Re: Logic + universal evolution

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Fri Aug 10 2001 - 05:26:50 BST

  • Next message: Dace: "Re: Logic + universal evolution"

    Received: by id FAA12505 (8.6.9/5.3[ref] for from; Fri, 10 Aug 2001 05:29:30 +0100
    X-Originating-IP: []
    From: "Scott Chase" <>
    Subject: Re: Logic + universal evolution
    Date: Fri, 10 Aug 2001 00:26:50 -0400
    Content-Type: text/plain; format=flowed
    Message-ID: <>
    X-OriginalArrivalTime: 10 Aug 2001 04:26:50.0335 (UTC) FILETIME=[ACCFBEF0:01C12154]
    Precedence: bulk

    >From: John Wilkins <wilkins@wehi.EDU.AU>
    >Subject: Re: Logic + universal evolution
    >Date: Fri, 10 Aug 2001 09:53:34 +1000
    >On Thursday, August 9, 2001, at 10:50 PM, Chris Taylor wrote:
    >>Do we mean evolution as in a literal 'coming out of what preceded', or
    >>do we mean biological evolution based on differential reproductive
    >>success (which would, as Wade says, be a complete misapplication)?
    >The term "evolution" derives from the Latin word for the unfolding of a
    >scroll, and it was used in the epigenesis/preformationist generational
    >debates in the late middle ages through to the 18th century to mean
    So evolution and development are tightly intertwined?
    >Buffon's view of transmutation of species was a degenerational one -
    >each species in a genus bar at most one was a degeneration from the
    >"prime stock" or "primary stem" (premiere souche). His pupil and friend
    >Lamarck applied a *generational* view to species transmutation, but
    >because he thought it was an internal impulse or drive that caused it,
    >he used the term "evolution", which Geoffroy, *his* pupil, carried on
    >into the 19th century debates.
    So Lamarck actually did utilize the word "evolution"? Can you square this
    with what Richard Burkhardt says in his intro to Lamarck's _Zoological
    Philosophy_ (1984. The University of Chicago Press. Chicago.)? On page xxii
    Burkhardt writes:

    (bq) "Lamarck never used the word "evolution" to refer to the process of the
    origin and successive transformation and development of organic beings over
    time. Nor for that matter did he use the word "transformism"." (eq)
    >By the time Darwin wrote the Origin, the term was tied up closely in
    >Spencer's, Geoffroy's and Robert Grant's notion of transmutation, which
    >Darwin sought to evade. He did not use the word "evolution" in the
    >modern sense in his first edition, although by the third, IIRC, he was
    >effectively forced to by common usage. He preferred "transmutation", and
    >"common descent" or "descent with modification" to express his ideas.
    >Interestingly, the word "evolution" was used independently by geologists
    >and mineralogists, and by astronomers. The term "stellar evolution"
    >predates the biological sense, and in this case it is appropriate.
    >RA Fisher started his _Genetical Theory_ with the sentence "Evolution is
    >not Natural Selection", an d it is a point worth recalling from time to
    Kudos to that. Evolution, in the biological sense, is changes in proportions
    of allelic frequencies within a population over time OR heritable changes in
    a population over time. Evolution is not equal to selection, which is but
    *a* possible way these changes may have taken place. Selection is important,
    but not a monopoly.

    Pluralism rears its ugly head, but AFAICT MR need not apply. To quote Gould,
    the pluralistic hedonist, himself on this (from "Kropotkin was no crackpot"
    as found in _Bully for Brontosaurus_, 1992, paperback edition, W.W. Norton &
    Company, New York, p. 339):

    (bq) "I see no evidence for Teilhard's noosphere, for Capra's California
    style of holism, for Sheldrake's morphic resonance"(eq)

    Has anybody spoke to the infamous 100th monkey phenomenon yet?

    Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at

    This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
    Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
    For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Fri Aug 10 2001 - 05:33:49 BST