DePhylocode: Light, not heat?
kinman at HOTMAIL.COM
Thu Mar 7 16:01:28 CST 2002
The clade "eudicots" is an excellent example of how most such clades
*should* be named--- informally. This indeed does work very well. I
recognized the "eudicot" clade in my 1994 classification.
If theropod workers had done the same thing, we would not have formal
taxa like Arctometatarsalia based on convergent characters. The sad thing
is that Holtz and company still apply this name to just the ornithomimosaurs
(and all the the other theropod "arctomets" are excluded). To me this is
about as nutty as retaining the name Vermes for just the leeches.
DePhylocode is not an "evil empire." It just a silly idea that
apparently makes sense within the confines of strictly cladistic thinking.
What is ironic and particularly alarming is how many "clades" are turning
out to be polyphyletic. Oh wait, the strict cladists will say
"Arctometatarsalia is not polyphyletic if we restrict it just to the
ornithomimosaurs." That's the problem. They name clades so that they are
automatically holophyletic no matter what (i.e., there is no way to falsify
them). Talk about being unscientific!!! This is "stability of definition"
to the detriment of everything else.
And if clades are defined in a certain manner, DePhylocode apparently
has a mechanism by which the most screwed-up ones will "self-destruct", but
I'm not sure what they propose to do with all the schrapnel or ashes.
Sounds a little bit too much like Mission Impossible to me. Anyway, they
apparently will do this by using more than two specifiers or anchors (i.e.,
multiple type species). And they accuse us of typological thinking? If
that isn't the pot calling the kettle black, I don't know what is.
It just shows you to what extreme lengths strict cladists will go just
to make sure there are none of those "paraphyletic" boogeymen hiding under
their beds. And in the process they don't even notice they are creating
polyphyletic groups (which nobody wants).
I agree that we need to keep them in the current system where we can
keep an eye on them. Sure there will be controversies, but it would be
better than "secession" and a full blown civil war.
------ Ken Kinman
>From: Curtis Clark <jcclark at CSUPOMONA.EDU>
>Reply-To: Curtis Clark <jcclark at CSUPOMONA.EDU>
>To: TAXACOM at USOBI.ORG
>Subject: Phylocode: Light, not heat
>Date: Thu, 7 Mar 2002 10:24:39 -0800
>Phylocode is not a monolith or "evil empire".
>Many of us see Phylocode as a useful parallel system which avoids the
>disruption that will be necessary if the Linnaean system is to provide
>names for all well-marked clades. Ken is starting to convince me that this
>"hands-off" policy is a misguided view, that there is no reason the
>phylogeneticists shouldn't make the Linnaean system conform to their views,
>just as generations of systematists have before, by naming clades in the
>existing hierarchy. I suspect he will find the results even more
>distasteful that the "separate sandbox", but so be it.
>Ironically, clades are already named outside any formal system (the
>eudicots spring to mind), and other than a few points of contention
>(should we call them "heterokonts" or "stramenopiles"), this has worked
MSN Photos is the easiest way to share and print your photos:
More information about the Taxacom