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Sunday, 17 June 2007


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Dan Collins

Hardy, being a hardheaded type and a strict Darwinian, set out the premise in, I think, Tess, that it was unfortunate that acquired experience was not heritable (a dubious premise for those of us who much enjoyed being college seniors during the Carter years). I'm certain that you've read Gould on paedomorphosis, but if not (and I wouldn't like to increase your reading load) you probably ought.

Dan Collins

Strike that. I mean high school seniors, of course.

Adam Kotsko

You do realize that evolution is just a theory, don't you?

Dan Collins

With a great deal of explanatory power with regards to the fossil record, and which,even in its strict Darwinian version, anticipated the properties of the recombinant properties of the chromosome. That's pretty good, as theories go.

Adam Kotsko

Dude, I was kidding.

Dan Collins


Karl Steel

How much of this hoohah about inherited traits comes out of justifications of a heritable aristocracy (and, for that matter, a heritable ignobility)? There's a nice summary of such theories as they appeared in the early 19th century in David Crouch's recent Birth of Nobility. I'm not trying to trapdoor you, by the way; it just struck me that the road to the discourses you're writing about may have been greased way back in the Middle Ages.


*The upper reaches barely even considered themselves American. Wharton wrote of her friends, "we are none of us Americans, we don't think or feel as the Americans do, we are the wretched exotics produced in a European glass house."

Goes a long way toward explaining the Bush family (and their fellow travellers) and their support for NAFTA, GATT, outsourcing, in-sourcing (cheap immigrant labor), and imperialist military adventures.


Are you familiar with this book? (I haven't finished it, incidentally, but I thought of it when I read about

the isolation of New York "society" from American society at large.

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