coding advantages (turtles' new evolutionary position)

Ken Kinman kinman at HOTMAIL.COM
Thu Jan 14 19:22:53 CST 1999

    I should have noted in my reptile classification (even though it was
just an example), that the placement of turtles may very well change.
     This is actually an excellent example of why coded classifications
(at least my code) are so advantageous.  A couple of years after I
published that classification in my book, the longheld view that turtles
were anapsids was challenged.  I have not yet had time to evaluate that
challenge to determine where turtles really belong in the reptile
classification. BUT when the proper new place for turtles is determined,
the only change that will be required in the Kinman System
classification is to change the coding sequence somewhat (and probably
the exact order of the ordinal taxa).
     The point is that even new knowledge about the relationships of
turtles will not destabilize my reptilian classification at all.  The
same can NOT be said for purely cladistic classifications. And in other
groups, the destabilization of purely cladistic classifications will
become even more apparent as the years go by, and some groups may
actually be destabilized numerous times before people finally say enough
is enough.  I'm doing my best to speed up that process of realization,
and that is one reason I have become increasing vocal about these
matters.  If I should happen to sound "preachy" sometimes, it's simply
out of concern and frustration (although the frustration has eased
somewhat of late----perhaps discussions on taxacom are a bit therapeutic
in a way).  Anyway, the discussions over the holiday period were very
enjoyable.  A very promising start for 1999.
                          Cheers, Ken Kinman
P.S.  If the turtles turn out to be an intermediate clade between
anapsids and diapsids, they wouldn't have to be moved at all in my
classification, and even the coding changes would be very minor (but
even if major changes in coding are needed, the formal classification
will remain the same and no need to be destroying old cladistic taxa and
naming new ones).

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