John Grehan jrg13 at psu.edu
Thu Aug 19 08:23:34 EDT 1999

Kenelm Philip wrote

>The scientific disciplines of biology and astronomy (and to some extent,
>chemistry as well) are founded on evolutionary concepts, and students have
>to understand them whether or not they _believe_ them.

I would agree with this emphasis. Perhaps if there may be need to be more
on the evolutionary concepts as research tools that direct research programs
(i.e. determine the kind of research activities undertaken), and what kind of
new insights are generated.

Perhaps as an additional point regarding my questions about evolutionary 
methodology, if one were to take, for example, natural selection it would
be possible, I think, to show how research activities were generated in
and genetics that definitely increased our knowledge of biological systems.
These insights serve as empirical examples of scientific progress, so
whether or not one might ascribe to the creed that natural selection is
the primary "mechanism" of evolution, it is still possible to specify the 
untility of the concept as a research tool. The same might apply to the 
multitude of other evolutionary concepts such as concerted evolution, 
epigenesis, development, not to mention good old biogeography - which
started Darwin down this tricky, but interesting, road in the first place.

John Grehan

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