Talk:Evolutionary taxonomy

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cladism vs cladistics[edit]

This is a reaction to the deletion of the word "cladism" in the article, systematically replaced by "cladistics". As far as I know, "cladism" is not pejorative and there is a real difference between cladism and cladistics. Cladism is a school of systematics, also called "phylogenetic classification" by its supporters, whereas cladistics refers to principles and methods to produce cladograms and reconstruct phylogenies. Cladistics must not be opposed to evolutionary systematics as it is done in the text because evolutionary systematics does not reject cladistics and uses it as well to reconstruct phylogenies. Evolutionary systematics must be opposed to cladism as it was written. Cladism is a short word for "school of phylogenetic classification", just like "pheneticism" is a short word for "school of numerical taxonomy". As in this last example, the use of phenetic methods like sequence trees does not imply allegiance to pheneticism. The confusions cladistics/cladism and phenetics/pheneticism are confusions respectively between the two activities of reconstructing phylogenies and creating classifications. --Iossif63 (talk) 21:55, 13 January 2013 (UTC)

Agreed. This is why we say "cladistics maps phylogeny", not "cladism maps phylogeny". Sminthopsis84 (talk) 05:57, 16 January 2013 (UTC)
This one was an error. Sorry. The others were correct I think. --Iossif63 (talk) 18:53, 16 January 2013 (UTC)
I still disagree with your subsequent change. When one talks about a technique, I think it should be cladistics. When one talks about an attitude, that would be cladism. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 01:34, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
Cladistics is a statistical method for uncovering phylogeny. Phylogenetic nomenclature is a way of classifying organisms. It is quite possible to use the cladistic method to make traditional evolutionary taxonomy, indeed most evolutionary taxonomists do. When we refer to the "cladistic classification" or "cladism", we should use it's proper name, which is phylogenetic nomenclature or phylogenetic taxonomy, to avoid confusion with the method. Petter Bøckman (talk) 08:07, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
No, the nomenclature comes after the classification has been established. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 08:17, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
Don't blame me, phylogenetic nomenclature is what it is called. Petter Bøckman (talk) 09:37, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
Nomenclature concerns the names that are used and what receives a name, it doesn't involve the setting up of the groups that receive the names. Thus, nomenclature is not a way of classifying organisms; nomenclature is a sub-part of taxonomy. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 21:03, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
Petter is right, though. The International Society for Phylogenetic Nomenclature is misnamed since its refusal to recognize that paraphyletic groups are valid taxa is not really a nomenclatural matter. We're stuck with the usage, though. Coconut milk is not milk. A marsupial mouse is not a mouse. Phylogenetic nomenclature is not (merely) nomenclature. Peter Brown (talk) 02:15, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
Nomenclature is not phylogeny. The same phylogeny can be classified in a number of ways. Evolutionary and phylogenetic nomenclaturists (is there such a word?) do for instance not disagree over where birds evolved from (easily the most cited example for the last 20 years), merely on whether to allow for a paraphyletic Reptilia. The traditional way of defining groups by traits is fully valid under phylogenetic nomenclature, the only difference here is that PN also have two other forms of definitions (node and stem definitios).Petter Bøckman (talk) 19:56, 19 January 2013 (UTC)

Phrases like "the traditional way of defining groups" are misleading; traditional formulations introducing taxonomic names are not "definitions" in the classical sense of statements providing necessary and sufficient conditions. Definitions in phylogenetic nomenclature, which are definitions in this sense, have no equivalent in traditional practice. Traditionally, a taxon is specified by a type and a diagnosis, and, according to the ICZN Glossary, a diagnosis is "A statement in words that purports to give those characters which differentiate the taxon from other taxa with which it is likely to be confused." Such a statement cannot be part of a classical definition, since whether taxa are likely to be confused depends only partly on the subject matter, the domain to which classical definition is limited; it depends, as well, on the expectations and presuppositions of the scientific community. The author of a diagnosis aims to establish a pattern of use within the community, a pattern that others may extend to include specimens that fail to have all the characters in the list provided and to exclude some possessing them all. Such extensions may be fully consonant with the author's purpose, which often is largely to get the ball rolling. Even the discovery that the type specimen lacks a characteristic listed in the original diagnosis need not be a serious difficulty; so long as the pattern is established, the taxon name remains meaningful. In contrast, an apomorphy-based phylogenetic definition must be abandoned if a specimen used as a specifier fails to have the apomorphy in question. In this case, the putative taxon (clade) name has no referent. Peter Brown (talk) 01:19, 20 January 2013 (UTC)


Hello, I need a help from people with knowledge in systematics and taxonomy to discuss the Template:SysTax. This template was removed from the pages where it appears for discussion and improvment. Thanks Zorahia (talk) 15:22, 22 March 2013 (UTC)