[Taxacom] London - Systematics Association Lecture and AGM, 9thDec

Frederick W. Schueler bckcdb at istar.ca
Thu Dec 3 21:22:48 CST 2009

Robin Leech wrote:
> Mike, you must understand that his geologist mentor, Lyell, and many others
> of his day all thought things occurred gradually.  Nothing happened 
> suddenly.

* and that this was a reaction to unphysical catastrophism in the 
previous generation. Uniformitarianism was the first great null 
hypothesis of historical science, and Darwin "merely" applied it to life 
and natural selection. And as in geology, I think it's fair to say that 
it has been "nuanced" rather than falsified by subsequent discoveries of 
relatively sudden evolutionary and geological events.


> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: <mivie at montana.edu>
> To: "John Grehan" <jgrehan at sciencebuff.org>
> Cc: <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
> Sent: Thursday, December 03, 2009 10:41 AM
> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] London - Systematics Association Lecture and AGM, 
> 9thDec
>>> Darwin's biggest mistake was in his failure to recognize biogeographic
>>> patterns as historically informative. Against that, his gradualism
>>> (which lies at the core of molecular clock systematics) is just a
>>> sideshow.
>> While I agree that Darwin did not use biogeography directly, the fact that
>> the final few nails he needed came from Wallace provides some cover, as
>> Wallace certainly used biogeographic pattern to formulate his theory of
>> evolution.  His Sarawak Law paper, and his letter to Darwin are both
>> nearly totally dependent on biogeographic pattern. -- Mike

            Bishops Mills Natural History Centre
          Frederick W. Schueler & Aleta Karstad
       RR#2 Bishops Mills, Ontario, Canada K0G 1T0
    on the Smiths Falls Limestone Plain 44* 52'N 75* 42'W
      (613)258-3107 <bckcdb at istar.ca> http://pinicola.ca
If we'd been meant to refer to species by made-up vernacular names,
God wouldn't have created Linnaeus!

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