Message 2004-10-0177: RE: Mention of the Phylocode

Fri, 15 Oct 2004 15:02:52 -0700

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Date: Fri, 15 Oct 2004 15:02:52 -0700
From: [unknown]
To: 'PML' <>
Subject: RE: Mention of the Phylocode

> > Still, this article leads me to wonder if it isn't, finally, the =
call to
> > reform the ICZN. I was struck by a comment in the 1999 Code which=
> the
> > recognition of the need to revise the Code in the near future to
> incorporate
> > the concept of monophyly [...]
> How is this supposed to work, apart from a rule against polyphyleti=
c taxa
> (which AFAIK does currently not exist)? Abandoning paraphyletic tax=
a would
> mean to reduce the Linnaean system to the mere _existence_ of ranks=
> the genus level (as the vertebrate palaeontologist Michael Benton a=
> does it, putting genera next to infraclasses in his classifications=

Let me be clear that I am not saying *we* are called to revise the IC=
ZN (so
I will not speculate as to how I might go about it), but that I suspe=
ct the
ICZN is about to receive another overhaul. And I think there are any =
of things they can do to bring the Code into line with current thinki=
about monophyly; I do not think there are any holy cows, so anything =
potentially fair game. Most biologists will follow whatever changes a=
re made
without thinking twice about it. Will most of us find the changes
acceptable? Probably not. Will the changes be sufficient to appeal to=
who recognize that the Code is outdated, but are still delaying judgm=
ent on
the PhyloCode? There's the rub.=20

Jason S. Anderson, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Anatomy
College of Veterinary Medicine
Western University of Health Sciences
309 E. Second St.
Pomona, CA 91766
909-469-5537  FAX 909-469-5635


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