Don.Colless at CSIRO.AU Don.Colless at CSIRO.AU
Fri Oct 3 12:09:00 CDT 2003

The notion that classical taxonomy is essentialistic, is of course (as pointed out by Nico Franz) nonsense. Its polythetic nature was examined back in the 60's, by inter alia, David Hull (in what I seem to remember was his PhD thesis!). The amusing fact is that cladism is absolutely essentialistic. Its taxon names are rigidly defined by a set of necessary and sufficient conditions: the posession of what are BELIEVED to be unique apomorphies (by, of course, a set of self-appointed Sherlock Holmes').

Div of Entomology, CSIRO,
GPO Box 1700,
Canberra. 2601.
Email: don.colless at
Tuz li munz est miens envirun

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