Evolutionary Concepts: Natural Selection and Patrick Matthew

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Jul 10, 2011, 1:23:44 PM7/10/11
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http://www.amazon.co.uk/Evolutionary-Concepts-Nineteenth-Century-Selection/dp/1858213568/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1310318307&sr=1-6

Evolutionary Concepts in the Nineteenth Century: Natural Selection and
Patrick Matthew

It is a long-held distortion of scientific history which claims that
evolution by natural selection was a scientific innovation first
promulgated by Charles Darwin. It has been a popular, yet spurious,
myth in England for so long that the name of the great man has become
synonymous with Evolution itself. But nearly thirty years before
Darwin, a Scottish gentleman farmer and fruit-grower, Patrick Matthew,
had detailed in his book, Naval Timber and Arboriculture (1831), the
basic principle underlying what came to be termed Darwinism. In this
completely revised and updated edition of this definitive work on
Matthew, Mr Dempster sets the record straight - on Matthew, on Darwin,
on Lamarck and on Cuvier. Dempster shows that Darwin never used the
word Evolution. The true founder of Evolution was Lamarck and the true
origin of the principle of natural selection lies with Matthew.
Matthew was not only a scholar, with an original and enquiring mind,
rooted in the traditions of the Scottish Enlightenment, but also was a
practical man, having long experience as a commercial grower with the
techniques of improving fruit-tree stock by selection. He brought a
distinctive Scottish contribution to the development of scientific
thought which has been almost overlooked by history.

=== Notes ===
natural competitive selection - 1831 Matthews
natural means of selection - Matthews

natural selection - Darwin contracted to ns to avoid giving credit to
Matthew from where he lifted the idea while reading his book on the
Beagle.

NS is actually Democritus atomism . Replace natural with atom: atom
competitive selection.

Arkalen

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Jul 10, 2011, 1:30:48 PM7/10/11
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On 10/07/11 18:23, backspace wrote:
> http://www.amazon.co.uk/Evolutionary-Concepts-Nineteenth-Century-Selection/dp/1858213568/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1310318307&sr=1-6
>
> Evolutionary Concepts in the Nineteenth Century: Natural Selection and
> Patrick Matthew

Who cares about evolutionary concepts in the Nineteenth Century ? This
is the twenty-first, or had you missed that ?

History lessons are fascinating but their relevance to current
scientific theories is limited.

Atoms are selected in many different contexts, crystallization and
biochemistry are the more obvious examples, but I can't imagine why one
would describe this process as "competitive".

And of course that has nothing to do with natural selection in the
context of the theory of evolution.

Boikat

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Jul 10, 2011, 2:27:08 PM7/10/11
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On Jul 10, 12:23 pm, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
> http://www.amazon.co.uk/Evolutionary-Concepts-Nineteenth-Century-Sele...

If you like, you can start a movement to change "Darwinism" to
"Matthewsism". Will that make you happy?

Boikat

Nathan Levesque

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Jul 10, 2011, 5:12:42 PM7/10/11
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I thought Darwin's legacy was producing one of the earliest, and more
importantly, the arguably most comprehensive argument for a collection
of principles, namely natural selection.

Mitchell Coffey

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Jul 10, 2011, 8:20:11 PM7/10/11
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On 7/10/2011 1:23 PM, backspace wrote:
[snip]

> === Notes ===
> natural competitive selection - 1831 Matthews
> natural means of selection - Matthews
>
> natural selection - Darwin contracted to ns to avoid giving credit to
> Matthew from where he lifted the idea while reading his book on the
> Beagle.

What evidence do you have that while on the Beagle Darwin read Matthews'
book on growing trees for the Royal Navy?

> NS is actually Democritus atomism . Replace natural with atom: atom
> competitive selection.
>

Actually, replace natural with atom and you get "atom selection." Also,
no honest person can say that natural selection is the same as
Democritus' atomism.

Mitchell Coffey

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Jul 11, 2011, 1:45:07 AM7/11/11
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On Jul 10, 10:12 pm, Nathan Levesque <nathanmleves...@gmail.com>
wrote:

darwin credited Aristotle with ns , he wrote how aristotle pre-
conceived of the concept. If you carefully read what , patrick
matthew , james hutton and others during 18th/19th century wrote you
will see that they all merely reformulated aristotle, codifying for
aristotle's tautology with the following terms:

natural competitive selection
natural means of selection
natural preservation (darwins preferred term)
survival of the fittest.

The theme is that the good atom/rabbit/human are better adapted then
the bad atom with the premise that the universe had no beginning.
Democritus believed the universe was eternal, thus he did not have to
explain how the good/bad atoms came into existence in the first place.

aristotle in turn reformulated democritus tautology. tautologies
allows one to come to any non-sequitur conclusion.

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Jul 11, 2011, 2:19:57 AM7/11/11
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On Jul 11, 1:20 am, Mitchell Coffey <mitchelldotcof...@gmail.com>
wrote:

> On 7/10/2011 1:23 PM, backspace wrote:
> [snip]
>
> > === Notes ===
> > natural competitive selection - 1831  Matthews
> > natural means of selection  - Matthews
>
> > natural selection - Darwin contracted to ns to avoid giving credit to
> > Matthew from where he lifted the idea while reading his book on the
> > Beagle.
>
> What evidence do you have that while on the Beagle Darwin read Matthews'
> book on growing trees for the Royal Navy?

matthews book was on tree/wood production, it was required reading.
back then getting wood for naval ships was a matter
of survival for the British empire. the purpose of the beagle trip was
to get wood/trees, they did not go for a joy ride. darwin claimed he
was the ships naturalist, which is a lie, the ships doctor was the
naturalist. darwin's purpose was to provide company to the captain who
would otherwise be alone , not able to socialize with the lower caste
sailors. Darwin lied about these facts.

David Hare-Scott

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Jul 11, 2011, 2:49:33 AM7/11/11
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Assuming for the purpose of discusion this is all true what are the
consequences of it? In what way (other than historical interest ) does it
matter?

David

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Jul 11, 2011, 3:53:49 AM7/11/11
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On Jul 11, 7:49 am, "David Hare-Scott" <sec...@nospam.com> wrote:
> backspace wrote:
> >http://www.amazon.co.uk/Evolutionary-Concepts-Nineteenth-Century-Sele...

It matters because Wilkins in his latest journal paper and blog post
used 'Darwin' and 'natural selection' in the same context.
What is he talking about? I also want to know what Darwin's
ideas(hutton, lamarck, democritus, aristotle, buffon) has got to do
with the partial differential equations that describe the flagellum
movement and its neural network PID control algorithms.

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Jul 11, 2011, 4:17:20 AM7/11/11
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Or for that matter Buffon or Buffonism, because Darwin understood
French and extensively plagiarized his works. Osborne Quoted DArwin in
one of his letters trying to explain the remarkable similarities
between him and Baffon '..... large sections of my and Baffon's works
are *laughably* the same......'.

Yes, Darwin actually wrote laughably!

Pz Myers again referred to Darwin in one of his blog posts. There is a
strange type of mental block , if we are referring to Darwin and it
can be shown that DArwin in turn ''laughably'' had written sections
with striking resemblance to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georges-Louis_Leclerc,_Comte_de_Buffon,
should we not rather refer to Buffon instead?

What we must determine is in what way did a French man in 1760 explain
the PID flight control algorithms of a virus as it makes a rocket
reverse thruster type descent.

Viruses implement math algorithms to coordinate their movements. Every
single biological machine is implementing some sort of mathematical
algorithm or PID control loop.

As put forth on my wiki , the question actually goes back to Aristotle
and Democritus, the ideas we are really dealing with , reformulated
using volitional type language i.e. selection, evolution etc.
Everybody tries to impose a meaning on 'selection' instead of
understanding that it was a proxy for Malthus competition between
species, which in turn is an extension of the mythologies of Gods
slaying seemonsters as narrated by Gandalf the tribal wizard 3000B.C.
His ideas in turn were reformulated using many Deity's such as Osiris,
Dagon, Zeus etc.

The catholic church coopted the Fish God's hat and infused Aristotle
metaphysics into Xtianity with the mass. Greek philosophy under
Democritus took the fight between Gods and Seemonsters to be the fight
between atoms.

They all had a fire/water , black/white , yin/yang theme. Today we are
told about the fight between the 'alleles'. Problem though arrived
with genes as a cybernetic abstraction.


Arkalen

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Jul 11, 2011, 5:07:07 AM7/11/11
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Democritus was wrong. The Universe isn't eternal, and there are no
"good" or "bad" atoms, and atoms aren't systematically subjected to an
optimization process by virtue of their existence. (unless...
radioactive decay ? Okay, ONE optimization process. That works
differently from natural selection, as atoms don't replicate)

>
> aristotle in turn reformulated democritus tautology. tautologies
> allows one to come to any non-sequitur conclusion.
>

How could Democritus's statement be a tautology if it's false ? Which it
is ?

gdgu...@gmail.com

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Jul 11, 2011, 9:27:33 AM7/11/11
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In what by now is paleohistory, I took one anthropology course in
college. The professor was attempting to illustrate a special feature
of human language as compared with say, bird calls; our ability to
construct a sentence that has never been uttered before in all of
human history. "My, but she has lovely green hair" was his example,
back when human hair came in fewer colors.

Somehow I was just reminded of that.

Arkalen

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Jul 11, 2011, 9:38:45 AM7/11/11
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In the "you really looked hard for that silver lining, didn't you?"
category:

backspace

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Jul 11, 2011, 12:37:52 PM7/11/11
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http://scratchpad.wikia.com/wiki/Milton_Wain_collection_of_pre_Darwin_authors#Patric_Matthew_Tautology_1

However, we can get the gist of Matthew’s ideas from the following
passage quoted from On Naval Timbers by Wallace:

''..............As the field of existence is limited and preoccupied,
it is only the hardier, more robust, better-suited-to-circumstance
individuals who are able to struggle forward to maturity, these
inhabiting only the situations to which they have superior adaptation
and greater powers of occupancy than any other kind: the weaker and
less circumstance-suited being prematurely destroyed. This principle
is in constant action: it regulates the colour, the figure, the
capacities, and instincts; those individuals in each species whose
colour and covering are best suited to concealment or protection from
enemies, or defence from inclemencies or vicissitudes of climate,
whose figure is best accommodated to health, strength, defence, and
support: in such immense waste of primary and youthful life these only
come forward to maturity from the strict ordeal by which nature tests
their adaptation to her standard of perfection and fitness to continue
their kind of reproduction. ..................''


Matthew then goes on to show how this law “tends to the production of
almost uniform groups of individuals, which we term species.” No
wonder then that both Wallace and Darwin were so impressed by
Matthew’s work and had to concede, somewhat grudgingly on Darwin’s
part, that Matthew had beaten them both to the theory of natural
selection.

What then of the “cover up “? Why is the fact that Darwin and Wallace,
on their own admission, relinquished priority of the theory of natural
selection not generally known? Let us go back to the opening quote
from the letter which Darwin wrote to Lyell. Darwin spells Matthew’s
name wrong, but goes on to provide a clear admission of Matthew’s
priority. Firstly, there is no doubting the date of Matthew’s book,
1831, and the fact that his theory of natural selection appeared well
before the Darwin–Wallace papers presented at the famous meeting of
the Linnaean Society in 1858. Secondly, Darwin states that Matthew
“briefly but completely anticipates his own and Wallace’s
contribution. To add more emphasis to this point, Darwin states,” it
is certainly I think, a complete but not developed anticipation.” It
needs to be remembered that this letter appeared in 1860, only a year
after Darwin’s triumphant release of the On the Origin of Species.

backspace

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Jul 11, 2011, 12:57:44 PM7/11/11
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http://www.darwin-legend.org/html/Review-of-Dempsters-study-of-Patrick-Matthew.htm


Review of Dempster’s study of Patrick Matthew
Hiram Caton

W. J. Dempster. Natural Selection and Patrick Matthew. Evolutionary
Concepts in the Nineteenth Century. Edinburgh: Pentland Press. 1996
What selection means

This study rescues from obscurity the wealthy Scottish aboriculturist
who in 1831 devised the concept of natural selection as the mechanism
of species evolution. Not only is his concept very similar to Darwin’s
(as Darwin acknowledged), but like Darwin, Matthew derived it from
domestication experience. The key premise is the belief that the
structural and phenotype variation achieved by domestication proves
the mutability of species: there is no limit to the variation that may
be induced in a variety, given time and effort. Dempster shows that
this far-reaching theoretical position arose as an ‘obvious’
implication of the breeder’s experience. That breeding might achieve
just about any result was part of the shop talk of breeders,
expressing as it did a no-limits optimism. But then there was the
other side of the story: time and effort. In practice, breeders dealt
constantly with the persistence of the original type through the
permutations and combinations of dominance, reversion, back-crosses,
and hybridization. Marvellous things might be done with pigeons, but
breeders didn’t really believe in the possibility of a flightless or
four-legged pigeon. An acknowledged limiting condition, called
correlation of parts, was that selection for any trait generates
changes in other traits as well. Had this phenomenon been subjected to
insightful empirical tests, it would have refuted the idea that
domestic breeds are indefinitely variable. But breeders, as practical
men, lacked the wherewithal to devise theoretically informed tests of
heritability. This applies to the theoretically aware Matthew and
Darwin

Darwin did indeed conduct many breeding experiments, but he lacked the
theoretical sophistication to conceptualize them quantitatively. His
results thus amounted to little more than anecdotal glosses on
variation. Dempster highlights Darwin’s deficiency in this respect by
passing in review his reaction to the experiments of Gabriel Naudin
(1852). Naudin’s work highlighted particulate inheritance (later
confirmed by Mendel), but Darwin’s strong bias in favor of
‘gradualism’ prevented him from recognizing the importance of Naudin’s
work. It would have been relevant for Dempster to mention as well
Alfred Wallace’s response to Mendel’s discoveries when they finally
came to light: he dismissed them as of no relevance to evolution, and
did so in Darwin’s name as well as his own.

A very significant aspect of Dempster’s investigation (implicit in the
foregoing remarks) is the vast gulf between breeding practice and the
more formal knowledge of naturalists, botanists, zoologists,
paleontologists, and the like. He illustrates the gulf in the case of
Thomas Huxley and a few others. Their ignorance of breeding limited
their ability to evaluate Darwin’s arguments for evolution, which
depended heavily on evidence from domestication.

A prominent part of this study is Dempster’s rehabilitation of
Lamarckian theory from Darwin’s snide remarks and deprecations, and
the misrepresentation of his theory by a long string of theorists and
historians. The excuse for this excursion is Dempster’s attention to
Darwin’s heavy purchase on Lamarckism through his Pangenesis theory
and in the extensively revised fifth and sixth editions of Origin.
Wallace and Matthew, he points out, rejected Lamarckism without
qualification, but many other evolution theorists incorporated it in
one form or another. He points out that Darwin took Pangenesis from
Buffon. He omits mention of Darwin’s correspondence with Herbert
Spencer about the theory, relevant because Spencer also proposed a
version of Pangenesis.

There are some errors. Cuvier’s theory of successive appearances of
new taxa in the fossil record was interpreted by creationists as a
warrant for claiming successive moments of divine creation through
time, but, contra Dempster, Cuvier himself did not advocate this
position. He held instead to an empiricist stance that in the absence
of evidence no speculations should be advanced. Dempster also errors
in ridiculing Lord Kelvin’s dating of the age of the Earth to 30
million years. This dating was independently confirmed by Heinrich von
Helmholz and was accepted as warranted until the discovery of
radioactivity added a hitherto unknown energy source. It is also
incorrect to attribute an evolution theory to Mendel. He believed that
his two laws refuted Darwin by showing that the variability required
by his theory was contrary to fact.

The author’s discussion of the state of evolution theory in the
decades prior to the publication of the Origin is generally good,
particularly in his recognition of the importance of the work of
Edward Blyth. But he follows the crowd in dismissing the scientific
value of Chambers’ Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation. This
book went through numerous editions that were updated to take account
of new evidence, and this was done with the collaboration of three
established biologists. Dempster fails to acknowledge that Vestiges,
and its companion volume Explanations, set out very trenchant
arguments for a wholly naturalistic conception of natural phenomena
and of human origins. Indeed, far more trenchant than anything Darwin
wrote.

The Darwin fan club won't like this book. As Dempster notes with a
whiff of Schadenfreude, the commissars of orthodoxy strongly
discourage the faithful from reading the heretical sixth edition of
Origin. I add my own cynical smirk by noting that the sixth edition is
the one where Darwin changed the title from On the Origin of Species
to the now standard Origin of Species.

To sum up: Dempster shows that domestication evidence is essential for
understanding the selection concept used by Matthew and Darwin. He
doesn’t quite say so, but his exposition suggests that the evidential
value of Darwin’s long argument turns on the validity of his
understanding of domestication.

It is a pity that the sales rank of this book is so low.

gdgu...@gmail.com

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Jul 11, 2011, 1:13:28 PM7/11/11
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On Jul 11, 12:37 pm, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
> http://scratchpad.wikia.com/wiki/Milton_Wain_collection_of_pre_Darwin...

>
> However, we can get the gist of Matthew’s ideas from the following
> passage quoted from On Naval Timbers by Wallace:
>
> ''..............As the field of existence is limited and preoccupied,
> it is only the hardier, more robust, better-suited-to-circumstance
> individuals who are able to struggle forward to maturity, these
> inhabiting only the situations to which they have superior adaptation
> and greater powers of occupancy than any other kind: the weaker and
> less circumstance-suited being prematurely destroyed. This principle
> is in constant action: it regulates the colour, the figure, the
> capacities, and instincts;

Kind of looks like the Theory of Evolution was there to be found,
rather than the work of one bitter atheist. Did you have another point
to make?

Greg Guarino

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Jul 11, 2011, 2:25:57 PM7/11/11
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On Jul 11, 6:13�pm, "g...@risky-biz.com" <gdguar...@gmail.com> wrote:> > However, we can get the gist of Matthew�s ideas from the following

> > passage quoted from On Naval Timbers by Wallace:
>
> > ''..............As the field of existence is limited and preoccupied,
> > it is only the hardier, more robust, better-suited-to-circumstance
> > individuals who are able to struggle forward to maturity, these
> > inhabiting only the situations to which they have superior adaptation
> > and greater powers of occupancy than any other kind: the weaker and
> > less circumstance-suited being prematurely destroyed. This principle
> > is in constant action: it regulates the colour, the figure, the
> > capacities, and instincts;
>
> Kind of looks like the Theory of Evolution was there to be found,
> rather than the work of one bitter atheist. Did you have another point
> to make?

http://scratchpad.wikia.com/wiki/Milton_Wain_collection_of_pre_Darwin_authors#Matthew_Emigration_fields

''........What does Richard Dawkins have to say about Matthew? Dawkins
only reference to Matthew is to claim that he saw natural selection as
�a negative force only� (Dawkins, 2008), and he clearly sees no need
to dwell on the fact that both Darwin and Wallace admitted that
Matthew had priority on the theory of natural selection. In contrast,
the late Steven Jay Gould claimed that Matthew�s natural selection
refers to a positive, rather than negative, force (Gould, 2002). We
therefore have the two great evolutionary writers of our age at odds
over a fundamental point- was Matthew�s view of natural selection
positive or negative? ............''

A tautology allows one to come to any non-sequitur conclusion,
positive or negative.

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Jul 11, 2011, 3:34:29 PM7/11/11
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http://scratchpad.wikia.com/wiki/Milton_Wain_collection_of_pre_Darwin_authors#United_Services_Journal_on_Matthew

''..........In fact, there exists more than a hint that Darwin did, in
fact, read Matthew’s book. This hint revolves around the similarity of
language found in the two accounts of natural selection. Matthew
states: There is more beauty and utility of design in this continual
balancing of life to circumstances, and greater conformity to those
dispositions of nature which are manifest to us, than in the total
destruction and new creation. Now compare this with Darwin:

There is grandeur in this view of, with its several powers having been
originally breathed by the Creator into few forms or into one… Loren
Eisley, in his book on Darwin (Eisley, 1959) provides evidence that,
by 1844, Darwin was well aware of Matthew’s book; and that he took the
phrase “natural process of selection” from it and modified it to
“natural selection”. Although the term “selection” was used, by
Victorians, in relation to plant and animal breeding, I can find no
other reference to the use of a “natural process of selection”; as a
result, it cannot be said that Darwin modified a term that was already
in wide use. ......................''

Lets see now, we have:

Natural process of selection
Natural competitive selection
Natural means of selection.
Natural selection (contracted by Darwin, leaves out process ,
competitive or means)
Natural survival.
Natural preservation.
Survival of the fittest.

Reduces:
The natural means of selection was the good animal outwitting the bad
animal and thus dominating his ecological niche.

Democritus:
The natural means of atomic selection was the good atom outwitting the
bad atom and thus dominating his atomic niche.

These all are variations on the Malthus theme.

Robert Carnegie: Fnord: cc talk-origins@moderators.isc.org

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Jul 11, 2011, 6:27:24 PM7/11/11
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Surely the natural term for natural selection is "natural selection".
Thus it may have been chosen independently.

We have another alternative claim to Darwin's anyway, that of
Wallace. It doesn't matter very much who had the idea: it's whether
it appeals to other people by intellectual persuasion that counts.

David Hare-Scott

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Jul 11, 2011, 7:20:32 PM7/11/11
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> A tautology allows one to come to any non-sequitur conclusion,
> positive or negative.

The T word at last! I will collect my $64,000 at the cash window tomorrow
thanks.

D

David Hare-Scott

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Jul 11, 2011, 7:41:27 PM7/11/11
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I am astounded at your narrow vision. I would have expected you would also
be interested in the relationship between the nth roots of unity and the
roots of citrus trees. It's a lemon tree dear Watson.

D

John Stockwell

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Jul 12, 2011, 1:56:21 PM7/12/11
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> Evolutionary Concepts in the Nineteenth Century: Natural Selection and
> Patrick Matthew
>
> It is a long-held distortion of scientific history which claims that
> evolution by natural selection was a scientific innovation first
> promulgated by Charles Darwin. It has been a popular, yet spurious,
> myth in England for so long that the name of the great man has become
> synonymous with Evolution itself. But nearly thirty years before
> Darwin, a Scottish gentleman farmer and fruit-grower, Patrick Matthew,
> had detailed in his book, Naval Timber and Arboriculture (1831), the
> basic principle underlying what came to be termed Darwinism. In this
> completely revised and updated edition of this definitive work on
> Matthew, Mr Dempster sets the record straight - on Matthew, on Darwin,
> on Lamarck and on Cuvier. Dempster shows that Darwin never used the
> word Evolution. The true founder of Evolution was Lamarck and the true
> origin of the principle of natural selection lies with Matthew.
> Matthew was not only a scholar, with an original and enquiring mind,
> rooted in the traditions of the Scottish Enlightenment, but also was a
> practical man, having long experience as a commercial grower with the
> techniques of improving fruit-tree stock by selection. He brought a
> distinctive Scottish contribution to the development of scientific
> thought which has been almost overlooked by history.

All the more reason that you should accept the idea. Great minds think
alike.

-John

backspace

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Jul 12, 2011, 4:24:22 PM7/12/11
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On Jul 10, 6:30 pm, Arkalen <skiz...@yahoo.com> wrote:

> And of course that has nothing to do with natural selection in the
> context of the theory of evolution.

rephrase:
The concept with natural competitive selection in the context of the
theory of evolution - grammatically correct and meaningful in terms
of Malthusian theory.

The concept with natural selection in the context of the theory of
evolution - grammatically correct but meaningless.

backspace

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Jul 12, 2011, 4:26:50 PM7/12/11
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The way Spencer used the phrase Theory of Evolution in 1852 in
Leader magazine indicates that it wasn't the first usage or coined by
him. ToE was a different term for Prof. Owen's Doctrine of
Derivation.

Darwin lifted ToE from Spencer and others ,leading to the widespread
delusion that Darwin coined ToE - he didn't.

Free Lunch

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Jul 12, 2011, 4:45:04 PM7/12/11
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On Tue, 12 Jul 2011 13:24:22 -0700 (PDT), in talk.origins
backspace <steph...@gmail.com> wrote in
<0544bd81-2b8e-461d...@t9g2000vbs.googlegroups.com>:

Are you still confusing yourself about the difference between grammar
and physical reality? You are not the only one who can form many
grammatically correct sentences that have either no content to them at
all or are shown to be false by logic or physical evidence.

DanaTweedy

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Jul 12, 2011, 7:37:01 PM7/12/11
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On 7/11/11 12:19 AM, backspace wrote:
> On Jul 11, 1:20 am, Mitchell Coffey<mitchelldotcof...@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> On 7/10/2011 1:23 PM, backspace wrote:
>> [snip]
>>
>>> === Notes ===
>>> natural competitive selection - 1831 Matthews
>>> natural means of selection - Matthews
>>
>>> natural selection - Darwin contracted to ns to avoid giving credit to
>>> Matthew from where he lifted the idea while reading his book on the
>>> Beagle.
>>
>> What evidence do you have that while on the Beagle Darwin read Matthews'
>> book on growing trees for the Royal Navy?
>
> matthews book was on tree/wood production, it was required reading.

Required by whom?

> back then getting wood for naval ships was a matter
> of survival for the British empire.

Yes, but Darwin wasn't in the Royal Navy.

> the purpose of the beagle trip was
> to get wood/trees, they did not go for a joy ride.


No, the purpose of the trip was to chart the waters off South America.
They weren't looking for trees.

> darwin claimed he
> was the ships naturalist, which is a lie, the ships doctor was the
> naturalist.

Darwin didn't make that claim, and he did act as the naturalist, as the
ship's doctor chose not to spend his time that way.


> darwin's purpose was to provide company to the captain who
> would otherwise be alone , not able to socialize with the lower caste
> sailors. Darwin lied about these facts.

Darwin didn't lie about that. You are mistaken.


DJT

Ray Martinez

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Jul 12, 2011, 8:10:36 PM7/12/11
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On Jul 10, 11:19 pm, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Jul 11, 1:20 am, Mitchell Coffey <mitchelldotcof...@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> > On 7/10/2011 1:23 PM, backspace wrote:
> > [snip]
>
> > > === Notes ===
> > > natural competitive selection - 1831  Matthews
> > > natural means of selection  - Matthews
>
> > > natural selection - Darwin contracted to ns to avoid giving credit to
> > > Matthew from where he lifted the idea while reading his book on the
> > > Beagle.
>
> > What evidence do you have that while on the Beagle Darwin read Matthews'
> > book on growing trees for the Royal Navy?
>
> matthews book was on tree/wood production, it was required reading.
> back then getting wood for naval ships was a matter
> of survival for the British empire. the purpose of the beagle trip was
> to get wood/trees,....

It was a mapping/surveying voyage. And like most voyages they had to
deliver and pick up certain things.

> ....they did not go for a joy ride. darwin claimed he


> was the ships naturalist, which is a lie, the ships doctor was the
> naturalist. darwin's purpose was to provide company to the captain who
> would otherwise be alone , not able to socialize with the lower caste
> sailors. Darwin lied about these facts.

This is one thing Darwin did not lie about. He was ship naturalist.
See the official voyage narrative published by Captain Fitzroy. In it
he lists Darwin as naturalist (page 20).

http://darwin-online.org.uk/content/frameset?itemID=F10.2&viewtype=text&pageseq=1

Ray

David Hare-Scott

unread,
Jul 13, 2011, 12:32:16 AM7/13/11
to
backspace wrote:
> On Jul 11, 1:20 am, Mitchell Coffey <mitchelldotcof...@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> On 7/10/2011 1:23 PM, backspace wrote:
>> [snip]
>>
>>> === Notes ===
>>> natural competitive selection - 1831 Matthews
>>> natural means of selection - Matthews
>>
>>> natural selection - Darwin contracted to ns to avoid giving credit
>>> to Matthew from where he lifted the idea while reading his book on
>>> the Beagle.
>>
>> What evidence do you have that while on the Beagle Darwin read
>> Matthews' book on growing trees for the Royal Navy?
>
> matthews book was on tree/wood production, it was required reading.
> back then getting wood for naval ships was a matter
> of survival for the British empire. the purpose of the beagle trip was
> to get wood/trees, they did not go for a joy ride.

This is nonsense, you are allowing your desire to belittle Darwin to
overtake the facts.

The voyages of the Beagle to South America (and then round the world in the
second case) were primarily to map the coastlines of those regions and to
verify the longitude of key ports and destinations, for this purpose they
took no less than 22 chronometers. The accuracy of maps was crucial to the
Empire as their domination of the seas would be reduced if their ships could
not reliably get to their destinations due to poor maps whether it be for
military or commercial purposes. The second voyage was the first
circumnavigation to carry working chronometers all the way IIRC. Fitzroy
was disappointed that after nearly 5 years at sea he returned home and his
time was out by 33 seconds compared to Greenwich.


darwin claimed he
> was the ships naturalist, which is a lie, the ships doctor was the
> naturalist. darwin's purpose was to provide company to the captain who
> would otherwise be alone , not able to socialize with the lower caste
> sailors. Darwin lied about these facts.

What specimens or published works on naturalism did the doctor produce from
the voyage? AFAIK none at all. Darwin was selected to both keep the
captain company and to study the lands that they encountered. His main
qualification at that time was not as a naturalist but a geologist.
Nevertheless the study of nature was an official part of the trip approved
by authorities. As well as Darwin they took an artist to provide images of
the landforms, natives and other matters of interest along the way.

Fitzroy at least was convinced that Darwin was there to study nature as he
asked for a suitably qualified person, if it were only as a companion no
particular expertise would be required. This is recorded in Fitzroy's
journal of the voyage and supported by the fact that he approved of Darwin
using ship's resources (boats, stores and crew) to assist in some of his
studies. Part way through the voyage he assigned the seaman Syms Covington
to be Darwin's assistant storing and cataloguing his specimens. For a bloke
who went on a voyage as captain's companion he sure sent home a huge
collection of specimens. Why do you think he did that?

If you are going to say Darwin lied about this I have three points of issue.

1) What lie exactly did Darwin tell? Specifically where and when did he
tell it?
2) What evidence do you have that what he said was false?
3) In what way is the discrepancy between Darwin's stated purpose and the
purpose intended by the Admiralty (if any) relevant to his later work?


David

Harry K

unread,
Jul 13, 2011, 1:40:32 AM7/13/11
to
> delusion that Darwin coined ToE - he didn't.- Hide quoted text -
>
> - Show quoted text -

And at the end of the day, it has ab zero effect on the fact that the
ToE is correct (to the best of our ability to tell "correct").

So you are still stuck with denying a theory well founded on the
evidence and research.

Harry K

TomS

unread,
Jul 13, 2011, 3:42:13 AM7/13/11
to
"On Tue, 12 Jul 2011 13:26:50 -0700 (PDT), in article
<ae974c3b-e9b8-4fc5...@10g2000yqn.googlegroups.com>, backspace
stated..."
[...snip...]

>The way Spencer used the phrase Theory of Evolution in 1852 in
>Leader magazine indicates that it wasn't the first usage or coined by
>him. ToE was a different term for Prof. Owen's Doctrine of
>Derivation.
[...snip...]

Spencer didn't use the phrase "theory of evolution" in the 1852 version
of that essay, but only in the slightly modified versions printed after
"On the Origin of Species". See Wikisource for the 1852 version and read
the accompanying notes:

<http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Development_Hypothesis>


--
---Tom S.
"... the heavy people know some magic that can make things move and even fly,
but they're not very bright, because they can't survive without their magic
contrivances"
Xixo, in "The Gods Must Be Crazy II"

backspace

unread,
Jul 13, 2011, 4:26:25 AM7/13/11
to
On Jul 13, 8:42 am, TomS <TomS_mem...@newsguy.com> wrote:
> "On Tue, 12 Jul 2011 13:26:50 -0700 (PDT), in article
> <ae974c3b-e9b8-4fc5-a40d-655b9841c...@10g2000yqn.googlegroups.com>, backspace

http://scratchpad.wikia.com/wiki/Andrew_Dickson_White

backspace

unread,
Jul 13, 2011, 4:28:31 AM7/13/11
to

Until you define what this ToE is and why it's wikipedia page doesn't
exist , you're not even wrong.
Note that Evolution is a word not a theory. The Theory_of_evolution
redirects to a word, not an actual theory that explains how the PID
differential equations are transferred from human to baby without us
having to actually undestand Hamilton Jacobi theory.

backspace

unread,
Jul 13, 2011, 4:46:10 AM7/13/11
to
Lets reduce Patrick Matthew's weasel worded paragraph to its
tautological banal essence: what happens, happens.

''..............As the field of existence is limited and
preoccupied, it is only the hardier, more robust, better-suited-to-
circumstance
individuals who are able to struggle forward to maturity, these
inhabiting only the situations to which they have superior adaptation
and greater powers of occupancy than any other kind: the weaker and
less circumstance-suited being prematurely destroyed. This principle
is in constant action: it regulates the colour, the figure, the

capacities, and instincts; those individuals in each species whose
colour and covering are best suited to concealment or protection from
enemies, or defence from inclemencies or vicissitudes of climate,
whose figure is best accommodated to health, strength, defence, and
support: in such immense waste of primary and youthful life these
only come forward to maturity from the strict ordeal by which nature
tests their adaptation to her standard of perfection and fitness to
continue their kind of reproduction. ..................''

Reduce:

the better-suited individuals ..... struggle forward to
maturity, ....the weaker are prematurely destroyed.

This principle is in constant action: it regulates the capacities;


those individuals in each species whose colour and covering are best
suited to concealment or protection from enemies, or defence from
inclemencies or vicissitudes of climate, whose figure is best
accommodated to health, strength, defence, and support: in such
immense waste of primary and youthful life these only come forward to
maturity from the strict ordeal by which nature tests their
adaptation to her standard of perfection and fitness to continue
their kind of reproduction. ..................''


Reduce:

the better-suited individuals ..... struggle forward to
maturity, ....the weaker are prematurely destroyed.

This principle regulates the capacities of those individuals....
best suited to protection from enemies, .....


whose figure is best accommodated to health, strength, defence, and
support: in such immense waste of primary and youthful life these
only come forward to maturity from the strict ordeal by which nature
tests their adaptation to her standard of perfection and fitness to
continue their kind of reproduction. ..................''

Reduce:

the better-suited individuals ..... struggle forward to
maturity, ....the weaker are prematurely destroyed.

This principle regulates those best suited to protection from
enemies, .....they only come forward to maturity from the strict


ordeal by which nature tests their adaptation to her standard of
perfection and fitness to continue their kind of
reproduction. ..................''

Reduce:

the better-suited individuals ..... struggle forward to
maturity, ....the weaker are prematurely destroyed.
This principle regulates those best suited to protection from
enemies, ..... nature tests their adaptation to her standard ...
of perfection or fitness to continue their kind of
reproduction. ..................''

Finally:
the better-suited individuals ..... gain maturity, ....the weaker
die.
This principle regulates those best suited to protection from
enemies, ..... nature tests their adaptation to her standard ...
of perfection or fitness to continue their kind of
reproduction. ..................''
-------------------------------

Conclusion:

The weak die and strong survive is a trivially true tautological
banality from which any conclusion is a non-sequitur Their strength
<=> survival and weakness <=> death. This isn't a theory but
generally true and assumed trivially true principle, by stating it ;
becomes a truism. It is the same theme from the Greek philosophers,
reformulated down the ages. In addition it begs the question because
it assumes that species had an increase in information or gained
attributes that weren't previously there .

Nothing is ever adapted to its environment, it only expresses its
attributes. A fish is not adapted for swimming and a human for
walking, because there was no point in time where humans couldn't
walk, they only express their attributes.


TomS

unread,
Jul 13, 2011, 5:08:47 AM7/13/11
to
"On Wed, 13 Jul 2011 01:26:25 -0700 (PDT), in article
<41271e73-e23e-4e49...@q17g2000vby.googlegroups.com>, backspace
stated..."

I don't have any idea what this relates to.

But I will mention that White's book does not have a high reputation.

Mitchell Coffey

unread,
Jul 13, 2011, 11:10:06 AM7/13/11
to
On 7/11/2011 2:19 AM, backspace wrote:
> On Jul 11, 1:20 am, Mitchell Coffey<mitchelldotcof...@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> On 7/10/2011 1:23 PM, backspace wrote:
>> [snip]
>>
>>> === Notes ===
>>> natural competitive selection - 1831 Matthews
>>> natural means of selection - Matthews
>>
>>> natural selection - Darwin contracted to ns to avoid giving credit to
>>> Matthew from where he lifted the idea while reading his book on the
>>> Beagle.
>>
>> What evidence do you have that while on the Beagle Darwin read Matthews'
>> book on growing trees for the Royal Navy?
>
> matthews book was on tree/wood production, it was required reading.
> back then getting wood for naval ships was a matter
> of survival for the British empire. the purpose of the beagle trip was
> to get wood/trees, they did not go for a joy ride. darwin claimed he

> was the ships naturalist, which is a lie, the ships doctor was the
> naturalist. darwin's purpose was to provide company to the captain who
> would otherwise be alone , not able to socialize with the lower caste
> sailors. Darwin lied about these facts.

Matthews' book was on growing trees for the Royal Navy. The purpose of
the Beagle voyage was most certainly /not/ to get wood or trees.
(Neither is "getting wood/trees" the same as "tree/wood production," as
anyone who can read with a high school proficiency could tell you.)
History shows that the Beagle's ship's doctor left the Beagle early in
the voyage, upon which Darwin was the ship's only naturalist; I can cite
for you the ship's captain referring to him as such during the voyage,
if you wish. You are in truth lying about every single statement of fact
you made in that paragraph, which is quite an achievement even for you.

Mitchell Coffey

Mitchell Coffey

unread,
Jul 13, 2011, 11:16:51 AM7/13/11
to

Once again when you've been caught in a misrepresentation you don't
admit your sin, as an honest man would, but respond with a non sequitur,
hoping that some people would be convinced you'd made an honest response.

Mitchell Coffey


John Stockwell

unread,
Jul 13, 2011, 11:22:03 AM7/13/11
to

So what? Any of the previous notions of evolution were philosophical
notions. Darwin
used the notion to build a scientific theory of the origin of species,
or more correctly the
origin of variation that leads to species. Darwinian evolution is a
process. it is not an
entity.

-John

John Stockwell

unread,
Jul 13, 2011, 11:25:06 AM7/13/11
to

The notion is quite clear--descent with modification and natural
selection. The basic process
is the process of reproduction. The result is that our observations of
biology are understandable
through the notion of common descent.

TomS

unread,
Jul 13, 2011, 11:42:25 AM7/13/11
to
"On Wed, 13 Jul 2011 08:22:03 -0700 (PDT), in article
<53bf888b-1f42-4270...@q1g2000vbj.googlegroups.com>, John
Stockwell stated..."

It's important because of the deathbed retraction of Darwin, and
because of the way that Darwin would shoot dogs.

If Darwin didn't invent the theory of evolution, then those don't
make any difference.

Did Lady Hope make a visit to Spencer in his final illness?

backspace

unread,
Jul 13, 2011, 12:15:14 PM7/13/11
to

darwin lifted 'common descent' from Halloy back in 1836 somewhere
around, its on wikipedia look it up. Are you referring to this paper
by this French geologist? Virtually everything Darwin wrote he lifted
from other authors.

From the sources I have read,Darwin's original purpose was to be
companionship for the captain. Nothing is made up, but I should have
quoted the sources directly instead of from memory.

backspace

unread,
Jul 13, 2011, 2:22:10 PM7/13/11
to

I meant descent with modification was lifted from Halloy. It took me a
while to get this info into his page at
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Baptiste_Julien_d'Omalius_d'Halloy

The Epicureans rewriting history at Wikipedia did't took kindly to
this, but they eventually had to relent and report the facts.
I also wrote the main section of the wikipedia rhetorical tautology
article and specifically 'sneaked' in the phrase '...the truth of the
proposition cannot be disputed by defining a term in terms of another
self-referentially....' because darwin wrote that the truth of his
propositions cannot be disputed.

Ideas for the article was lifted from TD Tone and his article 'natural
selection, Darwin's great tautology', where he ironically failed to
notice a tautology in one of the sections he quoted. As time allows I
will make a full post as well as a new entry on the issue at my wiki:
http://scratchpad.wikia.com/wiki/TauTology

backspace

unread,
Jul 13, 2011, 2:42:02 PM7/13/11
to
> while to get this info into his page athttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Baptiste_Julien_d'Omalius_d'Halloy

>
> The Epicureans rewriting history at Wikipedia did't took kindly to
> this, but they eventually had to relent and report the facts.
> I also wrote the main section of the wikipedia rhetorical tautology
> article and specifically 'sneaked' in the phrase '...the truth of the
> proposition cannot be disputed by defining a term in terms of another
> self-referentially....' �because darwin wrote that the truth of his
> propositions cannot be disputed.
>
> Ideas for the article was lifted from TD Tone and his article 'natural
> selection, Darwin's great tautology', where he ironically failed to
> notice a tautology in one of the sections he quoted. As time allows I
> will make a full post as well as a new entry on the issue at my wiki:http://scratchpad.wikia.com/wiki/TauTology

One thing I forgot to mention was that Darwin said '''... descent
with modification .... or natural selection ....''. This must be seen
In terms of Matthew's * natural competitive selection* or really
*competitive selection*. (Remember Darwin lifted Matthew's term
'natural competitive selection' (1831) and contracted it to ns, to
avoid giving credit to him.

We thus interpret their ideas: As the strong animal engaged in a
struggle against the weak animal ,he adapted to the environment via
this process of *competitive selection* dominating his ecological
niche.

This at least makes sense, 'natural selection' doesn't. We can phrase
it as follows in terms of athletics(design):

One of the two teams was selected to play for the Chicago Cubs after a
process of *competitive selection*. This is both grammatically correct
and meaningful. The following isn't:
One of the two teams was selected to play for the Chicago Cubs after a
process of *natural selection*. The only way this sentence can become
meaningful is we mean with 'natural' , 'competitive'.

natural <=> competitive.


Mitchell Coffey

unread,
Jul 13, 2011, 3:01:20 PM7/13/11
to
[snip]

> From the sources I have read,Darwin's original purpose was to be
> companionship for the captain. Nothing is made up, but I should have
> quoted the sources directly instead of from memory.

You wrote that Darwin lied about being the naturalist on the Beagle. You
wrote nothing about "original purpose." You simply lied, as you
compulsively do. Get some morals.

Mitchell Coffey


r norman

unread,
Jul 13, 2011, 4:17:42 PM7/13/11
to

This has all been hashed over frequently in the past, but maybe once
more might be useful.

First, it is well known that the notion of evolution of species was
"in the air". It had been used to help understand what was clearly a
nested hierarchy of morphology in comparing existing species. It may
well have been known that a process of differential reproduction could
result in adaptation. What Darwin did, though, was to put everything
together so that adaptation through natural selection explained
evolution to produce the evolution of species. He did it in such a
masterful fashion, with so compelling an explanation based on such a
tremendous amount of evidence, that there could be no question as to
who was the real "author" of the full notion of evolution with all its
implications.

People before Newton had equations for the motion of the planets.
People before Newton had equations for the motion of objects on earth
due to gravity. I don't believe people before Newton understood that
the same equations applied equally to both types of system. Hence
Newton's greatness. That plus his work on so many other areas of
mathematics and science -- just as Darwin excelled in so many other
areas of biology.

People before Maxwell had equations for electricity and for magnetism.
People before Maxwell new about the funny lack of continuity for
electric currents in regions of changing electric fields that could be
satisfied using a "funny" type of displacement current. I don't
believe that people before Maxwell understood that those equations,
modified to include displacement current, explained the phenomenon of
light.

People before Einstein had the Lorenz transformation but not
relativity theory.

It goes on and on. All truly great innovators and creators in science
had predecessors. Finding early references to selection detracts not
in the slightest from Darwin's accomplishments.

But wait, there is more!

Even if Darwin lied and cheated and was a truly nasty person (which
all indications show is a totally incorrect impression) it would
matter not one bit. There are a number of Nobel Laureates in science
who turned out to be very unsavory people. One was convicted of child
molestation, another accused of racist claims, some were members of
the Nazi party or worked on weapons of mass destruction. A
surprisingly large number have disputes as to who really deserves
proper credit for the work. None of this detracts from the validity
of the science, itself.

Both Darwin's reputation and the validity of evolutionary theory are
quite safe.

John Stockwell

unread,
Jul 13, 2011, 5:15:16 PM7/13/11
to

You have to understand that the only sources that matter in scientific
matters
are current sources. Seeing the influences on Darwin and the ideas
that were
floating around in Darwin's time are interesting from an historical
vantage point,
but these things really have no impact on the science.


>
> From the sources I have read,Darwin's original purpose was to be
> companionship for the captain. Nothing is made up, but I should have
> quoted the sources directly instead of from memory.

It's pretty obvious if you actually read Origins and read the other
items that you
are referring to that Darwin's work was his own. Of course, it doesn't
really matter.
The science of biology does not depend on the identity of a particular
investigator.
Darwin signed on as a naturalist.

-John

John Stockwell

unread,
Jul 13, 2011, 5:19:55 PM7/13/11
to
> while to get this info into his page athttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Baptiste_Julien_d'Omalius_d'Halloy

>
> The Epicureans rewriting history at Wikipedia did't took kindly to
> this, but they eventually had to relent and report the facts.
> I also wrote the main section of the wikipedia rhetorical tautology
> article and specifically 'sneaked' in the phrase '...the truth of the
> proposition cannot be disputed by defining a term in terms of another
> self-referentially....'  because darwin wrote that the truth of his
> propositions cannot be disputed.
>
> Ideas for the article was lifted from TD Tone and his article 'natural
> selection, Darwin's great tautology', where he ironically failed to
> notice a tautology in one of the sections he quoted. As time allows I
> will make a full post as well as a new entry on the issue at my wiki:http://scratchpad.wikia.com/wiki/TauTology

Yep. D'Halloy did write a short paper in 1831 outlining the notion of
descent with modification. It
is not uncommon in science, with the 20/20 vision of hindsight to find
the same ideas being
put forward in a past era.

As to the notion of evolution being a "tautology" you fail to
recognize that the notion of common ancestry
and descent with modification is the description of a process.

-John

John Stockwell

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Jul 13, 2011, 5:22:58 PM7/13/11
to

Not really. The term "natural" in the context of evolution, means that
the process is not guided, nor
is it teleological. Organisms do not have the forms they do because
the forms are seen in advance
to be "useful" but because organisms with forms like those produced
more descendants.

Stuart

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Jul 13, 2011, 5:34:50 PM7/13/11
to
On Jul 13, 8:42 am, backspace <stephan...@gmail.com> wrote:


<Darwin said or didn't say X gibberish snipped>

What does any of that have to do with whether or not TOE is a valid
scientific theory?

I take you have given up the ghost in trying to falsify TOE and now,
out of pique, are assassinating Darwin's character?

Sad. Truly Sad.

Stuart

backspace

unread,
Jul 14, 2011, 3:06:45 AM7/14/11
to

Evolution is a word not a tautology.

Tim Anderson

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Jul 14, 2011, 5:36:01 AM7/14/11
to

If the precursors to Darwin's theory of descent by modification is of
interest in this thread, you may enjoy this quote from Ian
Tattersall's book "Paleontology" (my sincere apologies to Professor
Tattersall for any infelicities of punctuation below, as I transcribed
the text from a spoken version of the book). I believe I have included
enough of Professor Tattersall's text to avoid the charge of quote
mining:

“The repeated divergence of new species from common ancestral forms
that lies at the core of evolution inevitably results in the pattern
of ‘sets within sets’ that we actually observe. What’s more, people
have for a very long time been making this observation, and drawing
conclusions from it, independent of their religious, philosophical or
scientific beliefs.”

“The physicist and science historian, Jim Al-Khalili, has, for
example, recently quoted the following from ‘The Book of Animals’ by a
Ninth Century Arab intellectual, Abu Uthman al-Jahith (781-869):

‘Animals engage in a struggle for existence, for resources, to avoid
being eaten, and to breed. Environmental factors influence organisms
to develop new characteristics to ensure survival, thus transforming
into new species. Animals that survive to breed can pass on their
successful characteristics to their offspring.’”

“As Al-Khalili points out, these words have an eerie resemblance to
those Charles Darwin would use a thousand years later in summarising
his theory of evolution by natural selection.”

Musing on this quote, I wondered how different the intellectual
history of Europe (and of its state of knowledge) might have been if
the humane, inclusive and intelligent spirit of Roger of Sicily had
prevailed over the narrow and brutal crusadism of the papacy of the
time.

If you are interested in Abu Uthman al-Jahith, Wikipedia provides an
excellent introduction to his life and work.

John S. Wilkins

unread,
Jul 14, 2011, 6:38:41 AM7/14/11
to
Tim Anderson <timoth...@gmail.com> wrote:

...

A few points:

One is that I prepared a "Darwin's Precursors and Influences" FAQ many
years ago:

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/darwin-precursors.html

Another is that natural selection is very different a matter from common
descent. The views you quote from al-Jahith (or al-Jahiz) while they
certainly indicate that variants will survive differentially, is not
itself a matter of evolution; two reasons why - one is that he relied
upon the widely held view that novelties arise by direct environmental
influence (sometimes we call this Lamarckism, unjustly to Lamarck as it
was the default opinion) and so what caused the change was that action.
The other is that the notion of species did not then exist in a special
biological sense and so he may very well have been speaking of the
occurrence of new varieties (like the varieties of flowers or humans);
or he may have been speaking of entire new groups as large as cats and
dogs. It is very hard to tell without speaking Arabic and looking at the
context.

The Book of Animals is a kind of retread of Aristotle and Pliny, both of
whom were available to the high culture Persian intellectual scene, and
similar comments can be found in both. I don't think of his (or their)
ideas as being evolutionary for a number of reasons I won't bore you
with here.

Most of all, there is not the slightest evidence that Darwin or anyone
else working in zoology was influenced by him, contrary to a lot of
pro-Muslim scholars' claims, and if he were a contender, then Pliny and
Aristotle would be a much greater likely source. There was no English,
or French edition at the time Darwin was working for a start and he
didn't read Arabic.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Jahiz

--
John S. Wilkins, Associate, Philosophy, University of Sydney
http://evolvingthoughts.net
But al be that he was a philosophre,
Yet hadde he but litel gold in cofre

Tim Anderson

unread,
Jul 14, 2011, 6:42:47 AM7/14/11
to
On Jul 14, 8:38 pm, j...@wilkins.id.au (John S. Wilkins) wrote:
> John S. Wilkins, Associate, Philosophy, University of Sydneyhttp://evolvingthoughts.net

> But al be that he was a philosophre,
> Yet hadde he but litel gold in cofre

I retreat before your superior knowledge.

Tim Anderson

unread,
Jul 14, 2011, 6:55:54 AM7/14/11
to

John

I am not so stupid as to represent a ninth century philosopher as
someone who pre-figured a fully formed version of Darwin's method. My
only point was to say that at least one person thought about this
problem a long time before Darwin. Darwin got it right, and provided
the starting point for a mechanism. But at least we should acknowledge
what these people thought.

T

Tim Anderson

unread,
Jul 14, 2011, 7:11:23 AM7/14/11
to
On Jul 14, 8:38 pm, j...@wilkins.id.au (John S. Wilkins) wrote:

> The Book of Animals is a kind of retread of Aristotle and Pliny, both of
> whom were available to the high culture Persian intellectual scene, and
> similar comments can be found in both. I don't think of his (or their)
> ideas as being evolutionary for a number of reasons I won't bore you
> with here.
>

> John S. Wilkins, Associate, Philosophy, University of Sydneyhttp://evolvingthoughts.net


> But al be that he was a philosophre,
> Yet hadde he but litel gold in cofre

Feel free to bore me (since the quote is clearly concerned with the
evolution of animals).

backspace

unread,
Jul 14, 2011, 7:27:00 AM7/14/11
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On Jul 14, 11:38 am, j...@wilkins.id.au (John S. Wilkins) wrote:
> One is that I prepared a "Darwin's Precursors and Influences" FAQ many
> years ago:

> http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/darwin-precursors.html

> Another is that natural selection is very different a matter from common
> descent.

do you mean natural competitive selection? Note that Darwin meant
competitive selection with NS , the term he lifted from Matthews.


Mitchell Coffey

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Jul 14, 2011, 11:52:30 AM7/14/11
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Coward. Anyway, as a practical matter I find it more effective to
advance before John's superior knowledge.

Mitchell Coffey


John Stockwell

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Jul 14, 2011, 12:00:17 PM7/14/11
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What is your point?

Mitchell Coffey

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Jul 14, 2011, 12:29:31 PM7/14/11
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On 7/14/2011 7:27 AM, backspace wrote:
> On Jul 14, 11:38 am, j...@wilkins.id.au (John S. Wilkins) wrote:
>> One is that I prepared a "Darwin's Precursors and Influences" FAQ many
>> years ago:
>
>> http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/darwin-precursors.html
>
>> Another is that natural selection is very different a matter from common
>> descent.
>
> do you mean natural competitive selection?

No, he means natural selection.

> Note that Darwin meant
> competitive selection with NS ,

Changing what you call a theory doesn't change the theory.

> the term he lifted from Matthews.

Note that you've been shown to be lying, as usual. Your only evidence
was that Darwin and Matthews once used a vaguely similar version of a
common figure-of-speech; furthermore, you provided no evidence that
Matthews' book was available to Darwin on the Beagle. You furthermore
lied about the purpose of the Beagle voyage; and yet furthermore lied
about what Darwin was doing on the Beagle voyage.

Mitchell Coffey

backspace

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Jul 14, 2011, 12:07:35 PM7/14/11
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