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RE: The iguanodont paper



> nonbat mammals." The system is not just technically
> awkward. It is a 
> significant PR problem, in that it is a classic case
> of excessive techno jargon that 
> confuses the public, large sections of which are
> already skeptical of 
> paleontological science -- it further detaches the
> scientists from the public. 

This is a big problem for PN in general methinks. It
is one thing to have a good idea (and many concepts PN
threw up have been adopted without fuss as they're
simply too good to do without). It is another thing to
get the less intuitive bits to get accepted.

A solution might be the consequent use of smallcase
non-taxonomic names and quotation marks. For example
"reptiles" instead of Reptilia. This serves a) to help
phase out grades and form taxa from nomenclature, and
b) to drive home the point to the public at large,
because anyone not completely daft knows what a
"reptile" is and will start wondering why the term's
being used in quotation marks these days, to which an
easy answer can always be given, and if desired, a
more complex one that additionally explains the
difference between apo- and plesiomorphies. This will
certainly further phylogenetically correct taxonomic
thinking, and the case for an evolutionary look at
things, which both are very good things as far as I am
concerned. (I am not convinced the PhyloCode will make
it, but regardless: we need to get taxonomy and
systematics in line with phylogeny. Period. Synthetic
evolution is from a scientific standpoint so vastly
superior to any alternative model that it can and
ought to be adopted roundaboutly. The Linnean system
is probably the best thing for biology any creationist
ever invented - apart from the printing press -, but
there *are* flaws and these need to be eliminated one
way or another. Whether this is done by an update or
something completely new like PC will resolve itself 
- will *evolve* - in due time).


Eike


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