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Re: Microraptor hanqingi, new species from China.



On 22 May 2012 14:46, Thomas R. Holtz, Jr. <tholtz@umd.edu> wrote:
>> From: owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu [mailto:owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu]
>> On Behalf Of Tim Williams
>>
>>
>> BTW, the dinosaur classification in the "The Princeton Field
>> Guide to Dinosaurs" drove me absolutely nuts, especially the
>> rampant lumping.
>
> * The above case is taxonomic flavor, not science. The more problematic issue 
> with some of the lumping of the Princeton Field Guide
> taxonomy is that it requires sister group affiliations not supported by any 
> published research. So in this case it is not a matter
> of taxonomic flavor: it is making a statement of phylogenetic affinity that 
> requires some form of evidentiary support. In these
> cases, we are dealing with a matter of science rather than practice, and thus 
> it requires methods of science to tease out the levels
> of support for alternative hypotheses. I.e., this is where it IS an issue of 
> cladistics.

There is a much worse problem than that with Greg's reclassifications.

Nomenclature is communication.  Its whole purpose is to allow
scientists to talk to each other about groups and know that they both
mean the same thing by (as it may be) the words Ornithomimosaurus.
Greg's taxonomy is a disaster for communication simply by being
different from what everyone else uses.

Of course, the total lack of any attempt to justify the various
reassignments doesn't help.  But even if it was in place, it would be
a net negative.

-- Mike.