Funny quote from entomology discussion list

Alexey V. Kuprijanov Q at TINEA.USR.PU.RU
Mon Jan 20 11:26:59 CST 1997

Discussing a quote from New Scientist where insects were classified
as non-animals a colleague contributed such a beautiful example:

>   For what it's worth, when I was in 7th grade, our teacher gave us a
>   lecture on rabies in our hygiene class.  He said that rabies could only
>   be transmitted by warm-blooded animals.  Thinking that it could only be
>   transmitted by mammals, I asked him if birds could transmit this
>   disease.  He said no, and reiterated that only warm-blooded animals could
>   transmit rabies.  When I told him that birds were warm blooded, he
>   replied that they were not because they were reptiles.  I graduated high
>   school in spite of his ignorance.
>   Danny

A nice consequence of the 'cladistisation' of the teachers-folktaxonomy...
A phylogenetic approach to the classification, of course, should pay
little attention to the independently evolved similar character-states,
but when the taxonomists aware of parallelisms, laypeople may well do not.
Of course, such names as 'warm-blooded animals' should be rejected from
the scientific taxonomy for the sake of the true phylogenetic approach
as well as the notion of birds as a separate class, equal in rank with
and opposed to the reptiles, but what not-so-sofisticated laypersons
should do? How they can easily retrieve the information about parallelisms
from a cladistic classification?

Perhaps, there should be established two classifications: one for
taxonomists and another for the laypersons?


| Alexey V. Kuprijanov            (Lepidoptera: Incurvarioidea) |
|                                                               |
| St. Petersburg Society of Naturalists                         |
| Univrsitetskaya emb. 7/9                                      |
| St. Petersburg 199034                                         |
| R U S S I A                      e-mail: Q at TINEA.USR.PU.RU    |

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