Robin Leech robinl at NAIT.AB.CA
Fri Jun 9 17:24:22 CDT 1995

Perhaps you could do your confidence in stages.  For example, in many
plants, mammals, birds, insects, spiders, and such, you could have 100%
confidence at the family level, and often to subfamily and genus.  But,
because of the high degree of variation of individuals in some groups at
the species level, your confidence limits might fall, especially if and
when individuals are found that are outside the description parameters
(e.g., smaller, darker, larger).

In something such as bacteriology (and poss. Mycology?), thre is a
primary (tentative ID), secondary (Biochemical), tertiary (e.g.,
serological), and perhaps quaternary (RNA/DNA hybrid probe), mainly for
gram negative.  This then gives, at least if the species is known, a 100%
confidence.  As above for the larger organisms, this is a stage process,
each one of which increases the level of confidence.

Robin Leech

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