systematics V taxonomy

Jacques Melot jacques.melot at ISHOLF.IS
Thu Sep 5 23:32:16 CDT 2002

  Le 5/09/02, à 16:59 -0600, nous recevions de Mary Barkworth :

>My flippant response is that systematics was introduced because taxonomy
>was viewed as ancient, archaic and dead and systematics was new,
>experimental, more open-minded, and more scientific.  Name changes are
>important, particularly in countries where PR dominates.
>Having said that, my take is that taxonomy slants towards identifying
>groups (taxa) - but in doing so should consider all relevant information
>(which requires trying to understand information from many different
>fields) whereas systematics slants more to understanding relationships
>and evolutionary processes, again employing and evaluating data from a
>wide range of disciplines.

    Ces distinctions n'ont pas de fondement historique et ne sont en
fait que le résultat de ce que suggère le terme "taxinomie".

    Parce que le terme "taxinomie" rappelle "taxon", on se laisse
aller imprudemment à imaginer que c'est "la science ou l'étude des
taxons" (en oubliant que le terme "taxon" est de création bien
postérieure). Ensuite, on imagine qu'il est une science de la
classification des taxons en un système et l'on parle de
"systématique", ce qui est tout aussi fantaisiste. Cette distinction
est arbitraite, artificielle et fondée sur une fausse étymologie.

    Jacques Melot

>In other words, I think that there is a difference in interpretation,
>but I like to think of them as reflecting different emphases rather than
>different disciplines.
>So now everyone has something to shoot at.
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Susan B. Farmer [mailto:sfarmer at GOLDSWORD.COM]
>Sent: Thursday, September 05, 2002 3:01 PM
>Subject: systematics V taxonomy
>Several grad students were sitting around discussing/debating the
>differences between systematics and taxonomy.  Are there *really*
>any differences, or is the distincting mostly semantic?
>Susan, curious in Tennessee
>Susan Farmer
>sfarmer at
>Botany Department, University of Tennessee

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