[Taxacom] On genera

Richard Zander Richard.Zander at mobot.org
Sun Jul 14 16:17:15 CDT 2013



Only with "some" taxa I said. I have to reply that it is a straw man to
imply I implied it applied across the board. This kind of talking past
each other starts arguments, and we don't want that on Taxacom, right?
No, no.


The gist of this short exchange merely reveals the depth of dependence
on mechanical classification entrenched in taxonomic thought. If
evolution is to be a major element in classification, hypotheses are
needed and that takes imagination and willingness to advance
nonphylogenetic hypotheses in the face of an army of well-funded




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
Modern Evolutionary Systematics Web site:
UPS and FedExpr -  MBG, 4344 Shaw Blvd, St. Louis 63110 USA


From: Stephen Thorpe [mailto:stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz] 
Sent: Sunday, July 14, 2013 3:41 PM
To: Richard Zander; JF Mate; Taxacom
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] On genera


>A genus may be defined, at least for some taxa, as a set of closely
related species that evolves as a group<


Sounds like a recipe for multitudes of monotypic genera!!


From: Richard Zander <Richard.Zander at mobot.org>
To: JF Mate <aphodiinaemate at gmail.com>; Taxacom
<taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu> 
Sent: Monday, 15 July 2013 8:19 AM
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] On genera

Yes, "Others may disagree."

A genus may be defined, at least for some taxa, as a set of closely
related species that evolves as a group. Perhaps they all seem move in
response to environmental change (say, all the cold-climate species die
out, which changes the circumscription of the genus). Or perhaps one
ancestral species gave rise to many specialized species. One CAN make
good hypotheses based on data that may be non-phylogenetically

These less than exact definitions should be considered because
cladistics cannot determine monophyly since no ancestral nodes are
named. Phylogenetic monophyly then is done by definition, not by
empirical inference; that is, every clade is monophyletic, period. 

What drives people to accept this nonsense? 

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