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Re: Re: Birds and dinosaurs
>From: Thomas_R_HOLTZ@umail.umd.edu (th81)
> Is stability something that must be achieved, even at the cost of obscuring
> our knowledge of relationships? If so, why put whales in Mammalia, when
> they are equally "stable" in Pisces?
1. The knowledge of the relationships is not obscured, it is
available in the cladogram.
2. Even a cladistic classification "obscures" some knowledge,
knowledge of anagenesis, which is as much part of evolution as
The point is a good classification *summarizes* the data, note
replicates it. One simply has to choose which data are to be
dropped and which to be represented.
A pheneticist bases a classification purely on morphology.
A cladist bases a classification purely on branching patterns.
An evolutionary taxonomist bases a classification on a balanced
combination of branching and morphology.
Nobody here is proposing making stability the *sole*, or even
the *primary* criterion for classification. Al we are suggesting
is that it is *one* of several criteria that need to be evaluated.
> Obviously, no serious systemicist has
> done so for over one hundred years (and, in fact, Pisces was long ago
> abandoned because of its paraphyletic status).
Not by me. I still use Pisces.
Fish is still a good taxon, well seperated from others.
The peace of God be with you.