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Re: Defending Standarized Endings




Jaime,
Not much time so will be brief (and the crowd breaks out in applause).
If you don't retroactively emend endings, I don't really see much point in doing it. The ornithologists standardized all bird ordinal names, not just new ones. All the old descriptive names were eventually phased out, especially as those who resisted the changes passed on. I don't think mandatory typification of names is either necessary or particularly helpful in convincing people that standardization of higher taxon names.
And the rank of a taxon tends to be constrained by historical precedence and general usage. Mammals have always been a class, so splitting up mammals automatically yields orders, especially in my system where there are no intermediate levels (which are replaced by coding). Bats almost have to be an order, unless Archonta is an order, and I can't see anyone advocating that. There is some leeway---if Dermopterans are plesiadapiforms, we have the options of transferring plesiadapiforms from Primatiformes to Dermopteriformes, or combine them all into one order, or something in between (in 1994, I made Primatiformes a semi-paraphyletic Order giving rise to Dermopteriformes). Given the uncertainties, that seemed a safe course to follow (and still does).
And finally, the international codes say very little about the naming of higher taxa, as if waiting for someone to solve this controversial problem for them. I made my proposal in 1994, and Starobogatov made his in 1991 (much more radical since it mandates typification and introduces some strange new suffixes/suffices). It's really all the intermediate categories that make standardization so difficult, and my system eliminates that particular problem. I recognize far fewer formal names than anyone else, and the informal intermediate names don't have to be standardized. Standardization is not an integral part of the Kinman System, but I decided to take a stab at it anyway. My system works the same with or without standardization.
-------Ken Kinman
********************************************************
From: "Jaime A. Headden" <qilongia@yahoo.com>
To: dinosaur@usc.edu
CC: kinman@hotmail.com
Subject: Defending Standarized Endings
Date: Thu, 3 Aug 2000 20:08:13 -0700 (PDT)

Ken Kinman wrote:

<And these are not "neotaxa". The endings are simply
"emended" in an attempt to standardize names of orders
and classes.>

  I am not attacking your standarization of taxonomic
endings, but instead your altering of established
endings. In accordance with the ICZN and ICBN,
taxonomic endings for plants and animals are
established at the time of publication _in genesis_.
Re-naming of these taxa results in exactly what the
rules of priority were established to counter-act: an
endless profusion of names. A name is a name. It is
all fine and dandy to try and have the taxonomy
reflect the ranking (I can see the logic and
effectiveness when you originally argued this), but to
_change_ an established name (especially some names
that have been around for over two centuries) will
create chaos. There _will_ be those who will object,
and will not follow, or when use appears in review, or
the lit if it passes, will argue against use. Not that
this is always a bad thing ... but in this matter, you
are likely to find a great deal of conflict in the
mere aspect of names reflecting rank; then it's not
the names, it's the rank.

  BTW, my use of the term "neotaxa" was meant to
reflect the re-naming of a taxon, rather than a _taxon
novum_. Here's a possible solution: define your taxa
differently from the use of the taxa they replace:
they can both include and stand for these taxa if
defined right. I'm not saying do this, but you could
avoid the conflict of objection over names that ignore
priority.

<...Emended standardized endings are nothing new, and
the majority of chordate orders were already
standardized with the -iformes suffix a long time ago
by the ichthyologists and ornithologists. And
botanists and bacteriologists already use -ales for
all their orders.>

  Mark, everything from that point _on_ was
standardized. You can try to argue for standarization
in _new_ taxa, and you would probably succeed; with
the PhyloCode still in the works that would be of
great contribution, I think; but attempting
retroactive standarization will be a lot more
difficult, as I stated above.

<Standardization is coming, like it or not, and I am
attempting to do this without the disruption that
mandating typification would cause.>

  This I would not doubt, actually. I would embrace
it, too.

  But what defines the meaning of a Class, and Order,
a Kingdom? What are the criteria? If you had to use a
scale, what would it be? I could say, every two
species makes a genus, two genera a tribe, two tribes
and sub-family, two of those a family, two of those
... and you could go up. Nodes are so cool because
they are quite determinable definable == { a + b }.
They will exist no matter where these two taxa are
placed.

  Define a class, then find out you would rather
exclude it further as an order or suborder or
superclass or infraorder or whatever, and you would
have to coin a name or change that name to reflect the
new rank; and you would have an endless profusion of
names. I don't know, but that does not sound very
useful a system; you would have -ea's and -ida's and
what-nots all over the place.

<Would you like to go through what the ornithologists
went through many decades ago? I would rather emend
endings now, rather than wait for a more radical
typification of names.>

  The neornithine paradox is one reason I'd like to
see ranks go the way of the dodo, to use a columbiform
term. -iformes can stand as a standard term for
anything above suprafamilial or the term that stands
above that:

  Pica > Picidae > Pici > Piciformes
  Passer > Passeridae > Passeres > Passeriformes

  not:

  Genus > Family > Suborder > Order

  Thereby obviating the need for an avian "class." --
oops, different argument, but it seems relevant to a
degree.

  There is no need for a rank unless it will act only
as a term to denote how many nodes or stems (or both)
are above the genus (to use yet another rank).

=====
Jaime "James" A. Headden

  Dinosaurs are horrible, terrible creatures! Even the
  fluffy ones, the snuggle-up-at-night-with ones. You think
  they're fun and sweet, but watch out for that stray tail
  spike! Down, gaston, down, boy! No, not on top of Momma!

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