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Re: Quo vadis, T. rex? [long]

On Fri, 9 Feb 1996 Dinogeorge@aol.com wrote:

> In a message dated 96-02-09 01:23:32 EST, pharrinj@PLU.edu (Nicholas J.
> Pharris) writes:
> >Difference doesn't matter to me.  What matters to me (and, I imagine, to 
> >many other taxonomists in various fields) is relationships.  I know from 
> >personal experience that many young potential scientists take their first 
> >phylogenetic lessons from phylogeny.  They want to know what's related to 
> >what, not what some scientist thinks is "different enough to merit a 
> >different name".  Phylogeny should, if AT ALL possible, be easily 
> >reconstructible from taxonomy.
> Why? It sounds as if you're simply parroting cladist dogma here.

[deep breaths...]

I DON'T parrot dogma, from cladists or anyone else.  The above entirely 
reflects my on values on the subject; I didn't just say it because it 
sounds good.

> It's too bad you're not interested in differences. I will hereafter disregard
> all comments on dinosaur morphology from you. :-)

Of course I'm interested in differences.  What would taxonomy be without 
them?  I am also all for erecting new names for distinctive taxa.  I'm 
just against pretending that these have magically transformed into 
something other than the group to which they belong.
Nesting of groups, like birds within Dinosauria, emphasizes the 
continuity and relatedness of organisms, and the pattern of diversity 
within groups, better than hard-and-fast Linnaean ranked divisions.

> Relationships are already expressed in the ancestor-descendant relation
> between paraphyletic taxon and its daughter taxa. With paraphyletic taxa, you
> get more: you get relationship AND morphology. This is better.

But there is no ancestor-descendant relation between a parataxon and a 
"daughter taxon."  The latter is simply a part of the diversity of the 
former.  Do you get what I'm saying here?

To the rest of you on the list:  I apologize if this thread seems 
irrelevant or tedious, but discussion such as this becomes more 
informative and interesting with each additional mind contributing.  I am 
interested to hear what anyone else out there thinks--and particularly 
interested to know if anyone out there hears a word I'm saying.

Nick Pharris
Pacific Lutheran University
Tacoma, WA 98447

"If you can't convince them, confuse them." -- Harry S Truman