Paul van Rijckevorsel dipteryx at FREELER.NL
Fri Oct 3 17:57:51 CDT 2003

> >+ + +
Not to beat a dead horse, but the advances in Angiosperm taxonomy are
primarily due to results from chloroplast genes (prokaryote DNA), which are
not expressed in the phenotype (they actually are so valuable since they are
not involved in the sexual game).
Paul van Rijckevorsel

From: John Grehan <jgrehan at SCIENCEBUFF.ORG>
Sent: Friday, October 03, 2003 4:58 PM
> I have doubts about how much of this constitute 'advances' particularly
> when some of the practitioners are grossly ignorant of plant morphology to
> the extent that they (those that are constructing trees for angiosperms as
> a whole) are not even familiar with the full range of families.

+ + +
I have little doubts that the APG-approach represents an advance over the
system by Cronquist and contemporaries. It does require morphology to be
reexamined from a new perspective and to some extent this is happening. This
does yield new insights of what characters are important.

There might be done more on morphology. If I look at the APG site from where
I stand I don't seem to have any difficulty in picking blatant errors but I
cannot judge how this is for the full range of characters.

I doubt there are very many botanists who are "familiar with the full range
of families": there are just too many of them (families not botanists).
+ + +

> I asked one
> molecular geneticist at the Pennsylvania State University, for example,
> about how the Podostemaceae

+ + +
Surely this is a very poor example, since Podostemaceae are a
morphological nightmare. It is very difficult to approach them with
anything but indifference.

Paul van Rijckevorsel
+ + +

> the view fitted into their picture, particularly with
> respect to the lack of structural homology with the absence of a
shoot/root separation in development, the lack of roots, and problems in the
homology of floral structure the response was one of complete indifference.
This seems to be the pattern overall, that molecular biologists declare
morphology dead (essentially, if I may use that word) on the trash-heap of
history, so therefore they need not know anything much about it.

> Finally, as one practicing cladistics, I have no inclination towards the
> phylocode. Any move to subvert the written word for numbers leaves me
> suspect. Look what happens when the principle is applied to people.

> John Grehan
> ever present reactionary

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