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Re: New alligatoroid paper . . . .
Not wanting to open the whole PT can of worms again, I would nevertheless
like to make a few points since I haven't blown off enough steam lately to
Chris Brochu said (7/7/99; 10:44am):
>. . . we can erect a name and then find out which taxa belong to it . . .
But we have no knowledge of the taxon's attributes . . . <
Sounds worse than a nomen nudum to me. Such taxa are Platonic, in that all
we can do is attempt to find a physical manifestation of an ideal, which is
itself merely a mental construct.
Philidor11 asked (7/799; 6:58am):
>Aren't taxonomic analyses interpretations?<
Well, at least they used to be. In PT we can define an essentially
unlimited number of taxonomic categories based on the concept of evolution.
But evolution is a universal, and thus all we are saying is that animals
have evolved. Everything indeed has an ancestor, and everything indeed
belongs to a monophyletic lineage. A definition in which nothing has been
added to the universals is vacuous.
As Dinogeorge says, it is indeed a matter of philosophy.
This is just my take on the situation, for anyone who might be interested.
I do not want to reopen that old debate that probably really belongs
elsewhere, anyway. You can throw a pie at me when I get to Denver.