[Taxacom] Fwd: considerations for erecting (or sinking) higher taxa

Robinwbruce at aol.com Robinwbruce at aol.com
Fri Oct 12 07:53:29 CDT 2012


Richard,
 
Sorry for the repeat; the taxacom copy was timed out and returned to  
sender.
 
Robin
 
 
 
  
____________________________________
 From: Robinwbruce at aol.com
To: Richard.Zander at mobot.org
CC:  taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Sent: 10/11/2012 9:36:22 P.M. GMT Daylight  Time
Subj: Re: [Taxacom] considerations for erecting (or sinking) higher  taxa


But why should nature be bifurcated into macro- and micro-  evolution?
 
For our convenience?
 
This would then seem to reflect a system of utilitarian classification  
rather than a natural one.
 
See for example Whitehead, The Concept of Nature, 1920 (Tarner Lectures  
1919).
 
Robin
 
 
 
 
In a message dated 10/11/2012 7:41:22 P.M. GMT Daylight Time,  
Richard.Zander at mobot.org writes:

Phylogeny IS classification. That is my point. And it is commonly  wrong.




There is no effort to interpret how the  dichotomous "tree" or
dichotomous key was generated by accepted theories  of macroevolution,
and the key is immediately made into a classification  because the groups
are nested. Classification is  nesting.



Suppose taxon A generates descendants B and C.  Depending on which
descendant is generated first, the classification is  either (A,B)C or
(A,C)B, molecularly. No process is recognized in  phylogenetics, just
forcing nested results of phylogenetic analysis into  a classification
(using strict monophyly if classical taxonomy  disagrees).



____________________________
Richard H.  Zander
Missouri Botanical Garden, PO Box 299, St. Louis, MO 63166-0299  USA  
Web sites:  http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/resbot/
<http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/resbot/>   and
http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/bfna/bfnamenu.htm
<http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/bfna/bfnamenu.htm>  
Modern Evolutionary Systematics Web  site:
http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/resbot/21EvSy.htm
<http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/resbot/21EvSy.htm>  
UPS and FedExpr -  MBG, 4344 Shaw Blvd, St. Louis 63110  USA

________________________________

From: Stephen Thorpe  [mailto:stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz] 
Sent: Sunday, October 07, 2012 7:41  PM
To: Richard Zander; Paul Kirk; Ken Kinman;  msharkey at uky.edu;
taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: Re: [Taxacom]  considerations for erecting (or sinking) higher
taxa



Note  that the discussion here is about the relationship between two
distinct  things: classification and phylogeny. Assuming that we all want
a  classification that is congruent with phylogeny (though (ideas of)  the
latter is highly unstable, which we don't want our classification  to
be!), the issue is about *how much* phylogeny to stuff into  a
classification. Phylogeny, at any level of detail, can still be  studied
independently of classification, so there is no need to try to  stuff all
of phylogeny into a  classification!





From: Richard Zander  <Richard.Zander at mobot.org>
To: Paul Kirk <p.kirk at cabi.org>;  Stephen Thorpe
<stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz>; Ken Kinman  <kinman at hotmail.com>;
msharkey at uky.edu; taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu  
Sent: Monday, 8 October 2012 1:29 PM
Subject: RE: [Taxacom]  considerations for erecting (or sinking)  higher
taxa





Once upon a time, a taxonomist  suggested a simple solution to the
problem of naming of higher  categories. First, treat all OTUs as part of
one species. Analyze into  parsimonious groups of trait changes
(microevolution) this single  species. THEN, point out that parsimony
creates a neat dichotomous key,  or something like it. Declare this a
natural key since it is based on  "evolution." Note that the natural key
is nested just like a  classification. Switch from treating analytically
the natural key to one  species with microevolutionary changes, to it
being a natural key to many  species with macroevolutionary changes.
Since the classification is right  there, eliminate all information that
refutes this classification (i.e.,  paraphyly and embedded high ranks
where they should not be). Presto, all  is fixed.

Ignore any questions of how macroevolution might have  generated groups
in nature.

Once upon a time this actually  happened.

_____________________
Richard H. Zander
Missouri  Botanical Garden
PO Box 299
St. Louis, MO 63166  U.S.A.
richard.zander at mobot.org



-----Original  Message-----
From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu on behalf of Paul  Kirk
Sent: Fri 10/5/2012 4:04 AM
To: Stephen Thorpe; Ken Kinman;  msharkey at uky.edu;
taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: Re: [Taxacom]  considerations for erecting (or sinking) higher
taxa

Users of  names outside taxonomy work mainly at the species level (or
below). A  polyphyletic set of examplars tagged as species within the
same genus  that could usefully be split, could be split into a series  of
monophyletic sets by recognizing infrageneric taxa. The down side  of
this is that for 'non zoologists' - those working in ICNafp space -  is
the absence of nomenclatural novelties, combinations, with  authorship.
The up side is that the aforementioned users of names outside  taxonomy
do not need to learn new names which, other things being equal,  IMHO, is
mostly a good  thing.

Paul
________________________________________
From:  taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
[taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu]  on behalf of Stephen Thorpe
[stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz]
Sent: 05  October 2012 03:00
To: Ken Kinman; msharkey at uky.edu;  taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] considerations for  erecting (or sinking) higher
taxa

It does raise one of the most  intractable issues in
taxonomy/systematics, i.e. that of  lumping/splitting of higher taxa (a
different problem than at the species  level). My view is that there are
far too many genera nowadays. I would  collapse whole families (small
ones) into single genera. Overly  phylogenetically minded people just
don't seem to understand that they  can still do phylogeny without having
to shove it all into a  classification. If any higher taxon has fewer
than 10 species, and is  clearly monophyletic, then it should be a genus,
IMHO! If you want to  discuss the phylogeny of those 10 or fewer species,
then just draw a tree  and talk about that  ...

Stephen


________________________________
From: Ken  Kinman <kinman at hotmail.com>
To: msharkey at uky.edu;  "taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu"
<taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
Sent:  Friday, 5 October 2012 2:49 PM
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] considerations for  erecting (or sinking) higher
taxa


Hi Michael,
Well, over the years, Ernst Mayr tackled that subject  on every
taxonomic level from superspecies to Domains and Empires.   You might
start with the book by Mayr and Ashlock, 1991 (Principles of  Systematic
Zoology, 2nd Edition) and references therein.  And for a  discussion
mainly at higher taxonomic levels (Kingdoms, Phyla, and  Classes), try
Thomas Cavalier-Smith, 1998 ("A Revised Six-Kingdom System  of Life";
Biol. Rev. 73:203-266).  They are both adherents of one  criterion in
particular (Principle of Balance).  However, I believe  Mayr did a better
overall job with another pair of criteria (maximizing  the stability of
names whenever possible, without sacrificing  informativeness/utility).
---------------------Ken
------------------------------------------------------------------------
-----------------------------------
>  From: msharkey at uky.edu
> To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> Date:  Thu, 4 Oct 2012 18:30:29 +0000
> Subject: [Taxacom] considerations for  erecting (or sinking) higher
taxa
>
> Hello all,
> Does  anyone have references to papers that discuss criteria for
erecting (or  sinking) taxa above the species level. (Besides the  obvious
monophyly).
> Thanks in advance
>  Mike
>
> Michael Sharkey
> Department of  Entomology
> University of Kentucky
> Lexington KY  40546-0091
> (859) 257-9364
> msharkey at uky.edu
>  www.sharkeylab.org
>
>  _______________________________________________
>
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