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Re: Defining Ornithischia (was Re:)
David Marjanovic writes:
> > A phylogenetic definition would have to mention at least one
> > organism, yes; but there are other kinds of definitions, and for
> > most of the last 249 years, "key character"-based definitions
> > were almost universally used.
> They were often called "definitions", but that was always wrong.
Again, I must disagree. Any statement that defines one thing in terms
of others is a definition. That's what the word means. You can't
just hijack the word and make it mean what you want it to mean -- the
kind of definition that you happen to prefer.
> [...] definitions are immutable under traditional nomenclature; the
> diagnoses have never been, everyone is free to change them by
> simply saying so in a publication. (Witness the change of that of
> Mammalia from "mammary glands" to "hair" to "secondary jaw joint"
> to "fusion of prootic and opisthotic" or whatever the braincase
> character was that turned the isolated braincase *Adelobasileus*
> into the famous first mammal.)
So? Witness all the changes in the phylogenetic definition of
Theropoda as chronicled at:
That doesn't stop any of them from being definitions.
/o ) \/ Mike Taylor <firstname.lastname@example.org> http://www.miketaylor.org.uk
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