Real taxa => Ranking

Peter Stevens peter.stevens at MOBOT.ORG
Thu Sep 30 13:35:32 CDT 2004

A clarification:
>      As for Peter Stevens' hope that a more robust phylogeny of
>flowering plants could eventually allow basing ranks on absolute
>age, I had a similar reaction to that of Robin Leech.  It just
>doesn't seem logical.

It wasn't a hope.  It was simply a remark to the effect that even if
phylogenies were stable, then...

I think that in general it is more helpful to think about
classifications like other elements of lanuage, kinds of conventions
(and conventions come in a disconcerting number of flavours) that
facilitate communication (we hope) given a particular set of
assumptions.  Since all these terms are contestable/have a variety of
meanings, even this is not very helpful, perhaps.  Anyhow, please
keep "natural" out of it!  In such situations, what one person/group
of people is doing and the other is not is automatically unnatural,
which hardly seems a useful basis for anything apart for confusion
and acrimony.

Peter S.


More information about the Taxacom mailing list