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Re: Electric Car Taxonomy (was: A Word on ABSRD)

Ken Kinman (kinman@hotmail.com) wrote:

<I personally would favor Aves be expanded to include them.  PT
on the other hand freezes the meaning of Aves, and we could have
a whole lineage of Triassic and Jurassic feathered and
gliding-flying "non-Avean" birds under PT.>

  This is a bad thing? I'm sorry, plasticity is good in some
cases (paraphyletic taxa) but plasticity in a taxon's usage and
application (definition) is not wise: hence the mobility of the
inclusion of Reptilia. Rigidifying the taxon Aves as part of a
concensus determination of what we might want this to reflect
makes sure that people who want little fuzzy dinosaurs like
*Sinosauropteryx* as birds have to seriously consider their
proposal as it reflects phylogeny and biology of the creatures

<And excluding maniraptors from Aves may very well be like 
excluding ratites.>

  I disagree, it would seem to me to reflect more the statement:

"ratites are closer to dinosaurs than neognaths are, thus are
each others closest relatives, and neognaths sprung up somewhere
else." Morphology in a plesiomorphic trend (the simpler the
better) is easy to trace, so that the most primitive
neornithines have been associated in collectives that have
_then_ been compounded into whole concepts of a gibbon telling a
chimpanzee, "I don't have all the little do-dads that you have,
therefore this baboon is closer to me than you are."

  I tried to say that plesiomorphy is reflective of trends in
evolution, way back a month or so ago, but not cohesive
evolution, and its good to show how lineages kickstarted, not
how they are implicitely related. Not having grinding molars
does not make paleotheres, hyracotheres, and other "un-horses"
not members of the Equiimorpha, an explicit group arranged by

<What I am looking for is a more simplified "Electric Car
Taxonomy", that would be easily understood and maintainable by 
most everyone, less expensive and less likely to breakdown.>

  Maybe I should have let Mike Keesey keep the car/horse analogy
... but Mike is correct in stating that simplified ways of
presenting data concerning phylogeny gets harder the more
complex the phylogeny. Setting organisms into ranks (and
phylogenetic taxonomist do not use ranks, this is subjective to
the formulator) makes absolutely no difference to how a lion and
tiger will produce offspring that can be fertile (despite they
never ecologically doing this and), or humans amonst the races.

<Taxonomists could add all kinds of bells and whistles (coding?)
for the details of phylogeny without forcing it onto everyone

  Especially when that fifteen year old highschooler is too
stupid to pick up Dingus and Rowe and read how concepts of
phylogeny work (very simplistic reading material, I knew most of
its content after a couple months exposure to this list).

<What I fear is that PT is going to build taxonomic
"helicopters" so complicated and difficult to maintain and fly,
that they will be crashing all the time (or if we are lucky,
just grounded for repairs much of the time).>

  What is so difficult with applying a taxon by the following

  taxon a == { taxon b + taxon c }
  taxon d == { taxon b > taxon c }
  taxon e == { taxon b + taxon c, - taxon f }

<Classification is for everyone and both eclectic (traditional)
systematists and non-systematists see PT as unnecessarily
complicated and confusing, and we are resisting your attempts to
swamp us with phylogenies that might not be correct anyway.>

  No phylogeny ever conceived may actually be correct, no matter
what system they were formulated under. Linne was good, but most
of his groups have fallen, and only those for which certain
clear-cut characters are definable have stood the test of time.
Genetic studies are stating that Afrotheria is both paraphyletic
and monophyletic, within weeks of publication. Science is refinement.

Jaime A. Headden

  Where the Wind Comes Sweeping Down the Pampas!!!!

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