Clades

Cladization is an inevitable byproduct of interstellar expansion.

–Anonymous

In the field of taxonomy, the term “clade” refers to a population or group of organisms descended from a common ancestor.  The colloquial meaning of the term is close to this.  In a way, the widespread usage of the term can be seen as a capitulation to the uncertainty of our time.  The word “species” is simply too strong to be applied to the various delineations of humanity; the term “race” is too weak.  And so people fall back on a more general term.

In fact, a species, or an entire group of species, can comprise a clade. Similarly, a race can be considered a clade.  All life comes from life, so the way in which one refers to the various branches and tribes of life depends manly on where one likes to draw the lines.  And this is why the word “clade” has become useful.  It is as fluid as the new human nature — as amenable to revision as the substance of life itself.

That said, the term “clade” is only really useful when given a context.  And so we refer to clades as a subset of a larger subset of living things.  We talk about clades of Homo sapiens as though they all bear some semblance to that ancestral species, when in fact nothing could be further from the truth.  But this remains useful due to the fact that there are other, non-human clades, farther from us even than our own misbegotten children.

Clades by species:

  • Human Clades Some clades are more human than others.  These are all descended from humans, at least. List of human clades:

A role playing game in a post-human world.