[Taxacom] Our Monkey Ancestors

Dick Jensen rjensen at saintmarys.edu
Sun Jan 17 12:08:58 CST 2010


Yes, Steve is right.  The legal definitions are based on common uses, not scientific definitions.  Tomatoes are a fruit, but in common use they are treated more as a vegetable (e.g., more like squash, potatoes, lettuce than like cherries, peaches and apples).

I, too, read "Trying Leviathan" (cf. Peter Stevens' comment) and found it an excellent read.

Dick J

Richard Jensen, Professor
Department of Biology
Saint Mary's College
Notre Dame, IN 46556

tel: 574-284-4674

----- Original Message -----
From: Steve Manning <sdmanning at asub.edu>
To: Peter Stevens <peter.stevens at mobot.org>, Stephen Thorpe <s.thorpe at auckland.ac.nz>
Cc: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu, Richard Zander <Richard.Zander at mobot.org>, Kenneth Kinman <kennethkinman at webtv.net>
Sent: Sat, 16 Jan 2010 17:17:27 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Our Monkey Ancestors

I seem to remember hearing about a comparable situation about 
tomatoes, where the U.S. Supreme Court had to decide whether tomatoes 
were fruits or vegetables - couldn't be both - for regulatory 
purposes.  It determined that they are vegetables, I think.

Steve

At 11:22 AM 1/16/2010, Peter Stevens wrote:
>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...
>
>P.
>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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