What Is Inheritance?

What is a dog? When you look at your pet, what do you see? A biologist sees a network of interacting organs; a physicist sees atoms and forces at work; a taxonomist sees a representative of the species canine domesticus; and my mother sees dog hair and saliva.

It is the taxonomist's perspective that interests us at the moment (sorry, Mom). To a taxonomist, a dog is a canine. A canine is a kind of mammal. A mammal is a kind of animal, and so forth. Taxonomists divide the world of living things into kingdom, phyla, class, order, family, genus, and species. You can remember this by remembering that King Philip Came Over From Great Spain. I'm not sure why this is easier, who King Philip was, why he came over, or where exactly ...

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