Understanding evolution problems

John Grehan jgrehan at SCIENCEBUFF.ORG
Thu Mar 4 13:41:36 CST 2004

At 12:30 PM 3/4/2004 -0600, Ken Kinman wrote:
>      The incommensurability problem (never the twain shall meet) will
> eventually be solved by a "limited paraphyly" approach (with explicit
> place-markers), and strict cladism's intransigence is just delaying the
> inevitable.

I'm ok with that as a point of view, but whether intransigence lies with
'strict cladists' or others is a matter of one' s position. Maybe I don't
find paraphyletic assemblages very informative for my purposes if I am
interested in lineage relationships. That's my choice, but its not
necessarily any more intransigent than any other choice.

>  The longer it takes, the more unpleasant will be the transition to a new
> balanced paradigm (and lot of students will have to be deprogrammed and
> educated about what paraphyly really is).

'balanced paradigm' is a political concept. If politics is to rule science
then perhaps so. Otherwise, perhaps not.

>  Eventually one of strict cladism's major blunders will become glaringly
> apparent and the tide will finally turn.  The sooner the better.

Waiting in anticipation

>P.S.  Of course, paraphyly is not the only methodology under attack.  The
>Linnaean System is the other prime target.

I too would share concern over any such move.


Dr. John Grehan
Director of Science and Collections
Buffalo Museum of Science
1020 Humboldt Parkway
Buffalo, New York 14211-1293
Voice 716-896-5200 x372
Fax 716-897-6723
jgrehan at sciencebuff.org

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