Discussion of NAS Report

Stuart G. Poss sgposs at WHALE.ST.USM.EDU
Wed Apr 22 14:19:07 CDT 1998

I too saw the PBS coverage of the NAS report and would in general agree
with Hugh's and Peter's comments concerning the appropriateness of
discussion of the report.  However, I would also agree with Jim that we
need not retry the Scopes trial in TAXACOM.

I personally do not believe that we can expect to make much progress
toward the solution of the biodiversity crisis, if the bulk of students
graduating from US high schools do not have at least a modicum of
understanding of the concepts, mechanisms, and implications of modern
evolutionary theory.  Clearly, as taxonomists and systematists, and
perhaps citizens of a still liveable planet, this should concern us.

Given Hugh Wilson's criticism of the systematics community, which I
would regard as not entirely accurate, I would be interested to learn
what under his #2 he might propose that we do to "address our limp" on
this issue, beyond what most of us do every day, namely attempting to
ellucidate the taxa and linneages that have historically resulted from
evolution and to communicate our findings to others.  Perhaps the report
itself provides some suggestions.

Has anyone discovered an internet posted version of the report?

Peter Rauch wrote:
> With all due respect to the Taxacom's father, as a mere subscriber, I
> invite continued discussion and commentary about the ***NAS*** report ...

Stuart G. Poss                       E-mail: sgposs at seahorse.ims.usm.edu
Senior Research Scientist & Curator  Tel: (228)872-4238
Gulf Coast Research Laboratory       FAX: (228)872-4204
P.O. Box 7000                        703 East Beach Blvd.
Ocean Springs, MS  39566-7000

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