Hammond's [postulate] of Auxology

Richard L. Hall rhall at webmail.uvi.edu
Mon Dec 18 08:18:24 EST 2000


In all likelyhood you are too late to get the credit since most folks 
already recognize the difference between genotypic expression and the 
resultant phenotype.  Moreover, your "Law" is more of a "Postulate" 
and it does not consider the following:

Organisms have a genetically predetermined potential that most fail 
to realize, but is some rare instances exceed (hyperpituitary 
giantism, hyperadrenal virilization, body builders, etiolated plants, 

There are also emergent properties and hybrid vigor where slightly 
different combinations of gene alleles result is spectacular 
phenotypic expression under some circumstances but normal or below 
normal expression under other circumstances (a variation of nurture). 
And to add another red herring, flamingos are only pink when they eat 
the right food.  So what does that do in terms of natural selection?


>Dennis G. wrote:
>  > If life, plant or otherwise, has fixed limits to growth set by 
>the genome, then
>  > the limits of variation are fixed. Presumably, by 'god'.
>GH:  This is interesting intuitive phraseology now that you mention it.
>      As a physicist I'm seeking a "maximal generalization" of the
>      NATURE-NURTURE situation for biological organisms.  To that end,
>      I advance the following proposition:
>                  HAMMOND'S LAW OF AUXOLOGY
>             In general plants and animals have a predetermined
>           adult genetic size, this is referred to as their
>           NATURE.  However, observation leads us to conclude
>           that in fact, the population MEAN size of any species
>           in the natural environment always manifests a
>           significant "asymptotic growth curve decrement" showing
>           that in effect, no living organism has yet been able to
>           achieve it's theoretical genetic size. This is referred to
>           as their NURTURE.
>             In fact, in human beings, the long slow historical
>           reduction of this growth deficit is scientifically known
>           as the "Secular Trend".  It is posited that there is
>           in fact, a Secular Trend for ALL living organisms, and
>           probably more rapid the higher the organism.
>             Finally, it has been advanced that this growth deficit
>           as manifested by the human brain, is intimately connected
>           with the psychological phenomena traditionally known as "God".
>If I could have your reaction to that thesis, I would be
>quite interested.
>               Hammond
>  > Dennis
>George Hammond, M.S. Physics
>Email:    ghammond at mediaone.net
>Website:  http://people.ne.mediaone.net/ghammond/index.html

Richard L. Hall, Ph.D.
Comparative Animal Physiologist

University of the Virgin Islands
2 John Brewers Bay
St. Thomas, U.S.V.I. 00802

340-693-1385 FAX

rhall at uvi.edu

"Live life on the edge...the view is always better"  rlh


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