limited "semi-paraphyly" vs. paraphylophobia
DR. JAMES ADAMS
JADAMS at EM.DALTONSTATE.EDU
Fri Feb 4 11:56:28 CST 2000
Curtis Clark wrote:
> Hey, [reptiles] is still a natural group, until you take out the mammals and
> birds. Equally, a Permian eclecticist might have made it nicely
> paraphyletic by removing the thecodonts. How "numerous" must
> synapomorphies be to justify leaving behind a paraphyletic group?
>From a strictly phylogenetic viewpoint, there can be *no*
justification. The same, of course, applies to butterflies and moths -
- butterflies left "moths" behind. On the flip side, however, I don't
mind using the term reptile or moth. They still carry some
meaning, and, as long as I know know they are paraphyletic
(necessary if you are a systematist), then using "moth" or "reptile"
to convey information in a popular talk to the public doesn't bother
me at all. Though I have tried from time to time to point out that
they are listening to a hairy reptile . . .
Dr. James K. Adams
Dept. of Natural Science and Math
Dalton State College
213 N. College Drive
Dalton, GA 30720
Phone: (706)272-4427; fax: (706)272-2533
U of Michigan's President James Angell's
Secret of Success: "Grow antennae, not horns"
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