Hennig XVIII

Mike Crisp Mike.Crisp at ANU.EDU.AU
Thu May 13 23:37:36 CDT 1999

J. S. L. Gilmour is generally given credit for the philosophy that became
the basis of phenetics, especially the idea that 'natural' groupings are
those based on overall similarity.  This was in the 1930s and 1940s, eg.
Gilmour, J. S. L. (1937). A taxonomic problem. Nature 139, 1040-1042.
Gilmour, J. S. L. (1940). Taxonomy and philosophy. In 'The New
Systematics'. (Ed. J. Huxley.)  pp. 461-474. (Oxford Univ. Press: Oxford.)

On  Wed, 12 May 1999 at 11:44:35 -0500, Thomas G. Lammers wrote:

>A parallel case to Rosa/Hennig could be made re: Sokal & Michener (1958) as
>the beginnings of the phenetic school.  It would seem they were "scooped"
>by Eugeniusz Kuzniewski  [<<Rodzaj Sagittaria L. w swietle "Taxonomii
>Wroclawskiej">>,  Acta Soc. Bot. Poloniae 25: 275-284 (1956)],  who in turn
>adapted a methodology first worked out by K. Florek et al. in Przegl.
>Antropolog. vol. 17 (1952).  I've never seen these Polish works credited in
>any discussion of phenetic methods, despite the paper being translated to
>English by H. M. Massey in 1968 and distributed by the U.S. Department of

No doubt somebody will now unearth some even earlier founder of phenetics.

Ultimately, the search for ancestors of ideas seems fruitless to me.  With
regard to the origin of cladistics, have already heard cases for Hennig,
Rosa, Farris and Wagner.  To these could be added Zimmerman (Donoghue, M.
J., and Kadereit, J. W. (1992). Walter Zimmerman and the growth of
phylogenetic theory. Systematic Biology 41, 74-85.)  All these, and others
too,  undoubtedly made their contributions towards a new approach that
evolved and faltered until suddenly it became a paradigm.  In the 20:20
vision of hindsight these events look much simpler than they really were.

Dr Michael D. Crisp
Reader in Plant Systematics
Division of Botany and Zoology
Australian National University
Canberra ACT 0200 Australia

Phone + 61(0)2 6249 2882
Fax   + 61(0)2 6249 5573
E-mail mike.crisp at anu.edu.au

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