The end of the line for taxonomists - or is it?

Barry Roth barry_roth at YAHOO.COM
Tue Jun 29 11:56:03 CDT 2004

Yes.  Nevertheless, because some end-users of taxonomy are likely to buy into the scheme (perhaps even eventually writing it in as a requirement for grants and contracts), we need a strong statement in print concerning its unreliability:  a cogently stated, not-too-long, article, preferably multi-authored, in a journal with good "street cred," that we taxonomists could show our clients when the barcode bugbear arises.  Does anything like this exist at present?  Even a short bibliography of existing papers that demonstrate Doug's point (with salient quotes provided) would be helpful.

Barry Roth

Doug Yanega <dyanega at UCR.EDU> wrote:
>A gadget that identifies any species in an instant could transform the
>way we see life on earth p.32"

If this refers to Hebert's harebrained scheme to use the COI gene to
"barcode" all living taxa, taxonomists can ignore it - anyone who
works enough with sequencing knows that COI is unreliable, and also
can vary within even a single species, or even a single population,
making COI completely UNsuitable for taxonomic purposes.

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