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Date: Mon, 14 Mar 2005 08:41:17 -0500
Everything is measurement to someone in physics. >Under current classifications, you can already tell people they have= eaten vertebrate for dinner without being wrong -- and >this doesn't any da= mage to "bird" or "Aves". True in a dictionary it would then say if it feels like it "not in po= pular usage for meals" on the other hand if I say I ate vertebrate for dinn= er someone would only feel that I shouldn't as a habit talk this way lik= e saying "I know not" is acceptable English but would sound strange if = said consistently. >Being a science, it does not make definitions; it applies them. The people have to understand one another. Unless scientists develop = their own language then as you have stated along with me it will have to ta= ke the people into account. My very point has been that we are dealing here = with nomenclature even when science gets involved. If a definition is no l= onger scientific it may still persist among the people but be booted out of science by another class of speakers treated as a subset of speakers = by dictionaries namely the scientific community which includes even the = enemies of PhyloCode since by definition they are scientists and they have to= ngues too. Yisrael ----- Original Message ----- =46rom: "David Marjanovic" <email@example.com> To: "PML" <firstname.lastname@example.org> Sent: Monday, March 14, 2005 5:32 AM Subject: Fw: PhyloCode > Sorry, the original went to another mailing list... here's it again= ... > > ----- Original Message ----- > From: "David Marjanovic" <email@example.com> > To: "DML" <firstname.lastname@example.org> > Sent: Monday, March 14, 2005 10:43 AM > Subject: Re: PhyloCode > > >> Ok my rule can be dropped in such cases such as in this case in = which > >> note > >> must be taken that if you tell people they have eaten dinosaur o= r reptile > >> when they eat bird they will take it that you lied to them as th= e usage > >> was not meant for that context. > > > > As the president (Kevin de Queiroz) said: The word "bird" will no= t > > disappear. The word "Aves" will not disappear either. Under curre= nt > > classifications, you can already tell people they have eaten vert= ebrate > > for > > dinner without being wrong -- and this doesn't any damage to "bir= d" or > > "Aves". > > > >> All well and fine but for other cases my principle should be app= lied. No > >> word can even in theory be strictly speaking defined 100% becaus= e you > >> can't as Quantum Mechanics teaches give a perfect measurement > >> to anything without the act of measurement altering what is bein= g > >> measured. What's a measurement hasn't even been defined > >> according to everyone. We can define things even > >> without knowing much at all about it. What is a human being? > > > > Here in biological nomenclature, we don't care at all what a huma= n being > > is. > > We're not trying to measure. Nomenclature (unlike phylogenetics!!= !) > > consists > > _purely_ of _arbitrary definitions_. Just like mathematics. "1 + = 1 =3D 2" is > > absolutely true _because and only because_ of the ways "1", "+", = "=3D" and > > "2" > > are _defined_. In the same way, it is an absolute truth* that Din= osauria > > consists of "the most recent common ancestor of *Megalosaurus bucklandii* > > and *Iguanodon bernissartensis*, and all its descendants". Why? S= imply > > because we say so and call that a definition. > > > > Now what a dinosaur is, which organisms are and are not descendan= ts of > > that > > common ancestor, or what that (currently unknown) "most recent co= mmon > > ancestor" is, _this_ is left to science. To solve these questions= , we need > > a > > phylogeny -- that is, a phylogenetic _hypothesis_, a phylogenetic= tree, to > > which we can _apply_ the nomenclature. Making and disproving phylogenetic > > hypotheses is the job of the science of phylogenetics. Being a sc= ience, it > > does not make definitions; it applies them. > > > > * Well, it's not, because the PhyloCode is not yet in effect. > > > >> We still haven't completed figuring out every last piece of gene= tic > >> information on that question. > > > > If we had, we'd have a very good understanding of phylogeny. But = this is > > not > > needed for phylogenetic _nomenclature_. The very idea of phylogen= etic > > nomenclature is that the resulting names should be applicable to = _every_ > > imaginable phylogenetic tree. > > > >> You can say that a spider scientifically is not an insect. > >> You cannot say a dog is an insect. > > > > These are (or at least could be) examples of applications of phylogenetic > > definitions to a particular phylogenetic hypothesis. :-) > > > >> Words have to be viable. PhyloCode cannot fully win in science i= f all it > >> has conquered are the scientists. > > > > Here I agree. The makers of definitions must think through the po= tential > > consequences of the definitions they want to coin. There are seve= ral rules > > and recommendations in the current draft of the PhyloCode that ar= e > > concerned > > with this. As I've mentioned, some of those can already be interp= reted as > > not allowing the currently (in narrow circles) "popular" definiti= on of > > Reptilia.