Jim Jaszewski ab975 at main.freenet.hamilton.on.ca
Wed Jun 28 21:11:55 MDT 1995

On Wed, 28 Jun 1995, Matt D. wrote:

> Let me say by way of preface:
> I am quite embarrassed that some of the allegedly thoughtful folks on this
> list are actually treating "modern (darwinian-mendelian) synthesis vs.
> lamarckism" as if it were a DEBATE, as if it were even a real conversation.
> It is about as open to debate as Creation "Science" vs. actual science.

	Besides not understanding what the whole point of bringing up
Lamarckism, you are exhibiting EXACTLY the establishment science attitude
that is REALLY what this topic is about. Some analyst...

> think Lisa has been more than forebearing in her responses (i.e. she hasn't,
> to my recollection, used the words "idiots" or "ignoramuses" or even
> "stalinoid lysenkoite obscurantists").

	But of course, _you_ have no such compunctions...

  If there is evidence for some
> superficially quasi-lamarckian phenomenon like the e. coli cultures someone
> mentioned,

	Superficially?  Quasi?? You really are starting with a bias.
Again, some scientist...

 the question is not "does this mean Lamarck was right?" but
> rather "how to we reconcile these data to the modern synthesis"--for example
> by demonstrating directive chromosomal alterations in the gametic cells as a
> result of environmental influences.

	Speaking of mumbo-jumbo...

> Even fans of "socialist" science should be aware the Lysenkoism was
> repudiated in the post-Stalin S.U.  So unless you buy the Kruschev
> Counterevolution favored by Mao and Co. after '67, even scientists in a
> socialist society realize that Lamarck vs. Darwin-Mendel is an answered
> question.

	What's being talked about here doesn't necessarily follow from any
of that. I sure hope you're not doing science that has anything to do with
human safety! Based on what I read below, tho, I don't think you're a

> Anyway, Jim writes:
> >It seems tallness has a lot more to do with environmental stress
> >in youth than was formerly believed. I have recently learned (if someone
> >could provide the magazine(?) source, I'd be MOST grateful!) that peasants
> >in the middle ages were, on average, taller than we are!! (this might be
> >the _late_ middle ages).
> Medieval Europeans were midgets compared to modern first-worlders.  My
> understanding is that this is mainly a function of nutrition (including
> having enough to eat).

	Again, I'll state that that was MY belief, but that it now appears
not to have been the case at SOME point in the 'middle ages'. I read it in
a BOOK, you know...  |> We're talking about a period of over a thousand
years here. Lack of nutrition *IS* stress. I don't think you read too
carefully (like too many here.  Perhaps they skim too quickly...)

> >	As well, our hunter-gatherer ancestors roaming the plains of the
> >Ice Age appear to have been much larger, more robust, on average, than we
> >are... We are the result of 10000 years of 'civilization', i.e., 10000
> >years of constant warfare, oppression and social engineering/cattle
> >breeding...
> This kind of back-to-nature romanticism is surprising coming from someone
> with such a classical and encompassing view of what is "marxist" and what
> isn't.

	And I think you have an agenda here... Again, not reading
carefully (and not understanding a well-known phenomenon which was all
over the press) we have, below:

  FWIW, some folks have suggested that ice-age Europeans (whoever the
> people who were in Europe during the ice age may have been) were pretty tall
> and robust.  This is mostly based on evidence from fossils in Greece, if I
> recall correctly.  I think that fellow they found in the Alps (was it? the
> 10,000-year-old man?) was only 5' or less, though.

	Don't confuse a guy who perishes on a glacier field with someone
living in the ICEAGE. The 'iceman' (sounds like a beer commercial) was a
BRONZEAGE resident of the Alps. A BIG DIFFERENCE!!

	As a matter of fact, that period was *WARMER* than the one we are
in right now. (However, with global warming...!!)

> hunter-gatherers generally tend to be rather short, don't they--thinking of
> some Discovery Channel South American aborigines the name of which I can't
> remember.  There is that African tribe (again no names, sorry) that's
> supposed to be pretty tall.

	They are called the MASAI. And they are a PEOPLE -- _not_ a
'tribe'. Calling a people a tribe is INSULTING and COLONIALIST.

>  But their (nomadic?) herders, aren't they?

	In talking about iceage hunters, who hunted GIANT GROUNDSLOTHS,
raindeer, horses and Bison to eat, we are talking about a QUALITATIVELY
different nutritional situation here...

	And as for hunter-gatherers, I believe they come in ALL sizes.


   Jim Jaszewski   <jjazz at freenet.hamilton.on.ca>

   WWW homepage:   <http://www.freenet.hamilton.on.ca/~ab975/Profile.html>


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