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Re: On Names and topicality...

Mickey P. Rowe wrote:
> > this is not a "dinosaur chat line"; it is, as Mickey Rowe has to
> > point out every so often, a list dedicated to dinosaur *science*.
> I re-broadcast it here not because I like to see my name in lights
> (though who doesn't :-), but rather because I want to make it clear
> that Tom is coming from a particular perspective -- as a person who
> creates taxonomic nomenclature (e.g. Arctometatarsalia) Tom is a part
> of an academic conversation that most of you are merely observing.
> Tom's conventions about the meanings of taxonomic names are (so far as
> I can tell) within the mainstream of contemporary science.  As such,
> if you really care about science (as something that scientists do)
> then you should accept the spirit of Tom's usage *in the context in
> which Tom is writing* (I hope you can now see the relevance of the
> quote!)  In that context, dinosaurs are reptiles.  Finished.  End of
> story.  If you don't like that (or anything else related to
> phylogenetic taxonomy) then you should probably complain on a
> different list -- either one that deals more generally with biological
> nomenclature or one that exists for some reason other than to discuss
> contemporary science.

I don't see the logic here.  Since, as you point out, Tom is part of the
network of people who define these conventions, it would seem to me that
he's the perfect person with whom to have such a conversation.  When
speaking of taxonomic groups not in general usage I'll be content to sit
and listen, but since the term in question is one which sees extremely
broad usage I think folks beyond the taxonomic community ought to have a
say in how (or if) it's applied.  At the very least biologists who deal
with these animals in their work ought to have a say; limiting the
participants in such a discussion to cladists doesn't make much sense.  

Anyway, it's an evolving discussion, and as long as it remains amicable
and doesn't suck up too much bandwidth I think it should be left alone.