[Taxacom] This week's paraphyly discussions

John Grehan jgrehan at sciencebuff.org
Tue Dec 21 10:34:22 CST 2010

On this I agree (amazing I agree with anyone these days). Someone
interested in the hypothesized sequence of differentiation with respect
to inclusiveness of all descendants will look at a natural group in one
way, and for someone not interested in characterizing all members of a
group will look at a natural group being viewed in another way. I am ok
with that, and while I do not see anything really useful about a
paraphyletic group in terms of a historical entity, and can agree that
others may see this differently without any presumption of inherent
superiority of rationality by either.

And then of course theorists on either side may say what a load of

John Grehan

-----Original Message-----
From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
[mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Kim van der
Sent: Tuesday, December 21, 2010 11:12 AM
To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Cc: Richard Zander; Kenneth Kinman
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] This week's paraphyly discussions

On 12/21/2010 12:25 AM, Stephen Thorpe wrote:
>> All paraphyletic taxa are unnatural
> yep, true pretty much by definition

Yeah if you take that taxa should be representative of evolutionary 
history. Which is arguable. If it is based on evolutionary similarity, 
major changes in a single branch make it far more logical to have 
paraphyletic groups. And in a sense, more natural. It just depends on 
how you define natural.



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