[Taxacom] double-peaked mountains

John Grehan calabar.john at gmail.com
Sun Dec 1 08:52:04 CST 2013


I missed Ken's earlier comments about seeing a species Homo sapiens in
nature and wondering if we really see a genus Homo etc. He concludes not,
or at least not in the same way, citing the various definitions or
circumscriptions we have for Homo and Hominidae. And yet is it various
definitions or circumscriptions that continue to haunt the 'observation' of
species. There have been (and maybe there still are) people who have,
unfortunately, denied the 'sapiens' or humanity of various other people.
And then there are such cases in relatively recent scientists who have
resorted to executions of individual organisms who have transgressed upon
the morality of some group 'definition' (the famous Tobin of New Zealand
comes to mind, but there are no doubt other examples as well). If an
organism gets in the way of your science don't fix the science, just 'fix'
the problem. All very efficient.

John Grehan


On Sat, Nov 30, 2013 at 8:32 PM, Richard Pyle
<deepreef-bpbm at hawaii.rr.com>wrote:

>
> We observe individual organisms in nature.  We note that multiple
> individual organism share certain characteristics. We notice patterns of
> shared characteristics, and draw lines around clusters of organisms. Those
> clusters exist at many different taxonomic levels.  We do not "observe"
> taxa (species, or higher ranks) in nature.  We only "observe" individual
> organisms, and our pattern-matching brains like to see patterns among sets
> of those organisms.
>
> Aloha,
> Rich
>
> ---- Ken Kinman <kinman at hotmail.com> wrote:
> > Hi Curtis,
> >
> >      Well, I read the paper.  My response was to Kirk, as he seemed to
> be taking the side of the "species deniers".  So I was trying to defend the
> article's main claim:  "Species are salient phenomenal objects. They are
> salient not because of our perceptual tendencies alone but because they do
> exist."
> >
> >      However, although we observe species in nature (at least those of
> us who are not species deniers), do we "observe" genera and families in the
> same way?  I think that is where Rich and might disagree.  I think we can
> see a species Homo sapiens in nature, but can we really see a genus Homo or
> a Family Hominidae?  I think not, at least not in the same way (and
> especially given the various definitions or circumscriptions we now have
> for genus Homo and Family Hominidae).
> >
> >                     ---------------Ken Kinman
> >
> >
>  --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >
> > > Date: Fri, 29 Nov 2013 16:51:22 -0800
> > > From: lists at curtisclark.org
> > > To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> > > Subject: Re: [Taxacom] double-peaked mountains
> > >
> > > On 2013-11-29 12:28 AM, Richard Pyle wrote:
> > > > Lord knows I shouldn't jump into this fray, 12 hours before heading
> to the
> > > > airport for several weeks in the field. But...
> > >
> > > It's interesting how the responses rehash old arguments, rather than
> > > respond to the article, which makes some really good points. Did anyone
> > > read it?
> > >
> > > (Not picking on Rich, just using his for a reply.)
> > >
> > > --
> > > Curtis Clark http://www.csupomona.edu/~jcclark
> > > Biological Sciences +1 909 869 4140
> > > Cal Poly Pomona, Pomona CA 91768
> > >
> > >
> > > _______________________________________________
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