marc sosef Marc.Sosef at PROSEA.PT.WAU.NL
Mon Jun 16 17:32:53 CDT 1997

Thomas Lammers wrote:

>Anyone who discusses monophyletic
>classifcation and uses Linnaean caterogies does, in my view, not deserve
>further attention.

>And yet, the Linnean hierarchy is the only universally accepted,
>internationally regulated system we have available for formal classificatory
>purposes.   All the world's biota are classified, at least in a first-cut
>approximation, according to this system.  All the names we use are
>predicated upon it.   Are we to totally chuck it out, and reinvent the

No! Don't miss my point. I want us all to accept that if you want to stick to
our nice and well-established Linnaean system, we inevitably must accept
paraphyletic taxa. Therefore, I would promote that the discussion on a
monophyletic system using Linnaean categories stops, because Linnaean
categories IMPLY paraphyletic taxa. You could create a second system of
nomenclature, besides the Linnaean one, to accomodate your monophyletic
system, but that would be very different from what we are used to (e.g. a
species belonging to a family but not to any of its genera), and I do not
favour it.

I do not assault the Linnaean hierarchy through cladistic methodology, I
merely point to what has been wrong in the whole discussion up to now. In
fact, I don't think it is cladistics that is attacking, but the thought of
monophyletic classification.

Marc S.M. Sosef
Dept. of Plant Taxonomy
Wageningen Agricultural University
P.O. Box 8010
6700 ED Wageningen
The Netherlands
Phone: (31) 317 483180
fax: (31) 317 484917
e-mail: marc.sosef at

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