[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]
Re: TRUTH AND "TRUTH"
<<I think that here we have the best summations of why we should abandon all
old, Linnean classifications and go with a completely evolutionary and
scientific system. Linnean classifications and ranks are best suited for
the times when evolution wasn't really thought of (except by David Hume in
the 1750's, and published in 1776, but that's a different story).>>
<Wait a minute. Georges de Buffon had a simple theory of evolution, which
was explicitely rejected by Linné, and I've just read that Lamarck (!!!)
wrote in 1809 in his _Philosophie zoologique_:>
David Hume came up with one the first ideas of evolution by natural
selection in his _Dialouges Concerning Natural Religion_. Aristotle came
close, but couldn't shake himself from Platonic thought. You must remember
that in the late 1700s and early 1800s evolution was being discussed, but
anti-evolutionism was in the vogue. William Paley published his book on
design (using the famous "watch" metaphor) in 1803, which covered most of
the area Hume refuted 20 years before. Cuvier, though he came up with
extinction (through catastrophism), was still an anti-evolutionary.
Evolution until Darwin was really championed by only a small minority of
scientists. Many biologists believed in some form of evolution, but they
didn't have the cajones to extend it further.
And Tracy Ford wrote:
<<Why? Alls it boils down to is semantics. Either used by the Linnaean
System or the Cladistic system. I have no problem using the Linnaean system
and I don't see how it does not take into account evolution. This means that
Huene, Nopcsa, Ostrom, didn't believe in evolution because they USED the
Linnaean system? This doesn't make sense. You can easily use both Linnaean
higherarchy with cladagrams and not use new 'node' names. I know because
I've done it.
The Linnean system is *limited* in its account of evolution. In evolution
there are common ancestors, but no arbitrary, subjective ranks such as
"Class", "Phylum", or "Order". Who are we to give ranks to the tree of
life? This is not only unscientific and unfalsifiable (is there a
biologically the hidden rule that designates an "Order"?), but it is also
unevolutionary. In life, things don't fall into easy patterns and ranks.
The very idea behind a Linnean Chart is that we can classify organisms into
simple lists, and that the lists are fairly rigid. Check back a few months
ago, and look at my messages discussing the anti-evolutionary and
typological origins of Linnean systematics.
It is true, it is very easy to use the *names* in Linnean systems, as
paleontologists and biologists have done for centuries. But astronomers
still use the signs of the zodiac founded by astrology. Astrology is no
longer used because, well, it is pseudoscientific (if that) garbage.
Chemistry utilized many of the discoveries of alchemy, even some of the
first serious scientific chemists were alchemists too, but we reject alchemy
because it is just mystical mumbojumbo. The first inventors of machines
were also magicians, and we do without the magic today.
Ultimately, the more that I think about it, Linnean systems are rather
similar to the mystical systems of astrology, alchemy, and magic. They all
have a kernel of scientific thought in them, but were used to live in a
world where everything had order, a divine plan, a magic number, or some
mystical significance. We scrapped astrology, alchemy, and magic, now why
aren't we scrapping Linnaeus?
Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at http://www.hotmail.com.
Share information about yourself, create your own public profile at