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Test? or Trojan Horse? ("No Genera" Principle)

Sounds to me like an attempt to use Linnean binomials, but since Linnaeus isn't politically (cladistically) correct, we just won't give him credit any more.
It looks like a genus and "quacks" like a genus, but if we don't call it a genus any more, then we don't have to follow the ICBN or ICZN.
Sorry, but sounds like semantics to me. And what is really worrisome is that cladists will be using genera and these "pseudo-genera" in the same way, and it will be a confusing mess trying to determine which Codes apply to which names.
But I guess the idea really is for PhyloCode to supplant the traditional Codes as soon as possible, and the chaos would hasten that process. A sign of things to come? EGAD!!! Warning to traditionalists:
BEWARE: Trojan Horse of Systematics.
------Ken Kinman :-(
P.S. Species are not that different from higher taxa. If we delimit them naturally, higher taxa are also real. And since species are continually evolving, they are also arbitrary. Substituting cladistic "arbitrariness" in the place of traditional "arbitrariness", is definitely the best way to befuddle.
Cladists are still using ranks, but they just won't call them ranks any more, so "cladifications" won't have that useful, stable structure that restrain cladistics from creating chaos. The CHOICE isn't between taxa and ranks. Cladists just want to vastly increasing the number of ranks, and not calling them ranks just makes them feel justified (and perhaps less guilty) about doing it.
-----K.K. (heading for cover)
From: "Jaime A. Headden" <qilongia@yahoo.com>
Reply-To: qilongia@yahoo.com
To: dinosaur@usc.edu
Subject: Putting the "No Genera" Principle to the Test
Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2001 23:01:45 -0800 (PST)

  Late in 1999, _National Geographic_ published a progress
report by John Flynn on new mostly non-dinosaurian Triassic
Madagascar fossils, and this was formally reported in _Science_
(Flynn et al., 1999, Science 286: 763-765). The traversodont
reported from that article has been named (*Menadon besairei*),
along with a second species (*Dadadon isaloi*) and reports of
possibly two more (Flynn et al., 2000, _JVP_ 20(3): 422-427). In
reflection of recent criticism of Linnean ranks and stemming way
back to Hennig, 1986, Flynn et al. have chosen some well-placed
terminology that should interest the list in general, even
though the fossils are not dinosaurs:

  "Although binomial in appearance, the taxon names proposed
below are bipartite species names; the first portion is a
praenomen (Griffiths, 1976) [I'll be rendering the citations
below -- JAH] rather than a genus name (see also Cantino et al.,
1999). The penultimate lines of our taxonomic hierarchies below
(i.e., those ending in Flynn et al., 2000, nov.) are redundant,
but are included to meet editorial requirements." (pg. 722)

  The hierarchy suggested is as follows:

      Taversodontidae (sensu Flynn et al., 1999c)
        Menadon Flynn et al., 2000, nov.
          Menadon besairei sp. nov.


         Dadadon Flynn et al., 2000, nov.
           Dadadon isaloi sp. nov.

  Flynn et al. seem to have set the precedent paper in not
labelling their "praenomen" a "genus," leaving us to discuss the
merits of doing the same, or continuing with what is certainly
an historic enterprise.

  That is, no gen. nov., due to the reflection of no true
meaning to the concept genus but to establish a bionomial. A
species being the basemost category and representing the
organism itself, it is a valid monnicker, but that ranks above
this are somewhat arbitrary to the point you can discard them.
And so too to the taxa established as ranks, both are arbitrary.
But a double arbitrariness is unneccesary and befuddling. Think
about it: What would you rather preserve, if you had a choice,
ranks or taxa? [Ranks are not taxa and have no biological


  Cantino, P.D.; Bryant, H.N.; de Queiroz, K.; et al.. 1999.
Species names in phylogenentic nomenclature. _Systematic
Biology_ 48: 790-807.
  Flynn, J.J.; Parrish, J.H.; Rakotosamimanana, B.;
Ranivoharimanana, L.; Simpson, W.F.; & Wyss, A.R. 2000. New
traversodontid (Synapsida: Eucynodontia) from the Triassic of
Madagascar. _Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology_ 20 (3):
 Flynn, J.J.; Parrish, J.H.; Rakotosamimanana, B.; Simpson,
W.F.; Whatley, R.L.; & Wyss, A.R. 1999. A Triassic fauna from
Madagascar, including early dinosaurs. _Science_ 286: 763-765.
  Griffiths, G.C.D. 1976. The future of Linnaean nomenclature.
_Systematic Zoology_ 25: 168-173.

Jaime A. Headden

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

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