Biodiversity checklisting system

Mark Siddall mes at zoo.toronto.edu
Tue Oct 31 01:14:32 EST 1995


In article <1995Oct29.222019.1 at otago.ac.nz> gunn at otago.ac.nz writes:
>
>Recently the sci.bio.systematics newsgroup has debated 'Kingdoms'. 
>There was an objection to having a kingdom for protista but no 
>alternatives were given; the implied suggestion was (to wait) to know 
>the relationsips of species so as to divide them into monophyletic 
>groups.

This is a gross mis-characterization.  There was objection to a kingdom
(or any other level) taxon for protista sensu lato.  The lack of 
alternatives was not due to equivocation as suggested above, but rather result 
from the very objection.  THEY DO NOT FORM A GROUP.  If they do not
form a group they don't get a name. Period.  No alternatives are needed
as none are desired, nor required.  In fact, alternatives are
misinformative.

>
>And what of 'Protoctista' v 'Protista'?  I prefer the former because 
>Lynn Margulis does and because to me her theories of eukaryote origins 
>ring true.

Hogwash.  Much of the theory (-ies really) regarding eukaryotic origins
do ring true.  However, they are not Margulis' theories.  They are 
others' theories which she has championed.  The above statement is like
saying theories on extraterrestrial intelligence are owed to Carl Sagan, 
when in fact, what is owed is the popularization.
Furthermore, "Sapere aude!" - appeal to authority is naive.  That
so and so prefers this or that is wholly irrelevant.
Finally, theories on the origins of eukaryotes may well be rationale for
the group Eukaryota.  They are not rational for establishing a name for
a non-group.  The issue of Protista vs Protoctista vs Protozoa is 
one of priority if one ust debate it at all - besides which, 
"Protoctista" is not of Margulis' creation, and predates any of these
theories by more than half a century.

Ergo: 
The theories are irrelevant to the term.
Margulis' preferences are irrelevant to the term.
Biological reality of natural groups is irrelevant to the term.

Care to try again?

Mark
-- 
Mark E. Siddall                "I don't mind a parasite...
mes at vims.edu                    I object to a cut-rate one" 
Virginia Inst. Marine Sci.                     - Rick
Gloucester Point, VA, 23062



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