Farewell to Species and Nomenclatural Stability

Thomas DiBenedetto TDibenedetto at DCCMC.ORG
Fri Feb 4 15:38:19 CST 2000

Stuart G. Poss wrote:
 I'm not sure what rankless uninomials can tell us about
evolution that binomials can not.......
[and a lot more]

Wow. I hope you realize, I was not advocating uninomials or any other
particular innovation. I was merely questioning the utility of ranks; a
question which has been raised often and for quite some time now. Personally
I dont have any problem with binomials even if they imply at least one
"rank" above species. I think the genus name should refer to a monophyletic
group, but I dont think it matters too much how high up in the hierarchy it
is, or whether it is more inclusive or less inclusive in different cases.
Utimately, the hidden long form of a taxon's name might be conceived of as
including every higher taxon of which the taxon is a part, but the species
can certainly be know by its binomial, formed by the specific epithet added
to one of the low-level higher taxonomic names.
As is done now.
To me, this is a good example of making allowances for practicality and
stability,,,without violating the principles of an evolutionary taxonomy.
I dont see the need for recognizing paraphyletic groupings though....

Tom DiBenedetto
tdib at dccmc.org

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