[Taxacom] Cladifications are NOT classifications(MonaLisadrooling)

Edwards, G.B. edwardg at doacs.state.fl.us
Wed Aug 2 08:58:24 CDT 2006

To abstract the abstract: a classification is an interpretation of phylogeny using scientific nomenclature, and some people think it's useful to do this for various reasons.  My point was that it's the phylogeny we're really interested in moreso than the nomenclature we apply to it in the form of a classification.  At least that's my interest, and maybe that of Rich.
[P.S. I'm definitely on board with your proposed solution to the quagmire!  
Rich: Well, that's two of us.  Two more and the snowball will be rolling!]

Yes, of course I was being idealistic in my previous comments Barry.  But doesn't it seem feasible (especially with the introduction of molecular analysis into the equation) that eventually there will be less and less variation in phylogenetic hypothesis generation as our techniques are refined?  Unlike the classification arguments that go on ad infinitum.  

However, perhaps I should have proposed a moratorium on classification rather than an abandonment.  It just annoys me sometimes to see all the classifications of higher taxa, and the revisions of the same higher classifications, then the rerevisions of the same higher classifications, etc., when the planetary biodiversity is being destroyed daily without even being documented as to what once existed.  Okay, I admit to being a bottom-up taxonomist.  Not that I don't like seeing a good higher classification, but gosh, some people need to get a life in the real biosphere!  Just my opinion.  Tip of my hat to those of you who have managed to do both.
Best, GB
G. B. Edwards, Ph.D.  [Your Friendly Neighborhood Spiderman] 
Curator: Arachnida (except Acari), Myriapoda, Terrestrial Crustacea, Thysanoptera 
Florida State Collection of Arthropods, FDACS, Division of Plant Industry 
P.O.Box 147100, 1911 SW 34th St., Gainesville, FL 32614-7100 USA 
(352) 372-3505 x194; fax (352) 334-0737; edwardg at doacs.state.fl.us

-----Original Message-----
From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu [mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Vazrick Nazari
Sent: Wednesday, August 02, 2006 12:19 AM
To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Cladifications are NOT classifications(MonaLisadrooling)

Here is a wonderful read on this topic:
  Farnz, N.M., 2005. On the lack of good scientific reasons for the growing phylogeny/classification gap. Cladistics 21(5): 495-500.
  An increasing number of phylogenetic analyses is no longer translated into classifications. The resulting phylogeny ⁄ classification gap is undesirable because the precise transmission of phylogenetic insights depends on the frequent revision of Linnaean names. The move away from classifying has numerous correlates. These include: an expanded pool of researchers who are able to produce phylogenetic estimates, a mismatch between the properties of molecular phylogenies and the requirements for verbal Linnaean definitions, the emphasis of statistical representations over the creation and evaluation of scientific terms, and a partial disconnect between the processes of nomenclature and taxonomy. The ‘‘taxonomic concept’’ approach allows systematists to express their varying perspectives with a high precision and can therefore help reduce the aforementioned gap. The phylogeny ⁄ classification link must persist in order to ensure community-wide access to, and
 continued testing of, the products of systematic research.

Vazrick Nazari, MSc.
Systematic and Evolution
Department of Biological Sciences
CW 405, Biological Sciences Centre
University of Alberta
Edmonton, Alberta
T6G 2E9  Canada
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