Message 2005-05-0018: PhyloCode

Mon, 14 Mar 2005 00:46:53 -0500

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Date: Mon, 14 Mar 2005 00:46:53 -0500
From: [unknown]
Subject: PhyloCode

Ok my rule can be dropped in such cases such as in this case in which=
must be taken that if you tell people they have eaten dinosaur or rep=
when they eat bird they will take it that you lied to them as the usa=
ge was
not meant for that context. This more general usage then can take its=
with other definitions of words which while more general are not what=
are thinking you're saying unless you say it in context. A good examp=
le is
fish. If you order plain old fish in a restaurant you aren't asking f=
or tuna
or salmon even.

All well and fine but for other cases my principle should be applied.=
word can even in theory be strictly speaking defined 100% because you=
as Quantum Mechanics teaches give a perfect measurement to anything w=
the act of measurement altering what is being measured. What's a meas=
hasn't even been defined according to everyone. We can define things =
without knowing much at all about it. What is a human being? We still
haven't completed figuring out every last piece of genetic informatio=
n on
that question. You can also define things in terms of how they work. =
don't know how everything works in our bodies. If we did we would hav=
e no
more groundbreaking research into how our bodies work. So even withou=
t full
definitions we have definitions. The fact is right or wrong even a
scientific pronouncement can only go so far in changing how people ta=
lk. You
can say that a spider scientifically is not an insect. You cannot say=
 a dog
is an insect. We are trying to talk to people so that they will under=
not think that if we say we are going to hit an insect with a swatter=
 we may
also mean a dog. If you coin new words you run into no trouble and ju=
await its fate at the hands of the public. If you redefine words you =
may run
up against a public that just won't budge as they want to be understo=
Words have to be viable. PhyloCode cannot fully win in science if all=
 it has
conquered are the scientists.


----- Original Message -----

=46rom: "Kevin de Queiroz" <Dequeiroz.Kevin@NMNH.SI.EDU>

To: <>; <>

Sent: Sunday, March 13, 2005 4:50 PM

Subject: RE:PhyloCode

An ordinary person probably also would not call a bird an amniote, or=
chordate, or a deuterostome, or a bilaterian, yet it belongs to all o=
f those
groups. So for us to say that birds are reptiles and dinosaurs doesn=
=B4t mean
that ordinary people would ever have to say, for example, that the
Thanksgiving dinosaur was roasted perfectly this year. They could sti=
ll call
it a bird or a turkey.Kevin>>> Yisrael Asper <
12/03/05 21:03 >>>Hello Michel and allMy concern is for the ordinary =
more than for the scientists sincelanguage is the way we communicate
scientist and nonscientist alike. Anordinary person for example would=
call a bird a dinosaur for instance. Iam not saying PhyloCode should =
not use
old names only that it should notredifine words but rather instead co=
in in
such cases a new ones so that theold words would not be for PhyloCode=
would be left to their fate indictionaries. People may still use them=
 but if
PhyloCode succeeds then theywould not be a scientific
names.Sincerely,Yisrael----- Original Message -----From: "Michel Laur=
<>To: "Yisrael Asper" <>=
Saturday, March 12, 2005 12:54 PMSubject: Re: PhyloCodeHello,>I read =
the PhyloCode in Discover Magazine. The only thing that seems>frighte=
about it would be if names are redefined in it.They cannot be redefin=
because theyhave not really been defined under the old codes;only a t=
ype is
included, and that is the extentof the definition (not much).>People =
not>like to have to call birds Reptilia for instance.Actually, many
scientists who are againstthe PhyloCode do place birds within Reptili=
Ithink there should be>a rule>for PhyloCode set that whenever a would=
PhyloCode definition for a word>would otherwise differ from a definit=
already accepted even from>PhyloCode, that a new term be made instead=
, with
the otherwise old name>being>declared from the point of view of Phylo=
Code as
describing a nonexistent>category.We have discussed this extensively =
consensus is that we want to be able to reuseold names, such as Repti=
Dinosauria andOsteichthys, even though they traditionallyreferred to
paraphyletic taxa.Sincerely,Michel>Yisrael Asper--Michel LaurinFRE 26=
CNRSUniversit=E9 Paris 7 - Denis Diderot2, place Jussieucase 70777500=
ParisFRANCEtel. (33 1) 44 27 36
92 of the
International Society for Phylogenetic Nomenclature


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