[Taxacom] Phylocriminetics

Kenneth Kinman kennethkinman at webtv.net
Wed Dec 29 19:29:29 CST 2010

Hi Richard, 
         I'm really trying to get past the semantics
and understand exactly what you want me to do, other than stop using the
"term" paraphyletic (which I agreed to do by using the more precise term
"semi-holophyletic" more consistently).            
         As for "sister-group triples", although
extant exemplars would result in a cladogram like (Amphibia (Reptilia,
Aves)), I classify them as an ancestor-descendant series:  Class
Amphibia giving rise to Class Reptilia, and Class Reptilia giving rise
to Class Aves.  I really don't see how I am letting "Joe Fatch walk"
(which makes me sound like I am as bad as strict cladists).  That's why
I often say "mother group" (ancestor) and its exgroup (descendant).
       Class Amphibia and Class Reptilia are based on
symplesiomorphies, so would it be better to call them
"symplesiophyletic" taxa? I think "semi-holophyletic" sounds better
(since I include exgroup markers in these taxa), and it doesn't carry
the baggage that paraphyly and symplesiomorphy have been saddled with. 
        So my question is simple.  If "paraphyletic" is
an unnatural and unscientific term, what is (are) the natural and
scientific term(s) that I should use for describing groups like Class
Amphibia or Class Reptilia?               
Richard Zander: 
       Several people (including Ken Kinman) have
questioned why I now reject "paraphyly" as an unnatural, unscientific
Evolutionary systematists see the sister-group triple in terms of
progenitor-ancestor relationships, not as paraphyly-apophyly
sister-group terms. 
Those who retain use of the term paraphyly but allow the apospecies to
retain its unusual name (like you, Ken) also let Joe Fatch walk. 

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