Agreement Finally!!? (was Paraphyly)

Ken Kinman kinman at HOTMAIL.COM
Thu Jan 17 15:33:53 CST 2002

      The point is that all scientists (cladists and non-cladists alike)
think that the "amniotic egg" marks an uncontroversial (minimally arbitrary)
place to mark a "boundary".  In order to classify, we HAVE to mark
boundaries anyway, so why shouldn't we be able to use some of those major
boundaries as terminations as well as originations.
      By using a combination of tradition, common sense, and up-to-date
cladistic understanding, I have little difficulty choosing where I think the
major truncations are best made.  I'm not saying Julian has to do this (if
it is too difficult or makes him uncomfortable).  But he has no right to say
I shouldn't do this, especially considering I have a majority on my side
(not only the public at large, but maybe even the majority of biologists,
who are eclecticists of some kind).
     On behalf of the wide, wide world of "not strict cladists", I would
politely but firmly ask you to "Give Us A Break".
       ---- Sincerely,  Ken Kinman

>From: Julian Humphries <humphries at MAIL.UTEXAS.EDU>
>Reply-To: Julian Humphries <humphries at MAIL.UTEXAS.EDU>
>Subject: Re: Agreement Finally!!? (was Paraphyly)
>Date: Thu, 17 Jan 2002 14:51:54 -0800
>Ken Kinman wrote:
> >
> >       The only difference between us eclecticists and the you strict
> > cladists is that we also find it useful to regard that very same
> > as the termination of a taxon (in this case Amphibia).  Strict cladists
> > all taxa to be "open-ended" (i.e., all boundaries are origins only),
> > the rest of us want to regard some of those same boundaries as
> > as well (for a variety of reasons).   Sadly, this is what we have been
> > fighting over for more than three decades, and it could be so easily
> > reconciled with a simple cladisto-eclectic compromise.  (NOTE: another
> > semantics thing--- maybe if we called them "truncated clades" instead of
> > paraphyletic groups, that would make them a little more palatable?  I
> > I'll try that out below).
>Ok, lets see.  I want the "truncated clade" Amphibia to stop just before
>mammals, no wait, just before birds, no maybe just before humans.  Crap,
>this is hard, how I am supposed to decide what one of those major group
>ending events is?  This couldn't be an arbitrary process, could it?
>Julian Humphries

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