One origin? (viral evolution)

Thomas DiBenedetto tdibenedetto at OCEANCONSERVANCY.ORG
Fri Jul 20 15:02:05 CDT 2001

-----Original Message-----
From: Curtis Clark [mailto:jcclark at CSUPOMONA.EDU]
And now, for a flaming cladist viewpoint! ....
"Defining" prokaryotes and eukaryotes by their nuclei is essentialist.

And from an equally flaming, but slightly different cladistic viewpoint!

I am not sure that cladistics really needs to go to war against essentialism
in its entirety. To the particular point regarding (x)karyotes, I would say
this: I could accept a "definition" of eukaryotes as cells with nuclei (as
opposed to a "diagnosis" yada yada yada), for I would point out that the
real problem is that a definition of prokaryotes would require a negative
defintion. That is the heart of the problem as far as I can see. Evidence is
qualitativly different than non-evidence. Characters define groups,
non-characters define non-groups (or as Parmenides (I think it was) once
said: "being is, non-being is not").

Tom DiBenedetto

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