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Fish with mild (Sheesh spinoff)
Mike Taylor wrote:
I hate to disagree with you, Tom, but -- well -- I disagree.
I don't see how this is any different from asking "I wonder
why no fish developed the ability to suckle their young".
If someone asked that question, I wouldn't expect to see
responses saying "One subclade did", referring to Mammalia.
I'm sorry, I don't recall the specifics and can't give a reference,
but I believe there is a FISH (in the unreconstructed pre-cladistic
usage of the term; I believe also in the clade Actinopterygia, which
does NOT include tetrapods) that has essentially evolved that:
parents (no, I don't know if of one sex or both) secrete something
from their skin which the babies eat.
[[[It's something with a bit of a footnote in philosophical
history. Philosophers of language back in the 1960s were concerned
with the relation between the MEANINGS of words and the BELIEFS (or
THEORIES) accepted by the users of the words: there seem to be
grounds for thinking that meaning is derivative from the contexts in
which a word is used, so... And one example often discussed was the
question of whether the MEANING of the word FISH changed when people
decided that whales weren't fish. One of the better papers on the
Michael Slote, "The theory of important criteria," in
"Journal of Philosophy" v. 63 (1966), pp. 211-224
proposed a definition of FISH -- every clause, I seem to remember,
would have excluded some Actinopterygian species. A sobering lesson
on the complexity of our understanding of ordinary language and -- to
bring things a bit back to the DML's topic -- a demonstration that
names of "kinds" of animal HAVE to be interpreted as referring to
lineages and not to groups defined in terms of common features.]]]
University of Melbourne