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Darwin-L Message Log 39: 1–35 — November 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 November 1996. It has been lightly edited for format: message numbers have been added for ease of reference, message headers have been trimmed, some irregular lines have been reformatted, and error messages and personal messages accidentally posted to the group as a whole have been deleted. No genuine editorial changes have been made to the content of any of the posts. This log is provided for personal reference and research purposes only, and none of the material contained herein should be published or quoted without the permission of the original poster.

The master copy of this log is maintained in the Darwin-L Archives (rjohara.net/darwin) by Dr. Robert J. O’Hara. The Darwin-L Archives also contain additional information about the Darwin-L discussion group, the complete Today in the Historical Sciences calendar for every month of the year, a collection of recommended readings on the historical sciences, and an account of William Whewell’s concept of “palaetiology.”


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DARWIN-L MESSAGE LOG 39: 1-35 -- NOVEMBER 1996
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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 November 1996.
It has been lightly edited for format: message numbers have been added for ease
of reference, message headers have been trimmed, some irregular lines have been
reformatted, and some administrative messages and personal messages posted to
the group as a whole have been deleted.  No genuine editorial changes have been
made to the content of any of the posts.  This log is provided for personal
reference and research purposes only, and none of the material contained herein
should be published or quoted without the permission of the original poster.
The master copy of this log is maintained on the Darwin-L Web Server at
http://rjohara.uncg.edu.  For instructions on how to retrieve copies of this
and other log files, and for additional information about Darwin-L and the
historical sciences, connect to the Darwin-L Web Server or send the e-mail
message INFO DARWIN-L to listserv@raven.cc.ukans.edu.

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

_______________________________________________________________________________

<39:1>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Fri Nov  1 22:40:35 1996

Date: Fri, 01 Nov 1996 23:40:30 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: List owner's monthly greeting
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
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 (listserv@raven.cc.ukans.edu),
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 (darwin@iris.uncg.edu)  |  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

_______________________________________________________________________________

<39:2>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Fri Nov  1 22:43:01 1996

Date: Fri, 01 Nov 1996 23:42:57 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: November 1 -- Today in the Historical Sciences
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

NOVEMBER 1 -- TODAY IN THE HISTORICAL SCIENCES

1793: JOHANN FRIEDRICH ESCHSCHOLTZ is born at Dorpat, now Tartu, Estonia.
Following education at Dorpat University, now Tartu University, Eschscholtz
will serve as naturalist and physician on Kotzebue's voyages around the world
from 1815 to 1818.  His specimens from the voyage will be given to Dorpat
University, and he will become curator of the Dorpat zoological collections
in 1822.

1880: ALFRED LOTHAR WEGENER is born in Berlin.  In 1912 he will read a paper
titled "Die Herausbildung der Grossformen der Erdrinde (Kontinente und Ozeane)
auf geophysikalischer Grundlage" ["The geophysical basis of the evolution of
large-scale features of the earth's crust"] before the Geological Association
of Frankfurt am Main.  It will be expanded in 1915 into _Die Entstehung der
Kontinente und Ozeane_ [_The Origin of Continents and Oceans_], the first
comprehensive account of the theory of continental drift.  On this day in
1930, his fiftieth birthday, while on an expedition to Greenland, Wegener
will leave his base camp for the western coast and will not be seen again.

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

_______________________________________________________________________________

<39:3>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Fri Nov  1 22:56:33 1996

Date: Fri, 01 Nov 1996 23:49:04 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: Re: Bionomics message from Peter Junger (fwd)
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

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

Regarding this new approach, have you seen any examples which illustrate
that the new paradigm improves economic predictions?

Devorah Slavin
Emory University
dslavin@emory.edu

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

_______________________________________________________________________________

<39:4>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Fri Nov  1 22:57:33 1996

Date: Fri, 01 Nov 1996 23:46:09 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: Re: Bionomics message of Peter Junger (fwd)
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

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

You have essentially grasped what "Bionomics" movement is all about.
On the one hand there are some useful notions with respect to
incorporating models and notions about hysteresis (path dependency),
multiple equilibria, non-linear dynamics, dynamic feedback etc in
response to the old unidirectional linear causality or neoclassical
economics (written by and for linear people with linear minds). On
the other hand, it spreads some more refined--and not-so-refined--
versions of social darwinism and notions of an "instinct" for profit
and competition, inevitable scarcity leading to ultra-competitive
solutions necessary for "efficiency" , homeostasis through
competition etc.

                               Jim Craven

*------------------------------------------------------------------*
*  James Craven             * "The envelope is only defined--and   *
*  Dept of Economics        * expanded--by the test pilot who dares*
*  Clark College            * to push it."                         *
*  1800 E. McLoughlin Blvd. * (H.H. Craven Jr.(a gifted pilot)     *
*  Vancouver, Wa. 98663     *                                      *
*  (360) 992-2283           * "For those who have fought for it,   *
*  cravjm@ooi.clark.edu     * freedom has a taste the protected    *
*                           * will never know." (Otto Von Bismark) *
*                           *                                      *
* MY EMPLOYER HAS NO ASSOCIATION WITH MY PRIVATE/PROTECTED OPINION *

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

_______________________________________________________________________________

<39:5>From epalmer@alleg.edu Wed Oct 30 10:57:59 1996

From: Eric Palmer <epalmer@alleg.edu>
Date: Wed, 30 Oct 96 11:56:55 -0500
To: science-as-culture@sjuvm.stjohns.edu, hpsst-l@qucdn.queensu.ca,
        STS-LISTCCTR.UMKC.EDU@pellns.alleg.edu, mersenne@mailbase.ac.uk,
        ishpsb-l@vm1.spcs.umn.edu
Subject: HOPOS '98  Conference Call for papers
Cc: hopos-l@ukcc.uky.edu, philos-l@liverpool.ac.uk, CADUCEUS@BEACH.UTMB.EDU,
        darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu, MEDSCI-L%BROWNVM.bitnet@vm42.cso.uiuc.edu

CALL FOR PAPERS: HOPOS `98

SECOND INTERNATIONAL HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE CONFERENCE

Reilly Center for Science, Technology, and Values, University of
Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana March 12-15, 1998

The History of Philosophy of Science Working Group will hold its
second international conference on March 12-15 1998.  This meeting
is organized in cooperation with the Reilly Center for Science,
Technology, and Values at the University of Notre Dame.  The
conference will be open to work from all approaches in science
studies that focus upon the history of philosophy of science.

Guidelines for Submissions:
Submissions of abstracts of papers of approximately 30 minutes'
reading length, and of full panels of three to four papers will be
considered for the program.  Abstracts of individual paper
submissions should be between 250 and 500 words in length.  Panel
proposals should include one panel abstract, names and contact
addresses of all participants, and abstracts of 250 words for each
of  three to four papers.  All submissions should arrive by 1
September 1997.
Acknowledgment will be sent by 1 October.  Notification of
acceptance of submissions will be provided by 1 November.  Preferred
format for all submissions is plain ASCII text submitted by
electronic mail to pinnick2@wku.edu (please note the "2") with
"HOPOS Submission" in the subject line of the email.  Other
submissions should include three paper copies and one copy in plain
ASCII format on a 3.5" DOS diskette and be sent to:

     Cassandra Pinnick
     Department of Philosophy
     Western Kentucky University
     Bowling Green, KY     42101

Conference Registrar:

     James Maffie, Independent Scholar
     3280 Sentinel Drive
     Boulder, CO 80301-5498
     maffiej@spot.colorado.edu

Program Committee:
  Warren Schmaus, Co-Chair, Illinois Institute of Technology
  Cassandra Pinnick, Co-Chair, Western Kentucky University
  George Gale, Univeristy of Missouri - Kansas City
  Douglas M. Jesseph, North Carolina State University
  Bill McKinney, Southeast Missouri State University
  Alan Richardson, University of British Columbia
  Rose-Mary Sargent, Merrimack College
  Thomas Uebel, London School of Economics

Local Arrangements:
  Phillip R. Sloan, University of Notre Dame

HOPOS,The History of Philosophy of Science Working Group, is an
international society of scholars who share an interest in promoting
research on the history of the philosophy of science and related
topics in the history of the natural and social sciences, logic,
philosophy,and mathematics.  We interpret this
statement of shared interest broadly, meaning to include all
historical periods and diverse methodologies.  We aim to promote
historical work in a variety of ways, including the sponsorship of
meetings and conference sessions, the publication of books and
special issues of journals, maintaining an email discussion group,
and the dissemination of information about libraries, archives and
collections, and bibliographic information.

HOPOS Steering Committee, 1996 & 1997:
  David Stump, University of San Francisco (Chair)
  George Gale, University of Missouri-Kansas City
  Gary Hatfield, University of Pennsylvania
  Don Howard, University of Kentucky
  Bill McKinney, Southeast Missouri State University
  Eric Palmer, Allegheny College
  Cassandra Pinnick, Western Kentucky University
  Alan Richardson, University of British Columbia
  Warren Schmaus, Illinois Institute of Technology
  Stephen Turner, University of South Florida
  Thomas Uebel, London School of Economics

_______________________________________________________________________________

<39:6>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Fri Nov  1 22:59:05 1996

Date: Fri, 01 Nov 1996 23:58:54 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: CFP: Mephistos graduate conference (fwd)
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

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

Mephistos 1997

****Call for Papers****

Mephistos 1997, the 16th Annual Graduate Student
Conference in the Philosophy, History, and
Sociology of Science, Technology, and Medicine,
and related fields, welcomes your abstracts and
registrations.

Purpose of the Conference:

Mephistos was created to be an annual forum for
graduate students working in diverse areas touching
upon the fields of science studies.
The conference provides students an invaluable
opportunity to share research and discuss topics of
concern across a variety of disciplines. Mephistos
gives students a low-stress environment in which to
present ideas, interact with colleagues, and
discover common interests. Therefore, we especially
encourage those students working in related
fields such as communications and information
studies to participate in Mephistos '97.

Logistics:

The planning committee of MePHiSToS 1997 invites
you to sunny California - the first time on the
West Coast for Mephistos!  The conference will
be held at the University of California, Los
Angeles from February 20th to 23rd, 1997.

Registration fees are $12 (please make your check
out to  MEPHISTOS).  Limited FREE lodging will be
available for early registrants in the
homes of participating UCLA graduate students on a
first-come, first-served basis.  Small subsidies
for travel expenses will also be available (upon
registration, we will be able to confirm the number
and amount of subsidies available).

        Please note that:

        *  1-page abstracts for 20-minute papers
           are due December 30, 1996.  Please send abstracts
           to Karen Gracy by e-mail (kgracy@ucla.edu)
           or by U.S. mail at the address below.

        *  Registration fee due January 20, 1997.

        *  For more information check out the Mephistos website at:

<http://scow.gslis.ucla.edu/students_m-z/mephisto/HTML/home.html>

        To register by mail:

        Send your name, institutional affiliation,
        address (e-mail and U.S. mail), phone number, and
        whether you want information on housing
        and travel by January 20, 1997 to:

        Mephistos
        Attn.:  Karen F. Gracy
        Department of Library and Information Science
        GSE&IS Bldg.
        UCLA
        Mailbox 951520
        Los Angeles, CA  90095-1520

Mephistos '97 is sponsored by the Department of Library and Information
Science of the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies of
UCLA.

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

_______________________________________________________________________________

<39:7>From 071CUM@cosmos.wits.ac.za Wed Oct 30 06:49:26 1996

From: "JOHNATHAN : CUMMING" <071CUM@cosmos.wits.ac.za>
Organization:  University of the Witwatersrand
To: darwin-L@RAVEN.CC.UKANS.EDU
Date: Wed, 30 Oct 1996 14:52:06 GMT + 2:00

Dear fellow Darwin scholars

The 27th July issue of "New Scientist" carries an advertisement (on
page 53) for a book entitled "Evolutionary Concepts in the Nineteenth
Century: natural selection and Patrick Matthew" by WJ Dempster
(Durham, UK: Pentland Press).  According to the blurb, "Patrick
Matthew, a Scot, was the first to describe the process of natural
selection and was considered important enough by Darwin to be included
in the Historical Sketch attached to the 6th edition of The Origin of
Species.  Darwin's attempt to sink Matthew without trace almost
succeeded."
    I am based in South Africa, and would have to go to some trouble
and expense to obtain this book.  If anyone out there has read it,
I would be very grateful to hear their opinion of it.  In particular,
how well-founded is the allegation that "Darwin attempted to sink
Matthew without trace"?  Is the popular view of Darwin's character
becoming increasingly negative?

Many thanks - Jonathan Cumming

_______________________________________________________________________________

<39:8>From lamb@vt.edu Wed Oct 30 10:19:05 1996

Date: Wed, 30 Oct 1996 11:18:56 -0500
To: darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu
From: Ed Lamb <lamb@vt.edu>
Subject: Pope Pius XII, Evolution?

Dear All,

        I remember reading a quote from Pope Pius XII on the subject of
evolution on this list either yesterday or the day before.  Not knowing that
I would need the quote, I deleted the message.  Stupid me.  If anyone saved
the message, in which Pius was saying essential the same thing John Paul
said this past weekend, please forward it to me at lamb@vt.edu.

        I'm working on editorial piece refuting Cal Thomas's (the scary,
scary conservative guy) reading of the Pope's statement.  Thanks for your help.

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 lamb@vt.edu
         pos@vt.edu

_______________________________________________________________________________

<39:9>From tokaryk.leibel@sk.sympatico.ca Sat Nov  2 18:40:16 1996

Date: Sat, 02 Nov 1996 17:48:02 -0800
From: Norine Leibel <tokaryk.leibel@sk.sympatico.ca>
To: Darwin-L@raven.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: New Canadian Member

To one and all,
	Noted in the instruction section of the Darwin-L, it was
recommended that new members introduce themselves.  So, here I go.
	I am a self-taught paleontologist with 15 years experience and am
currently in charge of the Eastend Fossil Research Station in Eastend,
Saskatchewan, Canada.  This facility, as small as it is, is a satellite
station of the provincial institution, the Royal Saskatchewan Museum.
Though I have practical interests in vertebrate paleontology, my non-work
time is spent mostly on reviewing 19th century perceptions of evolution,
science and it's relationships with culture, literature and religion.
With this new toy, I hope to examine and learn (and when I can,
contribute) to discussions of the same.

	Hoping to chat with you soon.

Tim T. Tokaryk
Eastend, Saskatchewan, Canada
tokaryk.leibel@sk.sympatico.ca

_______________________________________________________________________________

<39:10>From VISLYONS@ubvms.cc.buffalo.edu Mon Nov  4 19:58:52 1996

Date: Mon, 04 Nov 1996 20:58:42 -0500 (EST)
From: VISLYONS@ubvms.cc.buffalo.edu
Subject: information on the Oort cloud.
To: darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University at Buffalo

Could anyone tell me what the evidence is for the existence of the oort
cloud?  My understandng is that there is no direct observational evidence
but that most astronmers believe it does in fact exist.  Any references
would be appreciated.  You can reply to me privately.
Thanks.  Sherrie Lyons
slyons@daemen.edu

_______________________________________________________________________________

<39:11>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Mon Nov  4 23:00:59 1996

Date: Tue, 05 Nov 1996 00:00:51 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: New historical resources on the Web
To: darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

Two very interesting historical resources were recently announced
on HUMANIST; they may be of interest to Darwin-L members.  The first
is George Landow's Victorian Web which contains a wide range of information
on Victorian history, culture, and science:

  http://www.stg.brown.edu/projects/hypertext/landow/victorian/victov.html

It is also an interesting study in how to present large amounts of material
via the web.  Frankly I don't think we've figured out a good way to do it
yet, but this is as good as any I've seen.  It is an interesting question
for us how historical information (such as a timeline) could be best presented.
(I mean in a truly detailed manner for professional reference; not just
as an introductory teaching tool.)

The second site is ARGOS, a meta-index for network resources on the
ancient and medieval world.  You can find it at:

  http://argos.evansville.edu

Bob O'Hara, Darwin-L list owner

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

_______________________________________________________________________________

<39:12>From tbh@tesser.com Tue Oct 29 22:35:21 1996

Date: Tue, 29 Oct 1996 20:39:49 -0700
To: darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu
From: tbh@tesser.com (T. Harms)
Subject: Re: bionomics

Today I happened upon S. J. Gould's *Full House*, and I was very impressed
by his argument that the historical trend of biological evolution is not a
form of progress, but the historical trends of cultural institutions can be
and often are progressive.

In that regard I must retract what I said yesterday insofar as I indicated
that biological and economic matters can share the same explanations.  I
still think that the same basic process underlies both of them, that being
blind variation and selective retention.  And I still think this is enough
that they both should count as evolutionary changes.  But I am newly
appreciative that there must be important differences which need to be
detailed if indeed biology ages without progress, but culture produces
progressive trends.

The arguments I've seen under the bionomic label are not informed by this
difference, to my recollection.

Tracy Bruce Harms
Boulder, Colorado

_______________________________________________________________________________

<39:13>From tbh@tesser.com Fri Nov  1 23:31:26 1996

Date: Fri, 1 Nov 1996 22:31:25 -0700
To: darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu
From: tbh@tesser.com (T. Harms)
Subject: Re: Bionomics message of Peter Junger (fwd)

Jim Craven,

>..."Bionomics" ... spreads ... notions of an "instinct" for profit
>and competition

Not that I'm aware of.  Can you cite a particular paper, passage, or instance?

Thanks.

Tracy Bruce Harms
Boulder, Colorado                                       tbh@tesser.com

_______________________________________________________________________________

<39:14>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Tue Nov  5 00:24:29 1996

Date: Tue, 05 Nov 1996 01:24:12 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: November 5 -- Today in the Historical Sciences
To: darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

NOVEMBER 5 -- TODAY IN THE HISTORICAL SCIENCES

1892: OTHMAR KUHN is born in Vienna, Austria.  The son of a watchmaker,
Kuhn will study natural sciences at the University of Vienna and, following
a period of military service in World War I, he will complete his Ph.D. in
paleontology and botany in 1919.  After many years of teaching and further
military service in World War II, Kuhn will take up the post of curator in
the Vienna Museum of Natural History, and eventually become head of the
geological and paleontological department which he will help to reorganize
after the War.  His research will cover a wide range of topics in both
paleontology and stratigraphy, with special emphasis on the fossil corals
and rudists of Europe.

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

_______________________________________________________________________________

<39:15>From mghiselin@casmail.calacademy.org Fri Nov  8 05:24:38 1996

Date: Fri, 08 Nov 96 03:36:13 PST
From: mghiselin@casmail.calacademy.org (Ghiselin, Michael)
To: darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re: DARWIN-L digest 705

          Bioeconomics:
               There has been some recent discussion of "bionomics"
          which is an effort to apply ecological theory to economics.
          This should not be confused with "bioeconomics" which is an
          academic discipline that seeks for a synthesis of economics
          and biology.  Currently bioeconomists are getting organized
          and even attempting to found a Journal of Bioeconomics.  At
          present we have a newsletter co-edited by Janet Landa of
          York University and me.  Her e-mail address is
          jlanda@Yorku.ca
               The topic of progress is very interesting to
          bioeconomists.  Those of you who are interested may want to
          consult my paper in Evolution 49:1029-1037 (1995).  This
          paper also contains enough of the important literature to
          get one started.  In particular, my 1992 article Biology,
          economics and bioeconomics in G. Radnitzky's Universal
          Economics contains a very extensive bibliography and
          overview of the older literature.
          Michael T. Ghiselin
          Center for the History and Philosophy of Science
          California Academy of Sciences
          Golden Gate Park
          San Francisco, California 94118

_______________________________________________________________________________

<39:16>From CRAVJM@ooi.clark.edu Tue Nov  5 09:05:24 1996

From: "James Michael Craven" <CRAVJM@ooi.clark.edu>
Organization:  Clark College, Vancouver WA, USA
To: darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu
Date: Tue, 5 Nov 1996 07:07:18 PST8PDT
Subject: Re: Bionomics message of Peter Junger (fwd)

> >..."Bionomics" ... spreads ... notions of an "instinct" for profit
> >and competition
>
> Not that I'm aware of.  Can you cite a particular paper, passage, or
> instance?
>
> Thanks.
>
> Tracy Bruce Harms

Check "Bionomics" by Michael Rothschild. The basic focus is that
capitalism and its central institutions and processes are more in
accord with spontaneous orders through chaos experiement, positive
aspects of Darwinian natural-selection-like processes, ecosystems and
positive-sum competition scenarios. Personally the parallels I see
between capitalism and ecosystems is more along the lines of
parasitism and decay--along with evolution and innovation.

In fairness to Rothschild, his analysis is more sophisticated than
the analyses of some of the "bioeconomists" who have extended and
mixed some of his metaphors. For many years the neoclassicals were
under attack that their model of human behavior and instinct (homo
economicus or human beings are by nature atomistic, individualistic,
competitive, egoistic, rational, calculating, acquisitive etc) is
based only on a priori and perhaps some Freudian projection (the
proponents of this model are usually describing themselves and
attributing these characteristics and purported instincts to others
and indeed the whole human race) so along came some of the bionomics
stuff that gave the prospect of providing analogs and "emirical
support" for these a priori assertions.

                              Jim Craven

*------------------------------------------------------------------*
*  James Craven             * "The envelope is only defined--and   *
*  Dept of Economics        * expanded--by the test pilot who dares*
*  Clark College            * to push it."                         *
*  1800 E. McLoughlin Blvd. * (H.H. Craven Jr.(a gifted pilot)     *
*  Vancouver, Wa. 98663     *                                      *
*  (360) 992-2283           * "For those who have fought for it,   *
*  cravjm@ooi.clark.edu     * freedom has a taste the protected    *
*                           * will never know." (Otto Von Bismark) *
*                           *                                      *
* MY EMPLOYER HAS NO ASSOCIATION WITH MY PRIVATE/PROTECTED OPINION *

_______________________________________________________________________________

<39:17>From ahouse@hydra.rose.brandeis.edu Tue Nov  5 12:11:56 1996

Date: Tue, 5 Nov 1996 13:11:20 -0500
To: darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu (Darwin List)
From: "Jeremy C. Ahouse" <ahouse@hydra.rose.brandeis.edu>
Subject: Bionomics

Dear List,

	"Bionomics: Economy as ecosystem" (1992) was originally released as
"Bionomics: The inevitability of Capitalism" (1990). I support Peter
Junger's reading that it "... seems to be a peculiar combination of
palaetiological common sense and technocapitalistic apologetics."
Especially the latter (as the original title underlines). There is more
irony here as the flow of ideas is inverted. It is selectionism that makes
a "market" of Nature, not Nature that makes capitalism certain. Bayla
Singer's comment that economics has been frequently related to ecology
reflects a similar position.

	This quote (borrowed from Cooper 1996) makes the point in another way;

		"Competition models, if ever fully validated,
		license an inference in one direction only. The
		models have the logical form 'if competition and
		A, then P,' where A represents some additional
		premises and P represents some predictions,
		usually pertaining to whether coexistence between
		certain species is possible and, if so, to the
		degree to which they use the same resources.
		Current theory does not license the converse
		inference, that is, inferences of the form 'if P,
		then competition.' No competition model has yet
		predicted a patter of species competition that is
		logically diagnostic of competition." (Jonathon
		Roughgarden p 493)

	Notions like "competition" (or "niche" defined as vocation) are
borrowed (or brought) from a capitalist conception of markets and applied
to biology, then reimported. Now with a fresh patina of scientific
legitimacy the naturalized account is tied to inevitability. This is a big
part of why this is such a popular justificational gambit. The movement
from what "is" to what "ought" is subtly (and not so subtly) coercive.

	 - Jeremy

Cooper, G. (1996) "Theoretical modeling and Biological Laws" Phil of Sci.
63: S28-S35.

RothSchild, M. (1990, 1992) Bionomics: Economy as ecosystem. New York:
Henry Holt & Co.

Roughgarden, J. (1986) "A Comparison of Food Limited and Space Limited
Animal Communities," in J. Diamond and T. Case (eds.) Community Ecology.
New York: Harper and Row, pp. 492-516.

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

_______________________________________________________________________________

<39:18>From ahouse@hydra.rose.brandeis.edu Tue Nov  5 12:11:54 1996

Date: Tue, 5 Nov 1996 09:55:48 -0500
To: darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu
From: "Jeremy C. Ahouse" <ahouse@hydra.rose.brandeis.edu>
Subject: Re: Patrick Matthew

	Jonathan Cumming mentioned a book; "Evolutionary Concepts in the
Nineteenth Century: natural selection and Patrick Matthew" by WJ Dempster
(Durham, UK: Pentland Press). Here are the Mr. Matthew's words as found in
the introduction to Darwin's Origin (after the 3d edition);

	"To me the conception of this Law of nature came intuitively as a
self-evident fact, almost without effort of concentrated thought. Mr.
Darwin here seems to have more merit in the discovery than I have had; to
me it did not appear a discovery. He seems to have worked it out by
inductive reason, slowly with due caution to have made his way
synthetically from fact to fact onwards; while with me it was by a general
glance at the scheme of Nature that I estimated this select production of
species as an a priori recognizable fact - an axiom requiring only to be
pointed out to be admitted by unprejudiced minds of sufficient grasp."

	- Jeremy

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

_______________________________________________________________________________

<39:19>From ar_phte@ids.net Tue Nov  5 18:15:46 1996

Date: Tue, 05 Nov 1996 19:16:09 -0500
From: Arlene & Peter <ar_phte@ids.net>
To: DARWIN-L@raven.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Newcomer's background.

Greetings,

It is such a relief, after encountering List DARWIN, to come across a
serious discussion group.  The main reason I have joined here is my
interest in evolution and natural selection.  But I am fairly widely-read
in history; in fact, the earliest serious book I owned was Hendrik Willem
Van Loon's "The Story of Mankind".  These days I am in the middle of "In
Search of Adam", published 1956 by Herbert Wendt, translated from German
by James Cleugh, subtitled "The story of man's quest for the truth about
his earliest ancestors".

Nonetheless, I am not a professional scholar in any of the fields
mentioned in the welcoming message to this list.  With a bachelor's in
physics and a doctorate in social psychology, I am a rank amateur with
your subjects.  I hope you will excuse my presence in a more august
company.

Be well.
    
Peter H. Ten Eyck (ar_phte@ids.net)

_______________________________________________________________________________

<39:20>From rsg2@ukc.ac.uk Thu Nov  7 07:52:50 1996

Date: Thu, 7 Nov 1996 13:39:59 +0000 (GMT)
From: "R.S.Goodman" <rsg2@ukc.ac.uk>
To: darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Evolution and the Supreme court.

Would anyone be able to give me some pointers. I am considering writing a
paper on the evolution of the supreme court from a design argument
attitude towards the constitution to a more 'evolutionary' interpretation
with regard to the issues facing the court.
would anyone be interested in discussing this??
R.S. Goodman

_______________________________________________________________________________

<39:21>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Sun Nov 10 18:39:33 1996

Date: Sun, 10 Nov 1996 19:39:07 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: Supreme Court (law as an historical product)
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

R. S. Goodman asks:

>I am considering writing a paper on the evolution of the supreme court from
>a design argument attitude towards the constitution to a more 'evolutionary'
>interpretation with regard to the issues facing the court.

I don't know anything about the Supreme Court specifically, but law as an
historical product is something that we have discussed from time to time on
Darwin-L.  Peter Junger is one Darwin-L member who has a special interest in
this topic.  Philip Wiener's book _Evolution and the Founders of Pragmatism_
(1949) has two chapters on Oliver Wendell Holmes and Nicholas St. John Green
and their evolutionary legal philosophy.  Holmes' _The Common Law_ was
influenced by the historical/evolutionary thinking of the pragmatist school.
Here's a sample:

  The life of the law has not been logic: it has been experience.  The
  felt necessities of the time, the prevalent moral and political theories,
  intuitions of public policy, avowed or unconscious, even the prejudices
  thich judges share with their fellow-men, have had a good deal more to
  do than the syllogism in determining the rules by which men should be
  governed.  The law embodies the story of a nation's development through
  many centuries, and it cannot be dealt with as if it contained only the
  axioms and corollaries of a book of mathematics.... In Massachusetts
  to-day, while, on the one hand, there are a great many rules which are
  quite sufficiently accounted for by their manifest good sense, on the
  other, there are some which can only be understood by reference to the
  infancy of procedure among the German tribes, or to the social condition
  of Rome under the Decemvirs. (_The Common Law_, 1881, p.1-2.)

Bob O'Hara, Darwin-L list owner

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

_______________________________________________________________________________

<39:22>From GRANSOM@ucrac1.ucr.edu Sun Nov 10 18:53:59 1996

Date: Sun, 10 Nov 1996 16:53:51 -0800 (PST)
From: GREG RANSOM <GRANSOM@ucrac1.ucr.edu>
To: darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: RE: Bionomics

A sophisticated account of the common explanatory problem
and explanatory strategy of Darwin and Nobel Prize
economist Friedrich Hayek is found in my recent History
of Economics Society paper "The Role of Myth and Misunderstanding
in Social Science Narrative:  Opening Access to Friedrich Hayek's
Copernican Revolution in Economics".  The paper also points out the
common elements which make for the autonomy and irreducibility of
biology and economics to physics and purely physical categories, building
on my working paper "Insuperable Limits to Reduction in Biology".

Hayek's accounts of the relationship between the works of the
British Moral Philosophers and Darwin should also be consulted, esp.
Hayek's remarks on the relationships between the explanatory
problems and strategies of Mandeville, Smith, and especially Hume,
in his papers collected in _Studies_, and _New Studies_, as well
as Hayek's _Law, Legislation, and Liberty_, and his _The Fatal Conceit_.

My own papers can be found at my web site:

http://members.gnn.com/logosapien/ransom.htm

S. J. Gould has a very nice popular account of the similar
explanatory problem and explanatory strategy of Smith and Darwin
in one of his essay in _Eight Little Piggies_, recommended.

Greg Ransom
Dept. of Philosophy
UC-Riverside
gransom@ucrac1.ucr.edu
http://members.gnn.com/logosapien/ransom.htm

_______________________________________________________________________________

<39:23>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Thu Nov 14 12:58:58 1996

Date: Thu, 14 Nov 1996 13:56:44 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: New list on history and GIS (fwd)
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

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

Date: Tue, 05 Nov 1996 09:30:34 +0000 (GMT)
From: Mailbase New List Proposals <list-proposals@mailbase.ac.uk>
Subject: new list history-gis on Mailbase
To: new-lists@mailbase.ac.uk (new-lists)

                +-----------------------------------------+
                |                                         |
                | A NEW LIST HAS BEEN STARTED ON MAILBASE |
                |                                         |
                +-----------------------------------------+

It is called history-gis

Its description reads:

List for the discussion of applications of Geographical Information Systems
technology to historical research, with special emphasis on the UK and on
the problems of incorporating historical sources and representing the
time dimension within a GIS.

To join this list, mail to:

        mailbase@mailbase.ac.uk

a message containing only the following text (substituting appropriately):

        join history-gis firstname(s) lastname

For further information relating to this new list, contact its owner at

        history-gis-request@mailbase.ac.uk

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

_______________________________________________________________________________

<39:24>From kent@darwin.eeb.uconn.edu Mon Nov 11 06:40:00 1996

Date: Mon, 11 Nov 96 07:39:53 EST
From: "Kent E. Holsinger" <kent@darwin.eeb.uconn.edu>
To: darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re: Evolution and the Supreme court.

>>>>> "R.S. Goodman" == R S Goodman <rsg2@ukc.ac.uk> writes:

    R.S. Goodman> Would anyone be able to give me some pointers. I am
    R.S. Goodman> considering writing a paper on the evolution of the
    R.S. Goodman> supreme court from a design argument attitude
    R.S. Goodman> towards the constitution to a more 'evolutionary'
    R.S. Goodman> interpretation with regard to the issues facing the
    R.S. Goodman> court.  would anyone be interested in discussing
    R.S. Goodman> this??  R.S. Goodman

A few years ago I read a book on the history of U.S. constitutional
law by Bruce Ackerman. It discussed the "evolution" of constitutional
thinking more in terms of Kuhnian paradigm shifts (though without
using those words as I recall) than in evolutionary terms. I'm sorry I
can't remember the exact title, and I'd offer to look it up, but I
just moved and all my books are still in boxes. If anyone is
interested in the exact title, post a note here or e-mail me in a
couple of weeks. It will probably have surfaced by then.

-- Kent

--
Kent E. Holsinger                Kent@Darwin.EEB.UConn.Edu
                                 http://darwin.eeb.uconn.edu
-- Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
-- University of Connecticut, U-43
-- Storrs, CT   06269-3043

_______________________________________________________________________________

<39:25>From tbh@tesser.com Tue Nov 12 13:55:19 1996

Date: Tue, 12 Nov 1996 12:55:23 -0700
To: darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu, dslavin@emory.edu
From: tbh@tesser.com (T. Harms)
Subject: response to Bionomics question from Devorah Slavin

>Regarding this new approach, have you seen any examples which illustrate
>that the new paradigm improves economic predictions?
>
>Devorah Slavin
>Emory University
>dslavin@emory.edu

My reply has been delayed because I wanted to think of a brief but adequate
way to indicate the manner in which this question is flawed.

Advancement in economics is not characterized by the improvement of
prediction.  It is a matter of improvement of explanatory systems.  These
may be compared with shrewd observation in ways which lead us to discount
them, but we cannot use them as a calculus from which to anticipate
economic history before it unfolds.

Greg Ransom has written a paper which addresses a general limit regarding
what we may realistically strive for in studies such as economics and
biology.  The paper is entitled "INSUPERABLE LIMITS TO REDUCTION IN
BIOLOGY" and is available on the world wide web at
http://members.gnn.com/logosapien/biolimits.htm
While I think several different veins of exploration could otherwise expose
the impossibility of producing causal prediction when dealing with
teleological subject matter, only one is logically required, and the one
Greg provides looks strong to me.  Although his paper is specifically
oriented toward the topic of evolutionary biology, I suspect he will agree
with me that the arguments and conclusion of that paper are also applicable
to economics.

Tracy Bruce Harms                                       tbh@tesser.com
Boulder, Colorado                                       caveat lector!

_______________________________________________________________________________

<39:26>From dslavin@emory.edu Tue Nov 12 17:21:24 1996

Date: Tue, 12 Nov 1996 18:20:56 -0500
From: dslavin@emory.edu
To: "T. Harms" <tbh@tesser.com>, darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re: response to Bionomics question from Devorah Slavin

>T. Harms wrote:

>Devorah Slavin wrote:
>
> >Regarding this new approach, have you seen any examples which >illustrate
> >that the new paradigm improves economic predictions?
> >
> >Devorah Slavin
> >Emory University
> >dslavin@emory.edu
>
> My reply has been delayed because I wanted to think of a brief but adequate
> way to indicate the manner in which this question is flawed.
>
> Advancement in economics is not characterized by the improvement of
> prediction.  It is a matter of improvement of explanatory systems.  These
> may be compared with shrewd observation in ways which lead us to discount
> them, but we cannot use them as a calculus from which to anticipate
> economic history before it unfolds.
---snip citations---
> Tracy Bruce Harms                                       tbh@tesser.com
> Boulder, Colorado                                       caveat lector!

Oh? If progress in economics is measured by improvement in the model,
how can you establish that it has "improved" without testing its
predictive power?  Thank you for your thoughful answer, but I must
protest your assertion that my question is "flawed".  It may well be
interesting to economists to develop systems which explain the
phenomena.  It may also be true that the state of economic science
enables them only to observe phenomena and try to explain it.  However,
I can't agree that this is the only purpose of this discipline.  In
fact, it seems to me that an awful lot of economists are employed to do
their best to predict and even control economic trends.  Of course, we
are talking about employed economists here, so perhaps they don't count.

Anyone could develop a system which explains economic phenomena provided
that said system need not predictive.  Perhaps we could have one which
relates economic activity to the stars or, in a classic example,
hemlines.  I'd like to propose a model that explains economic downturns
as hexes placed on us by jealous third world countries.

With all respect, your assertion reminds me very much of the medieval
"scientific" approach known as "saving the appearances," a psychological
slight of hand that enabled a medieval astronomer, for example, to
explain phenomena without refuting biblical "truths".  The most familiar
example is the use of imagined "epicycles," theoretical extra rotations
of planets, to explain the retrograde motion of mars. This would "save
the appearences", (that is, explain the phenomena), without proving
anything, and without disproving the bible.  Not surprisingly with these
tools, Medieval astronomy could do nor more than observe phenomena and
propose systems to explain them.  Despite centuries of fine tuning,
these models failed to have much use for predicting astronomical
events.  When Copernicus et al proposed a simple--and
predictive--heliocentric universe, it was taken up in due time by all
reasonable people.

Perhaps with new understanding of chaos, fuzzy logic, and complexity
someone will propose an economic model which can do more than explain
things already past.  One might predict that it will be taken up with
glee, much to the dismay I would imagine of those who spent their
careers "proving" how it couldn't be done.

--
Devorah Slavin
dslavin@emory.edu
I FORWARD ALL SPAM TO THE IRS @ www.ustreas.gov/mail/bpd.html
and the National Fraud info Center at 1-800-876-7060
-------------------
"If you put a little pyramid on top
does it make something post-modern?"

_______________________________________________________________________________

<39:27>From tbh@tesser.com Tue Nov 12 19:45:53 1996

Date: Tue, 12 Nov 1996 18:44:57 -0700
To: darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu
From: tbh@tesser.com (T. Harms)
Subject: Re: response to Bionomics question from Devorah Slavin

Devorah Slavin responds:

>Oh? If progress in economics is measured by improvement in the model,
>how can you establish that it has "improved" without testing its
>predictive power?  Thank you for your thoughful answer, but I must
>protest your assertion that my question is "flawed".  [...]

I reconsider.  I do aim to see economics as a science, and testability of
theories is crucial for development of any science.  Testing occurs by
relating the theories to test circumstances, then comparing the expected
consequences with observed consequences.  We may call it prediction that
these theories allow us to state expected consequences.  The fact that good
theories will see results in accordance with these predictions, while worse
theories fail, is a vital consideration for guaging improvement.

If this is more or less the extent of what you expect in the way of
prediction from economics, I retract my objection and accept your question.

However, my impression was that you hope for predictions of a more specific
nature than economics (or other life-sciences) can deliver.  The paper I
cited by Greg Ransom is one attempt to identify one of the edges to the
explanatory potential of these sciences.  Such theories themselves are
testable, and thus predictive in the manner discussed above.  They predict
that we will be able to make progress up to the described limit, but not
beyond.  Predictive success beyond that limit will refute the theory that
there is that predictive limit.

One may choose where to attribute the modest range of predictive power
available in any of the life sciences.  Many have expected that the life
sciences should (and eventually will) produce theories which are predictive
akin to the manner in which chemistry is predictive.  I don't expect that.
Instead I put my bet on the development of theories which identify genuine
predictive limits on the life sciences.

Your original post was a request for predictions which bionomics allows in
contrast with other economic approaches.  But bionomics is not a school of
economics, such as we identify by terms such as Keynsian, neo-classical, or
Chicago.  I suspect a good deal of the disdain which has been voiced in
this forum toward bionomics comes from this fact.  But to my eye it is not
to be dismissed for its lack of academic rigor, for it makes no presumption
to serve in that role.  The basic claim of bionomics is, in fact, that
economics is much better thought of as a life science than as a physical
science.  It is a broad recommendation as to what sort of modelling is more
appropriate, more fertile, more reasonable.

Michael T. Ghiselin has written to distinguish bionomics from bioeconomics.
It makes sense to me to make this distinction.  However, bioeconomics is
more ambitious than bionomics, and it looks to me that if bioeconomics is
viable, then bionomics is vindicated, at least in its broadest character.
Of course the academic accomplishments in bioeconomics may require revision
and reform to bionomics.  But I don't see how bioeconomics can be accepted
while the more modest claims of bionomics are rejected.

In closing, I'll give additional thought to what might "illustrate that the
new paradigm improves economic predictions", although I remain concerned
that the sort of prediction you hope for may exceed what is possible for
any study of human action.

Tracy Bruce Harms                                       tbh@tesser.com
Boulder, Colorado                                       caveat lector!

_______________________________________________________________________________

<39:28>From wilkins@wehi.EDU.AU Tue Nov  5 18:13:54 1996

Date: Wed, 06 Nov 1996 11:16:24 +1100
From: John Wilkins <wilkins@wehi.EDU.AU>
Subject: Re: bionomics
To: darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu

Gould has long objected to the use of the term "evolution" in cultural
contexts. I suspect his reasons are two-fold: one that he has a view of
cultural history as basically directional, and two, that *Dawkins*
proposed that culture is an instantiation of a general evolutionary
process.

However, we know that evolution can involve directional change. Invasion
of new or vacated ecological niches involves strongly directional change
in terms of adaptive features - the example given by Gould's influence
Simpson is the move from browsing to grazing. There is also the
difference between species packing in r-selection and moving to filling
up the carrying capacity of an ecosystem in K-selection, which Gould was
himself emphasising in _Ontogeny and Phylogeny_.

If, and insofar as, culture is progressive, it appears to me to resemble
K-selection, or vacant niche invasion. I suspect he and others have
science in mind, but it appears that when suitably sophisticated
theories become entrenched, science is as unable to evolve successful
new theories that can invade the professional arena as a repacked island
ecology is new species.

The question is not whether there are differences of rate, mode or
consistency of convergence in cultural evolution, for given the
divergent modes of replication and reproduction there must surely be
these difference, but whether there is a sui generis difference, one of
*quality* between cultural change and biological change. Although
Gould's latest book has not reached these shores, I do not think that a
strong case has yet been made for a fundamental disanalogy between the
two evolutionary processes.

Has anyone read Eldredge's _Dominion_ in this respect?

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

_______________________________________________________________________________

<39:29>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Thu Nov 14 13:53:41 1996

Date: Thu, 14 Nov 1996 14:53:30 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: November 14 -- Today in the Historical Sciences
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

NOVEMBER 14 -- TODAY IN THE HISTORICAL SCIENCES

1797: CHARLES LYELL is born at Kinnordy, Forfarshire, Scotland.  After making
preparations for a career in law, Lyell's interests will turn increasingly
toward geology, and his _Principles of Geology_ (1830-1833) will become one
of the foundational works on the historical sciences published during the
nineteenth century: "When we study history, we obtain a more profound insight
into human nature, by instituting a comparison between the present and former
states of society.  We trace the long series of events which have gradually
led to the actual posture of affairs; and by connecting effects with their
causes, we are enabled to classify and retain in the memory a multitude of
complicated relations -- the various peculiarities of national character --
the different degrees of moral and intellectual refinement, and numerous other
circumstances, which, without historical associations, would be uninteresting
or imperfectly understood.  As the present condition of nations is the result
of many antecedent changes, some extremely remote and others recent, some
gradual, others sudden and violent, so the state of the natural world is the
result of a long succession of events, and if we would enlarge our experience
of the present economy of nature, we must investigate the effects of her
operations in former epochs."

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

_______________________________________________________________________________

<39:30>From wmontgom@nasc.mass.edu Wed Nov 13 10:37:15 1996

Date: Wed, 13 Nov 1996 11:32:02 -0500 (EST)
From: William Montgomery <wmontgom@nasc.mass.edu>
To: darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re: Evolution and the Supreme court.

That sounds interesting to me.  I am strictly an amateur at legal
history, but I gather that Oliver Wendell Holmes was influenced by
Darwin.  Could the same be said for the legal realists?

				Bill Montgomery
				wmontgom@nasc.mass.edu

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<39:31>From charlie_urbanowicz@macgate.csuchico.edu Wed Nov 13 12:18:47

Date: 13 Nov 1996 10:16:42 U
From: "Charlie Urbanowicz" <charlie_urbanowicz@macgate.csuchico.edu>
Subject: Darwin Quick Time Movie
To: darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu

Dear Darwin-L:

Cc: Donna Crowe; Kathy Fernandes; Turhon Murad

Some of you might be interesting in a 14 second Quick Time move (2.8 Meg) file
that is now available on the web.  It is part of a team project we are doing
at this institution: editing down some 12 hours of videotape that we shot in
April 1996 into two ~22 minute instructional modules.  Easiest way to get to
it (and it will tell you more about the project) is begin with:
http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/Forum/Nov7-96.html
and then go to item IV.H http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/Forum/darwin.mov

Charlie
curbanowicz@csuchico.edu
http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/

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<39:32>From chrismac@hp712.ethics.ubc.ca Fri Nov 15 11:32:28 1996

Date: Fri, 15 Nov 1996 09:32:25 -0800 (PST)
From: "Chris J. MacDonald" <chrismac@hp712.ethics.ubc.ca>
To: darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Grad Student Conference

FIRST CALL FOR ABSTRACTS--PLEASE POST AND CIRCULATE--FIRST CALL FOR ABSTRACTS

Graduate Student Conference on Evolutionary Perspectives in the Social Sciences
and Humanities

October 3-5, 1997
University of British Columbia,
Vancouver, B.C., Canada

The purpose of this conference is to bring together graduate students from
a variety of disciplines working on issues related to evolution.  Graduate
students and interested faculty will find out the sorts of evolutionary
issues people in other disciplines are working on, and how they view
evolutionary issues and deal with puzzles raised by the use of
evolutionary models in non-biological contexts.

Keynote Speaker:  	Dr. David Hull (Northwestern), author of _Science
			as a Process_

Invited Speaker:  	Dr. Peter Danielson (UBC), author of _Modelling
			Rationality, Morality and Evolution_

For more information, contact either Dawn Ogden (dawnvo@unixg.ubc.ca) or
(chrismac@ethics.ubc.ca)
or visit the Conference Web-Page, at:
http://www.ethics.ubc.ca/~chrismac/evol/

_________________________________________
Chris MacDonald, M.A.
U.B.C. Philosophy Department and
Centre for Applied Ethics
e-mail:  chrismac@ethics.ubc.ca
WWW:  http://www.ethics.ubc.ca/~chrismac/
_________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

<39:33>From slakker@IntNet.net Thu Nov 14 14:12:09 1996

From: "Slakker" <slakker@IntNet.net>
To: <darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu>, "T. Harms" <tbh@tesser.com>
Subject: Re: response to Bionomics question from Devorah Slavin
Date: Thu, 14 Nov 1996 15:04:38 -0500

Hello, all...

Begging your indulgence, let me first introduce myself to the group as this
is my first post:

I am neither professionally nor academically involved in the evolutionary
sciences, but I have a deep and abiding interest in the subject, as well as
in history and in language. My first degree is actually in prosody and
versification, although my later education and my career path are in
computer engineering. I'm especially interested in chaos theory and its
applications.

It would be accurate to describe me as largely self-taught within the
sphere of this discussion list. And I have learned quite a bit from lurking
around here, so let me formally thank the members of the group for the
education that they have provided! <bow>

That said, let me respond to this post:

> >T. Harms wrote:
>
> >Devorah Slavin wrote:
> >
> > >Regarding this new approach, have you seen any examples which
> > >illustrate
> > >that the new paradigm improves economic predictions?
> > >
> > >Devorah Slavin
> > >Emory University
> > >dslavin@emory.edu
> >
> > My reply has been delayed because I wanted to think of a brief but
> > adequate way to indicate the manner in which this question is flawed.
> >
> > Advancement in economics is not characterized by the improvement of
> > prediction.  It is a matter of improvement of explanatory systems.
These
> > may be compared with shrewd observation in ways which lead us to
discount
> > them, but we cannot use them as a calculus from which to anticipate
> > economic history before it unfolds.
> ---snip citations---
> > Tracy Bruce Harms                                       tbh@tesser.com
> > Boulder, Colorado                                       caveat lector!
> >
> Oh? If progress in economics is measured by improvement in the model,
> how can you establish that it has "improved" without testing its
> predictive power?  Thank you for your thoughful answer, but I must
> protest your assertion that my question is "flawed".  It may well be

It seems to me that both parties are correct in part. It is true that
advancement in understanding is _not necessarily_ accompanied by improved
prediction. Therefore, the lack of improved prediction does not
automatically invalidate the paradigm. But demonstrably improved prediction
can be, and often is, a strong indicator of validity.

Ms. Slavin's question as to the affect of the new paradigm on prediction is
a valid one. If a positive change can be shown, it supports the validity of
the paradigm. If no change can be shown, it does not support its validity,
but neither does it disprove it.

With that understanding, I would like to know what the answer is to the
original question... does the new paradigm appear to improve prediction or
not?

Regards,

David C. Merrill, Ph.D.
Tampa, Florida

-----

When one maintains his proper attitude in life,
he does not long after externals.

     --Epictetus (c. 60 AD)
       Discourses. Chap. xxi.

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<39:34>From tbh@tesser.com Wed Nov 13 11:40:55 1996

Date: Wed, 13 Nov 1996 10:07:12 -0700
To: darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu
From: tbh@tesser.com (T. Harms)
Subject: Re: Bionomics

Jim Craven, you wrote:

>> >..."Bionomics" ... spreads ... notions of an "instinct" for profit
>> >and competition

I asked:

>> Not that I'm aware of.  Can you cite a particular paper, passage, or
>>instance?

You replied:

>Check "Bionomics" by Michael Rothschild. The basic focus is that
>capitalism and its central institutions and processes are more in
>accord with spontaneous orders through chaos experiement, positive
>aspects of Darwinian natural-selection-like processes, ecosystems and
>positive-sum competition scenarios. Personally the parallels I see
>between capitalism and ecosystems is more along the lines of
>parasitism and decay--along with evolution and innovation.
>
>In fairness to Rothschild, his analysis is more sophisticated than
>the analyses of some of the "bioeconomists" who have extended and
>mixed some of his metaphors. For many years the neoclassicals were
>under attack that their model of human behavior and instinct (homo
>economicus or human beings are by nature atomistic, individualistic,
>competitive, egoistic, rational, calculating, acquisitive etc) is
>based only on a priori and perhaps some Freudian projection (the
>proponents of this model are usually describing themselves and
>attributing these characteristics and purported instincts to others
>and indeed the whole human race) so along came some of the bionomics
>stuff that gave the prospect of providing analogs and "emirical
>support" for these a priori assertions.

Sticking to your origninal point for the moment, I have checked
Rothschild's book and have not found any reference to an "instinct" for
profit and competition.  There is no mention of instinct at all anywhere in
the book, near as I can tell.

Tracy Bruce Harms                                       tbh@tesser.com
Boulder, Colorado                                       caveat lector!

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<39:35>From dslavin@emory.edu Fri Nov 15 09:40:38 1996

Date: Fri, 15 Nov 1996 10:40:14 -0500
From: dslavin@emory.edu
To: darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re: DARWIN-L digest 707

Your point is well taken, economics is perhaps no more able to predict
the behavior of a single entity in the system, any more than quantum
physics can predict the precise location and velocity of a particle.
However, like physics, perhaps the best models can be used to predict
group behavior, and suggest probabilities.  It is in this context that I
made my original query about bionomics, wondering if its advocates
(practitioners?) claimed any fresh perspectives on how to predict
economic trends. (This is not to imply that all academics must be
teleological.)

Devorah Slavin
dslavin@emory.edu

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Darwin-L Message Log 39: 1-35 -- November 1996                              End

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