systematics V taxonomy

Guy Redeuilh redeuilh at CLUB-INTERNET.FR
Wed Sep 11 05:16:40 CDT 2002

The main problem seems rather around "systematics" and systematicians.

If one use systematics in the sense of phylogenetics "strict cladist" only
(rejecting phenetics and eclectics), one deny the title of systematist
(systematician ?) to Linné and generations of non-phylogeneticians
successors (until today). When in fact they proclamed themselves : we  are
systematicians !
Do we move back them as "taxonomists" only ? (or "eclecticists" ? or
"classifiying-mans" (classificators ?) ?...)
This seems (is !) unacceptable.
Difficult problem, isn't it ?

(sorry for my english comme-ci - comme-ça !)

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, September 11, 2002 12:25 AM
Subject: Re: systematics V taxonomy

> Susan et al.,
> I would vote for "mostly semantic."  The fact that we have a term "alpha
> taxonomy" to describe the older methodologies seems to imply that there
> other types of taxonomy as well, which most would probably put under the
> broader name, "systematics", but could equally well continue to call
> "taxonomy."  This leads up to what I think was Jacques Melot's point which
> is, do we really need two terms at present since they historically meant
> just about the same thing?  On this , I would say "no, we don't need two
> terms, but we have them!"  (Parenthetically, had the language regarding
> term "biology" evolved similarly to that which has happened to the term
> "taxonomy", we would probably be calling organismal biology "alpha
> and the rest something else most of the time.)
> Cheers,
> Steve
> At 05:00 PM 9/5/02 -0400, Susan B. Farmer wrote:
> >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
> >
> Stephen D. Manning, Ph.D.
> Professor of Biology
> Mathematics and Science Division
> Arkansas State University - Beebe
> P. O. Box 1000
> Beebe, Arkansas 72012-1000
> Tel: 501-882-7162

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