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Re: a universal Reptilia (ending the cladisto-eclectic war)



Ken Kinman wrote:

<Two simple markers, {{Aves}} and {{Mammmalia}},
placed respectively next to Saurischiformes and
Therapsiformes,> 

  Archosauriformes contains the proposed nomen
Saurischiformes, which is unresoved to endless uses of
modified eponyms; Saurischiformes is uninformative
towards use: it is equivalent to Saurischia, and is
quite redundant. I would not think that renaming a
taxon based on a descriptive system that only
circumnavigates included taxa would be workable when
classifying. 

<Tudge's formal recognition of both a Reptilia and
"Reptilia" is ambiguous and not a true intermediate
position. I haven't seen his work, but it sounds like
a wishy-washy compromise that will satisfy noone.

  A single "semi-paraphyletic" Reptilia is far
superior----paraphyletic in the traditional sense, but
made complete (holophyletic) by the addition of the
two Kinman markers {{Aves}} and {{Mammalia}}.>

  It would not be superior to recognize a taxon that
could not be defined by content or features, unless
you really buy the colloquial use and impression of
"reptiles" as the definition. Use of the term
"reptile" implies a member of Reptilia. Science has
shown this inclusion is no longer historical -- as
such being based on rather dated impressions of
biological superiority and ranking (from the Golden
Ladder to Linnean classification). Reptilia means
reptile, and going "Okay, the public thinks all
reptiles are cold-blooded, sprawling, sluggish things
that go _gump_ in the night and couldn't for the life
of themselves compete in any way with the forthright,
superior mammals that we are, ah-hah," is backwards
from where we've gotten.

  The public has not been completely educated in
understanding the current scientific opinions
regarding phylogenies, so current public opinion
regarding what, precisely, encompasses the term
"fish," "mammal," or "reptile" -- or something closer
to this list, "bird" -- is stuck in the Stone Age. If
it flies, it's a bird; if it swims, it's a fish; if
it's cold-blooded....

=====
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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