Message 2001-02-0043: Re: Fwd: species and clades

Thu, 08 Feb 2001 17:18:10 -0600

[Previous by date - Re: species and clades]
[Next by date - [unknown]]
[Previous by subject - Re: Fwd: hands off genera?]
[Next by subject - Re: GALTONIA (a test case?)]

Date: Thu, 08 Feb 2001 17:18:10 -0600
From: "David M. Hillis" <>
Subject: Re: Fwd: species and clades

<!doctype html public "-//W3C//DTD W3 HTML//EN">
<html><head><style type="text/css"><!--
blockquote, dl, ul, ol, li { margin-top: 0 ; margin-bottom: 0 }
 --></style><title>Re: Fwd: species and clades</title></head><body>
<div>Phil's message (below) indicates that there was a disagreement,
and says what he remembers was decided, which he suggests was
nothing.&nbsp; My memory was different...We originally voted (at the
Harvard meeting) to include both clades and species in the code. Then
there was the Feb 1999 vote to draft a version that only dealt with
the clades, so that we could make progress while we sorted out our
differences about species. I agree that there was disagreement about
what this vote meant, but in the discussion the following year I
thought there was a majority view that we would include the rules for
species before the PhyloCode was published, or at minimum that we
should work toward that goal. The current problem (Jonathan Wagner's
proposed rule limiting conversion of clades to supergeneric taxa) is
one more reason why that is the only sensible thing to do. In any
case, if Phil is correct that the issue is still undecided, then we
certainly should not be suggesting the addition of rules that suppose
that the code will be published without any rules for species. I know
that I would strongly oppose such will be hard enough to
implement a change without having to do it in pieces, and Jonathan
Wagner is correct that if we did, it would create nomenclatural
chaos. I disagree with his proposed fix, but I understand why he
suggested it. If species aren't included, then there are all kinds of
problems like this that we would have to address on an <i>ad hoc</i>
basis, and the end product would be a mess. I favor a simpler fix:
simply include species from the beginning. If we don't, then the
whole thing comes crashing down. It has always been my understanding
that we would include species as well as clades in the first
published PhyloCode, and I would be against publishing any partial
codes that did not include rules for species.</div>
<blockquote type="cite" cite>David Hillis wrote:<br>
<blockquote type="cite" cite>Such a rule is may not
be clear to everyone on the<br>
listserv that the plan is to include rules for naming species
the code is adopted. To do otherwise would indeed create massive<br>
problems. We just haven't settled on those species-naming rules
We've had extensive discussions about this point in the past, and<br>
many (most?) of us would not want to adopt any code that didn't<br>
include rules for both clades and species. We just haven't written<br>
the species rules yet.</blockquote>
<blockquote type="cite" cite><br>
Whoa!&nbsp; This statement may seem like deja vu for those who
involved in the discussion last March.&nbsp; To make what could be a
long story as short as possible, here is my understanding of what
In February, 1999, an e-mail vote was taken among the advisory
and it was resolved that the PhyloCode should eventually include<br>
rules governing species names, but that &quot;the first version of
code should be restricted to clade names&quot; (from my message of<br>
2/26/99).&nbsp; In the course of discussion on the listserv a year
it became apparent that some members of the advisory group<br>
interpreted &quot;version&quot; differently than others.&nbsp;
David's statement<br>
(above) reflects his understanding that &quot;version&quot; meant
the first draft placed on the web for public comment would be<br>
restricted to clade names, not the first implemented version of
code.&nbsp; His understanding was shared by at least two other
members of<br>
the advisory group, but many others interpreted &quot;version&quot;
to mean<br>
implemented version--i.e., that the code would initially be<br>
implemented for clade names only, and rules for species names
be written and implemented subsequently.&nbsp; [For those who were
part of<br>
the discussion back then and kept the messages, see my message of<br>
March 23, 2000. entitled &quot;re: problem?&quot;]&nbsp; The upshot
is that the vote<br>
was ambiguous because people who ostensibly voted the same way had<br>
differing understandings of what they voted for.&nbsp; It was decided
we would revisit the issue at some future date before implementing<br>
the code.&nbsp; There has been little if any discussion of the issue
<blockquote type="cite" cite>then, but I suspect that opinions on the
subject are just as strong<br>
and divergent as they were last March.<br>
Philip D. Cantino<br>
Professor and Chair<br>
Department of Environmental and Plant Biology<br>
Ohio University<br>
Athens, OH 45701-2979<br>
Phone: (740) 593-1128; 593-1126<br>
Fax: (740) 593-1130<br>

David M. Hillis<br>
Director, School of Biological Sciences<br>
Director's office: 512-232-3690 (FAX: 512-232-3699)<br>
Alfred W. Roark Centennial Professor<br>
Section of Integrative Biology<br>
University of Texas<br>
Austin, TX 78712<br>
Research Office: 512-471-5792<br>
Lab: 512-471-5661<br>
FAX: 512-471-3878<br>


Feedback to <> is welcome!