Thomas Lammers lammers at VAXA.CIS.UWOSH.EDU
Fri Oct 3 07:29:33 CDT 2003

At 12:09 PM 10/3/03 +1000, Don.Colless at CSIRO.AU wrote:
>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').

Not only that, but I find it's handmaiden, molecular biology, to also be
patently essentialistic.  We are told that the phenotype is merely a
corrupt and imperfect reflection of the underlying truth, the eidos or
essence -- the genotype.  We should not dwell on mere earthly flesh, but
keep our mind on this sublime spiritual perfection.

Aristotle and Augustine of Hippo would be so proud ...

Thomas G. Lammers, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor and Curator of the Herbarium (OSH)
Department of Biology and Microbiology
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54901-8640 USA

e-mail:       lammers at
phone:      920-424-1002
fax:           920-424-1101

Plant systematics; classification, nomenclature, evolution, and biogeography
of the Campanulaceae s. lat.

"Today's mighty oak is yesterday's nut that stood his ground."
                                                               -- Anonymous

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