[Taxacom] Drosophila melanogaster name change?

Richard Zander Richard.Zander at mobot.org
Fri Apr 9 15:51:20 CDT 2010

No howling in this case. I was typing up a delightful rant on the
subject of fruit fly nomenclature when I decided that a really good
failure on the part of phylogeneticists to serve other sciences was JUST
WHAT WE NEED. So I quit with a smile . . . This case is up there with
the possibility that future science will deal with having no scientific
names for good taxa like polar bears, the cactus family, and birds.

Another thing, I am uncomfortable with the term paraphyletic. Why not
"good ancestral taxon"? Maybe "euphyletic progenitor"? if you like
classical forms. Doubtless I'm dreaming, but then, how about a new term
for the present upstart hegemony in systematics: "parasystematics." Para
meaning "near", or "almost", or "kind of but not good enough," or
"recrement." Parasystematics would apply to any systematics school (i.e.
as opposed to orthodox systematics) that depends on one quick, easy,
judgment-free method to generate a classification. Such as using one
evolutionary model for all taxa and all traits in the name of simplicity
and ersatz "hard science," when a method of evaluating (as a first pass)
evolution of all taxa and all traits individually already exists; it's
called alpha taxonomy. It is, of course, limited by difficulty dealing
with more than a few taxa and traits at once, including all evidence
such as environment and possible selectively linked traits. 

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
Modern Evolutionary Systematics Web site:

-----Original Message-----
From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
[mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Karl Magnacca
Sent: Friday, April 09, 2010 2:32 PM
To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu

Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Drosophila melanogaster name change?
Where are all the usual suspects who are always howling on Taxacom about
how wonderful paraphyletic taxa are?  This is one case where they're
actually right.

More information about the Taxacom mailing list