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Re: up!up!up!and away!



--On Sunday, March 21, 1999, 3:08 PM -0800 "Pharris Nicholas J"
<pharrinj@plu.edu> wrote: 

> 
> On Sun, 21 Mar 1999, GOBI 2010 (Jessica Wagar) wrote:
> 
>> In AP bio, I've had it hammered into my head that 
>> "As one goes up the phylogenic scale, complexity increases".
> 
> Sheesh, tell your AP bio teacher to join the 20th century.  There is no
> "phylogenetic scale", there is no "up", and "complexity" is not really a
> very well-defined or useful notion.  As our friend Mr. Darwin tought us,
> organisms are as complex as they need to be to do what they do in the
> environment they live in.

You know, I just assumed that her question meant "up"="away from baseline." 
That would explain the "apparent" ineptitude of her teacher who was, after
all, teaching a high school class to future accountants, secretaries,
chemists, etc. (and probably one female paleontologist).  I could be
mistaken here though and maybe I just assumed too much prior knowledge on
the part of the teacher, but the introduction of new concepts is often
tainted to make the knowledge accessible, particularly in high school.  

Jack