Re: NANFA-L-- Moribund fish & Life Outside

Mysteryman (bestfish at
Thu, 27 Oct 2005 17:51:50 -0700

>Some systematicists advocate doing away with these levels, and adopting
>something they call Phylocode. Look it up. You;ll either find it
>weird, and not very useful, or you may say -- why hasn't this come up
>before? .

Well, I looked it up in some depth. I have to admit that I couldn't make
much sense of it.
The terminology wasn't the problem; it was the pointlessness. This
phylocode is meant to replace heirarchial systemic ranks with some sort
of ... well, I don't know how to describe it. It's as if the whole
touch-feely political correctness craze has affected the systematists,
and just like other proponents of such idiocy, they're perfectly content
to make up whatever they need to make their models fit their views. No
common ancestor for a group of possibly unrelated organisms sharing
similar features which probably evolved separately anyway? No problem;
they just invent one.
I'm sure this makes sense to someone, but I don't get it.
I tried to approach it with an open mind, but I guess I failed.
Phylocode doesn't really accomplish anything, as far as I can see, that
can't be done just as well with a simple tweak within the current system.
It almost seems to me that it's all a big scam of a sort designed to
ensure job security for systemists by giving them plenty of "busy
work." If they got rid of Windows and replaced it with a completely new
operating system that no one knew and didn't know how to integrate with
their old systems, those few who understood those things would have
plenty of lucrative work for a long time. I'm sure I'm being overly
cynical, of course, and that Phylocode does address a few problems, but
chucking the established system completely instead of just making a few
corrections seems a silly notion to me.
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