Message 2005-05-0050: Re: Pickett's paper comments wanted

Fri, 27 May 2005 22:20:34 +0200

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Date: Fri, 27 May 2005 22:20:34 +0200
From: [unknown]
To: PML <>
Subject: Re: Pickett's paper comments wanted

Now that my internet connection works again...

----- Original Message -----
=46rom: <>
Sent: Friday, May 13, 2005 3:28 PM

> Hello,
> could anyone coomment the paper:
> The new and improved PhyloCode, now with types, ranks, and even pol=
> a conference report from the First International Phylogenetic Nomen=
> Meeting
> Kurt M. Pickett
> Cladistics, Volume 21 Issue 1 Page 79  - February 2005

Pickett _obviously_ never read the PhyloCode, so he was quite confuse=
d when=20
the speakers at the Meeting presupposed the knowledge of it. It got m=
e angry=20
enough that I've written a reply which I seriously intend to submit f=
publication on Sunday. It's a pity that -- if it will be accepted, of=
course! -- my first publication would not be about research, but... s=
has to state certain things in clear words...!

> Abstract
> A report from the first International Phylogenetic Nomenclature Mee=
ting is=20
> presented. The meeting revealed that the PhyloCode, once implemente=
d, will=20
> itself not require adherence to the three major tenets of philosoph=
y that=20
> proponents have claimed required its creation. These include the=
> abandonment of (1) non-monophyletic taxa, (2) ranks, and (3) types.

For example, he hasn't understood the difference between specifiers a=
types. They're like boundary stratotypes and body stratotypes in geol=
The difference couldn't be greater.

> "... But now, the new code that we are told will bring the "Darwini=
> Revolution" to systematics has adopted a permissive stance not only=
> paraphyly, but also on polyphyly.  ... The PhyloCode is supposed to=
> this problem with the current Codes, but now it is clear that the=
> PhyloCode will be agnostic on the issue of monophyly just as our st=
> nomenclatural rules are. [...]"

Except, that is, if one _reads_ the PhyloCode.

> "... the most "revolutionary" recommendation offeredwhich we are to=
ld is=20
> only logically consistent with the philosophy that separates=20
> classification from phylogenetic systematizaionis that ranks are be=
> abandoned (de Queiroz and Gauthier, 1992, 1994; Cantino et al., 199=
> Yet, at the PhyloCode meeting, de Queiroz said that the PhyloCode i=
s "not=20
> to be confused with rank-free taxonomy". While "rank-based" taxonom=
y is=20
> "the antithesis of the PhyloCode, ranks are allowed in the PhyloCod=
e". So=20
> ranks, which are not systematizations, but classifications, which a=
re both=20
> pre- and nonevolutionary (de Queiroz and Gauthier, 1992, 1994; Cant=
ino et=20
> al., 1997), and which hinder the "evolutionization of taxonomy" (de=
> Queiroz, 1997) will now be a part of the "Darwinian Revolution" in=
> taxonomy."

I just say "Article 3". Oh, and "peer review?".

> "[...] But in the case of the PhyloCode, in doing this supporters h=
> surely ostracized their few core devotees who accept the arguments =
> ranks are of the nonevolutionary "classification" and not of darwin=
> "systematization", [...]"

The PhyloCode is the end of classification. Seemingly this thought is=
radical that it didn't occur to Pickett. Hennig has replaced systemat=
with phylogenetics, and the PhyloCode will replace Linnaean nomenclat=
with phylogenetic nomenclature. Why should we continue to ask how to=
translate a phylogenetic tree into a classification? Phylogenetic=
nomenclature takes the tree _as is_ and ties labels to it. Nobody nee=
classification anymore. We can, and should, simply drop it.

Sorry for preaching to the choir... I got carried away... :-)=20


Feedback to <> is welcome!