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

Last post on this topic before I move to the PhyloCode forum (traffic is so heavy that my last e-mail arrived 12 h late):

----- Original Message ----- From: "Anthony Docimo" <keenir@hotmail.com>
To: <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Cc: <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Sent: Wednesday, May 09, 2007 1:36 AM

if I may ask, when did you say *Cycliophora* is not a new phylum?

Nothing stops us from lumping it with its closest relatives (...whatever they are).

Better example: Is there one phylum Cephalorhyncha, or are there three (Kinorhyncha, Loricifera, Priapulida) which just happen to be each other's closest relatives? There is no way to tell.

and *this* is a _bad_ thing?

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

lots of times, I'm sure.

Yes, and that's a very bad thing, because it was a complete waste of time and paper. Read such articles: "the group is so diverse that I feel a higher rank would more adequately capture its size", "the group is so unique that it deserves higher rank", "sure it's unique, but it's still so similar to the closest relative that it deserves a somewhat lower rank than what my colleage suggested"... endless bickering about purely subjective matters.

And then people come and try to assess the change of biodiversity through time by counting orders, families, or genera. Again and again and again. Even when those same people say in different publications that ranks are subjective. It is not possible to count orders or families or genera because their numbers vary between classifications -- there is no true number we can discover, we can only arbitrarily agree on one or not.

by that logic, redwoods and poison ivy  are nothing more than part of a
clade within the bacteria kingdom.  "Plants" are an illusion.

"Plants" are not an illusion. "Kingdom" is an illusion. That's the whole point.

(after all, there's no clear-cut edge to the Plant Kingdom, with with the
protists that have plant features...and protists are an offshoot of
bacteria, therefore...)

That's not how Plantae would be defined, see. It would get a phylogenetic definition. Phylogenetic definitions have clear-cut edges.

Actually... you surprise me. On the Spec mailing list you are exceedingly timid. And here, suddenly, you act as if you had understood Linnaean and phylogenetic nomenclature, when it's clear from your comments that you haven't understood even just the basics of either. ~:-|