[Taxacom] Our Monkey Ancestors

Peter Stevens peter.stevens at mobot.org
Sat Jan 16 11:22:29 CST 2010

Quite recently, I read "Trying leviathan", by D. G. Burnett (2007) -  
subtitle is "The nineteenth century New York court case that put the  
whale on trial and challenged the order of nature". Definitely  
relevant and an excellent read (is the whale a fish? - real question:  
should whale oil be taxed/inspected liked bony fish oil?); what we  
(think we) know, and what others (think they) know, what courts  
decide, and how local pols subvert the whole process...

On Jan 14, 2010, at 2:41 PM, Stephen Thorpe wrote:

>> What shall we make of this scientific discovery?
> It is worse than that: cladistically speaking, either (1) humans,  
> monkeys, birds, frogs, etc. are all fish; or (2) there is no such  
> thing as fish (cladistically speaking) - they are just a  
> paraphyletic assemblage of plesiomorphic vertebrates ... If (2),  
> then all those fishing quota laws are about something that doesn't  
> exist! :)
> ________________________________________
> From: Richard Zander [Richard.Zander at mobot.org]
> Sent: Friday, 15 January 2010 5:13 a.m.
> To: Stephen Thorpe; Kenneth Kinman; taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> Subject: RE: [Taxacom] Our Monkey Ancestors
> Monkeys paraphyletic w.r.t. apes? Are they then paraphyletic w.r.t.
> humans? Are humans cladistically monkeys following the principle of
> holophyly? What shall we make of this scientific discovery?
> *****************************
> Richard H. Zander
> Voice: 314-577-0276
> Missouri Botanical Garden
> PO Box 299
> St. Louis, MO 63166-0299 USA
> richard.zander at mobot.org
> Web sites: http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/resbot/
> and http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/bfna/bfnamenu.htm
> Modern Evolutionary Systematics Web site:
> http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/resbot/21EvSy.htm
> *****************************
> -----Original Message-----
> From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> [mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Stephen  
> Thorpe
> Sent: Wednesday, January 13, 2010 9:06 PM
> To: Kenneth Kinman; taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Our Monkey Ancestors
> I just want to point out that it is easy to criticise others with
> different views, but in this case if, as you say, monkeys are
> paraphyletic w.r.t. apes, then a person who "lumps apes in with  
> monkeys"
> has actually got a good point, cladistically speaking! And spiders do
> tend to be studied in entomology departments, and often in entomology
> journals, so one could be charitable and interpret "insects" in the  
> wide
> sense of insects and allies, rather than in the strict sense of  
> Hexapoda
> (and what about Parainsecta, are they insects? It gets  
> complicated ...)
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