Linnaean Ranks: Vestiges of a Bygone Era

Philosophy of Science 69 (S3):S305-S315 (2002)
Authors
Marc Ereshefsky
University of Calgary
Abstract
We tend to think that there are different types of biological taxa: some taxa are species, others are genera, while others are families. Linnaeus gave us his ranks in 1731. Biological theory has changed since Linnaeus’s time. Nevertheless, the vast majority of biologists still assign Linnaean ranks to taxa, even though that practice is at odds with evolutionary theory and even though it causes a number of practical problems. The Linnaean ranks should be abandoned and alternative methods for displaying the hierarchical relations of taxa should be adopted.
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DOI 10.1086/341854
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Phylogenetic Systematics.Willi Hennig - 1966 - University of Illinois Press.

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