eliminate taxonomic categories??; reply to Schueler

Curtis Clark jcclark at CSUPOMONA.EDU
Tue Jan 5 19:17:18 CST 1999

At 05:33 PM 1/5/99 -0800, Ken Kinman wrote:
> And I can think of no better way to alienate
>non-systematists (be they scientists or not),  and the
>town-gown phenomenon would probably become much worse
>with respect to biological issues.

This is the *only* reason I can think of not to adopt a rankless scheme of
classification, but it is a *very* compelling reason. If we were to
introduce such a system now, other biologists (not to mention
non-biologists) might continue to use the old system, and we would lose
control over our own science, so to speak. I think in twenty or thirty
years, when a generation or two of students has grown up with a clear
understanding of classification based on kinship, *everyone* will see the
value of a rankless system and it will practically adopt itself. But at
this point we'd be shoving it down throats.

Curtis Clark                  http://www.csupomona.edu/~jcclark/
Biological Sciences Department             Voice: (909) 869-4062
California State Polytechnic University      FAX: (909) 869-4078
Pomona CA 91768-4032  USA                  jcclark at csupomona.edu

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