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Re: Clade II

From: "Thomas R. Holtz, Jr." <th81@umail.umd.edu>
 > Indeed.  However, the goal of modern taxonomy is to apply labels to the
 > "tree of life": the real, historical branching pattern of lineages
 > through time.

This is where we start to disagree.
*One* of the goals fo modern taxonomy is to do so.
Another goal is to provide useful labels for groups.

 > However, if your goal is unravelling the tree of life...

Draw cladograms.  A classification is really not the best way of
representing the tree of life.  That is what cladograms are for.

If this is the sole purpose, then there is no real need to even *bother*
with classification per se, the labeled cladogram is sufficient.
 > As to whether we should allow ICZN rules to dicate phylogenetic
 > reconstruction is a matter of debate.

I would never allow the rules of nomenclature to dictate phylogenetic
*reconstruction*.  Dictating the *classification* one *derives* from
said reconstruction is a different matter entirely.

 > However, I would not say that, because the way ICZN requires all
 > species to have a generic name, that we must therefor accept all
 > paraphyletic taxa, either.

I do not know of anybody would go *that* far.

Some paraphyletic taxa are more useful than others.

Some potential paraphyletic taxa are too diverse to be useful at all.

swf@elsegundoca.ncr.com         sarima@ix.netcom.com

The peace of God be with you.