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Re: cladistics and names

Chris brochu elucidated (12/21/98; 12:08p):

>>My point is really this:  When attempting to precisely define a 
>>concept that needs to be precisely defined, we should not borrow 
>>a name that already has an imprecise definition, and hope we can 
>>clean it up.  I believe it was Chris Campbell who pointed out 
>>that "Diapsida" has always had a precise meaning

>I'm not sure it always has.  You see both "diapsid condition" and
>"Diapsida" in the older literature; one refers to a morphology, 
>the other to a taxon of varying membership.  When "diapsid" was 
>used, was the author referring to temporal morphology or group 
>membership?  Context was often the only way to tell.

OK--bad example.  I'll bet I could find a better one--Tetrapoda, maybe.
But I'm still pleading.

Norman R. King                                       tel:  (812) 464-1794
Department of Geosciences                            fax:  (812) 464-1960
University of Southern Indiana
8600 University Blvd.
Evansville, IN 47712                      e-mail:  nking.ucs@smtp.usi.edu