[Taxacom] Insects are crustacean descendants vs. "insects ARE crustaceans"

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Fri Feb 9 22:53:17 CST 2018

I think the cladist mind thinks that a taxon includes all its decendants, so whatever name applies to the taxon also applies to all its decendants. So, tetrapods are Sarcopterygia/sarcopterygians. Sort of makes sense. Tetrapods are also animals, eukaryotes, etc.
On Sat, 10/2/18, Kenneth Kinman <kinman at hotmail.com> wrote:

 Subject: [Taxacom] Insects are crustacean descendants vs. "insects ARE	crustaceans"
 To: "taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu" <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
 Received: Saturday, 10 February, 2018, 4:10 PM
 Hi all,
 The present discussion about paraphyly reminds me of strict
 cladists insisting that "birds ARE dinosaurs",
 rather than "birds are dinosaur descendants".  I
 suppose they might think that they are preparing the next
 generation of young dinosaur lovers to support strict
 cladists and perhaps even become future strict cladists.
       But not all dinosaur
 researchers think that this is a good idea.  In his paper
 Origin of Birds: The Final Solution? (American Zoologist:
 Vol. 40, No. 4, pp. 504-512), Peter Dodson says: "For
 example, the word dinosaur was not previously problematic -
 it was universally understood. Within cladistics it has now
 been redefined to include birds ... and then a new and
 cumbersome phrase, non-avian dinosaur, has been substituted.
 This is not progress; this is semantic obfuscation not
 enlightened communication."
        I agree that it is semantic
 obfuscation.  Saying "Birds are dinosaurs"
 (instead of birds are dinosaur descendants) is  like saying
 "Tetrapods are sarcopterygian fish" (instead of
 Tetrapods are descendants of sarcopterygian fish).  Or how
 about "Insects are crustaceans", rather than
 "Insects are crustacean descendants."
        In all these cases,
 you would be trying to force a well-known exgroup taxon back
 into its mother taxon.  In other words, it is a war against
 paraphyletic taxa which would become glaringly absurd if
 applied across the board.  How about "Vertebrates are
 invertebrates" instead of "Vertebrates are
 invertebrate descendants"?
           -----------------Ken Kinman
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