[Taxacom] This week's paraphyly discussions

dipteryx at freeler.nl dipteryx at freeler.nl
Mon Dec 20 08:29:07 CST 2010

Van: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu namens John Grehan
Verzonden: ma 20-12-2010 14:39

> If a taxon is paraphyletic then it is not a taxon.

This is circular reasoning. By definition, a taxon is a 
taxonomic group (or taxonomic unit), that is, a group 
that a taxonomist thinks is worth distinguishing, as 
belonging together (in some way).

If somebody calls this group paraphyletic, this will 
usually be because he does not accept paraphyletic groups,
so in that case, such a group is a (usually 'natural') taxon
to the taxonomist who accepts it, but it is paraphyletic 
(and 'artificial') to the person who does not accept it.

Paul van Rijckevorsel

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