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Re: replying to pomposity

In a message dated 6/20/00 10:05:48 PM Pacific Daylight Time, 
kinman@hotmail.com writes that Dinogeorge wrote:

>  >The cladists are way too dogmatic about their taxonomic
>  >conventions, almost rabid ("frothing cladists" is how Alan Charig once
>  >described them). Define a new taxon when an evolutionary novelty appears 
>  >a lineage, not at some weird cladistic branch point.

OK.  I can agree with you there.  And I agree that phylogenetic taxonomy is 
not very good at pinpointing groups with particular evolutionary novelties.

But you have to realize that PT is not the only way to get, nor the only 
scheme that insists on, monophyletic groups!

To use one of Ken Kinman's examples, it would be perfectly appropriate, in a 
non-PT, monophyletist system, to define Mammalia as the first ancestor of 
modern mammals to possess three auditory ossicles, plus all of that 
ancestor's descendants.  I suspect that is in fact how many workers actually 
view the Mammalia, and I would not be surprised to see such a system become 

Nick Pharris, moderate cladist, mildly anti-phylogenetic taxonomist, strict