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Re: hidden "cladistic" ranks
On Wed, 17 Oct 2001, Ken Kinman wrote:
> In essence, cladistic taxonomy has one large taxon (Biota, or as I call
> it "Geobiota"), plus many millions of species----and **everything** in
> between is an intermediate taxon. Instead of eliminating formal
> intermediate taxa (as I have done), they are encouraging huge increases in
> the number of such formal taxa.
Which is exactly what specialists need to communicate clearly.
Your desire to decrease the number of taxa seems to stem from an attempt
to make the taxonomy more approachable for the non-specialist. But
cladistic taxonomy is "collapsible" in this regard.
It is fully adaptable to the level of detail required by the given
context. A system with a finite number of ranks works only for
non-specialists (if that). Furthermore, it is misleading, since no
absolute rank has any real biological meaning.
T. MICHAEL KEESEY
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