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Re: Archaeopteryx

In a message dated 6/16/03 7:32:39 AM Pacific Daylight Time, 
cmchenry@westserv.net.au writes:

<< There is no reason why taxonomic practice needs to be based on what can be
 identified, in the narrow sense, as a 'scientific' methodology.  All
 scientist uses mathematics, and maths is not scientific.  Similarly,
 taxonomic systems were devised as a convenient way of summarising and
 communicating information about a particular group of organisms.    There is
 also no logical reason why a taxonomic system needs to reflect notions of
 descent with modification. >>

As I believe Mayr & Bock (or was it Benton??) point out, there is no 
scientific methodology behind the names of the various divisions and 
subdivisions of 
geological time below "eon" and "era" (which can actually be defined in terms 
of observed events), just history. Rock formations are just rock formations, 
and how we organize them into higher levels of geological time is quite 
arbitrary. Yet everyone seems comfortable using them. Why not likewise with