Evolutionary tree/Talk

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This tree doesn't have much to do with cladistics. The splits aren't binary and no explanation is given for their arrangement. It's really more a phylogenetic tree. I also think this might be a bad idea in general because nobody really knows how the lower groups are arranged, and most of the higher ones will be discussed in a different article. What do we plan to put here that won't be contained in Monera, Archaea, Eukaryota, Protista, Plantae, Fungi, or Animalia, with more room for details and explanations? Not meaning to be negative... --Josh Grosse

I agree it is not a formal cladistics diagram because no explanation is given for the arrangements. The non-binary splits were meant to represent currently unknown sequences of binary splits. I also agree that there is a lot of uncertainty that will necessitate future correction. However as a lay person I found such trees a compelling view of taxonomy and I think it gives a different perspective that is not widely known. I am not suggesting that this tree be the main entry point into the wikipedia taxonomy, just an alternate view. --Eob

Ok, now subpages I definitely disagree with. If we have enough information on animals to warrant a separate page, why doesn't that info just go on Animalia? There is already a nice summary chart there, with basically the same structure and content as what one would expect here. --JG

My concept was that these new "tree pages'", such as Tree of life/Animalia, would be parallel and complementary to the current "prose pages", such as Animalia. They would be different to the prose pages in the following ways:

  1. They give a summary index into the prose pages.
  2. They do not contain any text other than a few words on each tree node.
  3. They allow for easier and quicker navigation through the tree of life.
  4. They emphasise the latest thinking in taxonomy and phylogeny which is quite different to the classical Linnaean taxonomy that many people would have learned in school.


Hmm, the quicker and easier I can see. I'll cooperate now. :) As for Linnaean taxonomy, though, it's been undergoing quite a few revisions, and it isn't nearly as far apart from cladistics as most people seem to think. The table on Animalia is, after all, pretty similar to the tree on /Animalia. --JG

Suggestion: giving a full context for every page is somewhat of an overkill, since it (1) takes up a very large amount of space, (2) presents information (the upper level placement) that is completely irrelevant to people primarily interested in the minutiae of the tree, and (3) makes the page far more likely to be rendered obsolete by new data. How about using partial contexts that only go up to the subpage branched off from? --JG