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Re: TRUTH AND "TRUTH"
> Why? Alls it boils down to is semantics. Either used by the Linnaean
> or the Cladistic system. I have no problem using the Linnaean system an I
> don't see how it does not take into account evolution. This means that
> Huene, Nopcsa, Ostrom, didn't believe in evolution because they USED the
> Linnaean system? This doesn't make sense. You can easily use both Linnaean
> higherarchy with cladagrams and not use new 'node' names. I know because
> I've done it.
Well, I've tried it too, it didn't work. The main problems are 1) that there
are never enough ranks, even if you put in "divisions", "cohorts" and
suchlike (which have quite different meanings in the works of different
authors) and allow the prefix infra-, 2) the need for redundancy and 3) that
paraphyletic taxa are always a matter of intuition. I have once tried
(around 1995) to give class status to Dinosauria, subclass status Saurischia
and Ornithischia, superorder status to Theropoda and Sauropodomorpha, order
status to Tetanurae and Ceratosauria and so on -- Avialae was at first a
subclass (Bakker influence, you know); I never liked that and managed to
squeeze it into Theropoda, it ended up as an order and Neornithes as a
superfamily. I had to largely ignore neornithean diversity. Regarding
Dinosauria as a humble superorder is _IMHO_ nonsense with respect to its
diversity that can be compared to terrestrial mammals, if you forget birds
("IMHO" because it's subjective _anyway_), apart from that it doesn't work:
Superorder status was occupied by Archosauria, subclass by Diapsida and
class status by Reptilia. Allowing Avialae/Aves to stay a class and to
inflate Dinosauria to a phylum and beyond therefore is nonsense either.
*The Linnean system is simply not testable. It can take evolution into
account _to some degree_, but it isn't falsifiable, it's _not science_.*
In short, provocative words: Cladistics is science, the Linnean system is
philately. Cladistics has problems too (one is that most species are
paraphyletic; the PhyloCode people have maneuvred around that by stating
that clades and species are fundamentally different entities), but it is
like science in general and democracy: It's the best of all bad ones, the
best one invented yet.
All those people like Darwin, Huene, Nopcsa, Ostrom etc. used the Linnean
system BECAUSE THEY DIDN'T HAVE ANYTHING BETTER. It's that simple.
Sorry for repeating what millions of list members have written on every
occasion since the Mesoproterozoic...