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Re: SCIENCE AND CLASSIFICATION
If I limit Birds to the feathered, etc. things I can see out my window, then
I have sacrificed sophistication about evolutionary relationships for the
simplicity of a stable name.
and you replied:
You're confusing (perhaps deliberately) vernacular labeling with scientific
nomenclature. What's good for "birds" or "those flying things that crap on
my car", may not be appropriate for "Aves" or "Neornithes".
A textbook using 'those flying things that crap on my car' would be a joy
and a wonder.
Please consider the idea that the vernacular and the scientific should be
similar as much as possible. I think society benefits if science can avoid
isolating itself to its adepts. Not by accepting error, but by valuing
simplicity and a general understanding.
I've read Einstein's book in which he thought he could explain relativity to
anyone with a grasp of high school algebra, and Freud's popularization in
which he continuously reassures people that his theories are nothing more
than a form of literary criticism, using, for example, Shakespeare as a
Classes are about as far as most people go with nomenclature, so if science
can be made user-friendly by 'those flying things that crap on my car,' why
not? It is possible to be both accurate and (over)simple.