[Taxacom] (no subject)

igor pavlinov ipvl2008 at mail.ru
Sat Dec 19 12:53:49 CST 2020


If possible, then just try.
 
Though, these arguments are «existential» (if you mean Husserlism), this is contemporary conceptualism (rooted in Kant) coupled with contemporary cognitivism. They both are as old as about 50 years.
 
It’s easy, just look at it with open mind. (https://www.upress.umn.edu/book-division/books/scientific-pluralism)
 
«Living is easy with eyes closed» J Lennon
 
Cheers
 
Igor
 
- - -
Igor Ya. Pavlinov, DrS
Zoological Museum of Lomonosov Moscow State University
ul. Bol'shaya Nikitskaya 6
125009 Moscow
Russia
http://zmmu.msu.ru/personal/pavlinov/pavlinov1.htm  
http://zmmu.msu.ru/personal/pavlinov/pavlinov_eng1.htm
 
  
>Суббота, 19 декабря 2020, 20:36 +03:00 от John Grehan <calabar.john at gmail.com>:
> 
>It's possible to argue oneself into a box over existential arguments like this.  
>On Sat, Dec 19, 2020 at 10:17 AM igor pavlinov < ipvl2008 at mail.ru > wrote:
>>As far as remember, Simpson tried to distinguish two kinds of naturalness of taxa, with respect to inclusion and with respect to exclusion. The first refers to membership, the second to boundaries. If we take naturalness for «reality», this seems also relevant.
>> 
>>And about that «reality»… I wonder if most of participants in this discussion do take into consideration that thare are many «kinds of reality», viz. objective, subjective, virtual, etc. Moreover, there far many ways to define what is, say, «objective reality». Moreover. there is a standpoint, according to which there are various degrees of «reality».
>> 
>>Suppose one decides to define «objective reality» as something that exists «as such» out of one’s mental (cognitive) activity. From the contemporary cognitive science perspective, any cognizable object (say, phyloheny) apears in a cognitive situation as a product of one’s cognitive activity in form of a cognitive model.
>> 
>>Assume that a certain natural phenomenon is a part of its natural surrounding, and its relations and interactions with other parts are essential for the existens of this phenomen and thus for its «reality». Cognitive activity includes «cutting out» a certain natural phenomenon from its natural surrounding: when we consider phylogeny, we discard any other aspects of historical development of biota (which also includes the history of ecosystems). With this, the more relations of this phenomenon is «cut out» by one’s cognitive activity, the less close to «real» becomes a representation (cognitive model) of the cognized phenomen in a cognitive situation. Again about phylogeny: its Haeckelian undestanding seems to be closer to the «reality» as compared to Hennigian one which is very reductionist.
>> 
>>How do you like this philosophical standpoint? Are Haecckelian monophyletic taxa more «real» a little bit that Hennigian holophyletic ones?
>> 
>>Cheers,
>> 
>>Igor
>> 
>> 
>>- - -
>>Igor Ya. Pavlinov, DrS
>>Zoological Museum of Lomonosov Moscow State University
>>ul. Bol'shaya Nikitskaya 6
>>125009 Moscow
>>Russia
>>http://zmmu.msu.ru/personal/pavlinov/pavlinov1.htm  
>>http://zmmu.msu.ru/personal/pavlinov/pavlinov_eng1.htm
>> 
>>  
>>>Пятница, 18 декабря 2020, 22:40 +03:00 от Richard Pyle via Taxacom < taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu >:
>>> 
>>>OK, I’ll bite.
>>>
>>> 
>>>
>>>Let’s pick something super basic – like maybe the isthmus joining North America and South America. I’m a fish nerd, so I’ll use a marine example (but the same principles apply for terrestrial stuff).
>>>
>>> 
>>>
>>>So we start with an open water pathway between the two Oceans on either side of what will eventually become the isthmus. A single population of fish that routinely and freely exchange genes with each other via reproductive events exists across both ocean basins. Any two individuals of opposite sex within the population could mate and yield healthy viable offspring. By *any* definition, the population is a single species.
>>>
>>> 
>>>
>>>Geologic conditions change, and the water bridge between the two oceans shrinks. At some point in time, the land bridge is complete. Shortly before that, the last larvae or adult “individual” ( :-) ) traversed from one ocean to the other, after which gene-flow between the two oceans fell to zero. The day after that happens, did the two populations in the two separate oceans become distinct species? I’m guessing most of us would agree they were not (yet) different species – they were two isolated populations of the same species.
>>>
>>> 
>>>
>>>Time passes. Lots of time passes. Through genetic drift or founder effects or natural selection or whatever processes we want to conjure, gene frequencies among the populations in each of the two oceans diverge. The extent to which the gene frequencies diverge is a function of time and gene flow. With the nice, clean, geologic barrier between the two populations, we can safely assume gene-flow is zero. At what time/degree of gene-frequency divergence do we stop calling them the same species, and start calling them different species? At the moment any measurable differences in gene frequencies across the two populations can be detected? At the first sign of any phenotypic (aka morphological) difference? At the point where the morphological difference between he two oceans is 100% (e.g., when the last individual with the spot on the fin on the Atlantic side has died, and the last individual lacking the spot on the fin on the Pacific side has died)? At the point where viability of Atlantic-Pacific cross-bred individuals is lower than the average viability of Atlantic-Atlantic or Pacific-Pacific offspring? At the point in time where reproduction between any two individuals on either side of the isthmus fails to yield any viable offspring? There are gazillions of other points in time where I could declare that the moment has arrived when we should stop calling members of each of the two ocean populations the “same” species, and start calling them “different” species. And, of course, different people would (reasonably) disagree on when that threshold has been crossed.
>>>
>>> 
>>>
>>>So, my point is this: even if populations can be split effectively instantaneously, evolution is a gradual process, and both opportunity and biochemical/genetic compatibility for gene exchange are not absolutes. The transition between one species and two species cannot be easily pinpointed. Therefore, there is always going to be (as Doug nicely noted), some “fuzziness” in the boundaries between two sister species. Our nomenclatural system doesn’t accommodate this. They either are, or are not distinct/same species. So, yes, John, assuming enough time passes with zero gene-flow between the two Oceans, we can confidently expect the two populations to diverge, and to reflect this divergence through genetics, morphology and reproductive viability. That’s definitely “natural”, and the resulting “taxa” exist independently of our (human) interpretation of them. But once we start labelling taxa with names, we emphasize the boundaries between them. And as I’ve hope I’ve illustrated, those boundaries are not so natural – they are more in the realm of artificial.
>>>
>>> 
>>>
>>>Darwin said it best:
>>>
>>>“We must, however, in many cases, decide by a majority of naturalists, for few well-marked and well-known varieties can be named which have not been ranked as species by at least some competent judges.”
>>>
>>> 
>>>
>>>We can certainly discuss the naturalness of phylogenies – especially when we represent them as tidy cladograms with clean bifurcations at nodes among the branches. But I’ve rambled on enough already that I’ll save the dissection of that particular illusion for another rant. But for now, at least, I hope I’ve adequately explained my deliberately cryptic and intentionally snarky remark that taxa may be “natural”, but the boundaries between them not so much.
>>>
>>> 
>>>
>>>Aloha,
>>>
>>>Rich
>>>
>>> 
>>>
>>>Richard L. Pyle, PhD
>>>Senior Curator of Ichthyology | Director of XCoRE
>>>
>>>Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum
>>>
>>>1525 Bernice Street, Honolulu, HI 96817-2704
>>>
>>>Office: (808)  848-4115 ; Fax: (808)  847-8252
>>>
>>>eMail:  deepreef at bishopmuseum.org
>>>
>>> < http://hbs.bishopmuseum.org/staff/pylerichard.html > BishopMuseum.org
>>>
>>>Our Mission: Bishop Museum inspires our community and visitors through the exploration and celebration of the extraordinary history, culture, and environment of Hawaiʻi and the Pacific.
>>>
>>> 
>>>
>>>From: John Grehan < calabar.john at gmail.com >
>>>Sent: Friday, December 18, 2020 9:04 AM
>>>To: Richard Pyle < deepreef at bishopmuseum.org >
>>>Cc: Kipling (Kip) W Will < kipwill at berkeley.edu >; Taxacom < taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu >
>>>Subject: Re: [Taxacom] (no subject)
>>>
>>> 
>>>
>>>Perhaps one can philosophically argue that taxa are natural while the boundaries between them are not. I'm not much of a philosopher so I cannot argue that. But there are cases of allopatric taxa having geographic boundaries corresponding to tectonic zones. This would seem to me to imply that the taxon boundary has some kind of natural existence or this would not be possible to recognize.
>>>
>>> 
>>>
>>>On Fri, Dec 18, 2020 at 1:56 PM Richard Pyle < deepreef at bishopmuseum.org <mailto: deepreef at bishopmuseum.org > > wrote:
>>>
>>>I like Doug’s reply (I’m a closet physics nerd). But I guess I would put it this way:
>>>
>>> 
>>>
>>>Taxa are natural. The boundaries between them are not. Our nomenclature over-emphasizes the boundaries, so through our nomenclatural way of thinking about taxa, we also over-emphasize the boundaries.
>>>
>>> 
>>>
>>>Aloha,
>>>
>>>Rich
>>>
>>> 
>>>
>>>P.S. Kip: I got a fair degree of bombardment off-list (not as bad as I was expecting). Doug perfectly captured my reason for putting the scare quotes around “individual”: if we can’t even define truly discrete units at the subatomic level, even atoms and molecules get hard to pin down. And if we think of individual organisms as collections of atoms and molecules that (more or less) begin when a sperm fertilizes an egg (or replicated cells disconnect), and ends when … I don’t know… a heart stops beating or brain neurons stop firing or however we want to define “death” (more or less – and is a preserved dead specimen the same “individual” as it was when it was alive? How much of the matter comprising the living organism needs to decay and disperse before we stop thinking of it as the same “individual”?), then a whole lot of turnover happens between those two points in time. By some metrics, I’m not the same individual now that I was when I started typing this email (some parts of my skin have undoubtedly found their way among the keys of my keyboard). There is no spoon.
>>>
>>> 
>>>
>>>Richard L. Pyle, PhD
>>>Senior Curator of Ichthyology | Director of XCoRE
>>>
>>>Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum
>>>
>>>1525 Bernice Street, Honolulu, HI 96817-2704
>>>
>>>Office: (808)  848-4115 ; Fax: (808)  847-8252
>>>
>>>eMail:  deepreef at bishopmuseum.org <mailto: deepreef at bishopmuseum.org >
>>>
>>> < http://hbs.bishopmuseum.org/staff/pylerichard.html > BishopMuseum.org
>>>
>>>Our Mission: Bishop Museum inspires our community and visitors through the exploration and celebration of the extraordinary history, culture, and environment of Hawaiʻi and the Pacific.
>>>
>>> 
>>>
>>>From: John Grehan < calabar.john at gmail.com <mailto: calabar.john at gmail.com > >
>>>Sent: Friday, December 18, 2020 7:26 AM
>>>To: Kipling (Kip) W Will < kipwill at berkeley.edu <mailto: kipwill at berkeley.edu > >
>>>Cc: Richard Pyle < deepreef at bishopmuseum.org <mailto: deepreef at bishopmuseum.org > >; Taxacom < taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu <mailto: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu > >
>>>Subject: Re: [Taxacom] (no subject)
>>>
>>> 
>>>
>>>I do wonder about that assertion of taxa not being natural phenomena. What phenomena are 'natural'? If taxa are not natural phenomena and am not sure anything could qualify as it could be excluded by some philosophical argument or other. From a pragmatic point of view it seems interesting that the use of taxa can lead to empirically verifiable predictions of 'phenomena' that were not previously known. I refer to the famous case of the composite tectonic structure of North America which was first predicted from biogeography that used taxa, as then characterized, to identify a composite biogeography which was predicted to correspond to a composite geological origin - and this was later corroborated by geologists who also acknowledged that the biogeographers got to that discovery first. If all of this is just in the mind of humans then there would seem to be no science - just one delusion or another (and Trump did win the election of course).
>>>
>>> 
>>>
>>>John Grehan
>>>
>>> 
>>>
>>>On Fri, Dec 18, 2020 at 12:13 PM Kipling (Kip) W Will via Taxacom < taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu <mailto: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu > > wrote:
>>>
>>>Hey Richard,
>>>I don't think we can let you put scare quotes around individual and leave
>>>there. You need to provide your definition of the term so you may be
>>>properly bombarded. :)
>>>
>>>Kip
>>>
>>>
>>>On Wed, Dec 9, 2020 at 4:24 PM Richard Pyle via Taxacom <
>>>taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu <mailto: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu > > wrote:
>>> 
>>>> > any opinions, especially most critical and provocative, are very
>>>> interesting.
>>>>
>>>> Biological taxa are not "natural phenomena" -- they only exist in the
>>>> minds of humans. Thus, there is no "thing" to which scientific names are
>>>> actually applied (except maybe neurological patterns inside human brains).
>>>> The only meaningful "individual" associated with scientific names is a type
>>>> specimen, but one could argue that even type specimens/individual organisms
>>>> have imprecise boundaries (and thus, again, ultimately exist as
>>>> "individuals" only through neurological patterns inside human brains).
>>>>
>>>> There is no spoon.
>>>>
>>>> Aloha,
>>>> Rich
>>>>
>>>> P.S. Provocative enough? (running for shelter to hide from the inevitable
>>>> bombardment to follow...)
>>>>
>>>> Richard L. Pyle, PhD
>>>> Senior Curator of Ichthyology | Director of XCoRE
>>>> Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum
>>>> 1525 Bernice Street, Honolulu, HI 96817-2704
>>>> Office: (808)  848-4115 ; Fax: (808)  847-8252
>>>> eMail:  deepreef at bishopmuseum.org <mailto: deepreef at bishopmuseum.org >
>>>> BishopMuseum.org
>>>> Our Mission: Bishop Museum inspires our community and visitors through the
>>>> exploration and celebration of the extraordinary history, culture, and
>>>> environment of Hawaiʻi and the Pacific.
>>>>
>>>> > -----Original Message-----
>>>> > From: Taxacom < taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu <mailto: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu > > On Behalf Of igor
>>>> > pavlinov via Taxacom
>>>> > Sent: Wednesday, December 9, 2020 8:15 AM
>>>> > To: Richard Jensen < rjensen at saintmarys.edu <mailto: rjensen at saintmarys.edu > >
>>>> > Cc: Taxacom < taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu <mailto: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu > >
>>>> > Subject: Re: [Taxacom] (no subject)
>>>> >
>>>> >
>>>> > Well, Dick’s concern about “proper” and “true” names is seemingly based
>>>> on
>>>> > their nominalistic treatment. It’s ok as far as current professional
>>>> > nomenclature systems are discussed.
>>>> >
>>>> > My concern is about looking at the names from another,
>>>> natural-philosophical
>>>> > standpoint. Suppose, each particular natural phenomenon is a particular
>>>> > “thing”. Then, any its consideration as a “natural kind” or anything else
>>>> > “collective” becomes irrelevant: it is an “individual». So its calling
>>>> in a
>>>> > particular manner is its “proper name”, i.e., it is (logically) a
>>>> referentative and
>>>> > not an attributive name. So, natural-philosophically, to be “proper”,
>>>> its name
>>>> > is to be just the “true”.
>>>> >
>>>> > PS Actually, my concern is about historical roots of the current
>>>> nomenclature
>>>> > systems. This is because I’m going to write and publish a book on the
>>>> history
>>>> > and theory of nomenclature, so any opinions, especially most critical and
>>>> > provocative, are very interesting.
>>>> >
>>>> > Cheers, I
>>>> >
>>>> >
>>>> > - - -
>>>> > Igor Ya. Pavlinov, DrS
>>>> > Zoological Museum of Lomonosov Moscow State University ul. Bol'shaya
>>>> > Nikitskaya 6
>>>> > 125009 Moscow
>>>> > Russia
>>>> >  http://zmmu.msu.ru/personal/pavlinov/pavlinov1.htm
>>>> >  http://zmmu.msu.ru/personal/pavlinov/pavlinov_eng1.htm
>>>> >
>>>> >
>>>> > >Среда, 9 декабря 2020, 19:53 +03:00 от Richard Jensen
>>>> > < rjensen at saintmarys.edu <mailto: rjensen at saintmarys.edu > >:
>>>> > >
>>>> > >Igor's bit of philosophy brings up a point I have made before:
>>>> > >scientific names are not "proper names" as the latter are generally
>>>> > understood. The philosophers quoted were wrong with respect to proper
>>>> > names. Proper names do not define anything; a thing and its proper name
>>>> are
>>>> > not the same; there are no true names for us to search for. Proper names
>>>> > have few, if any, "rules" for their application and use. In conducting
>>>> > genealogical research, I have found hundreds of individuals named Hans
>>>> > Christian Andersen and probably many more named, very simply, Jens
>>>> > Jensen. The same holds for proper names of places: there are numerous
>>>> > counties, cities and towns (in the US) named Washington, or Madison - the
>>>> > people of each locality were free to choose whatever name they wished to
>>>> > use. If I tell you that someone lives in Washington, what do you know
>>>> for
>>>> > sure? Essentially, nothing.
>>>> > >
>>>> > >Our binomials are different. They are (within the bounds of the
>>>> different
>>>> > codes) unique names that apply to specific entities recognized by
>>>> > taxonomists. These names cannot be freely applied to other entities and
>>>> > these names have a very important quality not found in proper names -
>>>> they
>>>> > tell us a great deal about the "thing" bearing the name. If you are
>>>> told that
>>>> > there is a plant in my backyard that is a representative of Quercus
>>>> palustris
>>>> > Muenchh., you can immediately (if you are a reasonably knowledgeable
>>>> > botanist) provide a list of many characteristics of this plant, from
>>>> general
>>>> > features (e.g., life form, anatomy, physiology) down to "specific"
>>>> characters
>>>> > (e.g., size and shape of fruits, floral structure, leaf shape, etc.).
>>>> Our scientific
>>>> > names are not the same as proper names because they do define the "thing"
>>>> > bearing the name, they are unique, and they cannot be changed, except
>>>> > within the context of the appropriate code. Proper names do not have
>>>> these
>>>> > qualities.
>>>> > >
>>>> > >Cheers,
>>>> > >
>>>> > >Dick
>>>> > >
>>>> > >
>>>> > >On Tue, Dec 8, 2020 at 11:11 PM igor pavlinov via Taxacom <
>>>> >  taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu <mailto: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu > > wrote:
>>>> > >
>>>> > >>With regard to the indigenous names, one serious issue is that they
>>>> are, in
>>>> > many cases, nature-philosophically sound. Actually, as Chuang Tzu said, a
>>>> > thing becomes what it is when named/called. According to Plato, a thing
>>>> and
>>>> > its name are the same, as far as express the same eidos. From this,
>>>> > Tournefort’s idea of by giving true names to God's creatures echoed
>>>> > subsequently by Linne with his “proper names”. Such a mysterious
>>>> attitude to
>>>> > the “true names” is evidently expressed, in many indigenous tribes, in a
>>>> > prohibition to use the names given to people at their born in everyday
>>>> life,
>>>> > which to be replace by respective “nick names” (the “vulgar names” of
>>>> Linne
>>>> > are analogies of the latter).
>>>> > >>Understanding of this seems to yield quite different accent in
>>>> consideration
>>>> > of an aspiration of people to “get back to roots” that agrees
>>>> fundamentally
>>>> > with Confucius’ call to “restore the true names”.
>>>> > >>However, this attitude contradicts fundamentally to the leading
>>>> principle of
>>>> > contemporary taxonomic nomenclature “a name is just a name” set by
>>>> > Adanson.
>>>> > >>All this, of course, a “philosophy”, but is helps sometime to see “the
>>>> other
>>>> > side of the Moon”
>>>> > >>Igor
>>>> > >>
>>>> > >>
>>>> > >>- - -
>>>> > >>Igor Ya. Pavlinov, DrS
>>>> > >>Zoological Museum of Lomonosov Moscow State University ul. Bol'shaya
>>>> > >>Nikitskaya 6
>>>> > >>125009 Moscow
>>>> > >>Russia
>>>> > >> http://zmmu.msu.ru/personal/pavlinov/pavlinov1.htm
>>>> > >> http://zmmu.msu.ru/personal/pavlinov/pavlinov_eng1.htm
>>>> > >>_______________________________________________
>>>> > >>Taxacom Mailing List
>>>> > >>
>>>> > >>Send Taxacom mailing list submissions to:  taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu <mailto: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu >
>>>> > >>For list information; to subscribe or unsubscribe, visit:
>>>> > >> http://mailman.nhm.ku.edu/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/taxacom
>>>> > >>You can reach the person managing the list at:
>>>> > >> taxacom-owner at mailman.nhm.ku.edu <mailto: taxacom-owner at mailman.nhm.ku.edu > The Taxacom email archive back to
>>>> > >>1992 can be searched at:  http://taxacom.markmail.org
>>>> > >>
>>>> > >>Nurturing nuance while assaulting ambiguity for about 33 years,
>>>> 1987-2020.
>>>> > >
>>>> > > --
>>>> > >Richard Jensen, Professor Emeritus Department of Biology Saint Mary's
>>>> > >College Notre Dame, IN 46556
>>>> >
>>>> > _______________________________________________
>>>> > Taxacom Mailing List
>>>> >
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>>>> > searched at:  http://taxacom.markmail.org
>>>> >
>>>> > Nurturing nuance while assaulting ambiguity for about 33 years,
>>>> 1987-2020.
>>>>
>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>> Taxacom Mailing List
>>>>
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>>>>
>>>> Nurturing nuance while assaulting ambiguity for about 33 years, 1987-2020.
>>>>
>>>
>>>--
>>>--
>>>https://nature.berkeley.edu/willlab/
>>>
>>>Contact info:
>>>
>>>Due to COVID, send all specimens/shipments to:
>>>
>>>54 Mulford Hall
>>>ESPM Dept.- Organisms & Environment Div.
>>>University of California
>>>Berkeley, California 94720
>>>
>>>(Do NOT ship to Essig Museum)
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>>>
>>>Nurturing nuance while assaulting ambiguity for about 33 years, 1987-2020.
>>>
>>>_______________________________________________
>>>Taxacom Mailing List
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>>>Send Taxacom mailing list submissions to:  taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
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>>>
>>>Nurturing nuance while assaulting ambiguity for about 33 years, 1987-2020.
>> 
 


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