New Universal Taxonomy Database

Eric Dunbar erdunbar at MAC.COM
Fri Jul 5 13:29:01 CDT 2002

> From: Bill Shear <wshear at>
> Date: Fri, 5 Jul 2002 11:55:17 -0400
> "This scientific dilemma is compounded by the fact that
> taxonomy -- the science of classifying and naming organisms -- is scattered
> into dozens of specialties, each with its own often jealously guarded way of
> handling things. "Fish experts don't really care about sponges and the
> dinosaurs, and so you have fish-based and ant-based and mammal-based
> solutions," Remsen said. "Navigating all that information is hard because
> you have to re-learn the taxonomy every time -- there's no consistency to
> it."
> This is rubbish--there are only 3 systems, and they do not differ by much.
> ALL animal taxonomy is governed by the ICZN, which you only have to learn
> once.  But of course you would have to learn the taxonomy of sponges as a
> new endeavor if you were a fish specialist--or any other kind of specialist.
> So you don't have to "relearn the taxonomy" every time, only once for each
> group that interests you.  What this guy is implying is that there is an
> entirely separate system of naming and of categories for each taxon--makes
> you wonder about his capabilities for organizing this worthwhile endeavor.

I suspect the individual quoted is referring to the systems used to store
and retrieve information (perhaps he or she even said it but the newspaper
quote mangled it?), _not_ the taxonomic rules themselves.


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