jim.croft at gmail.com
Sat Mar 28 18:49:54 CDT 2009
Is it still not a matter of some interest that EricOIDEAE are so
poorly represented in Australia?
Or are we witnessing the insidious ascent of rampant strict-familyism
and the demise of the nomenclatural codes, civilization and the cosmos
as we know them?
- if you think turning all our epacrids into heathers is a problem,
we also have to explain to a doubting public that all their
Callistemon bottle-brushes are in fact Melaleuca paper-barks and all
their Dryandras are just Banksias who have't got their act together
(conversations involve intersecting sets of colourful adjectives
rather than common nouns). Yep, communication and predictability is
where it is all at... Taxonomy: the art of telling people what they
really don't want to hear... :)
On Sun, Mar 29, 2009 at 5:06 AM, Peter Stevens <peter.stevens at mobot.org> wrote:
> well, there are a variety of definitions of predictivity out there.
> But thinking of common nouns and classifications, in folk
> classifications and in language generally, when nouns are members of
> contrast sets, they are generally non-overlapping - that is, one does
> not include the other. It clearly helps in communication. This might
> be relevant when we are thinking of paraphyly and monophyly. When I
> was working on my thesis, it was a matter of some interest that
> Ericaceae (the rhododendron/blueberry/heather family) were so poorly
> represented in Australia - except that it has turned out that they
> are very well represented there, but we were calling them
> Epacridaceae then, and so we thought that they were irrelevant when
> thinking about the distribution of Ericaceae...
> On Mar 28, 2009, at 2:45 AM, Mike Dallwitz wrote:
>> Barry Roth wrote:
>>> 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
>>> grounded in phylogeny.
>> One thing that you get out of any classification that includes
>> names is the
>> ability to communicate. All common nouns correspond to
>> which are presumably chosen (or evolve) for their usefulness for
>> communication, which probably depends on our ability to mentally
>> picture and
>> remember the concept of the noun, which is probably related to its
>> predictivity in some sense.
>> Have classifications based on cladistic methods been shown to have
>> predictivity than other classifications? Predictivity could (for
>> example) be
>> defined as in
>> Gower J.C. 1974. Maximal Predictive Classification. Biometrics 30:
>> Colless D.H. 1984. A method for hierarchical clustering based on
>> predictivity. Systematic Zoology 33: 64-68.
>>> This also makes me more look charitably on monophyletic (i.e.,
>>> groups than paraphyletic groups.
>> Does this mean that belonging to a paraphyletic group such as reptiles
>> usually has less predictive value than belonging to any of the
>> groups to which reptiles belong?
>> Mike Dallwitz
>> Contact information: http://delta-intkey.com/contact/dallwitz.htm
>> DELTA home page: http://delta-intkey.com
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Jim Croft ~ jim.croft at gmail.com ~ +61-2-62509499
"Words, as is well known, are the great foes of reality."
- Joseph Conrad, author (1857-1924)
"I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said,
but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant."
- attributed to Robert McCloskey, US State Department spokesman
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