[Taxacom] More precise sound bite

Richard Zander Richard.Zander at mobot.org
Sat Mar 28 12:27:22 CDT 2009

I think Darwin focused on ancestor-descendant evolution, not phylogenetic evolution (sister-group evolution). His famous Tree of Life is clearly an ancestor-descendant diagram. I think the best classification is one strongly grounded in both ancestor-descendant and sister-group evaluations of evolution.
I use a classification to indicate names for taxa that I think others would find value in using, what their general evolutionary relationships are (similarity plus avoiding convergence), and which are unique directions in evolution (indicated by rank).
Richard H. Zander
Missouri Botanical Garden
PO Box 299
St. Louis, MO 63166 U.S.A.
richard.zander at mobot.org


From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu on behalf of Barry Roth
Sent: Fri 3/27/2009 11:45 PM
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] More precise sound bite

I'm not sure why I would want to make a classification unless I thought I could get something more out of it than what I put into it.*  And I think this boils down to predictivity.  Because of the fact of organic evolution, the classification that best serves this need / desire will be one strongly grounded in phylogeny.  As Darwin long ago pointed out.  This also makes me more look charitably on monophyletic (i.e., holophyletic) groups than paraphyletic groups.
*Ruling out purely aesthetic considerations.  Early in my career as a museum scientist, I did love it when a drawer of specimens was all neatly curated, and a notebook page of taxon names likewise.  You have to get it out of your system ...
Barry Roth

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