[Taxacom] This week's paraphyly discussions

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Mon Dec 20 23:25:37 CST 2010

>All paraphyletic taxa are unnatural

yep, true pretty much by definition

>Scientists should ...

well, maybe, maybe not, depending on how robust and stable the theories are, or 
else classification becomes science but totally useless for information 
management ...


From: Richard Zander <Richard.Zander at mobot.org>
To: Kenneth Kinman <kennethkinman at webtv.net>; taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Sent: Tue, 21 December, 2010 11:52:09 AM
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] This week's paraphyly discussions

All paraphyletic taxa are unnatural. They are patterns of relationships 
generated by nonultrametric cluster analysis. Scientists should use the patterns 
to generate theories of natural processes and base classifications on those. Not 
skip the theory part and classify life by the patterns of relationships. That's 

* * * * * * * * * * * * 
Richard H. Zander 
Missouri Botanical Garden, PO Box 299, St. Louis, MO 63166-0299 USA 
Web sites: http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/resbot/ and 
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 Kenneth Kinman
Sent: Sunday, December 19, 2010 11:45 PM
To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: [Taxacom] This week's paraphyly discussions
Hi Stephen,
       That is what I like about the discussions this week. In spite of 
disagreements about the more minor points (and those will always be inevitable 
and often stimulate valuable new research), we have been getting back to some of 
the most important points (especially about paraphyly). That paraphyletic taxa 
are not unnatural and many people find them very useful. 


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