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Thread: Is a whale a fish or mammal?

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    Default Is a whale a fish or mammal?

    There's a huge debate on Myspace about how to correctly answer this question.


    Some are saying that the correct answer should be "no", because a whale is not a fish.

    Some are saying that the correct answer should be "yes", because a whale is indeed a mammal, and a true proposition or'd with any other one is true.

    Some are saying that the correct answer should be "fish", because they're in the water all the time.

    Some are saying that the correct answer should be "mammal", because they breath air.

    So which is it? Yes? Fish? Mammal? No? You'd better prove your answers.... like with Wikipedia or something.

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    Default Re: Is a whale a fish or mammal?

    Taxonomy of whales:

    Kingdom: Animalia
    Phylum: Chordata
    Class: Mammalia
    Subclass: Eutheria
    Order: Cetacea

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Is a whale a fish or mammal?

    It is classified as a mammal because a whale will feed their offspring with milk/ I've only ever been told this - I haven't verified it.

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    Default Re: Is a whale a fish or mammal?

    Wait, who's on Myspace anymore?
    Last edited by Anoleis; 04-17-2011 at 12:30 PM.

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    Default Re: Is a whale a fish or mammal?



    So Seinfeld says, so it shall be.

    My thanks to Xey Oiz for the awesome new set.

    "Screw being normal and be awesome instead!"

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    Default Re: Is a whale a fish or mammal?

    No one read the OP, but just the title.

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    Default Re: Is a whale a fish or mammal?

    I think it's a mammal because it give birth than fish who lay eggs
    - Maybe - o.o


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    Default Re: Is a whale a fish or mammal?

    Yeah, its one of the choices. It is indeed a mammal.

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    Default Re: Is a whale a fish or mammal?

    Man that is whack!

    Token Black Guy

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    Default Re: Is a whale a fish or mammal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wio View Post
    No one read the OP, but just the title.
    "Yes" and "No" should not even be considered as answers because the a question asking about terms joined by the conjunction "OR" has to be answered with a selection of one or more or all of the choices, or a denial of all the choices.

    Oh my, that might just have been my most intelligent-sounding sentence I've spoken lol

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    Default Re: Is a whale a fish or mammal?

    Quote Originally Posted by animeyay View Post
    "Yes" and "No" should not even be considered as answers because the a question asking about terms joined by the conjunction "OR" has to be answered with a selection of one or more or all of the choices, or a denial of all the choices.

    Oh my, that might just have been my most intelligent-sounding sentence I've spoken lol
    A whale is a fish or mammal, making the statement true, and under such logic yes should be the answer.

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    Default Re: Is a whale a fish or mammal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wio View Post
    Myspace
    I See what you did there, it was good for a laugh. Really, who uses MySpace these days?

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    Default Re: Is a whale a fish or mammal?

    <comment deleted after realizing how stupid I looked when answered the question>
    Last edited by zansa; 04-08-2011 at 10:57 PM.

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    Default Re: Is a whale a fish or mammal?

    What is being asked is this

    Code:
    $whale = "mammal";
    
    if ($whale == "mammal" or $whale == "fish")
    echo "true";
    } else {
    echo "false";
    }
    this would print out "true" because the proper evaluation of ($whale == "mammal" or $whale == "fish") is that it's true, because $whale is one of those two items. It's a semantic thing and not a question of actual taxonomy. Which makes it a very silly thing. Very silly indeed. Almost as silly as using dynamite to dispose of a dead whale.

     

    +
    ERROR: If you can see this, then YouTube is down or you don't have Flash installed.


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    Default Re: Is a whale a fish or mammal?

    I was discussing this on Hi5. =3


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    Default Re: Is a whale a fish or mammal?

    While I'm urged to answer it with a "yes", interpreting a question in the form "is [something] x or y" as "is [something] [a]" where [a] is [x or y] ignores spoken language semantics and interprets the question only using syntax. If you want to play that game, well... you can, but it isn't a good interpretation of spoken language.

    Moreover, when you ask an "x or y" question, you always have a "both"; it's not only "x", "y", or "none". OP did not list "both", perhaps intentionally.

    You know what's funny? If you interpret OR as XOR, and whales are both mammals and fish, then you could use "no" as an answer.

    Edit: Wait... Are whales not a fish? I always thought of them as "a mammal fish" >.> (both)

    Also,
    Some are saying that the correct answer should be "no", because a whale is not a fish.
    That's not a valid answer. You can't short-circuit on a false proposition in an or statement.
    Last edited by Aku no Hikari; 04-09-2011 at 12:59 AM.
     

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    Default Re: Is a whale a fish or mammal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aku no Hikari View Post
    While I'm urged to answer it with a "yes", interpreting a question in the form "is [something] x or y" as "is [something] [a]" where [a] is [x or y] ignores spoken language semantics and interprets the question only using syntax. If you want to play that game, well... you can, but it isn't a good interpretation of spoken language.

    Moreover, when you ask an "x or y" question, you always have a "both"; it's not only "x", "y", or "none". OP did not list "both", perhaps intentionally.

    You know what's funny? If you interpret OR as XOR, and whales are both mammals and fish, then you could use "no" as an answer.
    OR and XOR doesn't affect this ambiguity, since (True OR False) IFF True and (True XOR False) IFF True.
    However in English, we see the or as inclusive by default, and use 'either ... or' to make the XOR. You can add 'or both' to force an or to be inclusive.

    They are both valid interpretations though. Ask a person "Do you see the world as being black or white" and they will more likely say 'yes' or 'no' rather than 'black' or 'white'.

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    Default Re: Is a whale a fish or mammal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wio View Post
    OR and XOR doesn't affect this ambiguity, since (True OR False) IFF True and (True XOR False) IFF True.
    I think you wrote that before reading my edit. If "both" is a possible answer, it does. You're assuming that "Whales are not fish" is true.

    Though this part was a joke for the reason you said. Let's assume it's inclusive.

    They are both valid interpretations though. Ask a person "Do you see the world as being black or white" and they will more likely say 'yes' or 'no' rather than 'black' or 'white'.
    It's not semantically the same. "Do you see the world as being black or white?" is answered with a yes or no because it's semantically the equivalent of "Do you see the world as being polarized?"; there's no real oring here. OP question is the equivalent of "Do you see the world as being black, or do you think of it as being white?"

    Though, putting sanity aside, what you're saying is right. I said I'd answer it with a "yes", and I similarly rejected "no". (Refer to my previous post)
     

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    Default Re: Is a whale a fish or mammal?

    My, what Master Debaters you social network people are...


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    Default Re: Is a whale a fish or mammal?

    If someone asked "Do you feel tired or depressed?" it could be answered with a yes or no or tired or depressed or both or neither. It's an ambiguity with no true standard. An implicit context is taken into account which simply isn't there explicitly (i.e. not specified by the sentence itself or by grammar).
    I'm not sure why you underlined being, since it has nothing to affect on interpretation.
    When logically parsing a sentence, you should never give anything other than a yes (true) or no (false) to a sentence unless there is an interrogative. A question without an interrogative is simply the evaluation of a proposition. Interrogatives are input variables that prompt a response of boolean and non-boolean types. We use 'which' to select form a list. Ergo you'd ask something like "Which is a whale: fish or mammal?"
    Last edited by Wio; 04-09-2011 at 02:15 AM.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Is a whale a fish or mammal?

    Allow me to follow a different path of logic.
    It is now dinner and will soon be gone therefore it doesn't matter what the whale once was.
    That said it's a real pain buying whale these days, everyone that sells it here seems to get shut down pretty fast.
    victoria aut mors

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Is a whale a fish or mammal?

    In the scientific sense, a whale is a mammal.
    In the colloquial sense, a whale is a fish. Because it walks like a fish and talks like a fish.

    Unless you're a biologist, I suggest you rely on the colloquial definition. Not because I'm anti-scientific, but because it isn't the same word. The biologists have modified it to describe fish in the biological sense excluding a bunch of stuff based on whatever criteria they felt like, which is a new invention compared to the old definition of fish that was like "crap that lives in the sea"

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Is a whale a fish or mammal?

    Yes it's a mammal. No it is not a fish.... maybe.
    I like killer whales though. Those are made of win.
    ....

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Is a whale a fish or mammal?

    No way! Next you'll be telling me that the guinea pig isn't a pig.
    If each mistake being made is a new one, then progress is being made.

  25. #25
    Senior Member catie has a brilliant future catie has a brilliant future catie has a brilliant future catie has a brilliant future catie has a brilliant future catie has a brilliant future catie has a brilliant future catie has a brilliant future catie has a brilliant future catie has a brilliant future catie has a brilliant future catie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is a whale a fish or mammal?

    Its a mammal for sure. No way its a fish

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