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RE: tweet-tweet

Eike wrote:

>> Arbitrary
>> ranks like
>> "Order", "Family", etc. are not necessary (or, IMHO,
>> particularly
>> useful).
> If they are used to denote major shifts in ecological
> niche/ecomorphology, they are not arbitrary and
> actually quite useful - 

I disagree; IMHO, ranks are both not necessary and not useful.  Irrespective of 
how you choose to define these "shifts", such "major shifts in ecological 
niche/ecomorphology" do not occur overnight, so what do you do with the 
transitional taxa?  We're back to pointless typological arguments about why 
_Archaeopteryx_ belongs in "Class Aves" with modern birds, whereas dinosaurs 
belong in "Class Reptilia" with the turtles and snakes.  And if _Archaeopteryx_ 
is put in "Class Aves", why not _Microraptor_ too; or _Velociraptor_, or 
_Oviraptor_,.... and so on.  All very silly, and utterly useless.

> as they will then also denote
> a major shift in *how* evolution acts upon a lineage.

That's natural selection (presumably).  I get what you mean, but evolution is a 
process, not an action.  


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