semi-paraphyletic taxa: a new paradigm?

mcall mcall at SUPERAJE.COM
Fri Jan 8 09:32:10 CST 1999


Ken Kinman wrote:

>      In response to Curtis Clark's intellectual jabs, I
> will simply quote a few lines from my 1994 book that
> some might find of interest:
>      "A truly cladistic classification of life would
> require an enormous number of intermediate categories
> and would therefore sacrifice stability and usefulness
> in favor of predictive power.

Point taken.  But why should the classification include units for every
branching of the tree? You could calculate the approximatet minimum number
of named units that would be required today from knowing that there are 1.7
million named species, but that would not accomodate all those species yet
to be named.

So why not keep the conventional taxonomic units and just show all the
branching points in a detailed cladogram?  When fine-level predictiveness
or other qualities of relationship were required one could refer to a given
cladogram.

don
Don McAllister




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