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Re: Are dinosaurs really reptiles?



> Hi Mike
>
> You paleo types need a body like the IAU, which names heavenly bodies
> (amongst other things) and is generally respected by astronomers.
>
Um, no.

First off, it is ALWAYS a mistake to try to separate paleontological and
neontological nomenclature: it is one big Tree of Life, and both the dead
and the green branches have to be accommodated.

Also, people seem to be trying reach perfection in these discussion. Ain't
gonna happen; doesn't matter that it won't.

There are too many works of too many generations of taxonomists with
differing opinions to ever come up with a nomenclature that doesn't
displease someone or contradict SOMETHING. So we should concentrate on
trying to optimize among a small set of variables (esp. philosophically
consistent, relatively easy to learn and use, not too disruptive to
earlier schemes, etc.) You'll never  be able to maximize on all variables,
but you can try to reach relatively high levels in each.

Just my opinion,


Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Email: tholtz@umd.edu   Phone: 301-405-4084
Office: Centreville 1216
Senior Lecturer, Vertebrate Paleontology
Dept. of Geology, University of Maryland
http://www.geol.umd.edu/~tholtz/
Fax: 301-314-9661

Faculty Director, Earth, Life & Time Program, College Park Scholars
http://www.geol.umd.edu/~jmerck/eltsite/
Fax: 301-405-0796

Mailing Address:        Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
                        Department of Geology
                        Building 237, Room 1117
                        University of Maryland
                        College Park, MD 20742 USA