definition

ctfaulkn at utkvx.utk.edu ctfaulkn at utkvx.utk.edu
Wed Feb 15 10:13:33 EST 1995


In Article <Pine.HPP.3.91.950215085005.14853A-100000 at ac852.wfunet.wfu.edu>
keasbe9 at WFU.EDU ("Brian E. Keas") writes:
>On 10 Feb 1995, derek a. zelmer wrote:
>
>> Due to recent (sometimes violent) discussions I have been involved in, I 
>> would like to get some opinions on a question of basic philosophy...what 
>> is a parasite? 

>Other resonses to this post have suggested that there are no 
>all-encompassing definitions of a parasite.  I for one am a little uneasy 
>with that suggestion (after all, how can anyone say they study parasites 
>if they can't even define what a parasite is).  

	I've never had any problem with the operational definition of 
parasitisim as an obligate relationship where one organism is metabolically
dependent on another.  However, I have had problems operationalizing
the fine-line distinction between commensalism and parasitism. It seems 
that those using parasite always equate it with harm to the host. Is this 
necessarily true?  Just wondering.


**********************************
*      Charles T. Faulkner       *   When you don't know where you're
*  Univ of Tennessee, Knoxville  *   going any road will take you there.
*   (ctfaulkn at utkvx.utk.edu)     *                            Alice
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