crocodile tears

Ken Kinman kinman at HOTMAIL.COM
Sat Feb 5 08:59:42 CST 2000

     While I understand your apprehension, I don't really think it is
necessary to do either this or that.  It seems to me that would should
continue to do both at the same time.
      However, it is pretty obvious that funding for "alpha" taxonomic
activities and preservation have unfortunately gotten the short end of the
stick.  And this imbalance results not only in a lack of sufficient
descriptive taxonomy (and saving as much biodiversity as we can), but also
increasing amounts of overreliance on (and overextrapolation from) molecular
data.  There are a lot of cladograms out there (molecular and morphological)
that aren't worth the paper they are written on (much less the time & money
put into them).  But some are excellent.
     It's not that molecular biology and computer analyses shouldn't be
done, but rather policy changes that would reverse the trend of putting too
many eggs in the molecular and computer baskets, while neglecting good
old-fashioned taxonomic expertise (which forms the foundation on which the
rest of biological endeavors are built).
                         -----Ken Kinman
>From: "Prof. Dov Por" <dovpor at NETVISION.NET.IL>
>Reply-To: "Prof. Dov Por" <dovpor at NETVISION.NET.IL>
>Subject: crocodile tears
>Date: Sat, 5 Feb 2000 11:46:56 +0200
>Dear taxacomers,
>For the last days I am following  with much apprehension the intensive
>exchange on our web. I cannot resist to quote Goethe's Faust "Grau lieber
>Freund ist jede Theorie und Gruen des Lebens goldner Baum" ( Grey my friend
>is all theory and green is life's golden tree - my free translation  with
>Johann Wolfgang's kind permission). Allas , the problem is not new.
>We are discussing endlessly subjects that are  often esotherical, while
>before   the   windows  of our ivory towers  the helpless species are
>Instead of shedding crocodile tears  about it and go on  building our
>cladograms , it would be more bioethical to go to the field,
>collect,describe,preserve   and leave the   dealing with nomenclatural
>revolutions and discussions about sister groups for a later stage.
>Dov Por
>Prof.Francis Dov Por
>Department of Evolution,Systematics and Ecology
>the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
>home 23 Kubovy 96757 Jerusalem
>voice 972.2.6410421
>fax 972.2.6416831
>e-mail : dovpor at
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