Darwin-L Message Log 6:17 (February 1994)

Academic Discussion on the History and Theory of the Historical Sciences

This is one message from the Archives of Darwin-L (1993–1997), a professional discussion group on the history and theory of the historical sciences.

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<6:17>From mahaffy@dordt.edu  Fri Feb  4 10:18:45 1994

Subject: Whittaker's 5 kingdom; was Re: Peter Stevens, Quinarianism
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Date: Fri, 4 Feb 1994 10:21:57 -0600 (CST)
From: James Mahaffy <mahaffy@dordt.edu>

Finn N. Rasmussen wrote:>
>   - A number of rather recent authors  have promoted the idea of viewing
> life as organized into "5 kingdoms". Evidently, at least 3 kingdoms are para-
> phyletic and thus not admissable in a phylogenetic classification. Is the
> "5-kingdom view" a kind of neo-quinarianism - a ghost from Victorian
> taxonomy?

	I doubt if Whittaker was influenced by ghosts from the past. There
are only so many major groups you can subdivide living taxa into and if
you are a bit of a splitter, five kingdoms seems to be more reflective
of the major morphological kinds then another number of kingdoms.
Remember this split predated the popularity of cladistics based on molecular

James F. Mahaffy                   e-mail: mahaffy@dordt.edu
Biology Department                 phone: 712 722-6279
Dordt College                      FAX 712 722-1198
Sioux Center, Iowa 51250

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