Kinman and Clark debate

Curtis Clark jcclark at CSUPOMONA.EDU
Mon Sep 14 20:56:46 CDT 1998


At 05:34 PM 9/14/98 -0500, Thomas Yancey wrote:
>When we end up arguing about precision in applying method, the
>discussion has drifted away from the concern of accuracy.

It seems to me that accuracy is meaningless to the person who measures the
distance from the Earth to the Moon with microliter precision. :-) Just as
a meter stick is a better measure of length than a volumetric flask, a
paraphyletic group can never unambiguously show kinship, no matter what the
accuracy.

IMHO the debate is between those who want to see classifications reflect
one thing (specifically kinship) unambiguously, and those who want to see
classification reflect many things, even though none of them can be
recovered from the classification.


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Curtis Clark         http://www.intranet.csupomona.edu/~jcclark/
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