Philosophy Lexicon of Arguments

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Gould I 53
Selection/Darwin: suggested two types of sexual selection. (a) competition among male members of a species for access to females, and (b) a selection made by the females themselves.
Gould I 54
WallaceVsSexual Selection: it attaches too much importance to the "wanting" of animals. It puts emphasis on characteristics, which are rather hindering for a well-functioning machine.
GouldVsWallace, who had an exaggerated idea of the effectiveness of the selection, abruptly stopped short of the brain. He argued that our morality and our intellect cannot be the product of natural selection. However, since it is the only way to develop forms, a divine being must have intervened.
Nowadays, absurdly, an attitude is called "Neo Darwinism" which is much closer to Wallace's rigorous selectionism than to Darwin.
Gould IV 266
Natural selection/Darwin: admitted that two authors before him had discovered the natural selection:
Patrick Matthew, Scottish naturalist and fruit grower, 1831.
Williams Charles Wells, famous doctor, member of the Academy of Sciences.
IV 269
William Charles Wells: clarified a mistake regarding a disease with large black spots on the skin of white people. They are by no means genealogically or otherwise very similar to people of color.
IV 270
Black skin: has an advantage in hot climates. This is the traditional Darwinian argument!
In fact, it is about the combination with other characteristics, e. g. better protection against tropical diseases accidentally paired with darker skin.
IV 271
Wells: Recognized that animals cannot be considered as an amalgam of independent parts. That was new at the time.
IV 272
Selection/tradition, old view: the fight between individuals within a population.
Selection, new: Wells preferred variants cannot assert theirselves in stable populations with a large number of individuals!
Inheritance/Mendel: (Mendel's results have not yet been known to Wells): Mendel: preferred characteristics are often caused by mutation, and these characteristics cannot be diluted by crossbreeding with normal individuals.
The mutation may not be phenotypic (if it is recessive) in the next generation, but it does not disappear.
Selection, new: Today, increased attention is paid to group selection.
IV 273
Variation: everybody knew at Wells' time that organisms vary. However, experience from dog breeding cannot be transferred to the development from fish to humans.


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.

Gd I
Stephen Jay Gould
Der Daumen des Panda Frankfurt 2009

Gd II
Stephen Jay Gould
Wie das Zebra zu seinen Streifen kommt Frankfurt 1991

Gd III
Stephen Jay Gould
Illusion Fortschritt Frankfurt 2004

Gd IV
Stephen Jay Gould
Das Lächeln des Flamingos Basel 1989


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2018-02-23