"Fuzziness" (Continuity and classification)

Deborah A Lewis dlewis at IASTATE.EDU
Thu Jul 26 17:02:31 CDT 2001


Tom,

I'll "rise to your bait" -- I have yet to be asked by Mr./Ms. Joe/Jane
Public to "link names to lineages", and THEY are the ones who pay my salary.

Deb Lewis
At 04:26 PM 07/26/2001 -0400, Thomas DiBenedetto wrote:
>In response to Rich Pyle's listing of 5 possible scenarios for the
>resolution of the naming and classification wars, I would add one more
>possible scenario. It is based on the perception that there is no authority
>which can impose any of his 5, and so what we might see is a continuation of
>trends that I percieve in present practice (and yes, I imagine others can
>see other trends...)
>
>6. Some cladists will continue to use a modified Linnaean system (abandoning
>ranks for instance). Other cladists will adopt the Phylocode. And
>"traditional" classification schemes ("evolutionary", neo-darwinian,
>eclectic etc) will continue to fade from the scientific stage, and will take
>their place along with the heuristic or special-purpose classifications that
>one uses for particular non-scientific tasks. I think that the overwhleming
>need for scientists (especially evolutionary scientists) to have a
>classification scheme that can serve as a tool, by linking names to
>lineages, will continue this trend.
>There may then be a grand struggle between Linnaean cladists and phylocode
>cladists, a struggle that I sense resonates with some pre-existing disputes
>in the field. Perhaps a compromise is possible, a lot of deep debate in any
>case.
>
>Tom DiBenedetto

Deborah Q. Lewis, Curator
Ada Hayden Herbarium (ISC)             E-mail: dlewis at iastate.edu
Department of Botany                        Phone: [1] 515-294-9499
Iowa State University                         FAX:  [1] 515-294-1337
Ames, IA  50011-1020




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