Richard Zander zander at AG.NET
Wed Oct 2 09:24:18 CDT 1996

Response to W. Wuster:
1. Decide whatever the Hennigian algorithm, a truly simplistic model of
evolution, gives you must be the right answer.
2. Decide that supportive evidence must come from this source,
3. and only this source.
R. Zander

Wolfgang Wuster wrote:
> On Wed, 2 Oct 1996, Alexey V. Kuprijanov wrote:
> > Linnaeus said: 'Remember: not the character constitutes genus
> > but genus constitutes its character'. It should mean the following.
> > You should first recognise in some way units of diversity, then
> > find the characters to make these units recogniseable for other
> > taxonomists,
> Translation:
> (i) Decide the result you want
> (ii) Find evidence that supports your result
> (iii) Ignore evidence which contradicts your results
> Hmmm...
> Well, if you don't like unresolved problems, that's one way of going
> about it.
> I admire the achievements of Linnaeus in his time, but somehow, I had
> hoped that both the conceptual basis and the practice of taxonomy had
> moved on a bit since then.
> --
> Wolfgang Wuster
> School of Biological Sciences, University of Wales, Bangor, UK
> e-mail: w.wuster at
> Thought for the day: If you see a light at the end of the tunnel,
> it is probably a train coming your way.


Richard H. Zander, Buffalo Museum of Science
1020 Humboldt Pkwy, Buffalo, NY 14211 USA zander at

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