[Taxacom] double-peaked mountains

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Fri Nov 29 20:51:35 CST 2013

All we can see in nature are individuals! These individuals stand in relationships of genealogy to one another. The pattern in the "family tree" is what we describe as species (and higher taxa). Fortunately, the pattern mostly supports a taxonomy, but sometimes the pattern may be fuzzy.

From: Ken Kinman <kinman at hotmail.com>
To: Curtis Clark <lists at curtisclark.org>; "taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu" <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu> 
Sent: Saturday, 30 November 2013 3:16 PM
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] double-peaked mountains

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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