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Plants are not categorized by similarity in morphology nor phenotype, but
are categorized by seed and flower comparisons. As you said there are some
plants with incredibly different looking species but they may be very
closely related. Flowers/fruit/seed are used to this day by plant
taxonomists for categorizing plants.
And, this is for the exact same reason animals are similarly categorized - in
order for a plant to be "related" to another plant, it MUST have the same
characteristic flower. Face it folks, cats cannot mate with dogs, and
legumes cannot mate with compositae, and therefore can NEVER be related.
Now, WITHIN that family, DNA can certainly be helpful. But there simply MUST
be some sexual or asexual way for plants to "mate" in order that there will
be a definitive DNA similarity or dissimilarity.
Thanks for the post, I was beginning to wonder if some of the contributors to
this discussion really believed cats can mate with dogs, or orchids with
It is also helpful to remember that to GET a PhD, you must contribute
"significant new knowledge from research," and just as soon as someone's
dissertation goes way out on a limb, there will shortly be a whole slew of
OTHER dissertations that either challenge the first, or amplify on it. In
other words, just because "Science" is quoted in the popular press as
"Changing our entire understanding of" whatever, that is certainly not the
end of the argument. A few years ago I was trying to get a noted theoretical
mathematition to understand that his use of "Chaos" laws to explain how such
diverse different visual patterns could develop from the slightest change in
original conditions, that pretty well settled that the "big bang" was NOT
perfectly uniform. Since I didn't have a math PhD, he would not hear it. He
would say, "But your argument is totally specious, since the Big Band WAS
perfectly uniform." Now he has to admit that the old geezer without the PhD
was right. Heheheeeee!
Kind of like the British scientist who declared that Stonehenge could NOT
POSSIBLY BE a mathematical representation of an Eclipse and other
Astronomical Events predictor, BECAUSE THE PEOPLE WHO BUILT IT WERE STUPID
IGNORANT SAVAGES. Kind of "don't try to confuse me with facts, because MY
MIND is ALREADY MADE UP."
Which has very little to do with plants, EXCEPT - - - - - Lemna minor DOES
have a flower! And so do many plants that WE have not seen "in bloom." Ain't
working with Aquarium Plants fun? Sometimes we see things bloom that NONE of
the "scientists" have seen.