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Ghosts of discussions past (was RE: Platecarpus tympaniticus - how to analyze a nomen dubium)

> From: owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu [mailto:owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu] 
> On Behalf Of Anthony Docimo
> > From: keesey@gmail.com
> I think this is what confuses me the most:
> > Such arguments over absolute ranks are pointless. We all know 
> > Archosauria includes Dinosauria, which includes Saurischia. 
> All three 
> > of these taxa are the same however we rank them. So why 
> bother ranking 
> > them?
>  but by maintaining the sequence   (Archosauria - Dinosauria 
> - Saurischia, in that order), doesn't that continue to 
> (legitimize?)(justify?) the ranks?  We're still using the 
> framework for everything.
Only the nested hierarchy (based on descent with modification), NOT the
metaphysical notion that there equivalent things called "orders" or
"infraclasses" or the like.

But YEESH!! What is this, the 1990s?!?! 

For those who haven't been on the list since the loooooonnnnnggggggg
discussions of this concept in the past, I suggest heading over to
http://dml.cmnh.org/, searching on "rank", and reading away for awhile.

If, after that, there is something new to add, please post it.

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
Fax: 301-314-9661               

Faculty Director, Science & Global Change Program, College Park Scholars
Fax: 301-314-9843

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