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

Anthony Gill gill.anthony at gmail.com
Sat Feb 10 03:41:39 CST 2018

Dear God, I really can't believe some of the discussions that go on
sometimes in TAXACOM. John nailed it in saying that cladistics is about the
relationships. The business of naming is not a cladistic decision, aside
from satisfying monophyly. It is not necessary to name every node, nor does
Cladistics make any judgement about priority of names. Some, such as Gary
Nelson, have advised that birds as dinosaurs is about as advisable as
vertebrates are invertebrates and Greeks are Barbarians (and each carries
the notion that one group evolved from some ill-defined non-group). The
point is that groups defined by their non-ness (dinosaurs as non-bird
whatevers, etc.) is futile. Dinosaurs only exist in the vernacular. Some
things called dinosaurs are more closely related to birds, others more
distantly related. The job of cladistics is in understanding the
relationships. As John put it, of three groups, which two are more closely
related to each other than either is to the third is the task at hand.
Notions of evolution, ancestry, origins, etc., lie outside the realm of
cladistics (and systematics), though a cladistic framework is the
appropriate one for examining those issues.


A Pattern Cladist..

On Sat, Feb 10, 2018 at 4:44 PM, Frederick W. Schueler <bckcdb at istar.ca>

> On 2/9/2018 11:53 PM, Stephen Thorpe wrote:
> 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.
> * it's not necessarily the "cladist mind" thinks that a taxon includes all
> its descendants, but the mind which recognizes monophyletic taxa as
> individuals rather than classes, a la Ghiselin. Perhaps the philosophical
> objection to paraphyletic taxa is that they are classes rather than
> individuals?
> fred.
> --------------------------------------------
> p.s. and the subtheme that the English names of all monophyletic taxa are
> proper nouns and are to be capitalized - http://pinicola.ca/m1999b.htm
> --------------------------------------------
>> On Sat, 10/2/18, Kenneth Kinman<kinman at hotmail.com>  wrote:
>   The present discussion about paraphyly reminds me of strict
>>   cladists insisting that "birds ARE dinosaurs",
>>   rather than "birds are dinosaur descendants".
> fred.
> ------------------------------------------------------------
>          Frederick W. Schueler & Aleta Karstad
>          Fragile Inheritance Natural History
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Dr Anthony C. Gill
Natural History Curator
A12 Macleay Museum
University of Sydney
NSW 2006

Ph. +61 02 9036 6499

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