Positivism in evolutionary science

Thomas Schlemmermeyer termites at USP.BR
Fri Dec 5 08:27:59 CST 1997


I liked the discussion about this item.
The problem is not very new to science.
Darwin himself was plagued by some psycho-disease which caused depressions
to him. (thus turning down his positivism.)
Hennig, in his recent 1953 paper, says that it is of advantage to think=20
positively during a scientific work.

At my hands there is now:
The origin of biodiversity in insects: phylogenetic tests of evolutionary
scenarios, Philippe Grandcolas
Memoires du museum national d'histoire naturelle,tome 173, Paris 1997

Maybe, this book will further clear my doubts.

Just one example: One still does not know, how mankind acquired the

So, how must it be difficult to know how termites acquired their symbionts,
how orchidea acquired their pollinators, how fish acquired their parasites,
how plants acquired their chloroplasts and so on.

So, after all, positivism, for me, is more a question of the most rational
state of mind.
I don't have the smallest hope that the one and only phylogenetic history
will ever be revealed.

Thomas Schlemmermeyer
Museu de Zoologia, Universidade de S=E3o Paulo
Caixa Postal 42694
CEP 04299-970
S=E3o Paulo, SP, Brasil

Thomas Schlemmermeyer
Caixa Postal 00276
CEP 14001-970
Ribeir=E3o Preto, SP, Brasil

Fone, Fax: 016 6371999

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