Message 2004-10-0016: Re: REPOST: Crowns, Panstems, and their Correspondence to ea=

Fri, 10 Sep 2004 13:06:31 -0500

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Date: Fri, 10 Sep 2004 13:06:31 -0500
From: [unknown]
Cc: List PhyloCode <>
Subject: Re: REPOST: Crowns, Panstems, and their Correspondence to ea=

Dr. Magnacca,

As someone who follows both sets of rules ("Linnean" and PhyloCode), =
could not disagree with you more, except that it IS "more than half."=
guess is, more like 95-99% of the natural history community still use=
s the=20
traditional codes. However, I disagree with your categorization of=
PhyloCode advocates. Yes, there are "theoreticians" among us, but mos=
t of=20
these same "theoreticians" are practicing scientists who produce prim=
data on a regular basis (or who work with students who do). Of the en=
PhyloCode community, I can name only ONE person who has ever subscrib=
ed to=20
or enacted a policy of "naming every node," and this appears to stem =
his participation in the movement to construct a fully described taxo=
under the LINNAEAN rules (thus, as you said, having supersubinfrafami=
and the like)! As for paleontologists, I know a large number who actu=
have no problem with the traditional systems. Actually, they very muc=
h do,=20
they just don't realize it. However, since paleontology accounts for =
of the history of life, I am at a loss to see why the method of namin=
g life=20
should not conform to problems paleontologists face.

I have seen the principles of phylogenetic nomenclature applied widel=
y (if=20
not deeply) outside vertebrates (see the abstracts for the Paris meet=
I have met a large number of non-systmeatists, and non-scientists, wh=
o find=20
phylogenetic nomenclature very sensible and easy to understand, and a=
beneficial improvement on traditional practice. In my experience, the=
problem is not with non-systematists, it is with natural historians w=
were indoctrinated under the traditional system. Test how thoroughly =
have thought through the mattter; instead of asking them why we shoul=
group species using phylogeny, ask them "by what means, by what prima=
observations, by what testable method ARE you sorting your species?" =
See if=20
they can answer...


At 09:26 PM 9/9/04, wrote:
>On 9 Sep 2004 at 18:06, Jaime A. Headden wrote:
> >   One could say (as above) that this is essentially the same prob=
> > Linnaean taxonomy would attempt to use the clades named in a hier=
> > setting, and simply apply mandated ranks to each ... it would lik=
ely be
> > inescapable ... there ARE Linnaean taxonomists out there [...]
>...and we're laughing our asses off reading this discussion.  Like t=
>species problem, it sounds like an attempt to hack together a way to
>make it work where the original system doesn't really fit.
> > [...] more than half of biology being comprised of those that fol=
> > such a system in their nomenclature.
>I suspect it's still more than half.  The PhyloCode seems to appeal =
>three groups of systematists: paleontologists, who genuinely have
>problems with the Linnean naming system; theoreticians who just disl=
>ranks; and people with an unbearable, uncontrollable urge to name
>*every* *single* clade they discover, and once they get past
>infrasubtribes can't think of any more ranks.  I haven't seen much
>outside of vertebrate taxonomy aside from that done by the hardcore
>original PhyloCoders, and I have yet to meet a non-systematist who
>thinks being unable to sort species by exclusive groups (which is to
>say, being unable to know they're exclusive without an intimate
>knowledge of phylogenetics) is a good idea.
>Karl Magnacca
>NPS Inventory & Monitoring Program
>PO Box 11, Hawaii Natl. Park, HI 96718
>"The fundamental cause of trouble in the world today is that the stu=
>are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt." --Bertrand Russ=


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