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Re: Civil Disobedience contra M. Rowe and Cladism

So probably this is my last post on the Kinman System...

> And I am truly outraged that strict cladists on this list are
> ganging up on Vorompatra for stating the obvious:  Mammals also evolved
> Reptiles.

<parroting> Depends on how you use Reptiles! Depends on how you use
Reptiles! ... So how is it obvious?
Also, I can't see any ganging.

>      The only way you can get around this is to cladistic redefine
> and that is exactly what strict cladists have been doing for years, and
> can't even decide among themselves which of their warped definitions
> be adopted.

There are cladists who don't like that definition and prefer not to use
Reptilia at all. This is the approach I like by far most. (After all, there
are too many "good reptiles" and "damn good reptiles" around today to keep
the typological "definition".) And don't say they can't decide which
definition to adopt before PhyloCode has been implemented, please. At the
moment phylogenetic classifications are just as fancy as Kinman
classifications. (This does not hold so much for the
cladistic-analysis-derived phylogenetic hypotheses the former are based on.)

>      Mammals evolved from a reptile.  Birds evolved from a different
> reptile.  Grow up and admit that as strict cladists you are the ultimate
> "tapdancers" when it comes to semantics and nomenclature.

Please tell me why *Diarthrognathus* is a reptile and not a mammal, then.
Phylogenetic nomenclature at least makes 2 questions of this! :-)

> and such arguments have become intolerable to more and more
> people.

Numbers please.

> Don't insult people's intelligence and then naively wonder why
> support for funding is eroding.

Is it eroding? (Apart from phenomena like Austria where funding for
_everything_ is eroding for political/financial reasons?)

>      What really needs to be funded is dinosaur "science"----collecting
> studying the fossils.

Exactly. Studying them. Conducting cladistic analyses on them. Without being
hampered by tiring quarrels about which ranks to give the groups that the
analysis spews out.

>       The large body of evidence that birds are descended from theropods
> largely due to COMPARATIVE ANATOMY, *not* strict parsimony,

Comparative anatomy + _strict_ parsimony = morphological cladistic analysis.
PAUP. Where am I wrong?

> Strict cladism is sowing the seeds of its own downfall,

|-O <yawn> I really don't like such religious-prophetic rhetorics. It
distracts from all real arguments.

> and moderate cladists (like Benton and myself) are clearly worried
> about how this is going to impact future funding

What funding, when Sereno has to run marathons to get any money?

> (not to mention the
> nomenclatural chaos that is developing).

Don't worry. With PhyloCode the chaos can't get bigger than it already is.
It might even shrink. :-)

> Why should cladistic analysis (and
> taxonomic funding in general) suffer just because strict cladists (an
> American clique in particular) have taken strict cladism to such extremes?

Does it???

>      Major funding of something like PhyloCode would be a terrible

I don't dare to ask on the PhyloCode mailing list if the PhyloCode is
funded. I'm too afraid people would get severely upset and would think I'm
pulling all their legs. :-)

> Many of us would see it as detracting from REAL science,

It is meant to be the framework for science.

> and diverting time
> and funding from more important endeavours.

Sounds like you're one of those who wouldn't fund any basic research because
in the short term all basic research is useless. I'm pretty sure I
misunderstand you.

> Strict cladists are often viewed as living in glass houses,
> which is very risky when those stones start getting hurled back at you
> and more.

"Are often viewed"? ~:-|

> If this is the last thing I say on this list, will the strict
> cladists PLEASE wake up and smell the coffee.

I don't drink coffee. It smells much better than it tastes. Sorry, I've
always liked that sort of answer.

I'll reply to "Diadectomorphs are reptiles" offlist; should anyone be
interested, tell me (offlist again), and I'll forward that reply.