Darwin-L Message Log 13: 1–36 — September 1994

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 1994. 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.”


<13:1>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu  Thu Sep  1 00:28:58 1994

Date: Thu, 01 Sep 1994 01:28:46 -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

Darwin-L is an international discussion group for professionals in the
historical sciences.  It is not devoted to any particular discipline, such
as evolutionary biology, but rather endeavors to promote interdisciplinary
comparisons among all the historical sciences, from historical linguistics
and geology to archeology, systematics, cosmology, and textual criticism.
The group is now one year old, and we have about 600 members from nearly 30
countries.  I am grateful to all of our members for their interest and their
many contributions, and for helping to make Darwin-L one of the most
professional and successfully interdisciplinary discussion groups around.

The Darwin-L gopher contains logs of all our past discussions, as well as a
collection of files and network links of interest to historical scientists.
The Darwin-L gopher is located at rjohara.uncg.edu; on most mainframe systems
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Bob O'Hara, Darwin-L list owner

Robert J. O'Hara (darwin@iris.uncg.edu)
Center for Critical Inquiry and Department of Biology
100 Foust Building, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Greensboro, North Carolina 27412 U.S.A.


<13:2>From jsl@rockvax.ROCKEFELLER.EDU  Sun Sep  4 10:00:35 1994

To: DARWIN-L@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: introducing myself -- Joshua Lederberg
Date: Sun, 04 Sep 94 11:03:33 -0400
From: Joshua Lederberg <jsl@rockvax.ROCKEFELLER.EDU>

Your sponsor invited new participants to introduce themselves; so
I take advantage of that; and perhaps I might
have the benefit of a few leads on specific topics I'm interested in,
especially the authenticity of (auto)biographical narrative.

I was quite intrigued by the cohering concept of "palaetiology", which
does touch on a range of my interests -- would that I had been seized
with that term before.  [I had described history as that accounting
that begins when the witting participants are gone and unable to
contradict the inventions of those who had not participated in the
events, and must rely on extant fragments of evidence.  And of course
I'm well aware of the inventions, intended or otherwise, of the

My profession is research in molecular genetics and microbial
evolution -- I won't say much more about that now.  My mentor,
Edward L. Tatum, died about 20 years ago and it fell to me to write
a biographical memoir.  At the same time, I was reacting to the first
historical accounts of molecular biology (in which I had participated
since 1944), and began to see how fragile were the objective records
of the past in the history of science.  My own part in that had been
mainly biographical, and I am desultorily engaged in compiling my
own autobiographical memoir.  My memory is not perfect; and while I
believe I have a far more complete archive of my papers,
correspondence, etc. than most of my peers, this is often incomplete
on some crucial details.  And, alas, so many of my scientific peers
are now gone (I was almost the youngest of that cohort); and very few
of the survivors have kept much by way of documentation.  So I am
struggling with how to generate an authentic account of the scientific
history in which I was myself a participant, even with all the assets
just enumerated.  Or am I barking up the wrong tree, and am I
inappropriately trying to use the standards of my experimental
profession, transposed to the writing of history / biography?

For the few insiders who will recognize the jargon, a prototypic
issue is the reception of the primal claims about DNA (Avery, Macleod
and McCarty 1944.)

In sum, the purposes and veridicability of autobiography, and more
broadly of biography and history of science, is a topic about which I
would welcome further precept and example.  Most of the articles I
list are available by e-mail.

Which are exemplary autobiographies that have endured as the most
useful testaments for historical understanding?


203.  Lederberg, J., 1972.  Pneumococcal transformation.
      Letter to the Editor of Nature, in reply to H.V. Wyatt
      (Nature 1/14/72).
      Nature 239:234, 9/22/72.

267. Zuckerman, H. A. & Lederberg, J.  Forty Years of Genetic
	Recombination in Bacteria.  Postmature Scientific Discovery?
	Nature,  324:629-631  (1986)

268.  Lederberg, J.  Edward Lawrie Tatum.  Biographical Memoirs,
	National Academy of Sciences. 59: 357-386 (1990).

269.  Lederberg, J.  Genetic Recombination in Bacteria: A Discovery
        Account.  Ann. Rev. Genet. 21:23-46  (1987)

273  Excitement & Fascination of Science. Vol. III parts 1,2.
     compiled by Lederberg,J.  1990. Palo Alto, CA:
     Annual Reviews, Inc.  v.1 1297 pp. + index pt. 2  1301-2338.
	[This is a compilation of 120 short autobio-memoirs]
273a Introduction: Reflections on scientific biography.
       by JL  pp. xvii-xxiv.

292  JL  1993  What the double helix (1953) has meant for basic
biomedical science.  A personal commentary. JAMA 269(15):

297 JL 1994 The transformation of genetics by DNA:
An anniversary celebration of Avery, MacLeod and McCarty, 1944.
Genetics 136(2): 423-426.

263  Lederberg, J.
     "Cycles and Fashions in Biomedical Research."
     pp. 202-216 in "Academic Medicine, present and future",
     Bowers, J.Z., and King, E.. E. (eds)
     Rockefeller Archive Ctr., North Tarrytown, N.Y.  (1983)

298 John Wolff & JL. 1994
A history of gene transfer and therapy. pp. 3-25 in
Gene Therapeutics: Methods and applications of direct gene transfer.
Jon A. Wolff, ed.  Boston: Birkhaueser  1994

also:  Human Gene Therapy.  5:469-480  1994

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

Dr. Joshua Lederberg
Suite 400 (Founders Hall)
The Rockefeller University
1230 York Avenue
New York, NY   10021-6399


<13:3>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu  Sun Sep  4 12:54:03 1994

Date: Sun, 04 Sep 1994 13:53:52 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: New list: LATE ANTIQUITY (fwd from HUMANIST)
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

The following announcement of a new list just appeared on HUMANIST.
I thought it might be of interest to some Darwin-L subscribers.

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

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

************************NEW LIST ANNOUNCEMENT*******************************
*                                                                          *
*                     LT-ANTIQ (LATE ANTIQUITY)                            *
*                                                                          *
*  LT-ANTIQ is an unmoderated list that provides a discussion forum for    *
*  topics relating to Late Antiquity (c. AD 260-640).  For the purposes    *
*  of this discussion list, "Late Antiquity" includes the Late Roman,      *
*  Early Byzantine, Early Medieval, and Early Islamic periods.  Geograph-  *
*  ical coverage extends from western Europe to the Middle East, and       *
*  from the Sahara to Russia.  Cross disciplinary interaction is particu-  *
*  larly encouraged.  Along with the usual scholarly interchange, users    *
*  also are invited to post notices relating to upcoming conferences,      *
*  new and on-going projects, and job openings.                            *
*                                                                          *
*  Potential Audience: Historians, Classicists, Medievalists, Byzantinists,*
*  Art Historians, Theologians, Archaeologists, Historians of Religion     *
*                                                                          *
*  To subscribe, send a note to:   LISTSERV@UNIVSCVM.CSD.SCAROLINA.EDU     *
*  with message:                   SUBSCRIBE LT-ANTIQ your name            *
*                                                                          *
*  For more information, contact                                           *
*  Ralph W. Mathisen, Dept. of History,                                    *
*  Univ. of S. Carolina, Columbia SC 29280                                 *
*  email: n330009@univscvm.csd.scarolina.edu                               *

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


<13:4>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu  Sun Sep  4 13:24:14 1994

Date: Sun, 04 Sep 1994 14:24:01 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: Phylogeny of asteriods
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

William Whewell rightly included portions of astronomy among the sciences
of palaetiology, concerned as they are with reconstructing the history of
the cosmos:

  As we may look back towards the first condition of our planet, we may in
  like manner turn our thoughts towards the first condition of the solar
  system, and try whether we can discern any traces of an order of things
  antecedent to that which is now established; and if we find, as some
  great mathematicians have conceived, indications of an earlier state in
  which the planets were not yet gathered into their present forms, we
  have, in pursuit of this train of research, a palaetiological portion of
  Astronomy.  [From _The Philosophy of the Inductive Sciences_]

I recently came across a fascinating example of astronomical palaetiology
in _Nature_ and reproduce here the abstract of the paper in question.  It
is an attempt to reconstruct the phylogeny of a family of asteroids, all of
which are the fragments of a formerly-existing parent asteriod.  If anyone
knows of similar work on this topic (especially a review for non-specialists)
I would be interested to hear of it.  Have any of the specialists in this
field actually drawn genealogical diagrams to illustrate the sequence of
break-up?  Has anyone talked about this idea?  Here's the abstract:

  Milani, Andrea, & Paolo Farinella.  1994.  The age of the Veritas asteriod
  family deduced by chaotic chronology.  _Nature_, 370:40-42.

  Asteriod families are groups of objects produced in the disruptive
  collisions of a parent body.  Although family members are widely dispersed
  in real space, they cluster in the parameter space defined by their
  so-called proper elements, and can thus be distinguished from the
  background asteriod population.  For most asteriods, these parameters are
  very close to being invariants of motion and families are still apparent
  billions of years after their formation.  But these parameters undergo
  chaotic diffusion, and in some cases the rate of diffusion might be large
  enough that a family member exits from the region of proper-element space
  occupied by the family after a characteristic time which is shorter than
  the lifetime of the Solar System. In this case, the characteristic time
  should provide an approximate upper bound to the age of the family.  Here
  we use this 'chaotic chronology' method to estimate the lifetime of the
  unusually compact Veritas family. Calculations of the evolution of the
  proper elements of the family show that two members (including the largest,
  490 Veritas) wander outside the borders of the family on a timescale of
  about 500 Myr, indicating that the family has an age of less than this.

Notice very interestingly how the concept of the "borders of the family" is
defined in the last sentence in terms of _characters_ (the motion parameters)
rather than in terms of _ancestry_, as it is first sentence (where a body is
a member of the family if it is a product of the collision, i.e. a
'descendant' of the parent body).  This very same conflict/distinction can be
seen in systematic nomenclature as pointed out by Kevin de Queiroz and
Jacques Gauthier in work that has been mentioned here before, for example:

  de Queiroz, Kevin.  1992.  Phylogenetic definitions and taxonomic
  philosophy.  _Biology and Philosophy_, 7:295-313.

Bob O'Hara, Darwin-L list owner

Robert J. O'Hara (darwin@iris.uncg.edu)
Center for Critical Inquiry and Department of Biology
100 Foust Building, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Greensboro, North Carolina 27412 U.S.A.


<13:5>From hvp@melbpc.org.au  Sun Sep  4 20:21:59 1994

To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
From: hvp@melbpc.org.au (Humphrey van Polanen)
Subject: need info about Adam Sedgewick (1785-73)
Date: Mon, 05 Sep 1994 11:07:57 +1000
Organization: Melbourne PC User Group, Australia

Doing an essay on darwinism and need information on one of his
contemporary critics:  Adam Sedgewick (1785-73).

If anybody knows of any sources, please point me at those.


Humphrey van Polanen <hvp@melbpc.org.au>


<13:6>From bobw@ncatfyv.uark.edu  Mon Sep  5 00:31:16 1994

From: bobw@ncatfyv.uark.edu (Bob Wilson)
Subject: Re: need info about Adam Sedgewick (1785-73)
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Date: Mon, 5 Sep 1994 01:28:12 -0400 (EDT)

> Doing an essay on darwinism and need information on one of his
> contemporary critics:  Adam Sedgewick (1785-73).
> Humphrey van Polanen <hvp@melbpc.org.au>

I found the following at the Univ. of Nebraska.

Title:     Adam Sedgwick: geologist and dalesman, 1785-1873: a biography
           in twelve themes.
Author:    Speakman, Collin
Publisher: Heathfield, East Sussex : Published jointly by Broad Oak
           Press, Cambridge, Geological Society of London, and
           Trinity College, 1982.
Descript:  145 p. : ill., ports. ; 24 cm.
Note:      Bibliography: p. 139-142.
           Includes index.
Subject: Sedgwick, Adam, 1785-1873.
           Geologists -- Great Britain -- Biography

Title:     The life and letters of the Reverend Adam Sedgwick.
Author:    Clark, John Willis, 1833-1910. and Hughes, Thomas McKenny, d. 1917.
Publisher: Cambridge, University Press, 1890.  [Farnborough, Hants, Gregg
           International Pub., 1970].
Descript:  2v. illus. (part fold., part col.) 23 cm.
Note:      "List of Sedgwick's works": v. 2 p [591]-604.
Subject: Sedgwick, Adam, 1785-1873.

This should help get you started.
Bob Wilson
Fayetteville, Arkansas  USA


<13:7>From VISLYONS@ubvms.cc.buffalo.edu  Mon Sep  5 11:35:32 1994

Date: Mon, 05 Sep 1994 12:35:46 -0400 (EDT)
From: VISLYONS@ubvms.cc.buffalo.edu
Subject: Re: need info about Adam Sedgewick (1785-73)
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University at Buffalo

Not only was Sedgewick critical of transmutation, but he claimed that
progression in the fossil record was the result of "creative additions"
the last one being man and this was evidence of the action of a Creative
Power, not transmutation.  Thus you need to deal with the issue of
progression.  Something you might want to look at is Charles
Lyell's aniversary address of the President, (Geological Society, 1851)
who is arguing against progression, although at this date is not
in favor of transmutation either.
Sherrie Lyons
sorry that is wrong


<13:8>From ahouse@hydra.rose.brandeis.edu  Tue Sep  6 08:05:11 1994

Date: Tue, 6 Sep 1994 09:07:24 -0400
To: Darwin-L@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
From: ahouse@hydra.rose.brandeis.edu (Jeremy Creighton Ahouse)
Subject: yodelling! (convergence?)

Darwin-list linguists,

        Last week, sitting down for a most wonderful lunch in a tiny
"restaurant" secreted behind an Indian grocery in Berkeley I heard a most
interesting music.  As we gobbled pakoras there were the strains of (to my
untrained ears) typically Indian music... suddenly the vocalist began
yodelling (!).
        Are these sounds due to convergence, presence in an ancestral
musical repertoire, or borrowing?


                - Jeremy

Jeremy Creighton Ahouse (ahouse@hydra.rose.brandeis.edu)
Biology Dept.
Brandeis University
Waltham, MA 02254-9110
(617) 736-4954
(617) 736-2405 FAX

.. 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.
    from the Celestial Emporium of Benevelent Knowledge (Jorge Luis Borges)


<13:9>From pat@mtl.mit.edu  Tue Sep  6 09:09:12 1994

Date: Tue, 6 Sep 1994 10:09:05 -0400
From: pat@mtl.mit.edu (Patricia E. Varley)
Organization: MIT Microsystems Technology Laboratories
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re: yodelling! (convergence?)

I, too, was surprised to hear this yodelling
when I went to a Vietnamese restaurant some
years ago.  I have since also heard yodelling
from a Burmese singer as well. I was told it
was not a predominant singing style in either



<13:10>From ggale@VAX1.UMKC.EDU  Tue Sep  6 15:16:42 1994

Date: Tue, 06 Sep 1994 15:17:57 -0600
From: ggale@VAX1.UMKC.EDU
Subject: Re: Yodelllay-eee-whoooo!
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

Betcha dollars to donuts that SouthEast Asian yodelling is related to North
Central Asian (e.g., Mongolian) throat 'singing'. The mechanics would
appear to be the same, vis a vis production.
And the aesthetics... need more be said?
[Actually, I've heard some Tuvan throat singing and it's weird, but sort
of...well, captivating.]


 #                                                                            #
 #                             George Gale                                    #
 #                         ggale@vax1.umkc.edu                                #
 #                     Philosophy & Physical Science                          #
 #                 Univ. of Missouri, Kansas City 64110                       #
 #                             913-383-3848                                   #
 #                                                                            #
 #      "....Kansas City has the two best restaurants in the world."          #
 #                                                   --Calvin Trillin         #
 #                                                     The New Yorker         #
 #                                                                            #


<13:11>From RHRSBI@ritvax.isc.rit.edu  Thu Sep  8 11:58:39 1994

Date: Thu, 08 Sep 1994 01:06:15 -0400 (EDT)
From: RHRSBI@ritvax.isc.rit.edu
Subject: Re: need info about Adam Sedgewick (1785-73)
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

Sedgwick's review of "The Origin" is reproduced, along with some
correspondence, in "Darwin and His Critics" by David L. Hull, Univ. Chicago
Press, 1973, page 155.
Bob Rothman
Biology Department
Rochester Institute of Technology


<13:12>From GGALE@VAX1.UMKC.EDU  Thu Sep  8 15:06:42 1994

Date: Wed, 07 Sep 1994 17:53:38 -0600 (CST)
Subject: I'm in a jam...again: need pix of I-E language 'tree'.
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

Friday I'm planning on showing some pix comparing the tree of life, and the
Indo-European language 'tree' to my phi. of language class--in the process
making a pitch for similar, historical, methodologies.
Well, I found some great illustrations of homologies and their use in building
the phylo-genetic tree. But I can't seem to find a similar graphic for the
I-E 'tree'. And that's weird, since I *seem* to remember seeing such a graphic
in the front of a dictionary, and not so long ago.
I've exhausted the sources I have on hand. Looks like I'll have to go to the
library--but there's a decent public branch near home, here. Any suggestions
where I might find a picture worthy of making an overhead transparancy from?

And, on the slight chance that the Universe looks kindly upon those such as I,
I'll ask the most useful question of all: anyone know where such a graphic
might be posted on the Net?
Or, even better, have YOU got one you'd not mind sharing? If so, have I
got a proposition for YOU!
No need to fill everyone's mailbox with replies--I'm 'at home' via


Thanks folks!


<13:13>From MIC13@phx.cam.ac.uk  Fri Sep  9 08:56:25 1994

Date: Fri, 09 Sep 94 14:55:53 BST
From: MIC13@phx.cam.ac.uk
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re: [yodelling! (convergence?)]

Ah hah!
That celestial emporium of benevolent knowledge quote: where's it from? I saw
it recently in a newspaper article by Steve Language-of-the-genes Jones. Always
pleased to find an alternative taxonomy, I have a scribbled copy pinned to my
desk. But, the source, please....
    Can anyone help?
              Mike Coates


<13:14>From ahouse@hydra.rose.brandeis.edu  Fri Sep  9 17:22:50 1994

Date: Fri, 9 Sep 1994 18:25:03 -0400
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
From: ahouse@hydra.rose.brandeis.edu (Jeremy Creighton Ahouse)
Subject: Re: [yodelling! (convergence?)]

>Ah hah!
>That celestial emporium of benevolent knowledge quote: where's it from? I saw
>it recently in a newspaper article by Steve Language-of-the-genes Jones. Always
>pleased to find an alternative taxonomy, I have a scribbled copy pinned to my
>desk. But, the source, please....
>    Can anyone help?
>              Mike Coates

You will find it in Borges Labyrinth I believe...

Jeremy Creighton Ahouse (ahouse@hydra.rose.brandeis.edu)
Biology Dept.
Brandeis University
Waltham, MA 02254-9110
(617) 736-4954
(617) 736-2405 FAX

.. 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.
    from the Celestial Emporium of Benevelent Knowledge (Jorge Luis Borges)


<13:15>From GGALE@VAX1.UMKC.EDU  Fri Sep  9 20:52:32 1994

Date: Fri, 09 Sep 1994 20:52:19 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Thanks for the help!
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

I want to thank all of you who offerred me help in locating a good graphic
of the I-E language tree. A large majority suggested that I take a look at
the endpapers of the American Heritage Dictionary, which I immediately did.
The chart there was exactly what I needed. So, I copied it, made an overhead
transparency out of it, and used it in class this morning.

22 people responded, BTW. A goodly number.
I just LOVE the way e-communities work.

Thanks again.
 #                                                                            #
 #                             George Gale                                    #
 #                         ggale@vax1.umkc.edu                                #
 #                     Philosophy & Physical Science                          #
 #                 Univ. of Missouri, Kansas City 64110                       #
 #                             913-383-3848                                   #
 #                                                                            #
 #      "....Kansas City has the two best restaurants in the world."          #
 #                                                   --Calvin Trillin         #
 #                                                     The New Yorker         #
 #                                                                            #


<13:16>From niepokuj@mace.cc.purdue.edu  Sat Sep 10 16:58:30 1994

Date: Sat, 10 Sep 94 16:58:28 -0500
From: niepokuj@mace.cc.purdue.edu (Mary Niepokuj)
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu


Third Annual Workshop on Comparative Linguistics
Purdue University
Nov. 12-13, 1994

This year's topic is "subgrouping." Sessions will cover Methods of
Subgrouping, Southeast Asian, Afro-Asiatic, Indo-European, and Germanic.

A second announcement plus schedule will be posted in mid-October. Watch
this space!

For more information, contact:

Mary Niepokuj


<13:17>From GOLLAV@axe.humboldt.edu  Sun Sep 11 18:16:12 1994

Date: Sun, 11 Sep 1994 16:17:45 -0700 (PDT)
From: GOLLAV@axe.humboldt.edu
Subject: Re: [yodelling! (convergence?)]
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

>That celestial emporium of benevolent knowledge quote: where's it from?

From Jorge Luis Borges, "The Analytical Language of John Wilkins."  In:
_Other Inquisitions_ (1965).

--Victor Golla
  Humboldt State University
  Arcata, CA 95521


<13:18>From julieg@aapg.geol.lsu.edu  Wed Sep 14 09:17:49 1994

Date: Wed, 14 Sep 94 09:17 CDT
From: julieg@aapg.geol.lsu.edu (Julie Garrett)
To: DARWIN-L@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: New member introduction

Hello, I am a new subscriber to DARWIN-L.  I am a biological oceanographer
presently working on my PhD in Geology here at Louisiana State University.
I am in paleontology specifically palynology.  My interest and main field
is dinoflagellates, modern and fossil cysts and motile cells.  I am
particularly interested in finding characteristics that could be used to
find paleo-red tides.
Julie K. Garrett
E-mail address  julieg@aapg.geol.lsu.edu


<13:19>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu  Wed Sep 14 12:04:49 1994

Date: Wed, 14 Sep 1994 13:04:20 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: September 14 -- Today in the Historical Sciences
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro


Germany.  He will become one of the most wide-ranging and celebrated
scientists of his day, best known for his work in geography, particularly
_Kosmos_ (1845-1862).  His older brother Wilhelm will become a linguist and
a founder of the University of Berlin.

1791: FRANZ BOPP is born at Mainz.  He will become one of the founders of
comparative linguistics, and will publish beginning in 1833 _Vergleichende
Grammatik des Sanskrit, Zend, Griechischen, Lateinischen, Littauischen,
Gothischen und Deutschen_, the first comprehensive comparative grammar of
the Indo-European languages.

Today in the Historical Sciences is a feature of Darwin-L, an international
network discussion group for professionals in the historical sciences.  For
more information about Darwin-L send the two-word message INFO DARWIN-L to
listserv@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu, or gopher to rjohara.uncg.edu (


<13:20>From GOLLAV@axe.humboldt.edu  Wed Sep 21 02:49:56 1994

Date: Wed, 21 Sep 1994 00:53:02 -0700 (PDT)
From: GOLLAV@axe.humboldt.edu
Subject: Yodelling
To: Darwin-L@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

A couple of weeks ago Jeremy Creighton Ahouse queried the Darwin-list
linguists about the historical status of the yodelling he heard in the
performance of an Indian singer.  He asked: "Are these sounds due to
convergence, presence in an ancestral musical repertoire, or borrowing?"

I passed Jeremy's query (and some related messages) on to my friend Richard
Keeling, a historically sophisticated ethnomusicologist at UCLA.  Here,
after some delay, is Richard's reply:

> Date: 20 Sep 1994 13:55 -0700 (PDT)
> From: Richard Keeling <IBVPRHK@MVS.OAC.UCLA.EDU>
> Subject: Yodeling and related techniques
> Tuesday 9/19/94
> Dear Victor,
> Thanks for showing me the yodelling dialogue from Darwin-L.  I consulted
> the noted ethnomusicologist Nazir Jairazbhoy on the question of yodeling in
> Indian music and was answered with one of those utterly silent pauses that
> diffusionists of all disciplines recognize as a negative response.  On
> further questioning, Nazir said that it was definitely not heard among the
> tribal peoples who represent the pre-Indo-European populations of India.
> He did allow that similar techniques did exist in Rajasthan and the Punjabi
> regions, and that there was probably a connection between these and the
> unusual types of split-voice singing that tend to be associated with epic
> song traditions throughout much of Central Asia.  He also noted that it's
> difficult to make a musicological assessment without having heard the
> singing himself.
> In fact, true yodeling (the rapid alternation between chest and head voice
> while singing meaningless syllables) is rare outside the European Alpine
> region and derivative forms in American country western music of the early
> twentieth century (as in Jimmy Rodgers or the Carter Family).  The so-called
> throat singing heard among the Tuvans and others of Central Asia and
> Mongolia is a somewhat different technique and probably not historically
> connected with Alpine yodeling.  I have also heard Chuckchi recordings from
> Siberia which employ this split-voiced style.
> The case of the Indian singer from Berkeley remains unresolved, however.
> This may have been a type of tremolo or vibrato and not true yodeling in the
> sense of Alpine yodeling.  It's also possible that the singer was influenced
> by listening to cowboy songs sung by Gene Autry or Patsy Montana, but
> despite the inherent difficulties some of us remain unshaken in our
> conviction that music may someday parallel language as a key to
> understanding historical relationships.
> All best, Richard K.

--Victor Golla
  Humboldt State University
  Arcata, California  95521


<13:21>From GGALE@VAX1.UMKC.EDU  Thu Sep 22 14:42:27 1994

Date: Thu, 22 Sep 1994 14:42:15 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Greenberg and _Scientific American_
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

Remember some months back when we were talking about Greenberg, his continuing
fascination for the public, and, finally, we asked: "How Come Greenberg and/or
his views are always getting so much positive ink, esp. in _Sci. Amer._?"
Well, based upn this month's _SA_, I think I can conjecture plausibly.

Phillip Morrison reviews books for _SA_. It is also often said of the publisher
that he and Morrison are so tight, that Morrison essentially has a veto over
what gets published in certain areas in _SA_. At least this is what I have
heard from more than one reputable source.
I have never heard it said, tho', that Morrison has an acceptance-power, only
a veto-power. However, perhaps that MIGHT also be the case.
Consider: this month Morrison reviews V E R Y positively two books by Merritt
Ruhlen. He notes Ruhlen's close relationship to Greenberg. He notes the
objections and criticisms raised against Greenberg's AmerInd hypothesis, and
his overall hypothesis of ur-linguistic unity [= my words].
Against these objections and criticisms Morrison brings up, on his own hook,
correlations of G's hypotheses "to maps of plausible geographic areas that
fit both the geneticists' growing census of such gene alleles as blood types
and the archaeologists' newest dating of the spread of agriculture west-
ward into Europe. There is still more", says he, introducing some Chomsky.

So what we have is Morrison, on his own, battling against the enemies of
Greenberg, using his own choice of weapons, with, behind him, the backdrop
of the positivity of Morrison's own review of Ruhlen's books.

So thus goes the source of my plausible conjecture.

[Morrison also devotes two quite favorable paragraphs to Steve Pinker's book,
noting, however, Pinker's being "unconvinced" by Ruhlen and Greenberg, but,
still, because of his humor, Pinker's book is clearly "a delightful member of
that rare genre headed by the classic _Life on the Mississippi_." Well,
THAT sure ain't faint praise!]

All this, pp. 141-3, Scientific American, Oct. 94

 #                                                                            #
 #                             George Gale                                    #
 #                         ggale@vax1.umkc.edu                                #
 #                     Philosophy & Physical Science                          #
 #                 Univ. of Missouri, Kansas City 64110                       #
 #                             913-383-3848                                   #
 #                                                                            #
 #      "....Kansas City has the two best restaurants in the world."          #
 #                                                   --Calvin Trillin         #
 #                                                     The New Yorker         #
 #                                                                            #


<13:22>From mahaffy@dordt.edu  Fri Sep 23 19:27:41 1994

Subject: How important is Henry Bauer?
To: Address Darwin list <Darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu>
Date: Fri, 23 Sep 1994 19:25:42 -0500 (CDT)
From: James Mahaffy <mahaffy@dordt.edu>


	I am not sure this is the best place to post this, but darwin-l has
quieted down a bit and to butter you folks up, I think it has a good mix
of philosophers, historians of science and geology types.

	In any case to the question.  I like to try and get my biology
students reading a bit in the nature of science and try and provide an
annotated bibliography to help them.  I have enough difficulty at a
college with a high teaching load in keeping up in paleoecology and a
couple of areas related to teaching so must lean a bit on other opinions.
Someone suggested that Henry Bauer who wrote Scientific Literacy and the
Myth of Scientific Method was a pretty good book to get at the
difference between folk science and professional science.  I already
asked a couple of friends with an interest in philosophy of science and
they didn't know much about him.  Can some of you who have read him or
heard of him, tell me what you think.  How important is the work? Is it
something that would be a good starting place for undergrads at a good
small liberal arts college.

James F. Mahaffy                   e-mail: mahaffy@dordt.edu
Biology Department                 phone: 712 722-6279
Dordt College                      FAX 712 722-1198
Sioux Center, Iowa 51250


<13:23>From JHART@museum.nysed.gov  Mon Sep 26 15:05:13 1994

From: "John P. Hart  Anthro Survey" <JHART@museum.nysed.gov>
Organization:  NYS Museum
To: Darwin-L@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Date: Mon, 26 Sep 1994 15:58:37 EDT
Subject: systematics and theory building

In general, archaeologists continue to use esstentialistic taxonomic
units in modeling cultural evolution.  This practice has hindered the
development of materialistic theory for the explanation of variation
and change in the archaeological record.  While this issue has
received some recent attention in the archaeological literature,
I am interested in the relationship between systematics and theory
in other historical sciences.  What is the relationship between
systematics and how variation is identified and explaind?  References
to recent literature would be very much appreciated.

John P. Hart
Anthropological Survey
New York State Museum
3122 Cultural Education Center
Albany, NY 12230

518-473-8496 (FAX)


<13:24>From madsen@u.washington.edu  Mon Sep 26 16:39:50 1994

Date: Mon, 26 Sep 1994 14:39:44 -0700 (PDT)
From: "Mark E. Madsen" <madsen@u.washington.edu>
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re: systematics and theory building

On Mon, 26 Sep 1994, John P. Hart Anthro Survey wrote:

> I am interested in the relationship between systematics and theory
> in other historical sciences.  What is the relationship between
> systematics and how variation is identified and explaind?

A good example of how variation is described within taxonomic categories
is found in Weiner's book _The Beak of the Finch_, which describes in
some detail Peter and Rosemary Grant's extraordinary studies of Darwin's
finches in the Galapagos Islands.  They measure a huge amount of
variability in finch beak, body, and diet, and do it over and over again
with the same populations (they've got complete population data for over
20 years -- not a sample!).

I found it an excellent look at how variation is measurable in nature,
and a good example of how historical science can actually be done.

Mark E. Madsen                        Sentimental, you say? Anti-social?
Dept. of Anthropology, DH-05          Oughtn't prefer trees to men?  I say
University of Washington              that depends on the trees and on
Seattle WA  98195                     the men.
(206) 543-5240 FAX 543-3285                               -- George Orwell
Internet: madsen@u.washington.edu


<13:25>From TREMONT%UCSFVM.BITNET@KUHUB.CC.UKANS.EDU  Tue Sep 27 06:03:05 1994

Date: Tue, 27 Sep 1994 04:00:52 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: File: ISHPSSB CALL
To: DARWIN-L@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

Announcement and Call for Papers

The biennial meeting of the International Society for the History,
Philosophy  and Social Studies of Biology (ISHPSSB) will be held at
the University of  Leuven, Leuven, Belgium on 19 - 23 July 1995.
Subjects of interest include all areas of biological research and may
address any period of history or  region of  the world.  Papers in
previous years have considered  research methods, biography,
biological imagery, instrumentation, research institutions,
epistemology, gender, and bioethics, as well as specialties such as
ecology,  genetics, cognitive and neurosciences, paleontology and

We encourage participants to coordinate sessions around a theme.
Sessions will be 90 minutes or 2 hours long, allowing for 3 or 4
papers.  Individual papers, posters, roundtable discussions and
workshops are also welcome.

Abstracts (in English) should be 100-150 words long. Abstracts for
sessions,  workshops and roundtables are due 1 January 1995. They
should include title, organizer, chairperson, and titles of individual
papers, with authors' names and affiliations.  Session organizers
should send complete abstracts of  individual papers by 1 February
1995.  Abstracts for poster contributors, and individual papers are
also due 1 February 1995.  We prefer submissions in machine
readable form, a plain text ASCII file sent by electronic mail to
Submissions typed in 14-point font or 10-pitch typewritten form may
be faxed to (212) 741-2440.  Submissions may also be mailed to either
address below.

Ongoing information, including Program Committee member
addresses, is available (courtesy of George Gale) by gopher at

Local arrangements.  Guido van Steendam, International Forum for
Biophilosophy, Craenendonck 15, B-3000 Leuven, Belgium.  Fax: 32
16 29.07.48 E-mail: gvansteendam.ifb@cs.kuleuven.ac.be

Society membership.  Peggy Stewart, ISHPSSB Secretariat, Center
for the Study of Science in Society, VPI&SU, Blacksburg, VA 24061-

Program Co-Chairs:  Linda Caporael, Department of Science and
Technology Studies,  Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY
12180-3590, U.S.A. E-mail: caporl@rpi.edu Fax: (212) 627-3626. Elihu
M. Gerson, Tremont Research Institute, 458 29th Street, San
Francisco, CA 94131-2311. E- mail: tremont@ucsfvm.ucsf.edu.

Program Committee: Peter J. Bowler, UK; Werner Callebaut,
Belgium; Francisco Diaz-de-Leon, Spain and USA; Jean Gayon,
France; Christiane Groeben, Italy;  Robert Hendrick, USA; Muriel
Lederman, USA; Hans-Jorg Rheinberger, Germany; Peter B. Sloep,
Netherlands; C.U.M. Smith,  UK; Cor N. van der Weele,


<13:26>From KBO-GILLIS@nrm.se  Wed Sep 28 07:57:20 1994

From: "Gillis Een" <KBO-GILLIS@nrm.se>
Organization:  Swedish Museum of Natural History
To: DARWIN-L@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Date: Wed, 28 Sep 1994 13:57:19 +0100 (MET)
Subject: Yodelling


Just back from a short visit to Dalecarlia, a province of
Sweden at the latitude 61 deg., I scanned a number of
messages in DARWIN-L and saw some about yodelling. I did
not read them properly, but hopefully the following can be
of interest.

   Dalecarlia is a country of lakes, rivers, conifer
forests and low mountains. The farms are normally situated
near a big lake or a river. In the old days every farm also
had a summer farm, situated on a mountain slope.

   In early summer all the cows, goats and sheep were moved
to the summer farm, together with the tools required for
the processing of milk into butter, cheese and brown
whey-cheese. Normally only one woman was left there to do
all the work over summer. In the early autumn she and the
animals and all the dairy products were fetched and brought
down to the base farm in the lowlands.

   The woman in charge of the summer farm was rather
isolated. In order to communicate with her sisters on other
summer farms, she used a form of yodelling. There was no
words involved, but the tone sequences imitated certain
chosen words in the very melodious dialect of the area.
Thus they could talk to each other in a primitive way.

   Thus yodelling in this case was a form of talking over
large distances and not singing in the ordinary sense of
the word.

   I have heard of similar communication methods in other
parts of the world, e.g. the Canary Islands. I think there
are reasons to believe that the various methods used, have
evolved from local circumstances, and quite independent of
each other.

Gillis Een


<13:27>From mwinsor@blues.epas.utoronto.ca  Wed Sep 28 14:52:49 1994

From: Mary Winsor <mwinsor@blues.epas.utoronto.ca>
Message-Id: <9409281648.AA04001@blues.epas.utoronto.ca>
Subject: Chr. G. Ehrenberg
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Date: Wed, 28 Sep 1994 12:48:17 -0400 (EDT)

Does anyone know who is doing research on Christian Gottfried
Ehrenberg, famous promoter of the complexity of "infusoria"
(microscopic plants and animals) in the 1830s?

If I posted this already, please forgive me; I have been having major
problems with my email system, and have not see the Darwin-L postings
for several weeks.

Reply to Polly Winsor at: mwinsor@epas.utoronto.ca


<13:28>From ncse@crl.com  Wed Sep 28 15:16:11 1994

Date: Wed, 28 Sep 1994 13:10:35 -0700 (PDT)
From: "Eugenie C. Scott" <ncse@crl.com>
Subject: Re: Yodelling
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

Gillis Een's very interesting discussion of the communicative function of
yodeling brings to mind the "talking drums" of West Africa.  Wouldn't
such a technique work only for tonal languages?  or languages, minimally,
where intonation was very important for meaning?

Speaking of intonation, has everyone read "Laddle Rat Rotten Hut?"
(Wants pawn term, dare worsted laddle gull hoe lift wetter murder on
fodder honor itch offer lodge dock florist....")




                        Eugenie C. Scott
                         1328 6th Street
                     Berkeley, CA 94710-1404
                        FAX: 510-526-1675



<13:29>From princeh@husc.harvard.edu  Wed Sep 28 20:48:00 1994

Date: Wed, 28 Sep 1994 21:45:22 -0400 (EDT)
From: Patricia Princehouse <princeh@husc.harvard.edu>
Subject: Re: Yodelling
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

On Wed, 28 Sep 1994, Eugenie C. Scott wrote:

> Speaking of intonation, has everyone read "Laddle Rat Rotten Hut?"
> (Wants pawn term, dare worsted laddle gull hoe lift wetter murder on
> fodder honor itch offer lodge dock florist....")

No, can you post the ref?


Patricia Princehouse



<13:30>From archy@liverpool.ac.uk  Thu Sep 29 03:41:49 1994

From: "J.L. Cormack" <archy@liverpool.ac.uk>
Subject: talking drums
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Date: Thu, 29 Sep 1994 09:41:34 +0100 (BST)

Re: yodelling (or extending to 'talking drums')
I seem to recall in northern Ghana the presence of 'talking drums'.  These
were narrow but long drums which sat on the ground with the drummer standing
beside the instrument to drum.  I think that drums were known as either women's
or men's drums.  Does anyone have a any more details on this?

J.L. Cormack
email: archy@liverpool.ac.uk


<13:31>From Michael_Kenny@sfu.ca  Thu Sep 29 09:45:36 1994

Date: Thu, 29 Sep 1994 07:45:28 -0700
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
From: Michael_Kenny@sfu.ca (Michael Kenny)
Subject: Re: talking drums

I recall an article in Scientific American about W. African talking drums:
the idea being that a given drum (actually a slit gong: i.e. a hollowed out
log), can send tonal signals depending which lip of the slit is beaten:
thicker lip=deeper tone. This is a particularly effective method of
communication in languages with tonal qualities.

Perhaps the 'male' and 'female' drums to which you refer have kindred
Michael G. Kenny
Dept. of Sociology & Anthropology
Simon Fraser University
Burnaby, B.C.  V5A 1S6; Canada
phone: (604) 291-4270
fax:   (604) 291-5799


<13:32>From ncse@crl.com  Thu Sep 29 12:30:44 1994

Date: Thu, 29 Sep 1994 10:22:56 -0700 (PDT)
From: "Eugenie C. Scott" <ncse@crl.com>
Subject: Little Red Riding Hood
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

To all "Ladle Rat" requestors of info:

"Ladle Rat Rotten Hut" was written by H. L. Chace, a French teacher
seeking to teach his students the importance of intonation in
understanding language.  I read it as published in the Exploratorium
Quarterly, Summer, 1990.  this may be somewhat obscure for people outside
of California, so I will try to type it up and upload it (it isn't very
long, but I'm going out of town for a few days and won't get to it until
next week.)  Preview of coming attractions:  the moral to the story:


Yonder nor sorghum stenches shut ladle gulls stopper torque wet strainers.

(for non-English speakers:  "Under no circumstances should little girls
stop and talk with strangers:)




                        Eugenie C. Scott
                         1328 6th Street
                     Berkeley, CA 94710-1404
                        FAX: 510-526-1675



<13:33>From rho@linda.CS.UNLV.EDU  Thu Sep 29 14:35:14 1994

To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re: Little Red Riding Hood
Date: Thu, 29 Sep 1994 12:30:44 -0700
From: "Roy H. Ogawa" <rho@linda.CS.UNLV.EDU>

I picked this up on the net somewhere, sometime.  RHO


        Once upon a time - and these four words which begin the
piece of prose below are all the help we are going to give you in
translating it - there lived a wise old professor in a college of
the University of Miami.  Rationing had just begun because of the
Second World War and the professor, being a literary man, worried
about what would happen if ever language had to be rationed.  So
he decided to write something as if our vocabulary had been cut
in half. "If you take these English words," he said, "and put
them in columns like spelling books and just read them, they have
no meaning at all.  However, if you read them with the proper
intonation the meaning appears for certain people.  For other
people, however, the meaning never does appear."


    	Ladle Rat Rotten Hut   by H.L. Chace

    	Wants pawn term, dare worsted ladle gull hoe lift
    wetter murder inner ladle cordage, honor itch off
    lodge, dock florist.  Disk ladle gull orphan worry putty
    ladle rat cluck wetter ladle rat hut, and fur disk raisin,
    pimple colder Ladle Rat Rotten Hut.

    	Wan moaning, Ladle Rat Rotten Hut's murder colder

    	"Ladle Rat Rotten Hut, heresy ladle basking winsome
    burden barter and shirker cockles.  Tick disk ladle basking
    tutor cordage offer groin-murder hoe lifts honor udder site
    offer florist.  Shaker lake!  Dun stopper laundry wrote!  Dun
    stopper peck floors!  Dun daily-doily inner florist, an yonder
    nor sorghum-stenches, dun stoper torque wet strainers!"

    	"Hoe-cake, murder," resplendent Ladle Rat Rotten, and
    tickle ladle basking an stutter oft.

    	Honor wrote tutor cordage offer groin-murder, Ladle Rat
    Rotten Hut mitten anomalous woof.

    	"Wail, wail, wail!" set disk wicket woof, "Evanescent
    Ladle Rat Rotten Hut!  Wares are putty ladle gull goring wizard
    ladle basking?"

    	"Armor goring tumor groin-murder's," reprisal ladle
    gull.  "grammar's seeking bet.  Armor ticking  arson burden
    barter an shirker cockles."

    	"O hoe!  Heifer gnats woke," setter wicket woof, butter
    taught tomb shelf,"Oil tickle shirt court tutor cordage offer
    groin-murder.  Oil ketchup wetter letter, an den -- O bore!"

    	Soda wicket woof tucker shirt court, an whinny retched
    a cordage offer groin-murder, picked inner windrow, an sore
    debtor pore oil worming worse lion inner bet.  Inner flesh,
    disk abdominal woof lipped honor bet, paunched honor pore oil
    worming, an garbled erupt.  Den disk ratchet ammonol pot honor
    groin-murder's nut cup and gnat-gun, any curdled ope inner

    	Inner ladle wile, Ladle Rat Rotten Hut a raft attar
    cordage, an ranker dough ball.  "Comb ink, sweat hard," setter
    wicket woof, disgracing is verse.

    	Ladle Rat Rotten Hut entity bet rum, and stud buyer
    groin-murder's bet.

    	"O Grammar!" crater ladle historically, "Water bag icer
    gut!  A nervous sausage bag ice!"

    	"Battered lucky chew whiff, sweat hard," setter
    bloat-Thursday woof, wetter wicket small honors phase.

    	"O Grammar, water bag noise!  A nervous sore suture
    anomalous prognosis!"

    	"Battered small your whiff, doling," whiskered dole
    woof, ants mouse worse waddling.

    	"O Grammar, water bag mouser gut!  A nervous sore
    suture bag mouse!"

    	Daze worry on-forger-nut ladle gull's lest warts.  Oil
    offer sodden, caking offer carvers an sprinkling otter bet,
    disk hoard-hoarded woof lipped own pore Ladle Rat Rotten Hut
    and garbled erupt.

    	MURAL: Yonder nor sorghum stenches shut ladle gulls
    stopper torque wet strainers.


<13:34>From bradshaw@uhunix.uhcc.Hawaii.Edu  Thu Sep 29 16:02:49 1994

Date: Thu, 29 Sep 1994 10:57:51 -1000
From: Joel Bradshaw <bradshaw@uhunix.uhcc.Hawaii.Edu>
Subject: Re: talking drums
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

On Thu, 29 Sep 1994, Michael Kenny wrote:

> I recall an article in Scientific American about W. African talking drums:
> the idea being that a given drum (actually a slit gong: i.e. a hollowed out
> log), can send tonal signals depending which lip of the slit is beaten:
> thicker lip=deeper tone. This is a particularly effective method of
> communication in languages with tonal qualities.

In 1939, Otto Dempwolff, one of the founders of Austronesian historical
linguistics, published _Grammatik der Jabemsprache_, describing a New
Guinea Austronesian language that had both tone and verb serialization,
two features widespread in sub-Saharan African languages (which Dempwolff
was familiar with from earlier work on African languages), but rather
unknown in Austronesian languages until then.

A 1941 review of this work, by Heimo Kremsmayer in the _Wiener Zeitschrift
fur die Kunde des Morgenlandes_, remarked on the tone (but ignored verb
serialization), speculating that more tone languages were likely to turn
up in the Pacific, where drum-signalling was already known to be
widespread, because "Trommelsprache ist schwer denkbar ohne Tonsprache"
[drum-signalling is hard to imagine without tone languages]. Several
DARWIN-L members seem to share this impression.

Subsequent research has turned up very few Austronesian tone languages in
the Pacific (there is a pocket in New Caledonia), although there are some
in Southeast Asia in proximity to non-Austronesian tone languages. I'm not
really up on what literature exists on the subject, but I suspect that
drum-signalling (and yodelling) are not simply poor (but telephonic)
substitutes for human speech, at least where they have become elaborated
or well-established. The only such instance I have looked at very much is
a paper on the "whistle speech" of the mountain-dwelling Arapesh in Papua
New Guinea, who often need to communicate across steep mountain valleys.
The few transcribed samples of whistle speech in that paper could not be
derived in any straightforward way (that I could see) from the sounds in
the verbal equivalent as normally spoken. (I believe pitch was indicated
in the transcriptions.) Alternative communication media seem quickly to
take on a life and discourse-style of their own.

Postscript: Ever since I first read Heimo Kremsmayer's brief review, I
have wondered what might have befallen him in wartime Austria. Did he die
in the war? Did he die in the holocaust? Did he escape and survive? Does
anybody know of Internet resources for tracing what might have happened to
Kremsmayer? Please reply to me directly if you do.

Joel Bradshaw <bradshaw@uhunix.uhcc.hawaii.edu>


<13:35>From mwinsor@blues.epas.utoronto.ca  Thu Sep 29 22:58:21 1994

From: Mary P Winsor <mwinsor@epas.utoronto.ca>
Subject: no subject (file transmission)
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu (bulletin board)
Date: Thu, 29 Sep 1994 21:26:53 -0400 (EDT)

Several months ago I inquired about the tales we live by,
that is, the stories, myths if you like, which give inspiration
or act as models in our various disciplines.  This is connected
to my interest in the way the history of a field could play a
role in its daily practice, that is, how scientists' understanding
of what came before may guide their choices of action.

Now I am reading Nicholaas Rupke's rich new biography* of Richard
Owen, the British anatomist now remembered for the hatred with
which the Darwinians regarded him.  Rupke discusses in some detail
(citing other historians who have also discussed this case) the
wonderful classic tale of Cuvier's principle of reconstruction.

This is surely one of the founding myths of comparative anatomy.
The idea was to make anatomy a predictive science; just as the
astronomer could tell when a comet would reappear, the proof that
we have real scientific understanding of the laws of biology will
be when we foretell the form of a creature we have not yet seen.

Cuvier's "law of correlation" was supposed to provide this
level of scientific control.  A tooth designed to tear flesh
rather than to grind leaves implies a neck and shoulder strong
enough for a predator, which implies also victim-grasping claws
on the feet.  Thus the student prankster, trying to give the master
a fright by dressing up as the devil, gets only the reaction "horns
on the head, cloven hooves, can't be carnivorous, ho hum!" [this bit
isn't in Rupke]

Owen impressed everyone enormously when a portion of a thigh bone
from New Zealand was shown him, and he said, "giant flightless bird"
and afterward the whole skeleton -plus memories - of the moa confirmed
his prediction.

Thomas Henry Huxley deliberately pricked that balloon, arguing that
mere induction, not logical deduction such as the mathematical
laws of astronomy provide, is all that anatomy has to offer.  Owen
recognized the thigh-bone as a bird's because he'd seen other bird

I assume this much of the tale is well-known to the biologists on this
list (but is it?).  My two questions are, is this tale familiar to
others?  In your own field, is there a similar story about predictions
which serves to show that your discipline is truly scientific rather
than merely antiquarian?

* (Nicholaas A. Rupke, Richard Owen: Victorian Naturalist,
Yale Univ. Press, 1994.

Polly Winsor    mwinsor@epas.utoronto.ca


<13:36>From carey@pegasus.cc.ucf.edu  Fri Sep 30 10:01:47 1994

Date: Fri, 30 Sep 1994 11:02:15 -0400 (EDT)
From: Arlen Carey <carey@pegasus.cc.ucf.edu>
Subject: talking drums
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

This may be a bit off the mark, but . . . There is a variety of
contemporary _Afro-Pop_ music (originating in Nigeria, I believe) called
_Ju-Ju_ music that makes heavy use of _talking-drums_.  Ju-Ju is built
around the talking drums which are complemented with wispy electric guitar
(billed as a mix of old and new) and some vocals.  Two top representatives
of this genre are King Sunny Ade and Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey.  I've
seen both perform, and the taking drums are long and fairly narrow.  As I
recall they are played with one arm wrapped around the drum and a curved
striking instrument is used.  Great music.

*             Arlen D. Carey           *                                  *
* Department of Sociology/Anthropology * e-mail: carey@pegasus.cc.ucf.edu *
*      University of Central Florida   * voice: (407) 823-2240            *
*           Orlando, FL  32816         * fax: (407) 823-5156              *

Darwin-L Message Log 13: 1-36 -- September 1994                             End

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