Hennig XVIII

Thomas Schlemmermeyer termites at USP.BR
Sun May 16 16:54:45 CDT 1999

I recall from another e-mail statement (I hope that I do recall correctly),
that Willi Hennig's father studied theology.
In fact there are many references in the Bible where an allusion is made to
the picture of a tree.
God takes care of the tree and only those parts that give fruits are supported,
while the others will be cut off.
Pictures of this kind can be found in the Old and New Testament (Someone could
be so kind to send a complete citation list?).

I am no expert in this, but, as far as I know, in the age of renaissance,
rinascimento etc., medieval, biblical thinking finally was replaced by a
polytheistic, classical thinking....Finally, in the 19th century national
thinking arose, latin was substituted by the newly born national languages,
even in sciences.
Hand in hand with this new development occured the uprise of natural theology
(identification of ultimate, theological order in nature) and a movement
called romantism in literature (heavy weight on nature, spirit, and nation).

Although I do repeat that I am no expert in this, I feel almost sure that
this might be the historical outline of uprise of cladism.
That Haeckel illustrated his first phylogenetic trees as real, biological
trees might have only been a natural consequence from the thinking at that
That Fritz Mueller, one of the most famous evolutionary biologists of the
last century, has been dedicated to the ideas of romantism, nationalism
(in its positive republican, democratic sense) and atheism (again in its
positive sense away from an authoritarian, state directed, obligatory church),
seems natural as well.

Sorry for this rather confuse thoughts. But that Rosa thought in trees before
Hennig did so, and that both of them thought in their own, national languages
does not make me wonder at all.

To look for the roots of cladism might be a cultural "deep-history" task
many did not even think of.

What about making on of these Hennig-meetings in Jerusalem or another place in
the East?


On (    Wed, 12 May 1999 21:01:12 -0400), John Grehan <jrg13 at PSU.EDU> wrote:

>The ensuing discussion following my question about the position of
>Rosa gives the impression that the situation at leasts warrant's
>critical appraisal - something that I do not believe cladistic theorists or
>have addressed (but I am open to correction here).
>I recall a statement from an email correspondent that Hennig was in Italy
> during WWII. If correct this would certainly be suggestive given that
>there are not only "similarities" between Hennig and Rosa, but also
>apparently some duplication according to Croizat.
>I think Hull (1988) makes a case for reconizing only direct influences
>between founder and follower (my words), but Robin Craw in a recent
>paper (citation not in hand at this moment) argued that there was a
>matrix or network of influences and effects surrounding the history of
>cladistics so that no single person could be regarded as the primary
>or sole source (if I have paraphrased his paper correctly from memory).
>Given what is known about the history of cladistic approaches I would
>think that Hennig might be considered as the founder of what might
>be loosely called a "Hennigian" school or tradition (I would include
>explicitly Hennigian as well as transform cladists here). In terms of
>theoretical development I would be inclined towards Colocino's view
>that Rosa deserves merit as a central figure at least as important
>as Hennig.
>Tom DiBenedetto states that Rosa's work did not find widespread
>acceptance - but with the widespread acceptance of cladistics it
>would seem that his work has - even if by proxy. The statement that
>Rosa's  formulations do not lie at the core of most (any?) cladists
> view of their science I would have to request greater clarification.
>Since Rosa is clearly a cladist, his formulations were cladistics, so
>those who support cladistic modes of analysis (and I would have to
>include myself) have Rosa's theory at their core.
>John Grehan

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

Thomas Schlemmermeyer
Caixa Postal 00276
CEP 14001-970
Ribeirco Preto, SP, Brasil

Fone, Fax: 016 6371999

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