[Taxacom] On genera, splitting and ranking

Chris Thompson xelaalex at cox.net
Fri Jul 12 20:11:57 CDT 2013


ALL;

This is a great thread, etc.

As Rich Pyle indicated, it is not only genera but all higher categories.

When one examines the historical record, we clearly see the trend to 
continue to split more finely and to create NEW taxa.

And today with impact factors, etc., it is critical to publish NEW 
information, etc.

So, today as yesterday, the reward is on publishing NEW, and that means in 
reference to higher groups, splitting existing concepts.

And it is clear as Hennig years ago pointed out, there is NOTHING Scientific 
about the current trend in splitting, etc. There is NO objective SCIENTIFIC 
standard for ranking of taxonomic categories.

So what in one part of the clade (Diptera) would meanly be considered a 
genus, in another part of the clade is ranked as a family (Inbiomyiidae).

What is clear in Diptera, IS when there are general users, the public, 
biologists, etc., and for them the generic concept remains conservative.

So, most still accept, for example, AEDES, for the common vectors of various 
disease; or DROSOPHILA for melanogaster, the genetic model, etc.,
instead of the split classifications of Stegomyia or Sophophora.

Oh, well ...

Sincerely,

Chris

from home



-----Original Message----- 
From: Scott Thomson
Sent: Friday, July 12, 2013 1:53 PM
To: Taxacom
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] On genera

This thread seems to have been split, but I wanted to reply to this part of
it also. I also agree that this is what we currently do. I think it was
this comment I was referring to when I mentioned splitting and lumping in
the other thread. My personal view is that a lot of thought should go into
wether or not to describe a genus, significant evidence, and much more than
I often see should be presented to demonstrate the need for a genus.
Equally there should not be fear, or bias, or whatever it is against
lumping genera. I am hopeful that we can eventually get to a better
definition of the genus. But its not there yet.

Cheers, Scott


On Fri, Jul 12, 2013 at 1:25 PM, Richard Pyle 
<deepreef at bishopmuseum.org>wrote:

>
> I completely agree with Jason on this:
>
> > I would strongly agree that it is a taxonomic convenience so we can
> > communicate better and break down biodiversity for our understanding. I
> > would disagree with the need for monophyly though, and rather push for
> > non-polyphyletic genera, at least until taxonomists show some restraint
> > naming genera, or at least an equal enthusiasm for synonymizing them.
>
> Moreover, I would extend this to all taxonomic ranks.
>
> Aloha,
> Rich
>
> P.S. Yes, I meant *all*.
>
>
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Scott Thomson
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