Latin names versus scientific names [was: So much for nomenclatural stability]

Ken Kinman kinman2 at YAHOO.COM
Thu Mar 10 09:15:34 CST 2005

I would agree with these statements with one exception.  I am increasingly convinced that we are NOT a dying breed, although strict cladists did have us thinking that might be the case.  Even after 30 years of its very aggressive attempts to stamp out all formal paraphyly, they haven't been able to do so, and the tide is turning.  Especially with the PhyloCode blunder increasingly showing the underlying vulnerabilities of strictly cladistic classifications, I think a younger generation of taxonomists will back away from that extreme pendulum swing, and forge a new cladisto-eclectic synthesis.

     So instead of a dying breed, I think we will be a healthy part of a new hybrid (highly cladistic, but certainly not strictly cladistic).  Eventually the "dying breed" will be those who refuse to abandon their paraphylophobic ways, and refuse to accept that branching patterns can be systematically stored in classifications without sacrificing stability, practicality, and the evolutionary distance (which are just some of the benefits of occasional formal paraphyly).
Date:         Thu, 10 Mar 2005 07:27:47 -0600
From:         "Thomas G. Lammers" <lammers at UWOSH.EDU>
Subject:      Re: Latin names versus scientific names [was: So much for nomenclatural stability]
Comments: To: Richard Pyle <deepreef at BISHOPMUSEUM.ORG>

At 01:15 AM 3/10/2005, Richard Pyle wrote:
> > 'Tis a cladist's perspective.  There are still surviving > > members of the
>dying breed of naturalists who see evolutionary relationships as being one of the most important kinds of information communicated among taxonomists via scientific nomneclature -- but not the *only* kind of information.<

Or perhaps more importantly, that we eschew the absolute dependence on only ONE kind of evolutionary information -- branching pattern.  Some of us prefer a more wholistic and naturalistic perspective on evolution and classification than the stringently artificial and monothetic view of cladistics.  We prefer to take into account *all* aspects of evolution rather than determining a priori, as Linnaeus did with stamen and carpel number, that branching pattern is THE most important character to use in classification.
Thomas G. Lammers, Ph.D.

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