Message 2001-06-0040: Re: Subscribers

Tue, 01 May 2001 22:20:53 +0200

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Date: Tue, 01 May 2001 22:20:53 +0200
From: David Marjanovic <>
To: PhyloCode mailing list <>
Subject: Re: Subscribers

>      I believe that we need to decrease the numbers of "formal" taxa, not
> increase them.  That is why I only recognized the basic higher ranks
> phylum, class, order, family) with endings that render them more

And which names get basic ranks? This is decided _arbitrarily_. Do we really
want so much arbitrariness -- which can't be argued about because it is pure
personal opinion -- in a _science_?

>      When the traditional codes got into the business of formal
> taxa, it opened a Pandora's box, and PhyloCode will only exacerbate the
> problem of too many "formal" names.  A less formal system of coding,

You don't mean "encrypting", do you? ~:-/

> informal taxon names,

Who decides -- more important, _why_ -- which taxon names should become
formal? (At present, in zoology, above the superfamily, nobody.)

> and/or cladograms makes more sense to me for
> showing the proposed relationships.

A phylogenetic classification actually is a lineless cladogram, isn't it?

>      Lophotrochozoa is a perfect example of a group which should NOT be
> formally recognized.  It is almost certainly a broadly paraphyletic group
> gave rise to the holophyletic Ecdysozoa grouping of phyla.  They are
> non-ecdysozoan bilateria,

Geneticists say no... every time again... the node seems to be so strong
that the remaining Mesozoa are now put in Lophotrochozoa... why do you
disagree? Because of the simple, erm, Bauplan of Plat(y)helminthes?
(On the other hand, can someone enlighten me on what morphological
synapomorphies Lophotrochozoa has?)

> [...]
>     These and other formal intermediate rank names (Coelomata,
> Uniramia, etc.) do more harm than good in determining how the various
> invertebrates are related to one another.

Not if they are
- monophyletic
- easily recognisable (which is part of what I intuitively mean by
Uniramia (if you mean the same as Gould in Wonderful Life, namely insects +
myriapods + onychophorans) is polyphyletic and will therefore probably never
get a phylogenetic definition.

> In my opinion, PhyloCode will only
> accelerate the generation of such problems.

Also the detection of such problems... no?


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