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Re: -oidea in Genus Names



George Olshevksy (Dinogeorge@aol.com) wrote:

<We were talking about higher-level groups, not genera. I see nothing
about genera in that post.>

  Your argument then and now was an ICZN mandate about superfamilies and
-oidea stems. My reply is below; I guess I wanted you to follow the
thread:

  http://www.cmnh.org/dinoarch/2002Sep/msg00699.html

  for reference to the "then" part, your reply to me:

  http://www.cmnh.org/dinoarch/2002Sep/msg00702.html

  If you now say that the -oidea stem can be used at any point, then why
the -oidia suggestion from Keesey's post [below]?

  http://www.cmnh.org/dinoarch/2002Sep/msg00696.html

  Even if for higher taxa, any mandated change the ICZN has stops at the
superfamily. Only within its perview can it even try to fix a suffix to a
rank. I would only argue the value of a rank is zero if the clade it is
attached to has a value that cannot be quantified. Since one argument is
that all clades are effectively equal, have a content that is variable in
fact; then ranking and applying some sort of fixation to them and then
naming them to conform to that fixation is ultimately futile. Endings
become a matter of the elementary language. Since there is no definition
of a superfamily, I could further argue that as a valueless entity
requiring the content of the clade named to be fixed (which is impossible
given our expressive, expansive and _evolving_ science), there is no
meaning that can be applied to "superfamily" and clauses of the ICZN or
ICBN referencing such are effectively null without such a definition.

  There is no stop to it when you're talking about superfamilies or
genera, because they mean nothing between them. The difference between a
family and a superfamily has been argued as by what ending is applied to
it, but even this is vacuous when compared to the endings used for plants,
fish, etc., for these "ranks". Same for, but especially for, orders. Are
they not therefore superfamilies, families? I guess the major problem is
that is only works for vertebrates, and only in a limited sense. Having a
ranking system of names is, as I said before, aesthetically pleasing. I
just see no scientific reasoning that can be applied to it for very long
without breaking down.

  Cheers,

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