Darwin-L Message Log 38: 21–49 — October 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 October 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.”


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

Darwin-L@ukanaix.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 October 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 in the archives of Darwin-L by
listserv@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu, and is also available 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, send the
e-mail message INFO DARWIN-L to listserv@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu, or connect to
the Darwin-L Web Server.

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.


<38:21>From tbh@tesser.com Sat Oct  5 01:55:13 1996

Date: Sat, 5 Oct 1996 00:58:47 -0700
To: darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu
From: tbh@tesser.com (T. Harms)
Subject: Re: 'Evolution' diffusing into the arts (Wierd Rock)

>I seem to remember that the Devo song was entitled "Are We Not Men" from
>an LP of the same title.
>Neil Haave, Ph.D.

The song is named Jocko Homo and the first Devo LP, on which it appears, is
titled "Q: Are We Not Men?  A: We Are DEVO!"

Tracy Bruce Harms
Boulder, Colorado


<38:22>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Mon Oct  7 18:35:42 1996

Date: Mon, 07 Oct 1996 19:34:57 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: Darwin's collected papers
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

Paul Sammut asks (from Malta):

>I am looking for photocopies of the minor writings of Darwin, like articles
>which appeared in the Amateur gardener, Journal of Geology etc.  Any idea
>From where I can attempt to get these?

Paul Barrett edited a volume of Darwin's collected papers which is still
in print and would probably have what you are looking for:

        AUTHOR: Darwin, Charles, 1809-1882.
         TITLE: The collected papers of Charles Darwin / edited by
                    Paul H. Barrett ; with a foreword by Theodosius
     PUBLISHED: Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 1977.
        PAGING: 2 v. : ill. ; 25 cm.
         NOTES: Includes index.
                Bibliography: v. 2, p. 295-302.
          ISBN: 0226136574 :

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.      |  


<38:23>From mayerg@cs.uwp.edu Tue Oct  8 09:29:39 1996

Date: Tue, 8 Oct 1996 09:29:31 -0500 (CDT)
From: Gregory Mayer <mayerg@cs.uwp.edu>
Subject: Drawin's minor publications
To: darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu

Paul Sammut asks where he can obtain Darwin's shorter publications.  Most
(all?) of them have been reprinted in _The collected Papers of Charles
Darwin_, edited by Paul H. Barrett, University of Chicago Press, 1977. 
Originally issued in two volumes, the paperback edition is in one.  It is
not, unfortunately, in a recently received Chicago Press catalogue, and
may be out of print.

Gregory C. Mayer


<38:24>From ishee@airy.stsci.edu Tue Oct  8 10:32:40 1996

Date: 8 Oct 1996 11:33:08 U
From: "Jan Ishee" <ishee@airy.stsci.edu>
Subject: Interest in 'Origins' Discussion?
To: "Darwin-L@raven.cc.ukans.edu" <Darwin-L@raven.cc.ukans.edu>

I am compiling a database of academicians around the world who might be able
to contribute to an intellectual discussion about the potential benefits,
philosophical meaning, and cultural significance of NASA's proposed "Origins
Program". I wonder if some of you might be interested. [I truly have no

The Origins Program is geared toward answering scientifically some of
humanity's most ancient questions: Where did we come from? Are we alone in
the Universe?

The research topics covered by the program include efforts to understand the
formation and evolution of galaxies, searching for Earth-like planets around
other stars, and looking for signs of current or past life on planets in our
solar system and on other planets found.

In order to address such questions as "meaning" and "cultural significance",
I am hoping to locate scholars in a broad variety of academic fields who
would be willing and able to discuss issues raised by the Origins Program in
the context of their own field(s) of expertise. 

In the broadest of terms, some of the issues raised might include questions
such as What is the cultural significance of the astonomical frontier? Why
explore a wilderness that is, practically speaking, "unreachable"? How will
the results of this program of exploration impact other, non-science fields
of learning? Is the process by which the research is conducted important?
What should be the questions prompting the research, from the viewpoint of
the humanist, the theologian, etc.? How can the benefits of this research be
optimized for the non-scientists? Etc.

Please note that I am merely compiling a database of names of those who can
and might wish to explore these or like-minded issues. Actual discussion or
debates will be arranged--and funded by(!)--those significantly higher in
rank than me....

If you would like to be included in this database, or can recommend someone
else who should be, I will greatly appreciate your e-mailing me at:   
ishee@stsci.edu. Please include complete contact information and your field
of expertise.

Thanks for any help you can give.


	Jan Ishee


<38:25>From idiazser@eniac.rhon.itam.mx Tue Oct  8 11:15:22 1996

Date: Tue, 8 Oct 1996 11:15:47 -0600 (CST)
From: Ignacio Diaz de la Serna <idiazser@eniac.rhon.itam.mx>
To: DARWIN-L <darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu>
Subject: about including Georges Bataille in calendar section

I propose to be included Georges Bataille's name in calendar section, for
his entire work is a good example of how interdisciplinarity may lead to
new perspectives in apparently worn-off fields. I have in mind, above all,
"La Part Maudite". Born in 1897, he died in 1962.



<38:26>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Tue Oct  8 13:17:10 1996

Date: Tue, 08 Oct 1996 14:16:56 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: NASA project
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

Jan Ishee writes, in describing topics for NASA's "Origins" project:

>In the braodest of terms, some of the issues that might be raised include
>questions such as What is the cultural significance of the astronomical
>frontier?  Why explore a wilderness that is, practically speaking,

This is quite an interesting topic for Darwin-L, I think, because much
of what could be said about deep space is also true of "deep time" (John
McPhee's phrase I believe).  The astronomical frontier is also an historical
frontier because of the amount of time light takes to reach us, and the
historical past is unreachable just as deep space is unreachable.

Whewell recognized that astronomy was a part of palaetiology just as
much as geology or philology (http://rjohara.uncg.edu/palaetiology):

  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.

What Playfair said at Siccar Point could be said as well by the first
astronomers viewing on their screens from the Hubble telescope the formation
of ancient galaxies: "The mind seemed to grow giddy by looking so far into
the abyss of time."

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.      |  


<38:27>From Agoldenk@aol.com Tue Oct  8 19:16:11 1996

Date: Tue, 8 Oct 1996 20:16:09 -0400
From: Agoldenk@aol.com
To: darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: Re: NASA project

Deep space-time is as accessible as the speed of light, that is, reasonably
so for near space using radioastronomy.

COBE and other discoveries have shown real understanding coming from deep
spacetime; at some point the search goes from astonomy to particle physics,
and the search becomes terrestrial.

Andrew Goldenkranz


<38:28>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Thu Oct 10 00:33:26 1996

Date: Thu, 10 Oct 1996 01:33:20 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: October 10 -- Today in the Historical Sciences
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro


1802: HUGH MILLER, author and geologist, is born at Cromarty, Scotland.
Miller will be apprenticed to a stonemason as a young man and will make
several important geological discoveries, including finding in the Old Red
Sandstone the earliest known fossil vertebrates.  His greatest distinction,
however, will come as a popularizer of the geological research of his day: in
vivid and powerful prose, Miller will make known to a wide audience the lost
worlds of the past and the depth of geological time.  In one of his best-known
works Miller will describe a scenic view of the Bay of Cromarty, and then ask
his readers to "survey the landscape a second time; -- not merely in its
pictorial aspect, not as connected with the commoner associations which link
it to its present inhabitants, but as _antiquaries of the world_, -- as
students of those wonderful monuments of nature, on which she has traced
her heiro-glyphical inscriptions of plants and animals that impart to us the
history, not of a former age, but of a former creation.  Geology is the most
poetical of all sciences; and its various facts, as they present themsleves
to the human mind, possess a more overpowering immensity than even those of
Astronomy itself.  For while the Astronomer can carry about with him in his
imagination, a little portable Orrery of the whole solar system, the Geologist
is oppressed by a weight of rocks and mountains, and of strata piled over
strata which all his diligence in forming theories, has not yet enabled him
completely to arrange.  He is no mere intellectual mechanician, who calculates
and reasons on the movements of a piece of natural clockwork; the objects with
which he is chiefly conversant, have no ascertained forms, or known
proportions, that he may conceive of them as abstract figures, or substitute a
set of models in their places; his province, in at least all its outer skirts,
is still a _terra incognita_, which he cannot conceive of as a whole; and the
walks which intersect it are so involved and irregular that, like those of an
artificial wilderness, they seem to double its extent.  The operations of his
latest eras, as his science exists in time, terminate long before history
begins; while, as it exists in space, he has to grapple with the immense globe
itself, with all its oceans, and all its continents.  Goethe finely remarks,
that the ideas and feelings of the schoolboy who tells his fellows that the
world is round, are widely different in depth and sublimity from those
experienced by the wanderer of Ithaca, when he spoke of the unlimited
earth, and the unmeasurable and infinite sea."

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.


<38:29>From melindah@calvin.usc.edu Thu Oct 10 11:59:29 1996

Date: Thu, 10 Oct 1996 09:59:18 -0700 (PDT)
To: darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu
From: melindah@calvin.usc.edu (Melinda Hayes)
Subject: New web exhibit at USC


The Hancock Library of Biology & Oceanography at the University of Southern
California now has a web presence. You can see an exhibit representing items
from our Natural History Collection (which includes works of Darwin, Haeckel
and others in the field) via the following address:


Melinda Hayes
Natural History Collections Librarian
Hancock Library of Biology & Oceanography
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0372
In Special Collections: 213-740-5946                                  
email: melindah@calvin.usc.edu           
"Do not fear, and do not rejoice as yet; for what
 we wish for at the moment may be our
                                   Bram Stoker


<38:30>From GRANSOM@ucrac1.ucr.edu Thu Oct 10 21:59:23 1996

Date: Thu, 10 Oct 1996 19:58:39 -0700 (PDT)
From: GREG RANSOM <GRANSOM@ucrac1.ucr.edu>
Subject: _Economics and the Historians_, ed. by Thomas Rawski

There is a new collection of essays by eight economists
who specialize in the economic study of historical problems,
recently published by the U. of California Press, Berkeley
and Los Angeles.  The book is Thomas G. Rawski, ed., _Economics
and the Historian_, 1996.  The book purports to explain "how
to apply the core ideas and methods of economics to a wide range
of historical issues."  A brief review of the book by the historian
Michael Dintenfass can be accessed over the internet at:
The book in part is a non-technical introduction to the explanatory
strategies of the 'new' economic history and the 'new' institutional
economics, which have developed in the economics department over
the last 30 years or so, and which may be of interest to some on this

Greg Ransom
Dept. of Philosophy


<38:31>From fsteinl@gwdg.de Mon Oct 14 19:29:10 1996

Date: 14 Oct 96 13:54:00 +0200
From: fsteinl@gwdg.de (Friedrich Steinle)
Sender: RAINER.BROEMER@LINK-GOE.de (Rainer Broemer)
Subject: Kolloquium Goettingen
To: oldenburg@rzaix52.rrz.uni-hamburg.de

Georg-August-Universitaet Goettingen
Institut fuer Wissenschaftsgeschichte
37073 Goettingen	Tel. 0551-39 9467
Humboldtallee 11	Fax 0551-39-9748

Kolloquium des Instituts fuer Wissenschaftsgeschichte
im Wintersemester 1996/97

Zeit:	dienstags, 18.15- 19.45 h
Ort:	Humboldtallee 11, 3.Stock (Seminarraum)

Di., 22.10.1996 18.15 Uhr Prof. Dr. Nicolaas A. Rupke (Goettingen)
Alexander von Humboldts Weg zum Weltruhm: Skizze eines Goettinger

Di., 05.11.1996 18.15Uhr Prof. Dr. Christoph Meinel (Regensburg)
DasForschungslaboratorium und die Organisation des chemischen
Hochschulunterrichts im 19. Jahrhundert

Di., 19.11.1996
18.15 Uhr
Prof. Dr. Hans-Joerg Rheinberger (Salzburg)
Experimentelle Komplexitaet
(vorlaeufiger Titel)

Di., 03.12.1996
18.15 Uhr
Prof. Dr. Martin Guntau (Rostock)
Deutsch-lateinamerikanische Beziehungen auf dem Gebiet der
Montanwissenschaften: Historische Leistungen, Wirkungen und Probleme

Di., 10.12.1996
18.15 Uhr
Dr. Ilia Chatzipanagioti (Wien)
Als das Fragen noch geholfen hat: Zur Entwicklung des Wissenschaftlichen

Di., 14.01.1997
18.15 Uhr
Dr. Uwe Hossfeld (Tuebingen/Jena)
"...Vom Wasserfloh zum Affenmenschen..." - Gerhard Heberer und der
Neubeginn der Anthropologie in Goettingen nach 1945

Di., 28.01.1997
18.15 Uhr
Prof. Dr. Olaf Breidbach (Jena)
Neurowissenschaften um 1900

Di., 11.02.1997
18.15 Uhr
Dr. Martina Lorenz (Regensburg)
Neue Physik im alten Gewand: Laienphysica in Deutschland im 18.

Zu den Kolloquiumsvortraegen ergeht herzliche Einladung!

Prof. Dr. Nicolaas A. Rupke
Dr. William Clark


<38:32>From ronald@hawaii.edu Wed Oct 16 03:01:25 1996

Date: 	Tue, 15 Oct 1996 22:00:55 -1000
From: Ron Amundson <ronald@hawaii.edu>
To: Darwin-L List <Darwin-L@raven.cc.ukans.edu>
Subject: Embryological Haiku

Having been dwelling perhaps too much recently on von Baerian versions of
embryological "teleomechanism" (Lenoir's term), I was struck the following
passage from an LA Times piece on "senryu", a short poetic form similar to

Tokizane, who edits senryu columns for two popular magazines, recently
called for readers to submit verses to the Asahi Graph magazine on the
topic of, well, eggplant. The resulting two-page spread, published with a
soft-focus photograph of a luxuriant eggplant, was anything but orthodox:

 Seedling eggplant
 Intending to grow purple.

 -- Tokizane

Ron Amundson
University of Hawaii at Hilo
Hilo, HI 96720


<38:33>From wilkins@wehi.EDU.AU Tue Oct 15 23:31:28 1996

Date: Wed, 16 Oct 1996 14:32:41 +1000
From: John Wilkins <wilkins@wehi.EDU.AU>
Subject: Darwin's influences and precursors
To: Darwin-L <Darwin-L@raven.cc.ukans.edu>

I am seeking critical comment and assistance with an essay I have
written for Web access on "Darwin's influences and precursors" to be
found on <http://www.wehi.edu.au/~wilkins/Precursors/index.html>.

Please note that it is not intended to be a really scholarly piece, as I
wrote it as an introduction to the topic and it arises from repeated
misconstruals and false charges made on the talk.origins newsgroup about
Darwin's "plagiarism" and lack of originality. However, although it is
written at about undergraduate level, I *would* like it to be accurate
and as complete as possible.

When I have time, I will add a small biography of the _dramatis
personae_ and if possible a small scan of each one I can find.

All (constructive) comments welcomed.

John Wilkins
Head of Communication Services
Walter and Eliza Hall Institute


<38:34>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Thu Oct 17 13:47:58 1996

Date: Thu, 17 Oct 1996 14:44:20 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: Endangered paleontological sites (fwd from CLASS-L)
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

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

Date: Wed, 16 Oct 1996 15:20:53 -0500
From: "H. Richard Lane" <hrlane@AMOCO.COM>
Subject: Endangered Fossil Sites List

               International Palaeontological Association
                   List of Endangered Fossil Sites

     Fossil sites of great importance are endangered around the world
     for numerous reasons.  Some are being exploited by
     collectors/merchants, others are being used as waste dumps and still
     others are being obliterated by the encroachment of man and his
     activities.  Little can be done to mitigate the problem if the
     endangered fossil sites are not made known to the public at large.
     Knowledge is power and until we as paleontologists have a full listing
     of those endangered sites, we can take very little coordinated action
     to ameliorate the problem.  The International Palaeontological
     Association (IUGS) wishes to assemble a catalogue of worldwide
     endangered fossil sites, including specific information about their
     location, conditions, problems, their potential/actual loss to science
     and mankind and other pertinent information.  The IPA is asking those
     concerned to fill out the following form and return it as per

     For the IPA,

     H. Richard Lane                                D. L. Bruton
     Amoco Corporation                              Secretary General, IPA
     P. O. Box 3092, Rm. 786W3                      Geoscience Department
     Houston, Texas 77253                           University of Oslo
     FAX 713-366-7416 or 713-432-0139               Oslo, Norway
     Ph.  713-366-4156                              d.l.bruton@toyen.uio.no
     E-mail:  hrlane@amoco.com

                 International Palaeontological Association

     Please answer the questions below and e-mail to
     verda_m_kenworthy@amoco.com, or fax to "Attention Verda Kenworthy"
     713-3667416, or mail to Verda M. Kenworthy Amoco Corporation, P. O.
     Box 3092, Room 784W3, Houston TX 77253 USA.

     Name of endangered site:

     Location of endangered site (Country, Province, specific location,

     Nature of the site (age, fossils, paleoenvironment, etc.):

     Value of the site to science and mankind:

     Current problems faced by the site:

     Current actions being taken to save the site:

     Legal/publicity actions that need to be taken:

     Urgency of the situation:

     Pictures, other documentation appended?    Yes______,   No________

     Name, address, phone/fax, and e-mail adress of reporter:

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


<38:35>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Thu Oct 17 13:48:37 1996

Date: Thu, 17 Oct 1996 14:48:07 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: Query on Lakatos and socio-historical sciences (fwd)
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

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

Date: Fri, 11 Oct 1996 08:59:02 -0600 (NSK)
From: "Nikolai S. Rozov" <ROZOV@cnit.nsu.ru>
Subject: I.Lakatos & social-historical sciences
Organization: Center of New Informational Tech.

Reply to: rozov@cnit.nsu.ru

I need any information concerning cases of application of Imre Lakatos's
Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes in social sciences and
theoretical history. I mean not (only) using it in description of past
history of these sciences, but mainly cases (if they exist at all!) of
designing research programmes in sociology, political sciences, economics,
anthropology, historical sciences,etc., according to Lakatos's scheme as a
normative plan.

            Please forward this request to anybody who might help here.

            Thanks, Nikolai

Nikolai S. Rozov   #  Address:Dept. of Philosophy
Prof.of Philosophy #          Novosibirsk State University
rozov@cnit.nsu.ru  #          630090, Novosibirsk
Fax: (3832) 355237 #          Pirogova 2, RUSSIA

Moderator of the mailing list PHILOFHI
(PHILosophy OF HIstory and theoretical history)

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


<38:36>From RAINER.BROEMER@LINK-GOE.de Thu Oct 17 15:44:07 1996

Date: 17 Oct 96 19:44:00 +0200
From: RAINER.BROEMER@LINK-GOE.de (Rainer Broemer)
Sender: RAINER.BROEMER@LINK-GOE.de (Rainer Broemer)
Subject: MPI Stellenausschreibung
To: oldenburg@rzaix52.rrz.uni-hamburg.de

Max-Planck-Institut fuer Wissenschaftsgeschichte

Das Max-Planck-Institut fuer Wissenschaftsgeschichte sucht zum Fruehjahr 
1997 fuer seine im Aufbau befindliche dritte Forschungsabteilung
                  wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiter/innen
                           mit Promotion
befristet fuer zwei Jahre fuer die folgenden Arbeitsgebiete:
* Geschichte von Experimentalpraktiken und Experimentalkulturen,
* vergleichende Kulturgeschichte epistemischer Objekte, Gesten und Raeume,
* historische Pragmatik der Theorie- und Begriffsbildung in den
  biologischen Wissenschaften,
* Geschichte der biologisch-medizinischen Wissenschaften des
  20. Jahrhunderts (insbesondere der Molekularbiologie).
In den genannten Gebieten werden auch
fuer einen zweijaehrigen Forschungsaufenthalt am Institut vergeben.
Die Bewerbung von Frauen ist ausdruecklich erwuenscht.
Voraussetzungen: Promotion in einem einschlaegigen Fachgebiet und 
Forschungserfahrung in der Wissenschaftsgeschichte.

Die Verguetung erfolgt analog zur Verguetungsgruppe BAT II a-O unter 
Einschluss der sozialen Leistungen des oeffentlichen Dienstes. Die Hoehe 
der Stipendien richtet sich nach den Bestimmungen der Max-Planck-
Gesellschaft und liegt zwischen DM 2260 und DM 2960 im Monat.
Schwerbehinderte werden bei gleicher Eignung bevorzugt beruecksichtigt.
Bewerbungen mit Lebenslauf, Publikationsliste, einer Zusammenfassung Ihres 
Forschungsprojekts (maximal 1500 Worte), zwei Empfehlungsschreiben (ggf. 
mit separater Post) und einem Probetext (z.B. Dissertationskapitel oder 
Zeitschriftenartikel) sind bis zum *15. Dezember 1996* zu richten an das
Max-Planck-Institut fuer Wissenschaftsgeschichte, Abt. III,
Wilhelmsstrasse 44, 10117 Berlin.

## CrossPoint v3.02 R ##


<38:37>From KOLB@ucla.edu Thu Oct 17 23:15:37 1996

Date: Thu, 17 Oct 1996 21:11:56 -0700
To: darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu
From: Jack Kolb <KOLB@ucla.edu>
Subject: Evolution guarantees that Darwin's notes can survive

Thanks to Elisa Vandernoot <elisav@wiesenthal.com> for passing this along
from The (London) Times:

Evolution guarantees that Darwin's notes can survive

Going back more than 150 years, the handwritten notes of some of the world's
most famous biologists are being transformed from dusty old ledgers into
shiny compact discs under a pioneering scentific project by the Natural
History Museum in London.

Around 40,000 pages from 252 registers or ledgers are being scanned by a
special camera to form a new electronic archive which can be consulted by
the experts.

Dating back to 1834, the ledgers carry handwritten notes on some 18 million
zoological specimens donated to the museum by such scientists as Charles
Darwin, the father of the theory of evolution.

Covering specimens from protozoa such as amoebas to blue whales, they have
also in many cases been heavily annotated as new research has led to a
reclassification of a specimen or shed new light on its evolution or

Charles Hussey, who is orchestrating the project, says the scheme is
breaking new ground in museum work. Some of the writing is little more than
"tiny scribbled notes" or spidery writing.

The ink of some of the entries is also fading. Meanwhile, much of the
writing flows into the spine of the ledgers, making it difficult for a
traditional scanning method to work.

"You could not read them through an optical character recognition system,"
says Hussey.

Instead, the museum has turned to a database provided by a company called
Borland and a digital camera, originally developed by the University of
Munich and made by a firm called Kontran and supplied by Imaging Associates
of Thame, Oxfordshire.

The camera, with the page illuminated by special conservation lighting so as
not to harm the text, can capture up to 300 images a day from the ledgers.

These are then compressed and stored, then checked by one of 34 curators at
the museum for accuracy, before being "written to compact disc".

Hussey, systems manager for the zoology department, says that about 10 per
cent of the notes are rejected.

The team then enhance areas of faded writing or add new text to the image to
explain a missing word or phrase.

The project, which will produce 34 CDs, has taken around a year and is
expected to be finished by December. It will replace the current microfilm

Hussey says the electronic archive will certainly be easier to update and
should help to protect the oldest ledgers from damage by offering a real
alternative to the fragile, paper-based registers.

The museum believe they can keep the new equipment more than busy over the
coming years.

Hussey says they may next try and tackle botany: "We may take on the six
million herbarium sheets next."

Jack Kolb
Dept. of English, UCLA


<38:38>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Mon Oct 21 20:28:49 1996

Date: Mon, 21 Oct 1996 21:28:23 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: CFP: Museums and the Web (fwd from HUMANIST)
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

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


MARCH 16-19, 1997

Organized by
Archives & Museum Informatics

(This message has two parts: Expression of Interest and Call for Papers)



It has only been a short three years since the appearance of the first
museum web sites. Today there are hundreds of museums with a presence on
the World Wide Web. The nature and purpose of these sites varies greatly
and we believe that museums have much to learn from each other and from
developers who have been using the Web for other applications.

To provide an opportunity for learning, Archives & Museum Informatics
MUSEUMS AND THE WEB, to be held March 16-19, 1997 at the Omni Los Angeles
Hotel & Centre, Los Angeles, California.

If you would like to be kept informed of the program as it develops, or
learn more about opportunities to exhibit or speak, please complete the
form below and fax or email it to us.

Street Address:
City/Postal Code/Country:
Phone:                   Fax:

Send me more information. I am interested in:
Attending /  /       Exhibiting /  /       Sponsoring  /  /

* Proposals will be selected based on their quality and attention to
topics of interest to you. Tell us what you most want to know about
Museums and the Web:

* We will offer half and one day workshops before the conference. Tell us
about topics of special interest to you and/or instructors from whom you
have taken exceptionally valuable workshops in this area:

* We will host continental breakfasts for groups with common interests to
get together and share ideas. Tell us the types of Special Interest
Groups you would be interested participating in:



- Present a paper;
- Organize a session (2-4 speakers); or
- Teach a workshop (1/2 or full day).

- The title of the proposed event and an abstract which clearly
  states the specific contribution it will make;
- Full identification of the presenter(s), including title, postal
  address, phone, fax, email, and URL.

Proposals will be reviewed by the conference advisory committee and
participants will be notified of acceptance by December 15, 1996.
Accepted papers will be published (on the WWW and/or in print) and
abstracts will be made available through the conference Web site in
January 1997.

  I. Applications of Web Technology
- Educational Programming: K-12 Outreach on the Web.
- The Museum Digital Community: Electronic Volunteers, Virtual
  Members, Remote Audiences.
- Professional Resources on the Web: Web Peers, Virtual Support
  Networks, Professional Organizations, etc.
- Museum Public Relations via an Institutional Web Site.
- Museum Exhibitions on the Web.
- Higher Education and Museums on the Web.
- Income Producing Activity and the Web.
- Imagebases, Multimedia, and Publishing.
- The Concept of the "Museum" in the Digital Age

  II. Organizing for the Networked Society
- Staffing, Training, and Professional Development.
- Budgeting, Managing, and Maintaining a Web Presence.
- Museum Intranets - Leveraging the Technology for In-house
- Consortia, National, and International Projects.
- New Technologies & Opportunities for the Near Future.
- Standards, Architectures, and Long-term Strategies.
- Design Issues: User Interfaces, Navigational Aids, and Site
- Copyright and Licensing: Protecting and Providing Museum
- Access & Accessibility: Resource Discovery, Metadata, and Domain

David Bearman, Conference Chair, dbear@pgh.net
or fax them to Archives & Museum Informatics at 412-683-7366

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


<38:39>From steindor@rhi.hi.is Mon Oct 21 07:11:07 1996

Date: Mon, 21 Oct 1996 12:15:08 +0000
To: darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu
From: steindor@rhi.hi.is (Steindor J. Erlingsson)
Subject: Yellow Fat Refernce

Dear All

Can anyone help me locate article(s) by William E. Castle on yellow fat
mutation in rabbits( it/they are most likely written around 1930). This
mutation is recessive and in homozygote condition makes the fat in rabbits


Steindor J. Erlingsson
MS student
Science Institude
University of Iceland


<38:40>From dherring@vt.edu Mon Oct 21 11:30:39 1996

Date: Mon, 21 Oct 1996 12:30:32 -0400
To: Darwin-L@raven.cc.ukans.edu
From: dherring@vt.edu (David Herring)
Subject: Earthworms

After recently reading an excerpt from Darwin's /The Formation of Vegetable
Mould, through the Action of Worms, with Observations on Their Habits/ I was
fascinated by how much these small terrestial creatures are capable of, and
further research into the subject prompted me to start a worm bed.  I have
only had it short time now, but find that with patience the worms are
incredible to watch as the devour much of my kitchen wastes and turn it into
fresh fertile soil.

I was wondering if anyone else might also have a worm bed and would be able
to describe some of what they have noticed.  For example what type of foods
the like best, or how much moisture they prefer in the soil.  I have read
some information that I found on the world wide web, but I would still be
interested in any personal observations people have made.
David J. Herring


<38:41>From RMBURIAN@VTVM1.CC.VT.EDU Tue Oct 22 20:53:11 1996

Date: Tue, 22 Oct 96 21:47:02 EDT
From: "Richard M. Burian" <RMBURIAN@VTVM1.CC.VT.EDU>
Subject: Yellow fat in rabbits?
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

This is a reply to Steindor Erlingsson's inquiry about Casstle on the
mutation in rabbits which, when homozygous, results in yellow fat.
I cannot supply specific references, but Castle published a monograph
in 1930 at Harvard University Press entitled "The Genetics of Domestic
Rabbits."  And every year from something like 1907 to 1940 he published
a reoport in the Yearbook of the Carnegie Institution on his Investiga-
tions in mammalian genetics.  From at least 1909 forward there are
frequent accounts of his work with rabbits.  It should be possible (if
you can get to a long run of this yearbook) to track down the exact
references you seek.

Richard Burian
Virginia Tech


<38:42>From nnsg@nhm.ac.uk Thu Oct 24 12:14:42 1996

Date: Thu, 24 Oct 1996 18:18:33 PDT
From: Nancy Giles <nnsg@nhm.ac.uk>
Subject: Down House message
To: darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu

Dear Darwin list,

I received your address from Oliver Curry at the London
School of Economics evolutionist newsletter (Darwin
Seminars). May I put a message on your mailing list about
the current restoration of Darwin's Down House which is
progressing? Can you tell me a little about you and your
Darwin list?  I am new to the e-mail world but I need to
spread word about Down House as widely as possible
internationally to all those who have an affinity to
Charles Darwin.  I need to do this fast as my work for
Down House is about to end.  We have a www page (soon to be
updated.  It is on

I have just sent a message to you to try to subscribe.


Nancy Giles
The Down House Appeal
The Natural History Museum
Cromwell Road
London SW7 5BD England
Tel (44 171) 938 8786
Fax (44 171) 938 9002
e-mail:  n.giles@nhm.ac.uk


<38:43>From tg0jmf1@corn.cso.niu.edu Thu Oct 24 21:26:13 1996

Date: Thu, 24 Oct 1996 21:25:59 -0500 (CDT)
From: J M Fritzman <tg0jmf1@corn.cso.niu.edu>
Subject: Mid-South CFP
To: critical-theory@uci.edu, CRITMASS@ac.dal.ca, crtnet@psuvm.bitnet,
        darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu, deep-ecology@think.net,



                       University of Memphis
                     February 28 - March 1, 1997

     The 21st annual Mid-South Philosophy Conference is scheduled for
Friday afternoon and Saturday, February 28 - March 1, at the University
of Memphis.  Papers on any topic of philosophic interest are welcome. 
Papers are limited to 12 double-spaced pages.  Send THREE printed copies
as well as a copy in WordPerfect or ASCII format on a computer diskette. 
All copies must include a 100-word abstract, the paper's title, author's
name, institutional affiliation, mailing address, telephone number, and
email address.  Papers which do not meet these guidelines will not be
considered.  Send submissions to:

          Professor James B. Sauer
          Department of Philosophy
          Saint Mary's University
          One Camino Santa Maria
          San Antonio
          TX  78228-8566

     Papers must be submitted by JANUARY 4.  Papers will be reviewed by
a committee, and notification of acceptance will be made in late
January.  Each paper will have a commentator.  Those interested in
commenting should notify Professor Sauer no later than January 24 of
availability and areas of interest.  Professor Sauer's email address is
philjim@stmarytx.edu and his telephone number is 210-431-6860.

     Professor Jean Grondin of the University of Montreal will be the
keynote speaker.  Funding for the keynote speaker is provided by the
University of Memphis Center for the Humanities, directed by Professor
Thomas Nenon.

     Professor Nenon has reserved rooms for Friday (2/28) and Saturday
(3/1) at the Holiday Inn Midtown on 1837 Union Avenue, a ten minute
drive from campus.  The room rate is $59.00 per night.  Make
reservations directly; the hotel's telephone number is 901-278-4100. 
The airport shuttle goes to the hotel for ten dollars.

     Please encourage undergraduate students to attend and submit papers
to the University of Memphis UNDERGRADUATE PHILOSOPHY CONFERENCE, which
will be running parallel sessions.  Papers may be on any area of
philosophy.  Papers are limited to 12 double-spaced pages (preference
will be given to well-focused shorter papers).  Papers must be submitted
by January 24; review of submissions will begin on January 13.  Send TWO
printed copies with a 100-word abstract to:  Undergraduate Philosophy
Club, Department of Philosophy, University of Memphis, Memphis, TN
38152.  Include a telephone number or email address.

     The Mid-South Philosophy Conference is supported and underwritten
by the Philosophy Department and Center for the Humanities of the
University of Memphis, as well as by the Philosophy Department and
Institute of Liberal Arts of Oklahoma City University.  Visit



<38:44>From junger@pdj2-ra.F-REMOTE.CWRU.Edu Sat Oct 26 13:31:54 1996

To: Darwin-L <Darwin-L@raven.cc.ukans.edu>
Subject: bionomics
Date: Sat, 26 Oct 1996 14:34:23 -0400
From: "Peter D. Junger" <junger@pdj2-ra.F-REMOTE.CWRU.Edu>

I have just come across a web page dedicated to the rather
unfortunately named subject ``bionomics''.  It is the homepage of
The Bionomics Institute.  The URL is:


Bionomics seems to be a peculiar combination of palaetiological common
sense and technocapitalistic apologetics.

Here is a quotation from the beginning of the What is Bionomics Web
Page (URL: http://www.bionomics.org/text/insttute/whatis.html):

              Bionomics is a fundamentally new way of thinking about
              the economy. Several questions about the basic tenets of
              bionomics keep coming up, so I'll try to provide some
              succinct answers.

              How does Bionomics differ from
              conventional economics?

              To begin with, all traditional schools of economics are
              based on the concepts of classical physics, while
              bionomics is based on the principles of evolutionary
              biology. Isaac Newton described the universe as a
              perfectly predictable clockwork mechanism. And orthodox
              economics describes the "economy as a machine." Everyday,
              we hear about "jump-starting" or "fine-tuning" the
              "economic engine." We're told that the "economy is losing
              steam" or that the government needs to repair a failed
              "market mechanism." Like Charlie Chaplin in Modern Times,
              deep down we imagine ourselves as cogs in a vast,
              invisible economic machine.

              Bionomics rejects "economy as
              machine" thinking?

              Absolutely. Instead, Bionomics says that an economy is
              like an "evolving ecosystem." A modern market economy is
              like a tropical rainforest, populated by vast numbers of
              highly specialized organizations instead of highly
              specialized organisms. They're all linked together in an
              incredibly complex web of competitive and cooperative
              relationships. Each company works to survive in its market
              niche just as each individual organism works to survive in
              its ecologic niche.

Has anyone discussed this subject on Darwin-L?  Would someone like to
discuss it?

I must confess that I do not know what to make of it.  I quite agree
with their critique of ordinary economics; but I do not see how an
evolutionary approach that focuses on ``companies'' is likely to have
much explanatory power about the world we live in, or even the subset
of that world that is traditionally covered by economics.

Peter D. Junger--Case Western Reserve University Law School--Cleveland, OH
Internet:  junger@pdj2-ra.f-remote.cwru.edu    junger@samsara.law.cwru.edu
		     URL:  http://samsara.law.cwru.edu


<38:45>From ahouse@hydra.rose.brandeis.edu Fri Oct 25 12:55:25 1996

Date: Fri, 25 Oct 1996 13:54:33 -0400
To: darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu (Darwin List)
From: "Jeremy C. Ahouse" <ahouse@hydra.rose.brandeis.edu>
Subject: alas

The london times internet edition - available via

Oct 25. In World news tells us that (note the name of the reporter!?!);

Pope places some faith in Darwin's theory of evolution


THE Pope risked the wrath of the religious Right yesterday by declaring
that Darwin's theory of evolution was compatible with Christian faith. In a
message to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, which advises the Vatican on
scientific matters, the Pope said the theory of natural selection was "more
than just a hypothesis".

The Pope, who appears fully recovered from his appendix operation two weeks
ago, was responding to requests for clarification from the 80-member
Academy, which is holding its 60th anniversary meeting on "Evolution And
The Origins Of Life".

Darwin's theories, as formulated in Origin Of Species By Natural Selection
and The Descent Of Man led to bitter controversy in the late 19th century,
with leading churchmen denouncing them as incompatible with the account
given in Genesis.

Pope Pius XII broached the subject in 1950 in his encyclical Humani
Generis, indicating that the Church should not reject Darwin's "serious
hypothesis" out of hand. But he said that it could be misused by Communist
"dialectical materialists" whose aim was "to remove any notion of God from
people's minds".

Pope John Paul II went further than Pius XII yesterday, saying: "It is
noteworthy that the theory of evolution has progressively taken root in the
minds of researchers following a series of discoveries in different

He added: "The convergence, neither sought nor provoked, of results of
studies undertaken independently from each other in itself constitutes a
significant argument in favour of the theory [of evolution]."

The Pope appeared to side step the vexed theological question of whether,
if the theory of evolution from apes and Australopithecus afarensis through
Neanderthal man to Homo sapiens is correct, creatures before modern man had

But he said that, whatever man's origins, his soul was a divine creation,
declaring: "If the human body has its origin in pre-existing living matter,
the spiritual soul is immediately created by God." No theory was acceptable
which held that the spirit emerged from "the forces of living material".

Marghareta Hack, a leading Italian astronomer, said the pronouncement was
an important step "because for the first time the Church is accepting
evolution as a proven fact".

Francesco Barone, a scientific philosopher, told Il Messaggero that, after
Galileo's rehabilitation, acceptance of evolutionary theory was the latest
in a series of steps which were "mending the tears" in the Church's
relationship with science.

Opposition to Darwinism remains staunch in the American Bible Belt.


        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


<38:46>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Mon Oct 28 00:06:41 1996

Date: Mon, 28 Oct 1996 01:05:57 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: Re: Earthworms
To: darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

In reply to David Herring's recent message about Darwin's earthworm book
(_On the Formation of Vegetable Mould_ etc.), permit me a bit of frivolity
in the form of a wonderful poem by e. e. cummings that came to mind when
I read David's message.  It has nothing to do with the historical sciences,
but I couldn't resist.

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


  nobody loses all the time

  i had an uncle named
  Sol who was a born failure and
  nearly everybody said he should have gone
  into vaudeville perhaps because my Uncle Sol could
  sing McCann He Was A Diver on Xmas Eve like Hell Itself which
  may or may not account for the fact that my Uncle

  Sol indulged in that possibly most inexcusable
  of all to use a highfalootin phrase
  luxuries that is or to
  wit farming and be
  it needlessly

  my Uncle Sol's farm
  failed because the chickens
  ate the vegetables so
  my Uncle Sol had a
  chicken farm till the
  skunks ate the chickens when
  my Uncle Sol
  had a skunk farm but
  the skunks caught cold and
  died and so
  my Uncle Sol imitated the
  skunks in a subtle manner

  or by drowning himself in the watertank
  but somebody who'd given my Uncle Sol a Victor
  Victrola and records while he lived presented to
  him upon the auspicious occasion of his decease a
  scrumptious not to mention splendiferous funeral with
  tall boys in black golves and flowers and everything and

  i remember we all cried like the Missouri
  when my Uncle Sol's coffin lurched because
  somebody pressed a button
  (and down went
  my Uncle

  and started a worm farm)



<38:47>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu Mon Oct 28 23:50:27 1996

Date: Tue, 29 Oct 1996 00:51:07 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: Smithsonian Institution Fellowships (fwd)
To: darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

Date: Mon, 28 Oct 1996 10:38:38 -0500 (EST)
From: Pamela Hudson <OASBB001@SIVM.SI.EDU>
Subject: 1997 Smithsonian Institution Fellowship Program
To: darwin@iris.uncg.edu

Please forward to appropriate lists and individuals.

Apologies for any cross-posting.

The Smithsonian Institution encourages access to its
collections, staff specialties, and reference resources by
visiting scholars, scientists, and students.  The
Institution offers in-residence appointments for research
and study using its facilities, and the advice and guidance
of its staff members.


The Smithsonian Institution offers fellowships for research
and study in fields which are actively pursued by the
museums and research organizations of the Institution.

At present these fields are:

     Animal behavior, ecology, and environmental
       science, including an emphasis on the tropics
     Anthropology, including archaeology,
     Astrophysics and astronomy
     Earth sciences and paleobiology
     Evolutionary and systematic biology
     History of science and technology
     History of art, especially American, contemporary,
      African, and Asian art, twentieth-century
      American crafts, and decorative arts
     Social and cultural history of the United States

POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWSHIPS are offered to scholars who have
held the degree or equivalent for less than seven years.
SENIOR FELLOWSHIPS are offered to scholars who have held the
degree or equivalent for seven years or more.  The term is 3
to 12 months.  Both fellowships offer a stipend of $25,000
per year plus allowances.

PREDOCTORAL FELLOWSHIPS are offered to doctoral candidates
who have completed preliminary course work and examinations.
Candidates must have the approval of their universities to
conduct doctoral research at the Smithsonian Institution.
The term is 3 to 12 months. The stipend is $14,000 per year
plus allowances.

GRADUATE STUDENT FELLOWSHIPS are offered to students
formally enrolled in a graduate program of study, who have
completed at least one semester, and not yet have been
advanced to candidacy if in a Ph.D. Program. The term is 10
weeks; the stipend is $3,000.

These fellowships support research in residence at all
Smithsonian facilities except the Smithsonian Astrophysical
Observatory (see below).

Postmark deadline for submission - January 15, 1997

Stipends are prorated for periods of less than twelve


Applicants interested in conducting research at the
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory should write to the
Office of the Director, Smithsonian Astrophysical
Observatory, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA  02138 for
program information, application materials, and deadlines.

Fellowship Applications, supporting materials, and
information on other Smithsonian Institution fellowhsip and
internship programs can be retrieved at the following
address (but they must be submitted by postal mail):


or by contacting:

          Office of Fellowships and Grants
          Smithsonian Institution
          955 L'Enfant Plaza, Suite 7000
          Washington, D.C. 20560
          (202) 287-3271
          E-mail:  siofg@sivm.si.edu
                    (Please include mailing
                     address for requested

Pamela E. Hudson, Academic Programs Specialist
Office of Fellowships and Grants        Smithsonian Institution
oasbb001@sivm.si.edu                      phone: (202) 287-3271


<38:48>From bayla@pbfreenet.seflin.lib.fl.us Mon Oct 28 04:02:27 1996

Date: Mon, 28 Oct 1996 05:01:10 -0500 (EST)
From: Bayla Singer <bayla@pbfreenet.seflin.lib.fl.us>
Subject: Re: bionomics
To: darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu

I haven't looked at the "bionomics" web page or other material, but the
notion of economics being related to ecology is not new.  Indeed, both
words are derived from the same root, <oikos>, the household.

I don't think it's particularly new, or off-the-wall, to explore the
behavior and fate of firms (companies) from an evolutionary perspective. 
As surely as we speak of "fine-tuning the economic engine," we also speak
of "niche marketing," "diversification," and of course "competition."

My own field, the history of technology, commonly uses the ecological/
evolutionary perspective to set technological development in its social
context (broadly defined).

--Bayla    bayla@pbfreenet.seflin.lib.fl.us


<38:49>From tbh@tesser.com Mon Oct 28 18:25:38 1996

Date: Mon, 28 Oct 1996 17:29:42 -0700
To: darwin-l@raven.cc.ukans.edu
From: tbh@tesser.com (T. Harms)
Subject: Re: bionomics

Peter D. Junger, you wrote

>I have just come across a web page dedicated to the rather
>unfortunately named subject ``bionomics''.  ...
>Bionomics seems to be a peculiar combination of palaetiological common
>sense and technocapitalistic apologetics.   ...
>Has anyone discussed this subject on Darwin-L?  Would someone like to
>discuss it?

I am interested in discussing it.

>I must confess that I do not know what to make of it.  I quite agree
>with their critique of ordinary economics; but I do not see how an
>evolutionary approach that focuses on ``companies'' is likely to have
>much explanatory power about the world we live in, or even the subset
>of that world that is traditionally covered by economics.

The explanatory opportunity looks straightforward to me.  I suspect that
they err in some specifics such as their choice of units-of-selection, but
I don't think those errors greatly cloud the general insight that selection
theory brings to economics.

Tracy Bruce Harms
Boulder, Colorado

Darwin-L Message Log 38: 21-49 -- October 1996                              End

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