Taxonomies are Not Arbitrary, but Factual

Mayr lived exactly 100 years, producing a stream of books and papers up to the day of his death. Among these was his 1963 classic, Animal Species and Evolution, the very book that made me want to study evolution. In it Mayr recounted a striking fact. When he totaled up the names that the natives of New Guinea’s Arfak Mountains applied to local birds, he found that they recognized 136 different types. Western zoologists, using traditional methods of taxonomy, recognized 137 species. In other words, both locals and scientists had distinguished the very same species of birds living in the wild. This concordance between two cultural groups with very different backgrounds convinced Mayr, as it should convince us, that the discontinuities of nature are not arbitrary, but an objective fact.


Example of the natives of an island having nearly the same number of classifications of birds as the taxonomists who studies the species.

Folksonomies: species taxonomy

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 Why Evolution Is True
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Coyne , Jerry A. (January 22, 2009), Why Evolution Is True, Penguin (Non-Classics), Retrieved on 2011-09-15
Folksonomies: evolution evidence creationism