Farewell to Species
kinman at HOTMAIL.COM
Mon Jan 31 21:12:53 CST 2000
I agree that Monsanto-monsters will make classification very difficult,
but I think that will pale compared to the biological health hazards that
some of them could eventually pose.
In any case, the Kinman System does incorporate information for
transgenic transfers (major organelles on down the continuum), although
Monsanto could stretch it beyond its limits (but there are always new
conventions that can cover extreme cases). But nothing compared to
nightmares it might cause some strict cladists.
But don't underestimate the frequency of transgenic (horizontal)
transfers (major or minor), although I wouldn't go overboard overestimating
them either (as Woese seems to be doing lately). Viruses have been playing
this transgenic game for billions of years, and while a certain degree of
natural checks and balances may have helped "regulate" it to a certain
extent, I fear the Monsantos of the world may totally upset some apple-carts
along the way (perhaps with disastrous results). We could have some genetic
"Silent Springs" in the 21st Century that would even surprise Rachel Carson.
But with the Internet and other information technologies, perhaps genetic
mistakes and corporate overstepping can be caught and corrected more quickly
than some of the chemical follies of the 20th Century. Time will tell.
P.S. I think uninomial names replacing binomials might cause as many
problems as it might solve for Cosmogenre Geobiota (Earth life). But for
Cosmogenre Martiobiota (whether still living, or only known from fossils),
who knows what kind of nomenclature might be used. But assuming Martian
life did exist (or even still exists in the nooks and crannies of Martian
rocks), I still firmly believe the probability that life evolved
independently on the two planets would far outweigh the possibility of
interplanetary "panspermia" transfers.
By the way, is it true that Hoyle or some of his colleagues are now
theorizing that new strains of influenza might be coming from outer space
and accelerated downward by sunspot activity? Sounds like scientific
imagination gone wild IMHO.
>From: Don McAllister <mcall at SUPERAJE.COM>
>Reply-To: Don McAllister <mcall at SUPERAJE.COM>
>To: TAXACOM at USOBI.ORG
>Subject: Re: Farewell to Species
>Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2000 21:01:31 -0500
>Geoff Read wrote:
> > > It may be too late for Earth nomenclature, start with unique
> > > uninomials and separate identifying names from
> > > relationships/classifications.
> > Umm, how would you stop the current cop-out pseudo-x, para-x, neo-x's
> > epithets from creeping into uninomials too?
>Right on Geoff,
>As well I forgot all about the new genetic Monsantomonsters that are being
>created too. Haven't seen the Taxacom thread tackle that
>nomenclatorial-clad-classif. horror yet! Fortunately there were just a few
>major transgenic events in the past. Now we will get a new one every week
>with the Biosafety Protocol ruling saying that nothing in the protocol will
>interfere with WTO rules!
> > :-)
> > --
> > Geoff Read <g.read at niwa.cri.nz
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