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Re: Cladism and Ranking

>Jeff wrote: 
>>  Now the question is, are the names just put into a list?  I.e. you
>>just have a column of names going from the species all the way back to that
>>first blue-green algae?
>>    Deinonychus
>>    Deinonychosauria
>>    Maniraptora
>>    Coelurosauria
>>    Tetanurae
>>    Theropoda
>>    etc.
>>    is going to be damn difficult to represent in a relational database......
>  Why?  The "trunk" of your cladistic tree is only going to go as far back
>as "dinosauromorpha", right?  I mean, why go back to archosauromorpha...you
>know all dinos are archosaurs, anyway!  Don't sweat the extra work. 
>Heck, you don't even need a relational database...you could use a
>spreadsheat program like 1-2-3 for this stuff.  Just type in all of the
>clade names for the dinosaurs (as they stand up to that second!  :-) on the
>1st line of the spreadsheet in descending or ascending order (it doesn't
>matter, really).
>  Then, type in the species names in the 1st COLUMN, and then put a "1" in
>every clade column that applies to that species.  For clades that don't
>apply, put a "0".  Like this:
>                Deinonychosauria   Maniraptora   Tetanurae   Theropoda  etc.
>Deinonychus a.       1                 1            1           1        1
>T. rex               0                 0            1           1        1
>Triceratops          0                 0            0           0        1
>Coelophysis          0                 0            0           1        1
>(obviously, Triceratops will have its own clades WAY to the right,
>                       off the page) ----------------------------------->>
>Then, you have two choices.  You can either write a macro program to search
>and sort your data, or you could write a macro yourself.  With a macro
>program, you simply type in a name of a species and the macro pulls the
>relevant clades out of the spreadsheet and displays it in front of you.  You
>could also write macros that could answer the question:
>   "List all dinosaur species that are within the Maniraptora clade". 
>This would be easy to maintain, too.  If Tom Holtz suddenly decides
>to change the clade "maniraptora" to "Holtzaraptora", all you need to do is
>change ONE word on ONE line, and you are up-to-date.

   No offense, but yuck.  You're right about it being easy to maintain, but
I'm not a Microsoft programmer:  I believe in optimization.  The above
scheme *might* not quality ... I'll include it while I'm think about what to do.

** "A warp core breach is imminent?     ** "Those who trade a little freedom **
** This calls for the handyman's secret ** for a little security will soon   **
** weapon, duct tape." --- Red Green,   ** find that they have none of       **
** Chief Engineer, U.S.S. Voyager       ** either." --- Jeff Poling          **