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Re: The PhyloCode will not address the naming of species (Was The Papers That Ate Cincinnati)



On 5/8/07, Anthony Docimo <keenir@hotmail.com> wrote:

>You have missed something: Classes, families, orders and phyla are not >discovered. They are made up. > >Clades are discovered.

what makes a clade name any different from the above?

"Clade" has an explicit definition: "an ancestor and all of its descendants." Linnaean ranks do not have explicit definitions--they are only defined in terms of each other (e.g., a family is more inclusive than a genus but less inclusive than an order) and sometimes as having type specimens or type subordinate taxa which must be included (but what else must be included is not spelled out). Clades can be objectively defined; traditional taxa cannot

>Their names are made up, but they can be defined. What _ranks_ are given to
>those names is an _entirely_ subjective decision. Surely you have noticed
>that no two published classifications of any group are identical: that's
>because nobody can say that any classification is right or wrong, _

really?

Yes. Two traditional taxonomists might agree on the exact same phylogenetic hypothesis, but each could come up with different classification. Examples:

Family Hylobatidae
 Genus Hylobates
Family Pongidae
 Genus Gorilla
 Genus Pongo
 Genus Pan
Family Hominidae
 Genus Homo

Family Hylobatidae
 Genus Bunopithecus
 Genus Hylobates
 Genus Nomascus
 Genus Symphalangus
Family Hominidae
Subfamily Ponginae
 Genus Pongo
Subfamily Homininae
 Genus Gorilla
 Genus Homo
 Genus Pan

Under phylogenetic nomenclature, though, once definitions are agreed
on, then if two researcher agree on the phylogenetic hypothesis, they
automatically agree on how to use the clade names.
--
Mike Keesey