Farewell to Species - reticulation

Thomas DiBenedetto TDibenedetto at DCCMC.ORG
Tue Feb 15 07:37:37 CST 2000

Hubert Turner wrote:
how much longer will it be before people realise that other
systems of ordering biological information are not necessarily
erroneous (depending on the purpose of the ordering in the first
place, of course)?
No problem there Hubert. A non-phylogenetic classification is not something
that I would call "wrong". I agree that there are a variety of
classifications that might have value to different reserachers. For
instance, ecologists use categories such as "herbivore", or "carnivore" etc.
There is nothing wrong with that. But we are discussing a particular type of
classification here; the one around which we build our naming system. There
are many ways to classify humans, but our naming system for humans is based
on our genealogical relationships. This not only refers to a very important
objective fact about our individual existences, but is also a highlu useful
convention for identifying us as we are classified in different systems for
different purposes. The analogus situation holds, I think, for taxa. Their
historical relationships are the crucial objective fact which constitutes
their identity, and around which the naming system shoule be built. Then,
with those tags, one can construct other classifcations for other purposes.

Tom DiBenedetto
tdib at dccmc.org

More information about the Taxacom mailing list