Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Lennox, Scherer, and the giant floating forest hypothesis

While first reading "God's Undertaker" I noticed a reference to "Evolution - ein kritisches Lehrbuch" by Professor Siegfried Scherer. I'll admit I didn't pay it much heed at the time - the review was already unwieldy in length, my German was rusty, and tracing down every last error would have been something of a time sink.

But a couple of months later I amused myself with a dictionary and skimmed a few pages of the book Lennox had used to justify the following quote:

"Siegfried Scherer of the Technical University in Munich suggests that living things can be classified in certain basic types – a classification slightly broader than that of species. A ‘basic type’ is defined to be a collection of living things connected either directly or indirectly through hybridization, without regard for whether the hybrids are sterile or not. This definition incorporates both genetic and morphological concepts of species, and, according to Scherer, research so far indicates that ‘in the whole experimentally accessible domain of microevolution (including research in artificial breeding and in species formation), all variations have certainly remained within the confines of basic types’." -God's Undertaker, Page 109
I'd thought that the 'basic type' sounded suspiciously like the Biblical 'kind', used by Creationists to mean something between species and clade, meandering between both possible definitions depending which chapter of Genesis was at stake.