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Fwd: Adios, "Brachiosaurus" brancai

Forwarded on request.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: John Wilkins <john.s.wilkins@gmail.com>
Date: 2009/9/11
Subject: Re: Adios, "Brachiosaurus" brancai
To: mike@indexdata.com

That would be the proposal of the PhyloCode, along with those who,
like Nelson*, Pleijel and others, think there is nothing particularly
interesting about species *or* genera; they are just taxa.

I think that so long as genera are understood to be arbitrary and
conventional, they are relatively harmless, and should remain pretty
much as the first person to name them assembled them, unless they are
para- or polyphyletic. Arguing over genera is like arguing over how
best to put books on a shelf.

*Nelson, of course, is a known opponent of the Phylocode, but for
other reasons, than objecting to rankless taxonomy.

[I can't send to the list for some reason, so feel free to distribute this.]

On 11/09/2009, at 10:20 AM, Mike Taylor wrote:

> To be honest, if I had my way, I would do away with species
> completely, promoting each species to a genus.  (Or, equivalently, do
> away with genera, and promote species to uninomials, but that would
> raise more practical problems as species names are not globally
> unique.)  We simply don't need two ranks both defined as "this type
> specimen and everything that is kinda close to it, more or less, if
> you know what I mean".

John Wilkins, Philosophy, Uni Sydney Blog: http://evolvingthoughts.net/

Who, too deep for his hearers, still went on refining.
And thought of convincing while they thought of dining;
Though equal to all things, for all things unfit;
Too nice for a statesman, too proud for a wit. [Goldsmith: "Retaliation"]