[Taxacom] (no subject)

Douglas Yanega dyanega at gmail.com
Fri Dec 18 11:57:28 CST 2020

On 12/18/20 9:25 AM, John Grehan via Taxacom wrote:
> I do wonder about that assertion of taxa not being natural phenomena.

At the risk of dragging this out, allow me to very briefly draw an 
analogy which might be helpful:

Photons are a "taxon" of elementary particle, yet despite being asserted 
to be particles, a photon can act either as a particle or as a wave. All 
that means is that our ability to categorize is artificial, and 
artificially constrained. A "natural" classification/description for 
elementary particles eludes us, as does a "natural" description of 
species. The definitions have fuzziness to them. That doesn't mean that 
our classifications and descriptions have NO heuristic value; we just 
need to acknowledge their limitations - e.g., Rich's "scare quotes".   ;-)


Doug Yanega      Dept. of Entomology       Entomology Research Museum
Univ. of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0314     skype: dyanega
phone: (951) 827-4315 (disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
   "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
         is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82

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