origin of systematics

John McNeill johnm at ROM.ON.CA
Sun Mar 26 17:49:47 CST 1995

Wow!  Not bad for a Sunday night.  This debate on the origin of
systematics - Adam; the first Aborigine; hard-wired [in the first
_Homo_] - makes all that stuff over the past few weeks on species (and
Linnaean taxonomy /nomenclature) a bit passe<'.

But, having had a part in starting that other debate with epitypes and
the "new nomenclature", I may still get back to it - but for the moment
let me express my feelings of "de<` ja<'-vu" at what I see as an
electronic expression of the sixties debates in what was then
_Systematic Zoology_.  Somewhere (maybe my 1978? paper on "Purposeful
Phenetics"), I have a review of all these wonderful ideas - a
numericlature replacing nomenclature; du Praw's "non-Linnean taxonomy"
(taxa defined in hyperspace) etc etc.  Maybe the recent debate did
generate some new ideas, and when I re-read what I dumped in a "Species"
folder, I may find them, but, for the moment, I go with the writer of
Ecclesiastes that "there is no new thing under the sun".

Have a good week.

John McNeill

From: John McNeill, Director, Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queen's Park,
      Toronto, Ontario, M5S 2C6, Canada.
      Tel.: 416-586-5639      Fax: 416-586-8044
      e-mail: johnm at rom.on.ca  (or:  john at rom.on.ca)
ÿÿ    origin of systematics

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