A Conversation for Cladistics

A392186 - Cladistics

Post 1

Arctica

This, one of my own guide entries, is currently the only entry on the important subject of Cladistics, a form of taxonomy that is set to (eventually) replace the traditional (Linnaean) method of classifying living organisms. It is a complex topic but I think I have put forward a readily understandable layman's introduction. (If anyone out there thinks any part of it is too technical, or unclear, then please let me know.)


A392186 - Cladistics

Post 2

Boswell

Up to this point i'm sure that a lecturer had mentioned this concept to me but i'd clean forgotten it.The article was well structured;the examples made it clearer to the reader.Also the comparisons with the Linnean system were essential.The only problem was arguing that cladistics would eventually take over-why cant they work in tandem?
Apart from that this entry should be included in the guide.
bos


A392186 - Cladistics

Post 3

Arctica

Thanks for your support. In answer to your question: why have two classification systems when one would do? Surely if you use both, you're inviting confusion. It would certainly confuse the heck out of young kids trying to learn biology. At the moment they're taught Linnaean taxonomy, and are only introduced to cladistics at a much later stage. But this seems silly. I have had no trouble explaining cladistics to my 11-year-old sister and she lapped it up. If cladistics is a superior system (and I believe very strongly that it is) then why cling to an out-dated and obsolete one? It's like clinging to imperial measurements for some things when you use metric for others - it may be comfortable, but it's not logical. Just my thoughts. Thanks again.


A392186 - Cladistics

Post 4

jqr

I liked the entry, and it was pretty clear that Linnean taxonomy is OK if you're only dealing with the present day. Maybe cut it into sections here and there to make it easier to read, and stick in some quotes.


A392186 - Cladistics

Post 5

Mikey the Humming Mouse - A3938628 Learn More About the Edited Guide!

I definitely think this entry's heading in the right direction (if sub-editors were allowed to pick which entries to edit, I'd grab this one!).

Here are some suggestions I thought of:

* you might think of splitting this into 2 separate entries -- one on the history of taxonomy and linnaean classification, and the other on modern cladistics.

* I'd try using bullets, etc., to make the entry easier to follow -- right now it's pretty text-heavy. That format works fine for a journal article, but can be hard to read on screen.

* I'd use some more specific examples -- i.e., how is a dog (or other familiar creature) classified in linnaean hierarchy vs. using cladistics? In fact, maybe a table of such comparisons, using familiar organisms from different clades?

good luck!


A392186 - Cladistics

Post 6

Arctica

Thanks for the tips guys - I'll work on those ideas in a couple of weeks (on holiday now for a fortnight).


A392186 - Cladistics

Post 7

Arctica

Okay, I've recently read Henry Gee's book Deep Time, which made me realise that I didn't understand cladistics quite as well as I thought I did. I have therefore made some amendments and a lot of additions to the entry, and I believe it is now not only easier to understand, but also closer to the heart of what cladistics is all about. Please let me know if you think it still needs work. Thanks guys.


A392186 - Cladistics

Post 8

shrinkwrapped

I think it's excellent as it reads now - but I find the illustrations a little hard to read without turning my font size up - perhaps h2g2 would be able to draw clearer ones as proper 'Blobs' if (or rather, when) this entry gets reccomended. Which it should. Good work!


A392186 - Cladistics

Post 9

Arctica

Yes, I'm far from happy with the diagrams - if only I could insert bitmaps or jpegs! At any rate, thanks for your support.


A392186 - Cladistics

Post 10

Gnomon - time to move on

A very good article.

I found the following difficult to understand:

"Take the example of the salmon, the lungfish and the frog. The salmon and the lungfish both have fins, it is true ... but the frog's legs have evolved from fins, so this is not enough to exclude it."

Exclude it from what? Perhaps this could be reworded.


A392186 - Cladistics

Post 11

Arctica

Thank you - good point. I have amended that section - how does it look now?


A392186 - Cladistics

Post 12

Gnomon - time to move on

That's better!


A392186 - Cladistics

Post 13

Arctica

Okay call me slow, call me stupid, but I've only just worked out how to put pictures in my entry. Anyway, you'll notice a nice little cladogram (drawn as it's supposed to look) showing the python/cow/rabbit relationship. I'll be doing others to replace all the rather clumsy text-based cladograms that I've got in the entry currently.

One big problem I'm having is that the entry looks different depending on which computer (and which version of Internet Explorer) I'm using. This is a major problem as I don't know how it looks for anybody out there who's reading the entry on their own machine. Tonight I'll fix up the entry with proper pictures and I'll have to rely on you guys to let me know whether it works for you.

Does anybody know how to ensure that any text that *follows* a picture is actually printed *below* it, rather than to the side of it? At the moment I'm having to use lots of commands to push the ensuing text down a few lines, but this seems unsatisfactory particularly since I seem to need a different number of commands depending on which computer I'm using. If anyone could help with this I'd be grateful.


A392186 - Cladistics

Post 14

Arctica

Well I think I'm done with putting pictures in. I've also amended parts of the text, particularly that which follows the largest cladogram. So, unless anyone has further suggestions, I'd humbly submit that this entry is pretty much finished.


A392186 - Cladistics

Post 15

Monsignore Pizzafunghi Bosselese

Yes it is, and the entry has been recommended from another PR thread, which renders this conversation obsolete...


A392186 - Cladistics

Post 16

Martin Harper

Could you put a link to the duplicate, Bossel, and then I can recc this one for sin-binning... smiley - smiley


A392186 - Cladistics

Post 17

Global Village Idiot

I'll get that for you, Bossel! http://www.h2g2.com/F48874?thread=88753 ;-) GVI


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