Which Revolution?

Hugh D. Wilson wilson at BIO.TAMU.EDU
Mon Oct 7 11:19:28 CDT 1996


Tom DiBenedetto says:

"Interesting,,but how is this is any way opposed to cladistics, which
tries to do precisely that, i.e. order diversity into its inherent
hierarchical pattern?"

No opposition to cladistics, as a research enterprise, intended.
However, it seems to me that problems relating to *biodiversity* are
pressing/immediate and, in terms of priorities, dealing with these
requires hard data and "doing" as opposed to "trying".  The "doing"
in this case is creating/developing synonymized biotic checklists
that represent real circumscriptions of real taxa for a given
geographic area with - perhaps the hard part - linkage to material
housed in extant biodiversity collections.  This activity requires
'atomizing' of the sort mentioned at the start of this thread.  It
does not require answers to questions relating to phyletic polarity
or 'lineage' relationships, although 'real' circumscriptions (and
'real' taxa) can change as answers to these questions become
available.

If the systematics community is to contribute data that helps deal
with various biodiversity problems, should we provide gene trees
that place the Apiaceae (Carrot Family) in the Asteridae (which is
interesting and available) or county-level mapping for US FWS-listed
species of the Apiaceae (which is useful and not available)?



Hugh D. Wilson
Texas A&M University - Biology
h-wilson at tamu.edu (409-845-3354)
http://www.isc.tamu.edu/~hugh/homepage.html




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