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Re: Yay! Cladobabble! :-)

Nick Pharris (npharris@umich.edu) wrote:

<Sure you can tell what a genus is.  It's the named clade immediately 
dominating one or more species.>

  Not exacrtly, that can also be superspecies and subgenus. The ridiculous
use of these taxa requires the prior creation of the "standard" rank taxa:
Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, and Species. A subgenus can
only be created once A genus has been created. Its a restrictive lumping
of species from others. Abolish ranks, keep the names, and the comparitive
ordering of names remains without baggage. Those who hold to Linnaean
taxonomy appear to refuse to acknowledge the operation of the names
without ranks, especially when usage is established. PT defines HOW these
names CAN be used, as much as the ICZN dictates rules how Family, Genus,
and Species are used. The more pliable, less firm, higher or more
inclusive ranks have less enforcement largely because the rules can be
applied as Families are applied, or because they are expected to be given
more latitude, given the absence of a standard naming convention.

  Species: italic and lowercase;
  Genus: italic and capitalized;
  Family: normal face and capital, ends in -idae; variations on Family
have simialr standard endings, from -oidea to -ini.

  No such convention for higher ranks. More placticity in which taxa given
theories would be which rank, based on their relationship to other taxa
and therefore, other ranks. Results in less firm rules to names if
Sauropterygia were to become an Order versus a Class, for instance. Why be
either? The issue has led to the creation of numerous super- and parv- and
infra- ranks, and the creation of the new "it's own name" ranks, Cohort
and Dominion.

  It descends unto madness. Soon every possible taxonomic relationship
will have a rank name or variation of a rank name for it, to compensate
for the "need" fo such a system. This is redundant and excessive.


Jaime A. Headden

  Little steps are often the hardest to take.  We are too used to making leaps 
in the face of adversity, that a simple skip is so hard to do.  We should all 
learn to walk soft, walk small, see the world around us rather than zoom by it.

"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)

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