[Taxacom] renaming (was: Cyanoprokaryota help)
kinman at hotmail.com
Wed Mar 20 11:17:12 CDT 2013
You keep saying that renaming is "necessary", but it's only necessary if one forbids any paraphyly whatsoever (although admittedly such strict cladism is now unfortunately too widely taken for granted and taught to new generations of biologists). It can make a real mess of things, especially when it is based on very limited data (and including the problems Richard was pointing out). Australopithecus (sensu lato), the paraphyletic mother group of our genus Homo, has been made a splintered mess. Now you want to do the same thing to Eubacteria?
The renaming "cure" of strict cladism is too often far worse than the so-called "problem" of a paraphyletic taxon (and that problem is often just the result of being taught that paraphyly is never to be tolerated). Splitting up the paraphyletic Family Pongidae or alternately dumping it into Family Hominidae, has also made a mess, with no one particular classification predominating. If you say Family Hominidae, noone knows what you are taking about (Homo alone; Homo + chimps; Homo + chimps and gorilla; Homo + chimps, gorillas, and orangs). The old paraphyletic Family Pongidae worked just fine and now we just have a big mess.
Anyway, if anything needed to be renamed it is Archaea/Archaebacteria. When Hori and Osawa (over 30 years ago) discovered that they were indeed just a branch within the Eubacteria, they renamed them Metabacteria, but that renaming (which would indeed have been helpful) was ignored. So we now see the widespread misconception that Archaebacteria are older than Eubacteria, and even the fanciful suggestions that they may well have given rise to life in thermal vents. Renaming in moderation is fine, but has become a paraphylophobic obsession that can be very harmful. What we need is limited paraphyly in moderation (retaining paraphyletic taxa where they are most needed and useful).
> Date: Wed, 20 Mar 2013 08:47:11 -0300
> From: dlahr at ib.usp.br
> To: Richard.Zander at mobot.org
> CC: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Cyanoprokaryota help
> My apologies Richard, but I do not see how your commentary relates to this
> thread. I mean this comment literally, as in, you will have to explain it
> a bit further.
> We never discussed molecular vs morphological, I do not understand how that
> is relevant here. We are also not discussing species relationships, but
> deep lineages. Additionally, I do not see a connection between your
> interpretations of ancestor-descendant relationship scenarios and
> phylogenetic resolution. In my view, both cases you have pointed out only
> indicate error in the initial naming, ie, if a genus nests within another,
> this means renaming is necessary. This does not indicate a general flaw
> with the reconstruction method.
> On Mon, Mar 18, 2013 at 7:39 PM, Richard Zander <Richard.Zander at mobot.org>wrote:
> > Not objective? The fundamental phylogenetic presupposition that of any
> > three species two are more closely related fails totally in two cases:
> > 1) paraphyly, including nesting of genera among species of other genera.
> > 2) when any one generalist, wide-ranging extant species can be easily
> > hypothesized as ancestral to one or more derived, highly specialized,
> > and possibly evolutionarily dead-end descendant species.
> > Both cases are common. Ergo phylogenetic resolution of branch order is
> > commonly random in both morphological and molecular analyses. This is
> > not even subjective much less objective.
> > ____________________________
> > Richard H. Zander
> > Missouri Botanical Garden, PO Box 299, St. Louis, MO 63166-0299 USA
> > Web sites: http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/resbot/ and
> > http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/bfna/bfnamenu.htm
> > Modern Evolutionary Systematics Web site:
> > http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/resbot/21EvSy.htm
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> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> > [mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Dan Lahr
> > Sent: Monday, March 18, 2013 4:22 PM
> > To: Ken Kinman
> > Cc: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> > Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Cyanoprokaryota help
> > Hi Ken,
> > I am familiar with your views on strictly monophyletic classifications.
> > I personally find the discussion constructive for science. However, I
> > have not been convinced that allowing paraphyletic classifications is a
> > good solution, but this is not the place to go into the gritty details.
> > Therefore, I stick to the general convention of naming exclusively
> > monophyletic entities.
> > Dividing life into Prokaryota and Eukaryota is unsatisfactory, because
> > these are grades and do not lead to any objectivity, and do not reflect
> > things we know about the true nature of the critters.
> > There may surely be a possibility that the root of life is within
> > bacteria, which would make eukaryotes and archaea simply branches on the
> > bacterial tree. If so, then a lot of bacterial groups would need to be
> > renamed, because our understanding of the true diversity will remain
> > restrictive and flawed if we do not change the names.
> > The system allows relabeling when relabeling is needed. The Woesian
> > revolution has shown that relabeling was needed, and relabeling ensued.
> > Dan
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