[Taxacom] Paraphyly again defended (and strict cladism promotes "disastrous nomenclatural practices)

John Grehan calabar.john at gmail.com
Mon Apr 15 20:24:06 CDT 2019

"This can result in a proliferation of small genera and instances of
nomenclatural instability," - this is typical nonsense. One can have
proliferation regardless of the systematic method. Making decisions as to
how broad or narrow a group is going to be is not systematics.

John Grehan

On Mon, Apr 15, 2019 at 9:20 PM Kenneth Kinman <kinman at hotmail.com> wrote:

> Hi All,
>       I just ran across this 2016 paper.  Yet another publication
> defending the reality and need for paraphyletic taxa (for a variety of
> reasons), and it labels strict cladism as promoting "disastrous
> nomenclatural practices":
> https://www.microbiologyresearch.org/docserver/fulltext/ijsem/66/12/4924_ijsem001474.pdf?expires=1555377331&id=id&accname=guest&checksum=537594F4A96BABC3F0564A74650291D5
> Abstract:
> "Yeast systematics has wholeheartedly embraced the phylogenetic approach.
> Central to this has been the unspoken convention that taxa at all ranks be
> strictly monophyletic. This can result in a proliferation of small genera
> and instances of nomenclatural instability, counter to the expected benefit
> of phylogenetic systematics. But the literature abounds with examples, at
> all taxonomic levels, where paraphyly is a reality that can no longer be
> ignored. The very concepts of Bacteria or Archaea, under the constraint of
> monophyly, are in peril. It is therefore desirable to effect a shift in
> practices that will recognize the existence of paraphyletic taxa."
> Another Quote from the articles:
> "Taxonomy sits at an ill-defined confluence of science, craft, ontology
> and the law. Conscientious systematists aim at making sense of the living
> world by organizing species into categories that are meaningful not only to
> themselves, but also to other biologists and the rest of humanity. The last
> decades have seen undue emphasis placed on creating categories that reflect
> an erroneous model of cladogenesis, one that is strictly dichotomous and
> symmetrical. A large proportion of taxa arise not by fission of an
> ancestral progenitor, but by a budding process that leaves the progenitor
> enriched by the presence of its offspring. The retention of cohesive parent
> taxa under a single designation, at the same rank as progeny taxa, has the
> potential to prevent disastrous nomenclatural practices."
>                 ------------------------Ken Kinman
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