Re: Aquatic eccrine sweating ref request, was Re: tears

H. M. Hubey (
13 Nov 1995 22:02:04 -0500 (Phil Nicholls) writes:

>By the time Darwin published his book "On the Origin of Species" he
>was a respected naturalist, having published "The Voyage of the
>Beagle", and some shorter publications, including an article on the

What the hell is a "naturalist" ? Is it like the guy who was
painting pictures of rocks and flowers :-).

The book sounds like the stories of a sea-going ST. Bernard.

I think you know what I'm talking about.

>The idea of evolution had been around for some time prior to Darwin
>and for an excellent history you might try "Darwin's Century" by Loren

The earliest reference I can see is to Rumi 1200 CE.

>>One of Watson/Crick was a mathematician, hardly a biologist.

>Wrong. Both were biologists (see Watson's book, The Double Helix).

This is like calling Newton a philosopher. I had this argument
with philosophers already, so I don't want to go through this

>From around early this century guys like Rashevsky ventured
where no man had gone before :-)... they brought math to
bio. Is Karlin a mathematician or biologist? Same things
happen in physics. was Gauss a mathematician or physicist?

>Population biologists like Fisher and Haldane were constructing
>mathematically models of populations since the 1930's. Biology

Sounds about the right time. Was Haldane a biologist or mathematician?

>So according to your formulation, most knowledge in physical
>anthropolgy, psychology, sociology and archaeology is added by
>outsiders. Well, I must say this is a very interesting perspective.

Take any nonmathematical science, excuse me "science". Why and how
could anyone who studies this field add math to it? He wouldn't
study math to begin with because it's not done. If anything it
would have to be done "accidentally" i.e. some mathematician
meets up with someone in this field, and during the discussions
they decide to collaborate. After this paper is out, those wanting
to get in on the new thing start to study this particular field
of math. After a while it becomes required for everyone. To make
even more novel additions similar things have to happen.

This happens even in very mathematical fields. For example, computer
science students don't normally study diff. eqs. Engineering
students don't normally study group theory, etc etc. And there was a
first time in which group theory must have made its way into

So there's no secret. But then is the person who introduced this
new math into the field of this field or an outsider???

Well, I've already been told that most contributors to science
were philosophers :-).. Why? Because "natural philosophy" was
what physics was called then.

The whole argument is pointless.

>Would you care to support this with some recent examples -- say within
>the last 20 years or so?

No. Before that the people who mathematicized the field were
mathematicians and did it as a hobby. Of course, now they are
called pioneers in mathematical biology. When biology becomes
all mathematical (like economics) the phrase "mathematical
biology" will be replaced simply by "biology" and it will
happen. Then the pioneers will be called biologists. And of
course, it doesn't make much difference.

>>And I think everyone knows the reason why.

>I'm not sure everyone does, Mark. Please enlighten us. I, for one,
>could use a good laught.

I just did :-)..

For example, right now I'm mathematicizing sociology :-).. but
I'm not a mathematician. If it takes, I'll be called a sociologist.
So be it.


Regards, Mark