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Re: David's Statements [Extended Version]

In a message dated 1/18/01 3:01:25 AM Eastern Standard Time, 
qilongia@yahoo.com writes:

>   So apparently, when Ken chimed in and said that this is how
>  cladistics can get confusing, what has occurred is Sereno has
>  redefined based on a bunch of cladograms _tested separately_ and
>  with such novel and unique positions that these should have been
>  rigorously scrutinized, not have had taxa named on them.
>  Ornithomimoidea and Tyrannoraptora are so â ugh.

[Sound of me bonking Jaime on the head]

Stop it!  You're giving cladistics a bad name here by conflating it with 
phylogenetic taxonomy (and several other things, like rigid priority rules 
for suprafamilial taxa).  I think it's *way* too early in the game (i.e. we 
still know too little) to force strict priority in dinosaurian suprafamilial 
taxonomy.  I, for one, see the flexibility allowed in the traditional system 
as an asset.

Oh, and phylogenetically defining genera (and giving full-fledged names to 
parts thereof) makes me uneasy as well, I guess because it kind of goes 
against the spirit of the binomen system.  I would say, if you have a number 
of easily definable groups within a single traditional genus, you should 

1.) put them in different genera; or
2.) give them informal names, like " the _macrocephalorhynchodon_ 
superspecies        complex" or something like that.

My two cents.

--Nick P.