taxonomy in public media

Robin Leech robinl at NAIT.AB.CA
Wed Jan 15 22:13:52 CST 1997

Hi one and all,

I do not know how to explain Spock as half human and half something
else.  But, I am curious about Superman.  One need only only wait a while
for Superman and Lois Lane.  Superman is a non-earling who merely happens
to look like a human, but we have yet to see (on TV, anyway!), if his
genetic makeup will be compatible with that of Lois.

Why do we assume Superman to be "he" or "him"?  It could be that Superman
represents a third sex.

Robin Leech

On Wed, 15 Jan 1997, Kyle Williams wrote:

> On Wed, 15 Jan 1997 08:48:11 -0700 "JOSEPH E. LAFERRIERE"
> <josephl at AZTEC.ASU.EDU> writes:
> >My sister (a highly intelligent but appalling uneducated woman)
> >has an answer to the Star Trek habit of identifying Spock and
> >other characters as half-human, half-alien. I pointed out to
> >her that, statistically speaking, the odds were not at all in
> >favor of aliens and humans being genetically compatible. She
> >smiled and replied, "But, now, we don't have any statistics
> >on space aliens, now do we?" I was totally lost for an answer.
> >
> >--
> >Dr. Joseph E. Laferriere, 4717 E First St., Tucson AZ 85711 USA
> >520-326-4868
> >JosephL at
> >
> As mentioned in an earlier post the "official" explanation for the
> morphological similarities between the alien races (as well as their
> ability to interbreed) is that an ancient race populated numerous planets
> with their DNA.  By using this explanation the writers have made the
> humanoid races of the galaxy a monophyletic group which would allow for
> the (small) possibility of hybrid offspring to be created.  Of course its
> a cheesy excuse but at least its slightly better than having us believe
> that this is a case of extreme evolutionary convergence which occurred
> independently on hundreds of worlds.
> Also on the Star Trek theme, there was an episode where Dr. Crusher and
> Captain Picard were trapped in a cave on an alien world.  Picard was
> injured and Dr. Crusher was able to identify the  roots of a certain
> species of plant (she said the name but I forget what it was) that her
> grandmother used on similar injuries, and used it to help Picard.  Of
> course that begs the question "How is the same species of plant growing
> on different planets?".  By this time however I tell myself  that its
> just a TV show and then go back to suspending my disbelief.   :)
> Oh well, back to botanizing on our own planet.
> Kyle Williams

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