Message 2004-08-0011: Panstems

Sun, 29 Aug 2004 13:31:12 -0500

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Date: Sun, 29 Aug 2004 13:31:12 -0500
From: "Jonathan R. Wagner" <>
Subject: Panstems

In tandem with Mike Keesey's comments, I would like one or more answers to 
a lingering question from the (very successful) Paris meeting:

In response to Dr. Padian''s suggestion that definitional types be 
restricted to node- and stem-based classes, Dr. de Queiroz responded (at 
least twice) that he felt it was inappropriate to impose restrictions on 
HOW phylogenetic taxa should be defined. Although I believe Dr. Padian's 
points were valid, and I would be willing to consider his proposal, I also 
very much respect Dr. de Queiroz's position.

However, as evidenced by the vote late in the meeting, several meeting 
participants, including Dr. de Queiroz, are in favor of restricting WHICH 
NAMES can be defined (specifically, by supporting the non-binding 
resolution that symposium volume authors be REQUIRED to follow the 
"panstem" convention). I understand the arguments for panstem nomenclature, 
and I am sympathetic. What I do not understand is the justification for 
upholding scholarly freedom on one issue, then denying it on another. Was 
this simply an indication that these individuals would PREFER that panstem 
nomenclature be employed, inflated to the status of a "requirement" only 
because the vote was non-binding? Or do these individuals actually support 
moving from a Phylogenetic Nomenclature with very limited rules on which 
names should be employed to a Phylogenetic Taxonomy, with a rigid system 
for choosing and employing appropriate names?

Jon Wagner


Feedback to <> is welcome!