Data Entry => Question of Priorities and Resources

Ron at Ron at
Wed Jan 8 11:32:22 CST 2003

Having read the other replies I will put in this 2 cents.  Taxonomy is as
much art as it is science.  Data assimilation is nothing but "science" in
the nuts and bolts sense.   Data can tend to be a final-answer,
the-whole-story, written-in-stone, type of thing.   When one considers all
that is still unknown (un-figured out) taxonomically about the specimens in
collections plus all that is unknown period out in what is left of the
natural world, well, the data can look impressive but be way off from
evolutional, systematic, taxonomic and Code compliant nomencaltorial truth.

Conservationists in particular want a "list", actually a complete list.  A
complete accurate list of a still greatly unknown biota.  Government
(administration) is every field is very good at spending lots, getting
little, but making it look or sound really thorough and thus "worth it".

The bottom line here is incompatibility.  Trying to put a round peg
(natural sciences) into a square hole (hard data).   So to me the biggest
problems are not relative to bottlenecks, but incompatibility of two or
more systems.  This is why taxonomy and nomenclature will always be at
odds.  Taxonomy is fluid and the subjective opinions or how systematists
see evolutional relationships.  Nomenclature, while being the language of
taxonomy, is, like all language,  operative only within a strict structure
of rules.

So for the purpose of this thread, I would say "systems incompatibility" is
a bottleneck.  A communication problem.  The problem with communication is
that people think it occurs.

Ron Gatrelle

More information about the Taxacom mailing list