[Taxacom] Endless Subject

Mario Blanco mblanco at flmnh.ufl.edu
Fri Apr 3 16:03:32 CDT 2009

Hi Richard,

How to maximize evolutionary information is the contentious issue then. 
In my opinion (and that of many others), it is achieved by recognizing 
only monophyletic taxa. In your opinion (and that of many others, too), 
it is achieved by a combination of phenetics, phylogenetic, and phyletic 
information, in your own words. That will forever remain a matter of 
opinion; there is nothing black and white about it, except in different 
people's minds. And that is why I believe this discussion will never 
end. The arguments will continue going back and forth, as they have been 
for a long time!

And yes, when I talk about "separating groups that belong together", of 
course I am talking about splitting a monophyletic taxon into two 
paraphyletic ones. That was obvious from my point of view. Of course you 
have different criteria for deciding what groups belong together (or 
not), and you can be as assertive as I am when expressing your opinion. 
I guess I should have added "according to my criteria" to that sentence.

I do know several subscribers to Taxacom who just press the delete 
button when they see another one of these messages. But you are right, I 
was just expressing my frustration with what I perceive as a pointless 
discussion. I know there are probably many others out there that 
actually find these discussions productive or interesting.


-------- Original Message --------
From:     Richard Zander <Richard.Zander at mobot.org>


ALL classifications are NOT special-purpose ones. Maximizing
evolutionary information should produce a maximized predictive
classification. This is from phenetics (total similarity) and
phylogenetic (sister-group) and phyletic (ancestor-descendant)
information, and should be of great use for general purposes by other
scientists. This is as non-special purpose as one can imagine.

"Separating groups that belong together"???? A bit assertive, aren't
you? Don't they belong together solely by holophyly, an artificial
classification system? Remember that holophyly is not evolutionary

What's this? Fed-up? You are speaking for others? Who you say are going
nowhere? Hey, "others", are we going nowhere or is something interesting
being accomplished in this discussion of paraphyly?

There is a delete key. And much of interest on Taxacom apart from this

Richard H. Zander
Voice: 314-577-0276
Missouri Botanical Garden
PO Box 299
St. Louis, MO 63166-0299 USA
richard.zander at mobot.org
Web sites: http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/resbot/
and http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/bfna/bfnamenu.htm
Non-post deliveries to:
Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63110

-----Original Message-----
From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
[mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Mario Blanco
Sent: Friday, April 03, 2009 2:11 PM
Subject: [Taxacom] Endless Subject

ALL classifications are special-purpose classifications. How is your
preferred classification not a special-purpose one?

And I completely disagree with your statement that phylogenetic
classifications eliminate descendant-ancestor relationships. In my
opinion, a paraphyletic classification cripples such information by
separating groups that belong together. Isn't it funny how we can view
the same problem from two very different perspectives? It all depends on
what your special purpose is.

But hey, let's happily continue this discussion ad infinitum. I wonder
how many Taxacomers have gotten fed up with this endless thread that is
going nowhere and finally decided to unsubscribe, looking for a forum
that actually discusses real biology.

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