[Taxacom] Wikipedia politics: the future don't look so bright

Ken Kinman kinman at hotmail.com
Fri Nov 22 16:16:44 CST 2013

Hi Paul,
     Well, I can fully understand why you would want to use informal, uncapitalized names for algae and fungi (sensu lato), because they are polyphyletic.  And it is unclear to me why you capitalized Angiosperms and Bryophytes in your e-mail that I quoted in my posting.  
      In any case, Angiospermae/Magnoliophyta (angiosperms) and Bryophyta (bryophytes) are not polyphyletic, the Angiospermae/Magnoliophyta being holophyletic and Bryophyta being paraphyletic.  Thus they are natural groups, not unnatural (polyphyletic) groups like worms ("Vermes"), algae, or fungi (sensu lato).  So I can't see any good reason to abandon formal names like Magnoliophyta, Bryophyta, Reptilia, Dinosauria (sensu stricto), Amphibia (sensu lato), Class Rosopsida (eudicots), Class Liliopsida (monocots), and so on.  
    Some informal terms would be confusing.  Would "amphibians" only refer to the living amphibians (the holophyletic crown group) or also all the fossil amphibians as well (which is a paraphyletic group)?  Would "birds" refer to only the crown group (Neoaves, for which some want to use the name Aves) or also include all the fossil birds from Archaeopteryx down to the sister group of crown group birds?  
      I don't see any movement toward abandoning ordinal or family names in favor of informal names.  So why do it for formal names at higher rank, even though they aren't covered by the Code?  I think formal classifications need formal names, although you can certainly include the informal equivalents as well: such as Kingdom Metaphyta (higher plants or land plants), Class Rosopsida (eudicots), etc.  
     So I can understand NOT using formal names for polyphyletic groups, such as "Vermes" (worms) or "Algae", or "Fungi" (I prefer Kingdom Eumycota for the true fungi).  But let's not throw the babies out with the polyphyletic bathwater.  If you don't like Magnoliophyta, why not use the equally formal Angiospermae?  
            --------------Ken Kinman

> From: dipteryx at freeler.nl
> To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> Date: Fri, 22 Nov 2013 17:17:52 +0100
> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Wikipedia politics: the future don't look so bright
> From: "Ken Kinman" <kinman at hotmail.com>
> Sent: Thursday, November 21, 2013 9:03 PM>
> > As for Bryophyta, why would ICNafp consider it less useful than 
> > Bryophytes?
> ***
> See 
> http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/iapt/tax/2010/00000059/00000006/art00055
> and 
> http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/iapt/tax/2011/00000060/00000001/art00033
> (page 281, top right column).
> But this is nothing new; it is the ICNafp and not the ICNAFP.
> The "algae, fungi and plants" are not capitalized to make
> sure that Algae and Fungi are not taken to be formal names.
> This usage goes back over two decades.
> Paul 
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