Paraphyly=mistakes? (There's the rub)

Dr. James Adams jadams at EM.DALTONSTATE.EDU
Tue Jan 8 14:57:58 CST 2002


         I've tried not to say anything and let everyone else flesh this
one out, but this discussion has gone around before and I'll say something
short along the lines of what I've said before.

         Okay, so paraphyletic groups do not include all of the original
ancestors' descendents, and may not represent what some people would call
"natural" or "real" groups.  I say, so what?  It doesn't mean that a
paraphyletic group is not a useful way of communication.  Many people have
an idea of what "reptiles" means, or "moths" means.  I personally feel,
"natural/real" or not, if the person using a specific grouping *knows* that
grouping is paraphyletic, and, under appropriate circumstances, passes that
information along to the audience, there shouldn't really be any
problem.  If some want to call this a mistake, that's their choice.


James K. Adams
Phone: (706)272-4427
FAX:  (706)272-2235
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