Category Archives: Biological systematics (generic)

Discusses issues related to systematization of living organisms.

Cladism can’t find a consistent solution on any problem, because it is inconsistent

Cladism rests on the idea that we can model the origin of life as a single tree of life. Unfortunately, this model is inconsistent, meaning that it in practice can’t find any kind of things for the model. The problem is that no kind of thing can have a single origin, because it would conflate the concept “kind” of thing with the concept “thing” of a kind.  This idea (ie, that kind of thing can equal thing of a kind) is actually a conflation of conceptualization (ie, conceptualization backwards). Unfortunately, we thus can’t reverse conceptualization, because it is inconsistent. We can conceptualize, but we can’t deconceptualize. The route back to preconceptualization is closed.

The problem with cladism is thus that it conflates concepts. This problem is difficult to understand, meaning that many people lack ability to understand it, and thus that many people strive to achieve the goal although it is impossible to reach (thus called cladists). How we shall solve this problem (ie, inability to understand complicated relations) do I not know. I do know, however, that this inability to understand also is the fundament for racism. So, if you can solve it, then I know that you can immunize humanity against racism.

The fundamental problem with cladism, as well as racism in a broader sense, is that it conflates thing with kind, which is inconsistent. Cladism is actually a descendant of nazism.


On classification, and Linné’s solution of its inherent inconsistency

If we want to divide all things of a particular kind, like “particles”, “species” or “butterflies”, into several subkinds, then there are two different (actually orthogonal) methods to achieve this goal. One is to partition the whole group into subkinds, then partition each of these kinds into subkinds, then partition each of these kinds into subkinds, and so on. The other is to join similar things of the kind into kinds, join these kinds into superkinds, join these classes into superkinds, and so on. The former thus starts with the kind itself and ends with all possible subkinds, whereas the latter starts with all things of the kind and ends with the kind itself.

Now, the fact that the former method doesn’t end with the things of the kind themselves, but with all possible subkinds of the kind, means that the two methods can’t reach the same division, since the number of partitions in them differ by one. The two methods are simply incompatible, actually orthogonally contradictory.

This fact did Carl von Linné understand, either consciously or unconsciously, and found out that the only way to to join these orthogonal methods consistently is to first partition the kind into two nested sets of kinds, one generic and one specific, whereafter the generic sets can be consistently joined into superkinds. Linné did thus find a solution of the inherent inconsistency of classification.

What this problem and solution tells us is that no question has an unambiguous answer, because in order to find the answer we have to classify, and classification is inherently either inconsistent or ambiguous.

On a single understanding of the world

If there had been a single understanding of the world, then the world hadn’t been locked in eternal change, but had sooner or later reached that understanding. However, now that there isn’t, it neither don’t nor won’t.

The only other possibility is that the world instead is locked in a single understanding, and that change actually only occurs in our heads. But, if so, then time would not have been empirically relative to speed in space, ie, to the extent that clocks draw with increasing speed in space. We can’t fake empirical evidence.

So, there obviously isn’t a single understanding of the world, and thus neither any “Higgs particle” nor any “tree of life”. Instead, particle physicists and cladists appear to have misunderstood matters totally, actually up-side-down or inside-out (depending on whether we describe it in 2 or 3 dimensions).

Together with the facts that there isn’t any exit from conceptualization and that we can’t stop change, this fact means that our comprehension of the world (in for example politics) will circulate between its extremes forever. The only thing we can influence is what we practically do in every state, ie, the practical consequences of it. The circle is inevitable, but we can reduce the damage from it (and thus the need of truth commissions).


On Gods (as “Higgs particle” and “the tree of life”)

If the world is rationally understandable, then there must be a “Higgs particle” and a “true tree of life”. Unfortunately, there isn’t any “Higgs particle” or “true tree of life”, because they are contradictory.

Contradictory things, like Gods, may be believed in although they are contradictory, but not in a rational context, because they are irrational. The world thus obviously isn’t understandable.

On the search for the truth with words

When we search for the truth with words, we have to assume something in order to be able to deduce something logically. The problem with this fact is that it leaves the idea of “a truth” between the assumption(s) and the deduction.

Instead, this fact means that logic is a merry-go-round with two entrances: one assuming something and deducing something, and the other assuming what the former deduced and deducing what it assumed – the two thus circling around the idea of “a truth”. This is obvious in discrete metalogic, that is, logic of the first order, or logic with numbers, where “single” is ambiguous (or contradictory, depending on aspect) between none and all.

In summary: logic is useful (together with math) to handle life in a practical sense, but it (ie, science) can never rise above this level. It can just produce models of the world that are better or worse, never reach a truth. Such reach is just as impossible as that probability would reach 1.

So, don’t believe particle phycisists, they have not found “Higgs particle”, and understand that cladists’ search for “the true tree of life” is just as vain as particle physicists’ search for “Higgs particle” is. Such things (ie, “Higgs particle” and “the tree of life”) are actually running points of rationality, that is, manifestations of the impossible illusion that rationality is searching, ie, manifestations of the rational God. And, this (“rational”) God is just as irrational as all other Gods are.

On the pivotal point

Biological systematics is very interesting in that it searches for an all encompassing classification (as also particle physics do), ie, including ALL classes of ONE class (for biological systematics “living beings” and for particle physics “particles”). The interesting aspect in endeavors like these is whether the search is sensible or not, since we humans do not agree on whether classes are real or not (ie, whether there is a consistent all encompassing classification to be found or not) in the first place. In this aspect, biological systematics is particularly interesting by having developed two classifications differing only in assuming that classes are real or not (ie, that there is a consistent all encompassing classification to be found or not): cladistics and Linnean systematics, respectively. Cladistics thus assumes that there is an all encompassing classification to be found, whereas Linnean classification assumes that there isn’t (Linnean classification handling its assumption by instead using an orthogonal system of classification).

By this, biological systematics can lead us to an answer of the ancient question of whether classes are real or not. In this light (ie, in the light of the two orthogonal classifications “cladistics” and “Linnean classification”), the assumption that classes are real (ie, cladistics) can only be proved by showing that the assumption that they aren’t real (ie, Linnean classification) is inconsistent. One of them has to be inconsistent, since they are contradictory, and the burden of proof thus lies on the cladistic side, ie, proving that the assumption that classes aren’t real is inconsistent, because an orthogonal system (like the Linnean system of classification) is consistent per definition. An orthogonal system can’t meet contradictions per definition. Proving that an orthogonal system is consistent is thus insensible, because it is consistent per definition.

So, the two orthogonal classifications “cladistics” and “Linnean classification” in biological classification can thus lead us to the conclusion that the assumption that classes are real (eg, cladistics and particle physics) is inconsistent, whereas the assumption that they aren’t real (eg, Linnean systematics) is consistent. It means that classifications resting on the assumption that classes are real (like cladistics and particle physics) ends in paradox (ie, double contradiction). Biological systematics calls this paradox “the tree of life” and particle physics calls it “the Higgs particle”, none of which thus can be real.

Can we understand what reality is?

We can model reality, but we can’t understand what it is. The problem is that “what it is” has two aspects depending on whether we assume that classes aren’t real or that they are real, traditionally called nominalism and realism, respectively.

Nominalism (ie, assuming that classes aren’t real) leads to the conclusion that reality is ambiguous, whereas realism (ie, assuming that classes are real) leads to a pointer. The former can be interpreted simply as that everything has at least two aspects, but how can the latter be interpreted?

Well, digging deeper in this matter, we can understand that a pointer also has two aspects: the pointer itself and what it points at. So, how can this fact be interpreted? A hint to the solution is that these aspects are the same aspects as an error has: it is an error and it points at a possible solution. This comparison leads us to the interpretation of the pointer as an error, or, now climbing up from the hole, that realism leads to error. It means that we can interpret realism (ie, assuming that classes are real) as leading to error. (Examples of this error are, by the way, what cladists call “the tree of life” and what particle physics calls “Higgs particle”, none of which thus can be found.)

In summary,  we can’t understand what reality is, because none of the alternative ways to such understanding that are given can lead to understanding, sorry to say. We thus have to conclude that we, unfortunately, simply can’t understand what reality is. (Instead, I would like to cite the Buddhist saying: give up, give up, give up.)