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Re: ...and how ranks don't work was Re: Sauropodz r kewl
- To: DML <email@example.com>
- Subject: Re: ...and how ranks don't work was Re: Sauropodz r kewl
- From: David Marjanovic <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2012 02:22:05 +0200
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Am 19.04.2012 14:25, schrieb firstname.lastname@example.org:
But lower ranks are one thing. What about phyla or classes? Or
kingdoms&higher categories? athe reason I think ranks are useful is
because they sort of give us a frame of reference for how closely
related a taxon is to others,
Again, they don't.
They pretend to, but they don't.
This is particularly annoying when people try to measure biodiversity by
counting the taxa that their preferred classification puts at the same
rank. They're not measuring anything except taxonomists' mood swings.
What you need to measure biodiversity, unless you have a list of species
under one single species concept, is the sum of branch lengths that
connect the organisms you look at. You need a phylogenetic tree. Ranks
are worse than useless: they're actively misleading.