"Fuzziness" (Continuity and classification)

Curtis Clark jcclark at CSUPOMONA.EDU
Thu Jul 26 16:53:47 CDT 2001

At 03:02 PM 7/26/01, Deborah A Lewis wrote:
>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.

Gosh, there's so much bait on the water, I'm concerned we'll be arrested
for chumming.

When I see my physician for a medical problem, I would prefer that *he*
know the proper methods of diagnosis and treatment. He is a professional,
and my HMO pays him the big bucks to know this stuff. If I were to have to
start telling him exactly what procedures to follow, I'd wonder about his
competence. There *are* patients who second-guess competent physicians, but
I suspect they don't get the same level of care.

Systematists are also professionals. Some of the public may be concerned
with the methods we use to make our classifications, but most are
interested only in the results. I'm sure we will continue to debate which
methods are the most "competent", but I'd as soon take directions from the
public as tell my physician how to do his job.

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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