Time to update taxonomy? Article from BioMedNet [Snip w/link]

Ken Kinman kinman at HOTMAIL.COM
Fri Jan 31 13:35:48 CST 2003


Dear All,
      I just want to add my voice to the chorus opposed to making this
DNA/Barcode proposal "mandatory".  But let's face it,  on a list like
Taxacom, this is a bit like preaching to the choir.
      I think a middle ground approach to this proposal (which would be
agreeable to most everyone) would be one or more "test cases" to see how
well this would work in practice.  We could choose a few taxa (families or
large genera) that are poorly known anyway, and compare the results from:
DNA alone, traditional approaches alone, and thirdly a combined approach.
The third approach is bound to be the best, but it would be very instructive
to see how well DNA alone would do.  And in the process, some poorly known
taxa would get some much needed attention.
     The point is that we should try this out on a small scale.  Maybe a
mollusc family, a large insect genus or family of mites, and some worm and
plant taxa as well.  Perhaps we will find that a "DNA first" approach will
work well for some groups and not for others.  It would be a very
interesting scientific experiment and we would no doubt learn a great deal
(in more ways than one).
         ----- My two cents,
                    Ken Kinman

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