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

Scott Thomson scott.thomson321 at gmail.com
Fri Jul 12 10:57:01 CDT 2013


The usual trend is to use the concept as described by others above.
Basically its an arbitrary group of species distinguished by a decided gap
from other such groups of species, pretty much straight from Mayr. I was
dissatisfied with that definition hence I had to define it for myself. I
wrote it up as I said above but it was a part of my Masters Thesis, not
actually published in a reviewed journal. Something I regret.

The main reason I had issues with that definition was that there was no way
of being observably consistent in applying it. No way of quantifying what a
genus was. I felt that as we became more determined to really nail what a
species was that it was necessary to do the same with the genus. Since they
are linked and they convey information together, as well as singularly.

So I was basically trying to come up with logical means for demonstrating
that a group was, or was not a genus. I probably should revisit and publish
it properly.

Cheers, Scott




On Fri, Jul 12, 2013 at 11:35 AM, Adam Cotton <adamcot at cscoms.com> wrote:

> ----- 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
> >
> >
> >
>
>
> 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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-- 
Scott Thomson
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