tame the wild profusiono of existing things, and continuing long afterwards to disturb and threaten with collapse our age-old distinction between the Same and the Other. This passage quotes 'a certain Chinese encyclopedia' in which it is written that 'animals are divided into: (a) belonging to the Emperor, ..., (n) from a long way off look like flies'. In the wonderment of this taxonomy, the thing we apprehend in one great leap, the thing that, by means of the fable, is demonstrated as the exotic charm of another system of thought, is the limitation of our own, the stark impossibility of thinking _that_. - Jeremy Jeremy C. Ahouse Biology Department Brandeis University Waltham, MA 02254-9110 ph: (617) 736-4954 fax: (617) 736-2405 email: firstname.lastname@example.org web: http://www.rose.brandeis.edu/users/simister/pages/Ahouse _______________________________________________________________________________ <37:42>From email@example.com Sun Sep 8 16:59:11 1996 Date: Sun, 8 Sep 1996 16:58:57 -0500 From: Sheldon Klein <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com Subject: Significance of density of neuron connectivity Research trends in AI, and neurophysiology might suggest that the density of neural connectivity in the brains of members of a species is potentially a significant factor in comparative intelligence-- I've read, in another context, that dolphins, for example, have a higher average number of connections per neuron than do humans (perhaps related to sonar abilities). Anyone know of any research on species/neural density connectivity and comparative 'cognitive' ability? _______________________________________________________________________________ <37:43>From firstname.lastname@example.org Sun Sep 8 19:07:31 1996 Date: Sun, 8 Sep 1996 20:10:36 -0500 To: email@example.com (Darwin List) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy C. Ahouse) Subject: Gary Larson on the evolution of language The Farside Calendar for Wed Sept 4 shows a cave person running from a cave engulfed in flames, clothes smoking, and saying "Bummer!". The caption reads, "Some anthroplogists believe that the discoveries of fire, shelter, and language were almost simultaneous." - Jeremy Jeremy C. Ahouse Biology Department Brandeis University Waltham, MA 02254-9110 ph: (617) 736-4954 fax: (617) 736-2405 email: email@example.com web: http://www.rose.brandeis.edu/users/simister/pages/Ahouse _______________________________________________________________________________ <37:44>From firstname.lastname@example.org Sun Sep 8 17:50:53 1996 Date: Sun, 8 Sep 1996 15:50:44 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Ari Nave) Subject: Re: Cultural selection - Electronic book available for discussion I browsed through your web site for a few minutes. I can see that you have spent time to become thoroughly familiar with the literature, including Boyd and Richerson. I am not sure a r vs k-selection theory analogy is really applicable to cultural selection, because culture groups are never really isolated. The reason being that mechanisms in cultural tranmission, such as conformist or other frequency-dependent transmission biases, cause monolithic culture groups to diverge into separate ethnic groups, based even upon the most selectively neutral of traits such as dialog. Given this, would not a meme encouraging group-level selection always emerge and spread. Even when the carrying capacity has not been reached, cooperative behaviors could arise which benefit the group. Could it not be possible that those cultures which develop ideas about warfare, conquest, and limited individual freedom cause them to come into conflict with other groups, etc... How do you trace the causal relationship of your argument? If culture groups are in isolation, what are the barriers to culture flow? Geographical? Why then are some culture groups more wide-spread over multiple ecological niches? What about people such as the Tuareg which may be described as sparly populated, deeply individualistic, and also militant? Where do they fit within your model? I guess what I am really asking is to what extent are groups ever really isolated. Isolated from whom? Or is your model's engine simply a matter of population density and carrying capacity? Is not the relationship between culture and the environmnet much more complex than this? My own work explores, in part, how a mechanism similar to a hybrid zone functions to maintain boundaries to culture flow between neighboring groups. But as in genetic hybrid zone, any trait which is strongly selected for will be able to cross such barriers and invade the other population. This includes the ability to organize in warfare. Ari Nave Dept. of Anthropology University of California, Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA 90024-1553 Campus Mail Code: 155303 e-mail: email@example.com http://www.sscnet.ucla.edu/anthro/nave Fax: (310) 552-3453 _______________________________________________________________________________ <37:45>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Sun Sep 8 22:09:31 1996 Date: Sun, 08 Sep 1996 23:09:26 -0500 (EST) From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Subject: Italian archeology web site (fwd from arch-theory) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: University of NC at Greensboro --begin forwarded message-------------- Date: Fri, 06 Sep 1996 09:41:47 +0100 From: Judith Winters <PRP95JCW@sheffield.ac.uk> Subject: (Fwd) CCSP HOME PAGE To: email@example.com Date: Sun, 25 Aug 1996 12:15:48 +0200 From: Paolo Emilio Bagnoli <peb@PIMAC2.IET.UNIPI.IT> Subject: CCSP HOME PAGE To: Multiple recipients of list ARTIFACT <ARTIFACT@UMDD.UMD.EDU> Dear listmembers The Virtual Museum of the Prehistoric Stelae-Statues of Lunigiana (north Tuscany, Italy) by Gruppo Archeologico Pisano (GAP) is now available at the URL: http://marolaws.iet.unipi.it:31442/stele/sstele_i.htm ---- (italian) http://marolaws.iet.unipi.it:31442/stele/sstele_e.htm ---- (english, page still under construction). This museum can be visited following two different paths: an exhibition and a didactic one. The italian version is complete , the english one is still under construction, but the figures and the captions are yet available. Comments and criticism for the improvement of the site are welcome and requested. Please, do a large diffusion to this message. Thank You. Sincerely PEB ======================================================= Paolo Emilio BAGNOLI Dept. of Information Engineering, University of Pisa, Via Diotisalvi 2,56100 Pisa,ITALY phone: +39-(0)50-568511 fax: +39-(0)50-568522 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org http://venere.iet.unipi.it/peb.htm ======================================================= This is also the E-MAIL ADDRESS for GRUPPO ARCHEOLOGICO PISANO G.A.P. Pisa, Tuscany, Italy (Heritage volunteers association) http://marolaws.iet.unipi.it:31442/gap/gap.htm ======================================================= --end forwarded message---------------- _______________________________________________________________________________ <37:46>From ggale@CCTR.UMKC.EDU Mon Sep 9 16:12:55 1996 Date: Mon, 09 Sep 1996 13:28:11 CST From: ggale@CCTR.UMKC.EDU To: email@example.com Subject: RE: DARWIN-L digest 675 Re: Founder Effect Niall Shanks and I use the Founder Effect to explain the rather odd evolution of cosmology in the period 1935-1965 in a forthcoming article in _Studies in the History and Philosophy of Modern Physics_. That's not very general :-), but it seems to work. g _______________________________________________________________________________ <37:47>From firstname.lastname@example.org Mon Sep 9 04:02:48 1996 Date: Sun, 8 Sep 1996 23:02:30 -1000 From: Ron Amundson <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Re: brain size variation in modern humans D-Lers: I am bemused by the confidence with which some of us are able to conclude that brain size _must_ correlate with intelligence, even within normal ranges in humans. Especially given that brains, reputed to be very complex organs, have _lots_ of traits other than size along which to vary -- synapse density, surface convolution, shadings of grey, blood flow -- and that many of these traits seem a priori as likely as brute size to correlate with intelligence. If I may be forgiven a somewhat coarse analogy, the discussion reminds me of some undergraduate arguments about the importance of brute size for male sexual performance. One of the aphorisms which grew out of this dormitory debate was borrowed from a cigarette advertisement, which can be paraphrased for present purposes: It's not how big you make it, it's how you make it big. Ron "The brain is the organ with which we think that we think." Ambrose Bierce. -- Ron Amundson University of Hawaii at Hilo Hilo, HI 96720 email@example.com _______________________________________________________________________________ <37:48>From firstname.lastname@example.org Mon Sep 9 10:25:40 1996 Date: Mon, 9 Sep 96 11:25:36 EDT From: email@example.com (John Staddon) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Re: brain size variation in modern humans From Bryant: This is a common error, I think. In fact, directional selection can relatively rapidly "fix" alleles in a population. There is little heritability in the number of fingers or hands in human beings, for instance. Traits which seriously impact fitness should be driven by directional selection to fixation more quickly than other characteristics might. Bryant ---------------- But shouldn't such traits show very low phenotypic variance/ JS _______________________________________________________________________________ <37:49>From email@example.com Tue Sep 10 08:59:27 1996 Date: Tue, 10 Sep 1996 09:55:02 -0400 (EDT) From: "Donald G. Albertson" <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com Subject: Re: brain size variation in modern humans On Mon, 9 Sep 1996, John Staddon wrote: [snip] > > But shouldn't such traits show very low phenotypic variance/ JS I wouldn't dream of trying to define "low" in this context. It may be "low" compared to the variance between species but "high" compared to the variance among members of the same graduating class at Harvard. ============================================================================ Donald G. Albertson firstname.lastname@example.org I knew what I wanted to say and I knew it was was coming out wrong but I swear I couldn't do anything about it. ============================================================================ _______________________________________________________________________________ <37:50>From email@example.com Tue Sep 10 11:57:34 1996 Date: 10 Sep 1996 10:01:40 U From: "Charlie Urbanowicz" <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Business Week/16 Sep'96 To: email@example.com DARWIN-L readers might be interested in the September 16, 1996 issue of BUSINESS WEEK and the "Science and Technology" section (pp. 104-108) dealing with Howard Gardner's research on "Intelligence" (eight in all): featured on p.105 is Charles Darwin with the following: "Allows people to distinguish among, classify, and use features of the environment." Charlie Urbanowicz [firstname.lastname@example.org] http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/ _______________________________________________________________________________ <37:51>From email@example.com Tue Sep 10 12:15:35 1996 Date: Tue, 10 Sep 1996 13:14:37 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org (Darwin List) From: email@example.com (Jeremy C. Ahouse) Subject: FYI - ishpssb on web The International Society for History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology (ISHPSSB) has opened a web site. <http://server.phil.vt.edu/ishpssb> - Jeremy Jeremy C. Ahouse Biology Department Brandeis University Waltham, MA 02254-9110 ph: (617) 736-4954 fax: (617) 736-2405 email: firstname.lastname@example.org web: http://www.rose.brandeis.edu/users/simister/pages/Ahouse _______________________________________________________________________________ <37:52>From email@example.com Tue Sep 10 12:25:53 1996 Date: Tue, 10 Sep 1996 11:25:43 -0600 (MDT) From: Bryant <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com Subject: Re: brain size variation in modern humans On Mon, 9 Sep 1996, John Staddon wrote: >From Bryant: > > This is a common error, I think. In fact, directional selection can > relatively rapidly "fix" alleles in a population. There is little > heritability in the number of fingers or hands in human beings, for instance. > Traits which seriously impact fitness should be driven by directional > selection to fixation more quickly than other characteristics might. Bryant > ---------------- > > But shouldn't such traits show very low phenotypic variance/ JS Not necessarily. Directional selection disrupts canalization of directionally selected traits. Hence, differential exposure to sources of stress can account for phenotypic variance even when allelic diversity at a given locus is nil. Bryant _______________________________________________________________________________ <37:53>From schoenem@qal.Berkeley.EDU Tue Sep 10 12:49:34 1996 Date: Tue, 10 Sep 1996 10:59:02 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: schoenem@qal.Berkeley.EDU (Tom Schoenemann) Subject: Re: brain size variation in modern humans >It's been a while since I felt the urge to invoke Fisher's "fundamental >theorem of natural selection" for anything, but the Sarich/Davis quotation >makes it sound appropriate. If the action of natural selection reduces >genetic variation, it strikes me that this argument has precisely the >opposite import as it was intended to. If the argument is that we have just >been through a period of intense directional selection for intelligence / >brain size, then I do believe it follows that there should be relatively >little genetic variance remaining and thereby worth arguing about. > > -- Jon Marks The idea that directional natural selection reduces genetic variation is a simplistic theoretical argument that assumes, among other things, that genetic effects at different loci are independent. Empirically, reduction in phenotypic variance almost never happens in these circumstances, and in several experiments it has been possible to demonstrate that additive genetic variance remained at the supposed "selection limit". As Falconer (1981) writes: "The expected loss of genetic variance should lead to a progressive decline of the observed phenotypic variance. This, however, seldom happens, and sometimes the variance increases instead of declining." (p. 202). The suggestion that the huge variance in brain size in humans is evidence AGAINST natural selection on brain size is just silly. We can argue about exactly what the selective advantage to increasing brain size was (which is clearly part of Marks' argument), but invoking Fisher's theorem will not remove the problem. -Tom P. Thomas Schoenemann Department of Anthropology University of California, Berkeley email@example.com _______________________________________________________________________________ <37:54>From firstname.lastname@example.org Tue Sep 10 18:58:21 1996 Date: Tue, 10 Sep 1996 19:56:48 -0400 From: Sander J Gliboff <email@example.com> Subject: Re: brain size variation in modern humans To: firstname.lastname@example.org There have been some exchanges over what can be concluded from the existence of (presumed) heritable variation in intelligence. Is it evidence for ongoing directional selection, which would need the variation in order to act? Is it evidence that no directional selection has occurred, because if it had, it would have eliminated the variation? I would like to suggest a third possibility: that selection is maintaining the variability. Many different skills and faculties constitute intelligence, and there is no one way of being intelligent that is superior in every situation. Rather than thinking of intelligence as a single trait that selection can be simply for or against, perhaps we should see it as an array of traits, each of which varies in fitness according to time and place and circumstance. --Sandy ------------------------------------------------------------- Sander Gliboff Department of the History of Science, Medicine and Technology Johns Hopkins University 3400 North Charles Street Baltimore, MD 21218 email@example.com _______________________________________________________________________________ <37:55>From Agner@login.dknet.dk Wed Sep 11 10:38:23 1996 From: Agner@login.dknet.dk (Agner Fog) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Cc: email@example.com Subject: Re: Cultural selection - Electronic book available for discussion Date: Wed, 11 Sep 1996 16:51:12 +0100 Ari Nave wrote: >I am not sure a r vs k-selection theory analogy is really applicable to >cultural selection, because culture groups are never really isolated. [...] >I guess what I am really asking is to what extent are groups ever really >isolated. Isolated from whom? Or is your model's engine simply a matter >of population density and carrying capacity? Is not the relationship >between culture and the environmnet much more complex than this? My model says nothing about cultural isolation. I am talking about absense of inter-group (international) conflicts or war. War is unlikely in isolated or sparcely populated areas, but there may also be densely populated areas where peace prevails. Today there is a considerable flow of memes between regal (r) and kalyptic (k) countries thanks to advanced communication technology, but as long as the foreign memes are not favored by selection, the cultures will retain their different r/k-status. The cultural r/k-selection process depends on the ratio between inter-group and intra-group conflicts. There are several selection mechanisms at work here - the most effective mechanisms being of a psychological nature. >The >reason being that mechanisms in cultural tranmission, such as conformist or >other frequency-dependent transmission biases, cause monolithic culture >groups to diverge into separate ethnic groups, based even upon the most >selectively neutral of traits such as dialog. Given this, would not a meme >encouraging group-level selection always emerge and spread. Even when the >carrying capacity has not been reached, cooperative behaviors could arise >which benefit the group. There are many different selection mechanisms at work here, both genetic and cultural. It depends which mechanism is strongest. >Could it not be possible that those cultures which develop ideas about >warfare, conquest, and limited individual freedom cause them to come into >conflict with other groups, etc... How do you trace the causal >relationship of your argument? Of course the causal relationship goes both ways. But people will not accept limitations to their individual freedom for very long, unless it can be justified by warfare or conquest. >If culture groups are in isolation, what >are the barriers to culture flow? Geographical? Why then are some culture >groups more wide-spread over multiple ecological niches? There are hardly any geographical barriers to culture flow today, but in ancient time there has been. There are still compatibility barriers, though: A new meme is difficult to accept if it is psychologically or cognitively incompatible with existing memes. (I have given examples of this in my book). >What about people >such as the Tuareg which may be described as sparly populated, deeply >individualistic, and also militant? Where do they fit within your model? Sorry. I know nothing about them. >My own work explores, in part, how a mechanism similar to a hybrid zone >functions to maintain boundaries to culture flow between neighboring >groups. But as in genetic hybrid zone, any trait which is strongly >selected for will be able to cross such barriers and invade the other >population. This includes the ability to organize in warfare. That topic interests me. The analogy between genetic and cultural barriers is discussed in chapter 3.8 in my book. Could you please give me some references to the genetic as well as the cultural hybrid zone theory? ============================================================================ Agner Fog, Ph.D. See my book: 'Cultural Selection' at: firstname.lastname@example.org http://announce.com/agner/cultsel.htm _______________________________________________________________________________ Darwin-L Message Log 37: 1-55 -- September 1996 End
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