genetic oversplitting (part one)

Ron at Ron at
Thu Jul 19 14:58:50 CDT 2001


Many good thoughts are being put forth. It is difficult for me to address
some areas as I am not knowledgeable enough. On the other hand, sometimes
an "outsider" or a stranger passing by may ignite thought that the involved
parties missed because they were "blinded" by the facts. They can not think
outside their box.

In the Tree of Life phrase there is the assumption of only one tree and
thus only one root and thus only one seed. The idea that all life on earth
came from one seed is just an assumption. The Universe not only has order
it functions in accord with that order. Be it physics or evolution there
are paramaters of limitation and guidence.  Convergent, divergnet,
parallel - all motion in different dirrectons - but not chaotic or random.
Just because one sees two apples it does not mean they came from the same
tree. Just becuase one sees two genetic or morphological patterens it does
not necessarily follow that they have the same origin - parent.

Look outside the box.  Look to the future. Look to other planets and the
life on them. What do we think we will find? Apples? Apes? Viruses? Of
course we will. And you know what there will be genomes too. And not only
that some will be identical to what is here 30 billion light years away -
disconnected by time and space - but totally connected by the Rules of Life
which at our primitive level we really know nothing about. There is the
Theory of Evolution - I look forward to when we humans find The Laws of
Evolution. The natural universe is one. Atoms, molecules, cells, organic,
inorganic - many levels, parts, functioning as One.

First, I do not see a tree in evolution, I see a river. Actually I see
several. Thus, the "instability" in nomenclatorial terminologies is not
such at all. It is the mirror of the rivers of life. Be it Linnaean or
Cladistic the common error in in trying to nail down life to a hard
systematically delineateable box or - tree. The very fact that the word
tree is used reveals the underlying perspective - the basic error. In
reality both sides are but traditionalists using differing methodology to
reach the same old end. Consider the very title of this thread of posts -
oversplitting. How can evolutionists even have that word in their
vocabulary let along in paradigm. Evolutional oversplitting - this is an
oxymoron. Call it Quercus or 634-57890 they are still names. Call it
subspecies or outgroups. Call it, name it, label it, AFFIX it. There will
never be "stability" in nomenclature - Phylo or IC_N - there can't be
because we are not just dealing with dead old fossils but evolving
organisms.

Taxonomy is inherently a contradictory science. It is an attempt to
delineate and then fix, in space and time, an identity upon living
organisms that will not remain fixed in the same state of delineation in
space or time. Taxonomy only defines a evolutionary moment (in the cosmic
continuance), describes a form (in the evolutionary transitional state),
and limits said entity to a location and habitat (that was previously
non-existing and will again be non-existing over the geological and
environmental epochs).  From this perspective all genera themselves are
but "blend zone" entities.

Taxonomy (by whatever system) is not an end. It is a tool in its infancy.
Its primary job is not to conclude (to be the last word) but to inform (to
be a progressive revelation). A hundred billion years from now will it have
served as a tracking device or a mere documentation of antiquity?  Will it
have functioned as a family snapshot album or an old catalogue? Thus, a
taxonomy that lacks fluidity and flexibility is not dealing with the
reality (design and evolution) of living organisms. It is dead and belongs
in a dark drawer along with the preserved remains of organisms it has tried
to put in suspended animation.

Ron Gatrelle, president
International Lepidoptera Survey
http://tils-ttr.org




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