On the difference between paraphyly and holophyly (and the ugly consequences of conflating holophyly with monophyly)

The difference between paraphyly and holophyly is that paraphyly is what monophyly IS (ie, excluding the historical ancestor), whereas holophyly is what monophyly WAS (ie, including the historical ancestor).

If we distinguish these two aspects of monophyly by conflating “holophyly” with “monophyly”, then we actually conflate “is” with “was”, and since this distinction (ie, between “is” and “was”) is one aspect of “distinction”, where the other aspect is “difference”, then we actually conflate “distinction” with “difference”, that is, conceptualization itself.

This conflation (ie, of “distinction” and “difference”) obviously feels “natural” to some of us (eg, cladists, particle physicists and some quantum mechanists), but is none the less paradoxically contradictory (ie, Russell’s paradox). “Distinction” does thus DEFINITELY NOT equal “difference”, although it may feel “natural” to assume it does.

Instead, difference is what we create by distinction. Without our distinction, there either is no difference or everything is different, choose what you like. The (thus obviously conceived as “natural”) idea that “difference” can be equated with “distinction” is thus actually totally wrong, and is moreover the foundation for, and thus the gate to, typology, and is thus ultimately the entrance to race biology.

A distinction of paraphyly and holophyly by calling “holophyly” “monophyly” (as Willi Hennig did) does thus lay the foundation for, and thus open the gate to, typology, and thus ultimately lead into race biology (which Willi Hennig also represented as a Nazi biologist).

This ugly back side of science is something we always will have to watch out for, because it will always exist as a “natural” alternative, ie, that the classes we distinguish actually exist. We may think that the alternative is harmless by being paradoxically contradictory, but the problem with it is that its adherents fall into it by an inability to understand that it is. They may not want to or even be able to understand that it is. What do we do if they come in majority? How do we stop events then?

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