1. Whats in a name? Jared Diamond (1992) suggests that if we follow the naming traditions of…

1. Whats in a name? Jared Diamond (1992) suggests that if we
follow the naming traditions of cladistic taxonomy, then humans, chimpanzees,
and bonobos should all be considered members of a single genus. Diamond
proposes calling these species, respectively, Homo sapiens, Homo troglodytes,
and Homo paniscus. Jonathan Marks (1994)
objects to Diamonds taxonomic reasoning. Concerning the nature of humans and
apes, Marks asserts that Popular works tell us we are not merely genetically
apes but that we are literally apes (e.g., Diamond 1992). Sometimes there is
profundity in absurdity, but I

1. Whats in a name? Jared Diamond (1992) suggests that if we
follow the naming traditions of cladistic taxonomy, then humans, chimpanzees,
and bonobos should all be considered members of a single genus. Diamond
proposes calling these species, respectively, Homo sapiens, Homo troglodytes,
and Homo paniscus. Jonathan Marks (1994)
objects to Diamonds taxonomic reasoning. Concerning the nature of humans and
apes, Marks asserts that Popular works tell us we are not merely genetically
apes but that we are literally apes (e.g., Diamond 1992). Sometimes there is
profundity in absurdity, but I dont think this is one of those times. It merely
reflects the paraphyletic nature of the category apeshumans are apes, but
only in the same sense that pigeons are reptiles and horses are fish….
Focusing on the genetic relations obscures biologically significant patterns of
phenotypic divergence. Do you think humans, chimpanzees, and bonobos should all
be classified as members of the same genus? Is there more at stake in the disagreement
between Diamond and Marks than just Latin names? If so, what?

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