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Sep 13

Apomorphism

apomorphism (n) The false belief that evolutionary novelty is good in and of itself, that some novelties are so special that they trump all others, and that the organisms possessing these special novelties are superior in some way to all organisms lacking them. See also: egotism, mammalocentrism, ‘scientific’ racism

Cycas thouarsii and Ginkgo biloba [CC-BY-SA-3.0 Steve Cook]

— “So I was just chatting with the guy – our saplings are in the same nursery – and all of a sudden he comes out with ‘So, what’s it like being a living fossil?’ And obviously the look on my caudex is all What The Actual Fuck, but he just ploughs on regardless, and doubles down with ‘Primitive, I mean, that’s the word, isn’t it?’ – and I just transpire in horror.”

— “He actually used the ‘P’ word? That’s our fucking word, he cannot use that word! Hears some fern prothallus reclaiming it and thinks it’s OK for him to say it.”

— “IKR? So I call him out on his apomorphist attitude, and he gets all huffy. Thinks just because he’s not calling mosses Lower Plants to their sporangia, and throwing herbicide at quillworts on the street, that everything is fine and that people actually give a fuck about an endangered cycad when there’s some orchid to rescue instead. ‘They plant ginkgos everywhere now, so what’s the problem?’, like this place isn’t still London planes as far as the eye can see, dropping their fruit wherever the hell they like. The minute you drop a few seeds, everyone’s moaning about the stink.”

— “That’s fruit-privilege right there. They don’t even see it, do they?”

— “Preach. But his sap’s all rising now, and he just *Will Not Let It Lie*: starts banging on about how some of his best mates are basal, and his wife is an Amborella, and that he just doesn’t see seed-wrapping, because “we’ve all got seeds underneath”. Like liverworts don’t exist! I just totally lost my cones at that point and had to walk away before I punched the lenticel-hole right in the anthers.”

— “Jeez, Angiosperms can be such ignorant dicks.”

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