MWalker at gensym.com
Wed Sep 5 14:54:59 EDT 2001
> This is not true. As Alex pointed out there is some pretty
> good info on
> this in the old Peterson Klots' field guide (and lots of
> other places).
> Sometimes we make things more complicated than they are.
> 1) Are there, and do we know - that plants and animals are
> different? If
> so, then the rank of Kingdom is clearly defined to a 3 year old - even
> though they don't know the terms, Plantae/Animalia.
> 2) Are there, and do we know - that Insects and Fish are
> very different?
> If so, then the rank of Phylum is clearly defined to a 4 year
> old - even
> though they don't know the terms, Arthropoda/Chordata.
> 3) Is there, and do we know - the difference between Butterflies and
> Lobsters? If so, the rank of Class is clearly defined to a 5
> year old -
> even though they do not know the terms, Hexapoda/Crustacea.
> 4) Are there, and do we know - that butterflies/moths and beetles are
> different? If so, the rank of Order is clearly defined to a
> 6 year old -
> even though they do not know the terms, Lepidoptera/Coleoptera.
> 5) How about moths and butterflies? Does a 7 year old know they are
> different? If so, then the rank of Suborder is evident to him/her even
> though they likely do not know the terms Heterocera/Rhopalocera.
> 6) And among the butterflies, does a 8 year old now notice
> skippers are
> different from other butterflies? If so, then the taxonomic rank of
> Superfamily is acknowledged even though the terms
> Papilionoidea/Hesperioidea are yet unknown to them.
> 7) Does the budding lepidopterist of 9 clearly see that
> hairstreaks and
> swallowtails are different - even their larva? Ditto to the rank of
> 8) If the youngster lived in the 1960's by 10 he would
> observe and also
> know the terms and parameters of Subfamily, Tribe, Genus and
> species. His parents would have given him/her Klots and Holland or
> Comstock for their birthday and they would be well aware of it all.
> 9) But back when they were 2 they would have known what
> species are. Cow
> says moooo, pig says oink and dog says woof woof. They may
> not know that
> Mama's name is Hazeleen but they know she is not the dog or cat.
> 10) Unfortunately by the time they hit 35 and get a PhD they will have
> unlearned all this as they have now found that as extensions from the
> primeval ooze we are all the same 'thing" and nothing has
> really even gone
> extinct it has all just morphed into something(s) else. We have now
> "intellectualized" and "philosophized" the obvious to the
> point of asking
> silly questions like how do we know what a species is.
Amen, brother. I love the description of progression of awareness in a
child. So very (and personally) true.
Of course, I did wonder myself once or twice whether you hadn't been smoking
some hashish yourself when writing it!
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