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Re: Sauropodz r kewl WAS: silly conversation on 2012 US presidential race
House cats and pumas and fishing c=
ats all have a similarity to one another=2C just like tigers to lions=2C bu=
t neither is particularly close to cheetahs=3B thus=2C cheetahs are alone i=
n their genus (all their siblings are dead). Similarly=2C field mice have=
extant relatives all over the place=2C cladistically...tuataras=2C aardvar=
ks and pangolins don't. The way I learned it=2C ranks also demonstrate how =
distinct something is from everything else.
They pretend to do that, too, but they don't. That's because "distinct"
has never been quantified.
Oh, there have been a few extremely short-lived attempts to define ranks
as times of origins of taxa: everything that originated in the
Cretaceous would become, I don't know, an order, and so on. In addition
to the obvious problems, _any_ such scheme would cause such enormous
upheaval that you might just as well abandon ranks altogether...