The First Principles of Created Kinds


(John Harshman) #143

You go considerably beyond that.

(Anjeanette AJ Roberts) #144

If you want my participation in a meaningful dialogue on the new thread, might I suggest you leave @Timothy Horton out of it.

(Timothy Horton) #145

I wasn’t arguing, I was pointing out the exact same flaw in Mung’s definition of “kind” = “clade”.

(Timothy Horton) #146

Not that I have seen but I’ll take your observation under advisement.


I don’t agree that phylogenetics and cladistics are the same thing. Perhaps a topic for another day. :slight_smile:

(Anjeanette AJ Roberts) #148

John, I’d like a private conversation with you about this. Is that possible? And if so, how?

(Dan Eastwood) #149

Yes, I assume there will be some flat out disagreement, but at least we will have something to discuss.

At the moment that requires manual removal of comments, which I would be happy to do, but I may not be able to remove them immediately. Is that acceptable?

(John Harshman) #150

Feel free.

(John Harshman) #151

It’s possible, though I have to wonder why. My email address is

(Timothy Horton) #152

It is new PS policy that Creationists may demand censorship of certain PS regulars based on uncomfortable questions which might be asked? Is that a fair policy?

(Dan Eastwood) #153

It is fair they be allowed to present their case without being met with hostility. It’s right that we should have a full understanding of that case before criticizing it. It’s reasonable that we act to limit harassment when asked to do so.

No policy is entirely fair, I think, what matters is that it can be fairly applied. We already have many examples here of Creationists restricted from harassing people in scientific discussions. This is the opposite side of the same coin. No one always gets what they want, unless they own the joint. :wink:

There will be an accompanying thread for side comments on the main discussion, as we have with many other topics.

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #154

I entirely agree @Dan_Eastwood. Thank you for stepping in my absence.

You can’t possibly criticize something you don’t understand. We certainly insist you take time to understand before you criticize.

(John Harshman) #155

Now, be fair. How can he understand when nobody will actually say what the RTB position is?

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #156

That is part of the work we have to do together, elicit what they mean with empathy. RTB, I want to emphasize, responds well to constructive engagement. If you can help elicit their thoughts in the end it will be more fun.

(Timothy Horton) #157

How can I understand something when no explanation has been provided in the first place and all questions are met with feigned indignation and ignored?

(Anjeanette AJ Roberts) #158

Thanks, John. If I have time I will email tomorrow. As to why, because I want to discuss your point with you, and feel the freedom to ask legitimate questions without distractions from others.


That is very true. The separation between genera and other taxonomic divisions is arbitrary. This is why biologists have moved to cladistics which defines a group as a common ancestor and all of its descendants which is not arbitrary. Linnaean taxonomy was never meant to describe groups of organisms related through common descent.

I would like to point out that the theory of evolution already has an empirical test for determining kinds. That test is phylogenetic signal, otherwise known as evidence of a nested hierarchy. If RTB is going to tackle this topic it will have to tackle the evidence of the nested hierarchy.


Isn’t the Linnaean classification a nested hierarchy?


It is a nested hierarchy of a sort. The problem is that a lineage will start out as a single species in a single genus. Over time, the diversity of that group can increase to the point that it comprises a new genus, family, order, class, and so on. These groups expand horizontally, which is incorrect. Lineages move vertically, not horizontally. Cladistics properly describes a lineage as a tree which is lacking in the Linnaean system.

(Bill Cole) #162

The observation of the nested hierarchy is true but the cause is uncertain as reproduction and variation explains the similarities well but not the differences.