[Taxacom] Biodiversity questions: Classifications

John Grehan calabar.john at gmail.com
Thu Oct 3 10:20:14 CDT 2013

Trouble is that there is no standard objective method for assigning age
since all age estimates are minimal. Some have made some esoteric
mathematical arguments for having confidence in a particular age or range,
but its still an argument. Some groups may have some level of "consensus"
or majority opinion, but its still just an opinion. As yet there is no
unambiguous criterion for determining precise age.

John Grehan

On Fri, Oct 4, 2013 at 3:59 AM, Fred Schueler <bckcdb at istar.ca> wrote:

> On 10/3/2013 6:59 AM, Chris Thompson wrote:
> > There is NO scientific information to be derived from higher
> classifications
> > as there are NO scientific principles / standards underlying our current
> > classifications.
> >
> > Willi Hennig years ago tried to suggest a standard (age of origin) on
> which
> > to base rank within a classification. BUT he was ignored by all.
> * others who have made the suggestion independently have also been
> ignored. If an age is associated with each category, then the use of the
> category for a monophyletic group becomes a falsifiable hypothesis, and
> rescues the notion of category from the stigma of Aristotelian
> arbitrariness.
> I wonder, if this isn't to be done in an immediate convulsion, if the
> proposed age of the group could be appended, along with the author's
> name - e.g. class Mammalia (L; early Permian) - until consensus emerges
> on the ages of categories in each higher taxon, perhaps grading into a
> system where age alone is the categorical marker.
> fred.
> ------------------------------------------------------------
>           Frederick W. Schueler & Aleta Karstad
> Bishops Mills Natural History Centre - http://pinicola.ca/bmnhc.htm
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