Real Science => Sarcasm?

John Grehan jrg13 at PSU.EDU
Wed Apr 4 08:03:00 CDT 2001

>agree with Chris that nomenclature is not real science (whether you use the
>Phylocode or the Linnaeus system) is is merely an application of a set of
>rules by which you can label any given taxon.

John Noye's claim exemplifies my point that this distinction of
'real science' is simply a matter of definition. Nomenclature is removed
from 'real science' only because it does not conform to the particular
definition/s used by John and Christian. This is imposing a kind of
philosophical tyranny of words over the activity of science. As I said
earlier, its a common practice to define one's opponents as having
research programs that are not real science etc.

However, I would argue very
>strongly that taxonomy/systematics is real science.

The arguement is only as good as the definition employed. If one constructs
a definition of science that does not include the activity of
then taxonomy/systematics is not real science.

I would also argue that
>whichever system of nomenclature you use can result in both good or bad
>science, neither is mutually exclusive.

So a 'non-science' results in science.

>At 01:55 PM 4/3/2001 -0400, you wrote:
>>The rhetoric from cladists is definitely heating up in public forums. Here
>>on TAXACOM, below, anyone not following cladism's nonsensical philosophy of

So here is a nice reversed application of the tyranny of definition.

>>These comments are directed largely at students, of course, since those who
>>have bought into the philosophy gimmick are locked into cladism for better
>>or worse.

It seems to me that all science methods buy into one kind of 'philosophy
or another.

John Grehan

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