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

how many times has that sort of thing been done with dinosaurs and other

lots of times, I'm sure.

Dinosauria has been everything from a suborder (original designation) to a class. But why would the mere fact that his sort of thing goes on a lot excuse it?

Why would the mere fact that it goes on, condemn it?

How many pages have been wasted arguing over whether
a given taxon should be a given rank, when ranks are biologically
meaningless? Why should we dither over them when we could be
discussing actual biological entities?

when you're writing a paper about animals, fine, show cladograms.

but when you're talking to somebody, and you know you don't share a common language (ie, "tiger"="tiger"/"tiger"="jaguar")...don't you *want* to use scientific terms you both know and understand?

or are you suggesting that every country around the world *stops* its biological and paleontological sciences, so that their scientists can learn *another* international language (this time, PhyloCode) before being permitted to resume their work?


I wonder if you noticed my attempt {in the prior post} at reductio ad absurdum.

I see a very slippery slope.

Evolution is almost nothing *but* slippery slopes. But there are firm groupings we can attach names to.

"firm groupings"? like, oh, say, _bird_? ;)

Identify an ancestor using any one
of several methods (direct identification, node-based definition,
branch-based definition, apomorphy-based definition, etc.),

like none of those are argued about nowadays. riiight. ;)

add all
descendants of that ancestor, and, hey presto, you've got a natural,
rigorously-defined clade.


I've seen arguments - in this list and elsewhere - where people can't agree if one fossil is a descendant of another, or if the first is a descendant of the other's sibling species (which was never discovered)

...such arguments then split the hairs of whether the first has derived features from the second, or if it simply indicates a shared ancestor.

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