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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.