From: Scott Chase (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Thu 05 Feb 2004 - 02:07:46 GMT
>From: M Lissack <email@example.com>
>Subject: Re: New JoM-EMIT paper: Evolution of Language and Science Studied
>by ... by Ekstig
>Date: Tue, 3 Feb 2004 05:33:02 -0800 (PST)
>I am confused:
>in this paper the author states "The present model
>shares central ideas with universal Darwinism in as
>much as it points out mechanisms common to both the
>biological and cultural realms of evolution. In so
>doing it also demonstrates the explanatory power of
>the notion of the meme, since symbols and concepts, as
>typical memes, are the cornerstones of culture. "
>There is NOTHING in the paper which does anything to
>demonstrate the explanatory power of the meme. Not
>the author's explanation is even worse "Selection in
>particular is commonly regarded as the decisive cause
>of scientific progress." how does he back this up?
>he does not. he ignores Kuhn and every study of
I'm a Popper partisan myself.
>How does this make it past reviewers?
One thing striking me as curious after a first glance is the author's usage of the term "condensation" which if I'm not mistaken is allied with the discredited theory of recapitulation championed by Haeckel and others. I'll have to re-read Gould's _Ontogeny and Phylogeny_ sometime, but I'm not sure if I'd put all my eggs in this basket, though if removed from its misuse in biological evolution, it *might* work in the cases the author is emphasizing. Kinda strange to take something that doesn't seem workable in modern biology and apply it by analogy to another field. I can't recall either the concepts of terminal addition or condensation as having much merit, going the way of the recapitulation dinosaur.
Yet, it is nice to see somebody with developmentalist biases. Maybe I'll get
the cobwebs outta my noggin for this one.
>--- Bruce Edmonds <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> > The Evolution of Language and
> > Science Studied
> > by means of Biological
> > Concepts
> > by Börje Ekstig
> > Abstract
> > 1. Introduction
> > 2. The Pattern
> > 3. Condensation
> > 4. Parallels in Cultural Evolution
> > 5. The Evolution of Language
> > 6. The Evolution of Science
> > 7. Summary
> > References
> > Abstract
> > This study examines certain mechanisms underlying
> > the evolution of
> > language and science -- including mathematics --
> > using concepts
> > developed in the field of biological evolution.
> > Developmental processes
> > are particularly emphasized. Analysis of
> > developmental processes,
> > processes such as human embryonic development,
> > children’s verbal
> > development, and adolescents’ scientific conceptual
> > development reveals
> > the unifying principle referred to as "condensation"
> > -- the successive
> > shortening of developmental stages. The mechanism of
> > condensation is
> > coupled to the rate of evolutionary change.
> > The analysis examines the applicability of the
> > concept of the meme.
> > Regarding the evolution of language, we suggest a
> > cooperative
> > combination of genetic and memetic replication;
> > while early on in the
> > evolution of science only memetic replication is
> > envisaged.
> > Key words: Evolution, development, memes, cultural
> > evolution, language,
> > science, mathematics.
> > Available at:
> > http://jom-emit.cfpm.org/2004/vol8/ekstig_b.html
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