Darwin (was: Phylogenetic evidence)

Ken Kinman kinman at HOTMAIL.COM
Fri Jul 12 21:01:30 CDT 2002

    Well, be it silly or not, I was not the one who brought up ("casually
mined"?) the partial quote from Darwin in the first place.  I simply pointed
out that the quote was incomplete and therefore out of context.
     I would much rather quote from a recent work, such as "The Use of
Hierarchies as Organizational Models in Systematics" by Eric B. Knox, 1998
(Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 63:1-49):
    "The distinction between systematization and classification has been
politely overlooked or twenty years.  'Cladistic classification' is
unattainable given the lack of class concepts in cladistics."
     Knox does not quote Darwin, but alludes to such quotes:  "Darwin,
Simpson, and others stated, in admittedly vague terms, that classification
cannot be based solely on a knowledge of genealogy."
     It's a great paper, and reflects many of my own views on why monistic
phylogenetic systematization is incapable of reflecting the dualistic (much
less pluralistic) aspects of evolution.  I don't recall if Knox discussed
reticulate evolution (its a pretty lengthy paper), but that's just one more
reason I find strictly phylogenetic taxonomy too simplistic.

             -----  Ken Kinman

>From: Barry Roth <barry_roth at YAHOO.COM>
>Reply-To: Barry Roth <barry_roth at YAHOO.COM>
>Subject: Re: Darwin (was: Phylogenetic evidence)
>Date: Thu, 11 Jul 2002 16:43:02 -0700
>The main point of my post was the potential silliness of casually mining
>historical literature to support positions on issues that may not even have
>been ripe for debate back then.  Hence the horns.
>The only point in Ken's post I'm moved to take issue with is the notion
>that "[i]t's perfectly natural" is a justification for anything.  What we
>are accustomed to doing seems "natural" to us.  Seems to me that "it's
>natural" was the rubric of one of the more obnoxious schools of child
>rearing a few decades ago, and many little siblings who went unpunished
>after beating on their brothers or sisters were no doubt the happier for
>  Ken Kinman wrote:Barry,
>I detect no hint of any complaint (about ranks) in Darwin's statement.
>Could this be wishful thinking on your part? :-)
>Seems to me he is making a straightforward observation about how to
>"express" differential anagenesis (different degrees of modification) in a
>classification. And this can be just as true for molecular data as it is
>for morphological data.
>It's perfectly natural to give two sister groups different rank based
>on different degree of divergence.
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