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RE: Padian et al. 1999 (Was: New PaleoBios paper - diplodocoid phylogenetic taxonomy)
> -----Original Message-----
> From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com]On Behalf Of
> Roberto Takata
> Sent: Tuesday, October 04, 2005 1:25 PM
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Subject: Re: Padian et al. 1999 (Was: New PaleoBios paper - diplodocoid
> phylogenetic taxonomy)
> 2005/10/4, Thomas R. Holtz, Jr. <email@example.com>:
> > If you go to the working documents (the papers in journals), taxonomy from
> > the alpha
> > level on up was in state of flux throughout the 20th Century.
> But that was only because the taxonomists tried to not to push aside
> evolutionary issues - well actually it was in the order of the day
> since Darwin times.
There was still plenty of disagreement in the basic taxonomy of pretty much any
group on any number of issues: how to best integrate
phylogenies and taxonomies; what features represented REAL signficant features
(whip out the ol' "significant feature detector" for
that one); which best captured comparable levels of morphological disparity or
taxonomic diversity; and so forth.
The main benefit from a phylogenetic system of taxonomy is at least the
explicit agreement on what type of entities are to be named
(i.e., clades), and a set of agreed-upon criteria for recognizing said entities.
As you say, a total understanding is out of reach: indeed it will always be
that way. But a phylogenetic system of taxonomy
(including, but not limited to, that in the PhyloCode) begins to give a smaller
set of rationales than existed before.
Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Senior Lecturer, Vertebrate Paleontology
Department of Geology Director, Earth, Life & Time Program
University of Maryland College Park Scholars
Building 237, Room 1117
College Park, MD 20742
Phone: 301-405-4084 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fax (Geol): 301-314-9661 Fax (CPS-ELT): 301-405-0796