Cladistics, compromise and politics
kinman at HOTMAIL.COM
Wed Sep 22 07:04:00 CDT 1999
Your points are well taken. I would only add that I tend to
distinguish between endless scientific debate (which I regard as healthy and
productive) and unproductive bickering. Granted, each person's view is
going to differ when productive debate becomes unproductive bickering. I
can only hope that my "middle ground" could help to eliminate a lot of (what
most could agree is) unproductive debate (whether you call it bickering or
Cheers, Ken Kinman
> >, my fertile "middle ground" >seems to lie even between some cladist
>I always wonder about middle ground. It seems to me an ideological or
>political concept whose appeal is based on the view that a political
>compromise between opposing views is more "real" than the alternatives.
>Compromise is a pragmatic necessity in pluralistic societies where people
>with differing phliosophies (religions, politics etc.) have to get along,
>but whether this pragmatism is a necessary element of scientific method I
>am not so sure.
> >and that some kind of reconciliation is imperative if we are ever going
>to see some lessening of this endless bickering, so that systematics can
>become more productive and efficient.
>As mentioned above with respect to political compromise, I do not see the
>open-ended debate among research programs as necessarily being
>unproductive. Endless bickering seems to be an integral component of the
>scientific method and practice. The bickering on this subject on this list
>I have found to be informative and interesting (so I am glad there is a Ken
>Kinman to disagree with cladists), and I would rather have the bickering
>than not - although bickering is not the adjective I would use.
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