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Re: Keesey on a mathematical approach to defining clade names -- or -- Whatever Happened To Baby New Papers?



Roberto Takata writes:
 > An alternative way to define a clade is by prime number
 > multiplication. Assigning a unique prime number to each specimen -
 > and multiplying those numbers in a node based clade defined by
 > those specifiers. (Bad way to represent in a paper, but probably ok
 > in a database.)

Fine for node-based clades, not so hot for branch- or apomorphy-based,
nor for the more complex definition types encompassed by Mike's
calculus.  However, I am prepared to offer a beer for the first person
to credibly boil the definition of Ichthyornis down into an integer
:-)

(For what it's worth, I think that trying to define genera as clades
is a category mistake, albeit a noble one, and that Clarke's
definition of Ichthyornis is circumstantial evidence that I'm right.)

 _/|_    ___________________________________________________________________
/o ) \/  Mike Taylor    <mike@indexdata.com>    http://www.miketaylor.org.uk
)_v__/\  "I was being tongue-in-cheek, but did feel your little mock
         assault was a tad opportunistic, in a cuddly sort of way" --
         Sebastian Hammer.