[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]
RE: ...and how ranks don't work was Re: Sauropodz r kewl
> Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2012 02:22:05 +0200
> From: email@example.com
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Subject: Re: ...and how ranks don't work was Re: Sauropodz r kewl
> Am 19.04.2012 14:25, schrieb email@example.com:
> > 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.
No? Which are humans closer relatives to: *Gorilla gorilla* or *Catta catta* ?
(respectively, gorilla and ring-tailed lemur)
> 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.
This is where paleontology has the advantage. If you're trying to determine
the number of (taxa/?) that are in a given plot of rainforest/reefs/other
habitat, to convince that nation's government to set aside that area for
conservation*, which do you think helps your effort more?
-Phylogenic tree (of taxa new to science?)
* = As has been done; Nat Geo had the Megatransect of Africa, Science Channel
had a program on Borneo, etc.
> are worse than useless: they're actively misleading.