Don.Colless at CSIRO.AU Don.Colless at CSIRO.AU
Thu Jul 11 14:44:11 CDT 2002

Robin Leech wrote:

"I believe that the following "characters", without assessment of character
state, work across widely different taxa:

"Character 1" - 4-chambered heart
"Character 2" - body hair
"Character 3" - warm blood
"Character 4" - vertebrae
"Character 5" - mammary glands

If you add more "characters", (at this point without assessment of character
state), the focus is narrowed, as I shall show below"

With respect, this illustrates pretty nicely a usage that distinguishes
poorly between "character" and "character state" - indeed, it seems to me to
confuse them, to the detriment of clarity (see the paper I quoted -
Sys.Zool. 34:229, 1985). E.g., his Character 2, "body hair" seems to be used
in the sense of  "body hair present", which is one state of the character
(sens. mihi) "body hair present or absent".. Is this nit-picking? I regard
it as an attempt to get a clear terminology.

Don Colless,
CSIRO Div of Entomology,
email don.colless at csiro.au
tel. (02)62464270
tuz le munz est miens envirun :

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