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Re: birds are birds, dogs are dogs
Ken Kinman wrote:
> Unlike dinosaurology, strict cladism hasn't made the same inroads into
> disciplines like entomology, so you are unlikely to hear the insect
> equivalents, like "fleas are scorpionflies" or "termites are cockroaches".
Given the importance of the entomologist Hennig in the development of
theory & practice, I'm not sure I'd agree with this view - I certainly
heard "termites are cockroaches" (and mantids for that matter) and I
this is highly educational for the general public who appear to bracket
termites with ants & wasps.
> believe it is the strict cladist's acquired distaste for any paraphyletic
> group that is the greater problem (more so than people showing off their
> knowledge or trying to socially intimidate).
I don't think most cladists (or their 'opponents') set out to intimidate
there is a distinction, I believe, in appropriate terminology for
between scientists (where unambiguous precision is required) and between
scientists and non-scientists (where communicating ideas in plain
vital). But that is irrelevant to how we go about the business of
> I personally think it is more helpful (and less "in a person's face")
> to say fleas evolved from scorpionflies, or birds evolved from dinosaurs.
By this reasoning, is it helpful to say that rats "evolved from"
salmon "evolved from" fish?