Real taxa

pierre deleporte pierre.deleporte at UNIV-RENNES1.FR
Thu Sep 30 17:21:48 CDT 2004

A 15:26 30/09/2004 +0100, Stephan Helfer wrote:
>  Providing we
>accept, for the purpose of this argument, that there are real units out

You mean "real classes" out there ? "Real concepts" out there, and not in 
the brain of a thinking being ?

>  and that things which are measurably alike are in essence

You mean "essence" ? Which kind ?

>  alike
>(i.e. two snow flakes are essentially the same,

"Essentially" ? In which respect, and for which observer ?

>Other organisms share this perception of likeness: Many pollinators
>appear to have concepts of "kind";

Bumblebees have concepts ? You mean that ?

>  similarly, parasitic and mutualistic
>fungi, animals and plants have concepts of "kind"

Fungi too, by the way...

>In consequence, if we accept the reality of these organisms, our own
>concept of taxa can be either challenged or supported. Many rust fungi,
>for instance, only infect a single "species" (as humans understand it)
>of plants; thus confirming our concept of similarity.

I don't ask fungi to validate my concepts of similarity, sorry...

>   in making taxonomic decisions in order to gain a livelihood...

And fungi make decisions. Likely not of the same kind as ours I guess...

Decidedly, I don't buy the "essence" of your argument at all.  ;-)


Pierre Deleporte
CNRS UMR 6552 - Station Biologique de Paimpont
F-35380 Paimpont   FRANCE
Téléphone : 02 99 61 81 66
Télécopie : 02 99 61 81 88

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