Paul van Rijckevorsel dipteryx at FREELER.NL
Fri Oct 3 16:07:34 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').

> From: Thomas Lammers <lammers at VAXA.CIS.UWOSH.EDU>
> 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.

+ + +
Not to beat a dead horse, but the advances in Angiosperm taxonomy are
primarily due to results from chloroplast genes (prokaryote DNA), which are
not expressed in the phenotype (they actually are so valuable since they are
not involved in the sexual game).

Research in nuclear DNA is happening at breakneck pace, but I am not sure
how relevant the results will prove to taxonomy. Likely more valuable than
the research on proteins, but that does not seem to have made an enormous
contribution ...

Paul van Rijckevorsel

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