First International Phylogenetic Nomenclature Meeting, Paris 2004

Curtis Clark jcclark at CSUPOMONA.EDU
Thu Jul 3 22:30:14 CDT 2003

At 13:13 2003-07-03 -0700, Kipling Will wrote:
>Without an absolute rank, Dipnoi is a group that may
>contain Mammalia or the other way around, or they may be two separate
>groups. Information-free nomenclature?

This was the argument of Norm Platnick, in the article that Ken Kinman
pointed out (the irony for Ken of course is that Platnick castigated
paraphyletic taxa). And that argument is what convinced me that Phylocode
would never be a useful general-purpose system.

But I don't oppose it, and I'm glad to see it finally formalized. It will
ultimately live or die based on its usefulness. IMO, it is seriously
compromised by including species. Species are often not monophyletic
lineages, and lineages within species are arguably worthy of recognition.
If Phylocode were a system to name lineages, parallel to Linnaean
nomenclature, I would see an immediate use for it. As a replacement, I
think it has a ways to go, but again, time will tell. The botanists in
Europe and the US a century ago were as firm in their opinions of their
differing approaches, and botanical nomenclature survived.

Curtis Clark        
Biological Sciences Department            Voice: +1 909 869 4062
California State Polytechnic University     FAX: +1 909 869 4078
Pomona CA 91768-4032  USA                  jcclark at

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