[Taxacom] Blind-snakes Australia - 2-3 times as many asthought....

Adam Cotton adamcot at cscoms.com
Fri Jul 12 10:35:59 CDT 2013


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Scott Thomson" <scott.thomson321 at gmail.com>
To: "taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu" <Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
Sent: Friday, July 12, 2013 9:43 PM
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Blind-snakes Australia - 2-3 times as many 
asthought....


I think it was Stephen who said something about taxonomists should not just
split but be willing to lump, I totally agree with this. If you constantly
split you are going to end up with a whole bunch of OTU's grouped by what
are really monotypic genera, this is really a loss of information not a
gain. We gain information by being able to infer relationship from
phylogeny.

Cheers, Scott
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I believe that the genus name conveys important information about the 
inherent relationships between species that is immediately obvious to the 
non-specialist end user of the binomial names taxonomists provide for them. 
In reality that is the aim of taxonomic research - production of valid names 
and a classification that is useful to non-taxonomist users of those names.

If genera are split unnecessarily this information is lost to most people 
who haven't actually studied the higher classification of the group in 
question.

Of course, at the same time it is not very helpful to lump less closely 
related species into the same genus, so we taxonomists should always bear 
the usefulness of our split/lump decisions in mind when we make them.

Adam. 






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