Re: evolution everywhere?
Shannon Adams (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Tue, 10 Sep 1996 08:47:44 -0700
Stephen Barnard wrote:
> Shannon Adams wrote:
> > Gerold Firl wrote:
> > >
> > > In article <email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org (mb) writes:
> > > |> In article <322F589E.14F8@byu.edu>, Shannon Adams <email@example.com> wrote:
> > >
> > > |> > Is is just me or does every topic on this newsgroup evolve ;) into a
> > > |> > discussion of evolution? Just wondering why.
> > >
> > > |> Yes! I have noticed this, but it seems to have occurred rather recently.
> > > |> Has anyone some insight into this? When did this preoccupation take root?
> > > |> Was there some recent event that has focused this interest (yes, I know
> > > |> about the NM school debate). Anyone?
> > >
> > > I would suggest two reasons:
> > >
> > > 1. Evolutionary perspectives provide greater explanatory and
> > > predictive power in understanding human culture than pure narrative
> > > modes, and that is changing the long-term direction of anthropology.
> > > As dobhinazky (<-- spelling dubious; a famous biologist) said,
> > > "nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution"; the
> > > case might not be quite so strong in anthro, but it's not far off. --
> > > -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
> > > Disclaimer claims dat de claims claimed in dis are de claims of meself,
> > > me, and me alone, so sue us god. I won't tell Bill & Dave if you won't.
> > > =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=---- Gerold Firl @ ..hplabs!hp-sdd!geroldf
> > I really got a good laugh when I read Gerold's first sentence of number one.
> > I really don't think anyone has been able to *predict* how a culture will
> > change. Once the change has occured it is *sometimes* possible to retrace
> > the change but predict, I don't think so. Of course, I could be making a
> > complete fool of myself but I don't think anthropology is about *predicting*
> > anything. Thanks where the natural sciences come in, at least according to
> > many of the people on this newsgroup. This also could be an incredibly naive
> > question but What about free choice? I think that element of human
> > motivation cannot be ignored.
> > Shannon
> You are absolutely right. Anthropology as it exists today has no
> predictive power at all. It therefore does not deserve to called a
> science, despite the fact that this is sci.anthropology.
Isn't that why it is a *social science* instead of a *natural science*?
> It seems to me that Anthropology (with the big A) is largely conducted
> by a bunch of assistant professors scrambling aboard the latest
> political bandwagon, or by tenured professors defending their turf
> against interlopers from more rigorous fields.
Probably true (about the defending their turf, the assistant prof. comment
was a little mean don't you think). But aren't you defending your turf.
Trying to keep *science* clean, pure and HARD?
> This is all a tempest in a teapot. If the old guard insists on
> wallowing in the dustbin of history, and if the young Turks (no offense
> to those of Turkish ethnicity intended) keep trying to one-up them, this
> so-called field will just become even more marginalized, while the
> rational biologists, economists, psychologists, etc. get on with the
> task of trying to understand mankind.
Why is it that every field outside of the natural sciences HAS to be
marginalized? Isn't their more to experience, life, humans, animals, than
can be perceived through a microscope? maybe that's the real center of this
arguement. BTW, I can think of quite a few psychologists (not many
psychiatrists on the other hand) that aren't as biologically deterministic as
you seem to think they are.
> Steve Barnard