Darwin-L Message Log 1:206 (September 1993)

Academic Discussion on the History and Theory of the Historical Sciences

This is one message from the Archives of Darwin-L (1993–1997), a professional discussion group on the history and theory of the historical sciences.

Note: Additional publications on evolution and the historical sciences by the Darwin-L list owner are available on SSRN.

<1:206>From HOLSINGE@UCONNVM.BITNET  Fri Sep 24 14:48:06 1993

Date: Fri, 24 Sep 1993 15:41:03 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Heritability and cultural evolution
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

Gerson asserts:

In order to have explanations we *also* need the mechanics -- i.e., the
material and efficient causes.

To assert that natural selection will change the characteristics of a
population, for example, we need to know only three things:
1) That there was variation for the characteristic at some time in the past.
2) That differences among individuals in that characteristic were responsible
 for differences in survival and reproduction.
3) That offspring tend to resemble their parents.
Given those three axioms, and *only* those three axioms, it follows that
characteristics that increase the probability of survival and reproduction
will spread through the population.  We don't need to know *why* offspring
resemble their parents, only *that* they do.

-- Kent

|  Kent E. Holsinger    Internet: Holsinge@UConnVM.UConn.edu         |
|  Dept. of Ecology &     BITNET: Holsinge@UConnVM               |
|  Evolutionary Biology, U-43                                        |
|  University of Connecticut                                         |
|  Storrs, CT 06269-3043                                             |

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