[Taxacom] classifications (was: no subject)

Kenneth Kinman kennethkinman at webtv.net
Thu Apr 2 17:06:44 CDT 2009

     Well, I believe that a totally phylogenetic classification that is
broken by a single paraphyletic break is still totally phylogenetic in
an informational sense.  Using my {{exgroup}} markers you can still hook
the two resulting cladograms into a single large cladogram.  The
phylogenetic information is still 100%, but you add in some
ancestor-descendant information as a bonus.  
      But just for the sake of argument, let's say some might consider
the paraphyletic break reducing it from 100% to 90% phylogenetic (in
some philosophical way).  If traditionalists start using these "90%"
phylogenetic classifications, then almost everyone will be using highly
phylogenetic classifications that are identical or with very minor
differences.  All those very unphylogenetic classifications will
disappear.  You don't even have to meet them half-way.  Virtually all
classifications would become 90-100% phylogenetic, would become more
stable and more useful, and the differences would be very minor.  We
would be working together rather than working at cross purposes. 
     The APG (Angiosperm Phylogeny Group) could VERY, VERY easily make
their classifications almost universally acceptable by (1) partially
reversing a couple cases of their excessive lumping at ordinal level;
and (2) allow some paraphyletic families instead of stubbornly
insistently that they must all be holophyletic.  For example, a
paraphyletic Ericaceae is a very small price to pay, and an
{{Epacridaceae}} exgroup marker allows us to keep 100% of the
phylogenetic information anyway.
       --------Ken Kinman
Mario wrote:
if "strict cladists" agreed to "allow occasional paraphyletic breaks",
we would no longer be "strict cladists". And I am puzzled as to how you
can view non phylogenetic classifications as "more phylogenetic". 
 From Kenneth Kinman: 
  "But until strict cladists agree to allow occasional paraphyletic
breaks, the destabilization and arguments will continue. Why they
wouldn't want to do this really puzzles me, as it would make all
classifications more phylogenetic."

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