[Taxacom] burn out (was: classification of Class Rosopsida)

Kenneth Kinman kennethkinman at webtv.net
Fri Apr 10 09:47:56 CDT 2009

Hi Mario,
      Well, I did cite Thorne and Reveal, 2007, as my newest source.
And the previous updates of my angiosperm classification on taxacom make
it pretty clear that I get most of my cladistic information from APG
(especially Peter Stevens' website).  I also get some information from
other websites and papers as well, in order to make it as much of a
consensus as possible.      
      If I were going to publish this classification, it would certainly
give a lot more information about the taxa (and their
interrelationships), as well as a bibliography.  However, at this point,
traditional and APG classifications are still so far apart that it would
largely be a waste of time and energy trying to get it published.  And
it would be ignored by most strict cladists anyway simply because it
contains two paraphyletic subclasses.  
      As long as paraphyly is such a major issue, I will not devote
large amounts of time on the classification of any particular taxon.  My
strategy is to show many different examples where more informative
"consensus" classifications could be forged if paraphylophobia wasn't
getting in the way.  Unfortunately, the paraphyly issue isn't going away
anytime soon.  I feel sort of like those economists who were warning
five or ten years ago that all those financial derivatives were going to
be bad for the economy in the long-term, but they were drowned out by
those who were just looking at the short term gains.  The lesson to be
learned could be put this way:    a modicum of paraphyly ("regulation")
would go a long way towards curbing the runaway "cladification" which is
increasingly offering diminishing returns and piling up insidious
damage.  It's frustrating, and perhaps the reason I tend to mainly do it
only the first few months of the year and then I get burned out again.
        --------Ken Kinman
Mario Blanco wrote:
I don't want to sound cynical, but if you want your classification to be
widely accepted, then why don't you actually publish it? You know that
most scientists won't pay serious attention to your classification
unless it is published in a scientific journal or book. In such a medium
you can elaborate more on your arguments to convince the readers. Like
Jim, I don't see where your evidence comes from. You might know it, but
you don't let us see it. You don't even cite a single source. Your
assertion "I've put a great deal of thought and time over the last 15
years into angiosperm classification in particular" doesn't show us the
evidence, and again, is simply an argument that invokes authority
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appeal_to_authority). You won't convince 
scientists this way. 
Plus, if you have coined names for new groups, these are not valid
unless they have been properly distributed in printed matter (Art. 29 of
the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature): 

More information about the Taxacom mailing list