[Taxacom] PhyloCode & ICZN to "duke it out"?

Ken Kinman kinman at hotmail.com
Wed Oct 3 21:45:23 CDT 2007

Dear Mark, Emily, and others:

      I'll address Emily's post first and then Mark's.  First of all, I 
would point out that the elimination of Linnaean ranks only appears to 
promote stability in a deceptively simplistic way.  The problem is that it 
encourages the explosive growth of such ranks, even though such ranks are 
not *explicitly* recognized.  McKenna began running into this problem in the 
1970's and 80's with Mirorders, Parvorders, Supraorders, ad nauseum.

       Ultimately the problem with the approach of Hennig, McKenna, and 
other strict cladists is that they thought that declaring  paraphyletic taxa 
"unnatural" (and eliminating them) was the logical answer to their dilemma.  
But taking that road is going to be destabilizing in the long run and 
creating an even greater dilemma.  Frankly they just didn't really 
thoroughly examine the long-term repercussions of pursuing that particular 

    Emily stated that there is no convention to accomodate "a rank within 
the same rank".  She is apparently unaware of the conventions proposed in 
the book "The Kinman System: Toward A Stable Cladisto-Eclectic 
Classification of Organisms (Living and Extinct; 48 Phyla, 269 Classes, 
1,719 Orders)" which I published in 1994.  David Hull certainly reflected 
Emily's concern in 1979 ("The Limits of Cladism", Systematic Zoology, 
28:437) when he stated that "no methods have been set out thus far which 
permit the inclusion of both sorts of information {genealogy and divergence} 
in a single classification in such a way that both are retrievable."

     However, the Kinman System (1994) addresses such concerns and does so 
in a way that does not necessitate the abandonment of the structure which 
gives the Linnaean hierarchy it relative stability and the Kinman System 
approach further enhances the cladistic information in such classifications 
with an alphanumeric coding system of clades and subclades.  More important 
is the occasional (strategically placed) retention of paraphyletic breaks 
where the sister group at one taxonomic level lies within the preceding 
taxon at the same taxonomic level.  FOR EXAMPLE, a Family Hominidae having a 
sister group (a genus or group of genera) within the preceding paraphyletic 
Family Pongidae.  That's how to really achieve long-term stability----NOT 
strictly cladifying Family Pongidae in a myriad of different (and confusing) 
ways that various strict cladists have done!!!

     As for Mark's remarks, just let me repost below my classification of 
Kingdom Protista which was presented here on Taxacom in March 2006 (in which 
I mentioned the 2005 protist classification he referred to).  It clearly 
shows that metazoans and eumycotan fungi are descendants of choanozoans (all 
being members of the opisthokont clade).  Mark has fairly direct access to 
The Kinman System book (1994) which is available in the library at 
University of Georgia (at Athens).  Unfortunately, Wake Forest does not have 
a copy, although there is a nearby copy at the University of Tennessee, two 
copies at the Library of Congress, and other copies that might be available 
through Interlibrary Loan (try Princeton, Harvard, Yale, Cornell, Ohio 
State, etc.).  Anyway, from my post in March 2006 here on Taxacom:

Dear All,
      Since the 5-Kingdom system has been so popular for so long, I'm going 
to (temporarily?) give it a try here.  To convert it to my preferred 
4-Kingdom system, you can simply replace the exgroup marker {{EUMYCOTA}} 
with the 3 eumycotan Phyla----Eomycota (incl. microsporidians), Ascomycota, 
and Basidiomycota.  In any case, I will not use the name "Fungi" as a formal 
taxon name (Eumycota is far more precise for the true fungi).  And I 
certainly will not recognize a 6th Kingdom for the Chromista clade 
(Cryptophyta, Haptophyta, and Heterokonta).  Following the classification, I 
will further discuss various subclades of Protista.
     Anyway, the total is 16 Phyla of protists (and it would be 19 phyla if 
you included the 3 phyla of Eumycota). The Apusozoa may need to be split off 
from Rhizaria, but I expect virtually all of the other "candidate" phyla 
will actually turn out to fit nicely into one of the phyla listed below.  We 
certainly do NOT need a bunch of new eukaryotic kingdoms.  As always, the 
main clades are numbered in the order in which they split off 


  1   Choanozoa (= Mesomycetozoa)
_a_   {{EUMYCOTA}}
_b_   {{METAZOA}}
  2   Amoebozoa
  3   Rhizaria
  4   Loukozoa (jakobids and allies)
  B   Metamonada (incl. Parabasalia)
  C   Percolozoa
  D   Euglenozoa
  5   Glaucophyta
  B   Rhodophyta
  C   Chlorophyta
_a_   {{METAPHYTA}}
  6   Cryptophyta
  B   Haptophyta
  C   Heterokonta (stramenopiles)
  7   Ciliophora
  8   Dinozoa (or Dinophyta)
  9   Sporozoa
    NOTES:  Clade 1 is the opisthokont clade, which is sister to the 
anterokont clade (clades 2-9).  Phylum Amoebozoa is sister to the bikonts 
(clades 3-9).  Phylum Rhizaria is sister to the corticoflagellates (clades 
    Clade 4 is made up of the four excavate phyla (of which Percolozoa and 
Euglenozoa make up a discicristate subclade).  Excavates are sister to the 
photokaryotes (clades 5-9).  Clade 5 is the plant clade, which 
Cavalier-Smith calls Plantae, and it also equals the Archaeplastida clade of 
Adl et al., 2005.  And finally we have the chromalveolates (three phyla of 
chromists and three phyla of alveolates)---still the "crown group" after all 
these years.  :-)
                   Ken Kinman

>From: farmer at cb.uga.edu
>To: Emily Gillespie <gillel5 at wfu.edu>, taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
>CC: TAXACOM at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
>Subject: Re: [Taxacom] PhyloCode & ICZN to "duke it out"?
>Date: Wed, 03 Oct 2007 21:11:30 -0400
>Hooray for Emily,
>This is exactly what those of us in the field of protistology (you know, 
>group from which the minor taxa of animals, plants, and fungi are derived)
>have hit upon.
>Our taxonomy rests on the bedrock of Linnaean and Darwinian concepts;
>namely common descent.  But it is nothing more than a nested hierarchy
>that conveys relatedness in an evolutionary context.
>If you have not seen it check out our paper:
>and learn that you are nothing more than a eukaryotic opisthokont!
>Date sent:     Wed, 03 Oct 2007 20:44:31 -0400
>From:  Emily Gillespie <gillel5 at wfu.edu>
>Organization:  Wake Forest University
>To:    Ken Kinman <kinman at hotmail.com>
>Copies to:     TAXACOM at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
>Subject:       Re: [Taxacom] PhyloCode & ICZN to "duke it out"?
> > Hi Ken and others,
> >
> > While I do understand why many people bristle at the thought of
> > radically changing nomenclatural rules, I thought it would be
> > appropriate to point out a couple of things that I haven't seen
> > written in previous discussions about this topic.
> >
> > First, becaue ranks are arbitrary from a biological perspective,
> > phylocode (or any similar innovation) could not destroy a perceived
> > hierarchy of names, in that sense.  In other words, phylocode cannot
> > demote or elevate ranks because it doesn't use them, and whether the
> > proper name of a group is "A" or "B" doesn't change by dropping the
> > rank. So, there's no loss of taxonomic stability there.
> >
> > Second, if you think about it, phylocode might actually lead to less
> > name change _overall _in the long run.  Consider a situation in
> > Linnaean taxonomy, where one family is determined to be derived from
> > within another.  In this case, one name or the other has to be changed
> > because there's no convention to accomodate a rank within the same
> > rank.  In a rank-less system, there's nothing wrong with an
> > already-named family being nested within another named family because
> > they're simply proper names; you just have to be aware of that
> > hypothesis of relationships when thinking about evolution within that
> > group, but that is the case anyway.  This seems ok to me, because
> > knowing that "A" is derived from within "B", _and _that they both were
> > previously recognized as families, for example, should in fact tell me
> > something about  _how _we perceived these taxa historically, and then
> > I should ask _why _they were thought to be more distantly related than
> > we now know them to be.  Seems all very informative to me.
> >
> > It really seems to me that most of the conflict among folks debating
> > about the Linnaean system versus Phylocode (or something like it)
> > stems from whether a person is list-thinking or tree-thinking.  If you
> > think in terms of lists, then any change of names wreaks a certain
> > amount of havoc on one's ability to keep up with name changes.
> > However, if one thinks in terms of trees, then name changes sometimes
> > simply follow necessarily from re-evaluation of evolutionary
> > relationships.  And of course, outside an evolutionary context, group
> > names don't mean much.
> >
> > I suppose what I could see happening in the end is keeping Linnaean
> > proper names (not ranks) wherever possible, because institutional
> > memory is important and the names, but recognizing where Linnaean
> > names simply cannot be retained because keeping them simply confuses
> > how we interpret evolution within a group of organisms. I would be
> > curious to hear your thoughts about this.
> >
> > Emily
> >
> >
> > Ken Kinman wrote:
> >
> > > Dear All,
> > >     I was reading yet another thread on the DML (Dinosaur Mailing
> > > List) about conflicts between PhyloCode and ICZN.  I guess I should
> > > say "potential" conflicts, since PhyloCode is thankfully still not
> > > in effect.
> > >
> > >     Anyway, what caught my attention this time was not only the
> > > admission that PhyloCode and ICZN (and presumably other Codes) would
> > > have to "duke it out" over conflicts, but the suggestion that ICZN
> > > (and presumably other Codes) should only deal with genus and species
> > > names.  Ha ha!!!  Like we are going to let them take over
> > > jurisdiction of family group names, ordinal names, etc.  Especially
> > > since they seem deadset on destroying the Linnaean hierarchy
> > > altogether.  Anyway, here's a link to the posting (the most
> > > pertinent parts are the last two paragraphs):
> > >
> > > http://dml.cmnh.org/2007Oct/msg00033.html
> > >
>Mark A. Farmer
>Dept. Cellular Biology
>724 Biological Sciences Bldg.
>University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602
>(706)542-3383 Voice   (706)542-4271 FAX
>farmer at cb.uga

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