Pharyngula

Taxonomy is an evil conspiracy

It’s true! They’re all arcane tormentors who like to confuse us with arcane rules and weird nomenclature. One example should suffice to show the truth. (Don’t try and tell me that a formal taxonomy tries to call these creatures merely “brown”. That’s just as sneaky.)

Comments

  1. #1 Andrew
    February 27, 2008

    Formal taxonomy calls them brown? It’s the other way around. A shade of brown is called squid by non-taxonomist English/Italian speakers.

  2. #2 LARA
    February 27, 2008

    Is sepia officially brown? I think you’re undermining the nature of the color a bit, sneaky scientist person.

  3. #3 Umlud
    February 27, 2008

    From the online etymology dictionary:

    cuttlefish O.E. cudele “the cuttlefish;” perhaps related to M.L.G. küdel “container, pocket;” O.N. koddi “cushion, testicle;” and O.E. codd (see cod).

    Somehow, this is funnier (to me) than the webcomic. How did the Old Norse “cushion, testicle” get used to mean “a cephalopod with a beak”?

    More implausibly, how did the Old English “Cod” (apparently not the same as “codd” = “bag, scrotum”, but actually “cod,” the fish) be linked to a cephalopod?

    I wonder…

  4. #4 Sean Craven
    February 27, 2008

    Well, I’ve got an alternative notion. I’ve seen photos in a National Geographic article showing giant cuttlefish on the Great Barrier reef curiously investigating divers and interacting with them in a seemingly friendly fashion. I’ve also seen a TV show where a researcher put his hand into a cuttlefish tank… the little guys shot over to him so fast they were splashing water up into the air. When they got there they fastened on to his hand and just nuzzled away.

    I’m pretty sure their name is a corruption of cuddlefish.

  5. #5 thadd
    February 27, 2008

    I hate this other blog, the guy stole my name.

  6. #6 Cuttlefish, OM
    February 27, 2008

    The truth of the matter is simple to see
    Even vertebrates ought to be able–
    With Latin and Greek and some Sanskrit thrown in
    Etymology’s highly unstable.
    The meaning of “cuttlefish” predates these tongues
    To a language known only by God
    (And since God is quite fictional, better to trust
    In the word of this cephalopod)
    The origins, lost in the dust of the past
    Or diluted as ink in the ocean
    Are as follows (well, shortly–I need a small break,
    As this topic is fraught with emotion):

    C is for cute (which you plainly can see)
    U for unique (you can take it from me)
    T is for talented (so many ways!)
    T is for thoughtful (we really amaze)
    L is for loving (three hearts, you recall)
    E enigmatic (a puzzle for all)
    F is for friendly (not really so tough)
    I is intelligent (T’s not enough)
    S (cos we just like the sound) is for subtle;
    H for How cool is this thing called a cuttle!

  7. #7 Ray M
    February 27, 2008

    Sharp beak…sounds like cuddle

    Hmmm… only in North America, where you pronounce t’s as d’s. (rider/writer, cuddle/cuttle, etc).

    For UK English speakers there is no chance that a cuttlefish could ever be confused with a cuddlefish.

  8. #8 The Backpacker
    February 27, 2008

    Who would want to cuddle with an invertabret anyway. They are cold and often slimy. Now Marmots those are cuddly. And they are really cute. All you biology geeks need to get out of the lab and hang with a few of your fellow land dwelling Mamals. AND another thing, what is it with biologists and things that live in water. A few of my friends are bio majors and if it lives in water they love it.

  9. #9 MrSquid
    February 27, 2008

    Pshaw! Mammals! Bah!

    Seriously though, the Cuttlefish acronym made my day.

  10. #10 dorid
    February 27, 2008

    are you kidding? Taxonomy is so easy even a child can understand it. Here’s proof.

  11. #11 Darby
    February 27, 2008

    I may have told this story before, but if you want to exploit cuttlefish to impress small children -

    When my son was small, we went to Sea World. In the dimly-lit building with the truly interesting creatures, there was a tank with a cuttlefish in it.

    Taking some information from, I don’t know, a Nova special or some such, I said, “Watch this.”

    I went up right next to the glass, where I figured I’d be visible from inside, and did little semaphore signals with fingers of both hands. The cuttlefish glided over, considered, and started to wave tentacles in response.

    The critter and I may possibly be engaged now, but it impressed the hell out of a six-year-old. And it was just cool.

  12. #12 Jaycubed
    February 27, 2008

    It has long been my understanding that cuttlefish derived from the Latin cutis or cuticula due to the appearance & material of the cuttlebone.
    .

  13. #13 Crudely Wrott
    February 27, 2008

    From the song: “If you’ve a spine you’re a Chordate like man.”

    You know, I rather like that.

  14. #14 MandyDax
    February 27, 2008

    Ia! Ia! Cuttlefish ftang! Isn’t it cuuuuuuuute?! ^_^

    I agree that this taxonomy is very confusing. For instance, cats are not closely related to catnip. The last common ancestor was over a billion years ago! Same with dogs and dogwood! Curses, biologists!!

  15. #15 Richard Simons
    February 27, 2008

    Somehow, this is funnier (to me) than the webcomic. How did the Old Norse “cushion, testicle” get used to mean “a cephalopod with a beak”?

    This reminds me of the Aberystwyth (Wales) town councillor who was upset that the university was buying many of the old hotels, especially along the sea front. He said that the university was like an octopus, spreading its testicles over the town.

  16. #16 mothra
    February 28, 2008

    The most deeply and closely held of all conspiratorial secrets has come to light. Taxonomists’ plans for global domination exposed! We had our plan. . .confuse the language so the words would mean what WE want them to mean. Then infiltrate the university system- be obsequeous, at most with only one or two individuals per school. Hiding out in quiet offics, biding our time getting papers published in refereed journals. Then, most cunning of all- indoctrinate the children, so they will in their turn become taxonomists and advance the plot.

  17. #17 Michael Woelfel
    February 28, 2008

    As children we are taught fairy tales, but folks frogs really don’t change to princes. Let’s look at some Scientific facts…NO MUTATION has ever been observed to produce a more complex living organism, i.e., add new DNA; even with observation using current technology. Fruit flys simply had their Existing DNA destorted, nothing beneficial to the flys occurred in those experiments. Again- and this is THE BIGGIE- No New DNA Has Ever Been Observed (NN-DNA-HEBO) to develope from mutations happening naturally or in labs. Think about that, NO NEW DNA has Ever been observed to develope from mutations happening naturally or in labs.

    Macro evolution is a totally baseless exercise of faith, since this single issue has never been resolved!

    Doctors of science teach throughout textbooks, of a mysterious ‘Mother Nature’ who resembles Santa Claus. She works the scenes bestowing imaginative anatomies and behaviors freely upon all living things (yet NN-DNA-HEBO). Earth’s life forms were cleverly supplied, each according as it had need. Yet all change was said to be completely accidental- although in duplicate, as each male and female of all species co-evolved with no disruption in their procreative abilities. Though Mom Nature is promoted as somehow marvelously ‘innovative’, only ‘ranking’ scientists can understand and interpret how her modifying activities occurred; but Nowhere Do They Explain Process Details (BECAUSE NN-DNA-HEBO). So we are simply to accept that the boundless and stunning variety of life on this planet appeared solely from time and happenstance; in short folks “LIFE HAPPENS!” No one can point out positively a single transitional fossil. Neither is there an example of any mutation producing a beneficial change.

    The following information is taken from an ICR Impact publication (April 2002 article #346) normally devoted to scientific creation evidence. This article reveals the competence and influence of some of today’s CREATIONIST scientists. To show the reader the esteemed prominence of the creation worldview, a few of these Genesis believing scientists are listed: Kenneth B. Cumming (Dean and Professor of Biology) has a Ph.D. from Harvard where he studied under Ernst Mayr, “often considered the dean of living evolutionists”. Dr. Carl B. Fliermans (Microbiology) is a microbial ecologist with Dupont with over 60 technical publications. He is well known as the scientist who first identified the “Legionnaire’s Disease” bacterium. Dr. Kelly Hollowell (Molecular Biology) has a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology from the University of Miami. She is also an attorney (J.D.). Dr. Hollowell’s work includes a number of publications in the fields of DNA technology, cloning, and neurobiology. Dr. Raymond V. Damadian, M.D. is an inventor, most notably of the M.R.I. machine. Dr. Kurt Wise (Paleontology) has the M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University, having studied under the dedicated evolutionist, Stephen J. Gould. “Dr. Wise is currently in charge of the science division at Bryan College.” Dr. Duane T. Gish (Senior Vice President and Professor of Biochemistry) has earned a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of California at Berkeley. Beyond his career as a research chemist, and 24 articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals, Dr. Gish “is also known worldwide for winning over 300 scientific debates with evolutionists”. As you can see, many fully credentialed scientists deeply intimate with the varied aspects of evolution, have wholly rejected the ideas. There are many more scientists today actually numbering in the thousands, who have also turned away from the monkey-man conjecture, and who now likewise embrace the literal Genesis record of human origin.

    The effects of ‘Scopes’ had it’s heyday. The pendulum of public opinion will now swing back with the release of Expelled. Solid Scientific evidence will be the catalyst, while the archaic ideas of Darwin are made a laughingstock. The current crop of evolutionary scientists will cluster and squall among their counterparts at the loss of all public respect. It is happening now, look and their blogs. Tell me there’s no God!

  18. #18 Jaycubed
    February 28, 2008

    Another woeful troll dump.
    .

  19. #19 Jaycubed
    February 28, 2008

    ps. There is no god.

  20. #20 Jim Thomerson
    February 28, 2008

    See what confusion reigns when you don’t use binomial nomenclature. For shame!

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