- The Paleontological Society
Solow and Benton (2010) claim to have corrected an error in two mirror-image equations used to estimate underlying historical rates of taxonomic invalidation and revalidation (Alroy 2002). These equations are important because they can be used to infer the proportion of currently accepted taxonomic names that are actually synonyms. Whenever this proportion is large, absolute counts of taxa are inflated and diversity trends are likely to be distorted. However, Solow and Benton's versions of these equations and mine are not the same, and their corrected versions of their incorrect equations simply restate my original ones.
Let q and and r be the per-taxonomic name, per-year rates of invalidation and revalidation. I originally stated my equations in the following single sentence (Alroy 2002):
“Maximum-likelihood estimates of q and r are simply the numbers of invalidations or revalidations [emphasis added] divided by the sums across taxa of the number of years that they have been considered valid or invalid.”
Solow and Benton (2010) also cited …