[Taxacom] (no subject)

Richard Pyle deepreef at bishopmuseum.org
Thu Apr 2 00:54:09 CDT 2009

I was going to comment on this a while back, but I owe too many things to
too many people, so whenever I post to Taxacom I get severe lashings...

My comment was that when most people think of a "classification", they think
of nomenclature.  Specifically, most people think of a hierarchical series
of nested groups, labelled with Linnaean-style names at various ranks. The
problem comes when some people want to use the hierarchy of names to
represent strictly monophyletic groups; whereas others prefer a more
"relaxed" view of nomenclature as a tool for more general communication --
driven largely (but not necessarily exclusively) by our hypotheses of
phylogenetic historical patterns, influenced also by considerations of
nomenclatural stability and various other factors that have been discussed
on this list ad nauseum.

I have always advocated that other (non-nomenclatural) mechanisms of
representing classifications (e.g., cladograms) serve the function of
communicating hypothesized phylogenetic relationships FAR more effectively
than traditional nomenclature.

Maybe we should avoid using words like "classification" -- which mean
different things to different people -- and instead debate in terms of
"nomenclatural hierarchies", "cladograms", and other such (more specific)

In other words, Don, I believe we *can* have both a phylogeny and a
[nomenclatural hierarchy], as long as we're clear about the terms we use.


P.S. For those on this list to whom I owe too many things (and you all know
who you are), I have been bed-ridden sick these past few days, but have
nevertheless made significant and meaningful progress on all fronts. But
righ now, I'm going to bed.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu 
> [mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of 
> Don.Colless at csiro.au
> Sent: Wednesday, April 01, 2009 6:51 PM
> To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> Subject: [Taxacom] (no subject)
> I asked it before and had not a single reply. Why can we not 
> have (both) a phylogeny AND a classification? The former to 
> serve evolutionary studies (sens.lat.), the latter for 
> general (including public) use? 
> Donald H. Colless
> CSIRO Div of Entomology
> GPO Box 1700
> Canberra 2601
> don.colless at csiro.au
> tuz li munz est miens envirun
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