Rankless English orthography

Christopher J. Marshall cm13 at CORNELL.EDU
Thu Mar 9 15:34:00 CST 2000

>Here's a thought--if folks are really going to buy into this "historical
>individual" business, why not make all taxon names singular?  Names up to

         Just for the record: buying into the "historical individual"
business is not the same as adopting a rankless system of
taxonomy.  Personally, I don't agree with either perspective.  I don't
think higher taxa are "individuals" - historical or otherwise- but that's
metaphysical (interesting? yes...debatable? certainly...but ultimately
metaphysical).  Independent of what produces monophyletic clades, we can
empirically demonstrate them since they are sets of organisms based on
maximally parsimonious character distributions (e.g., congruent
characters)- this is not metaphysical...it's scientific.

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