Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Kingdoms and the Tastes

How many of you learned in school that the living world is divided into two kingdoms, the plants and animals? Or three, plants, animals, and protists? I did.

Well, you may be suprised to learn that the first scheme was antiquated by 1866, and the second by 1956? Here's the current six-kingdom list, from Wikipedia:
Eubacteria, Archaebacteria, Protista, Fungi, Plantae, Animalia.

Or how about basic tastes? Four? (Salty, sour, bitter, sweet.) That's what I was taught in the sixties and seventies. Well the fifth basic taste has been known since 1908.

Why does it take a century or so for these things to get into textbooks?


  1. Or the 48 human chromosomes, propagated from one generation of textbooks to the next for decades.

  2. If you haven't settled on a third book yet, you might start with "The Kingdoms and The Tastes" for a title.

  3. A bit too close to Camus's Exile and the Kingdom for my tastes. Anyway, I have four titles in the queue.


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