Predictivity vs Useful

Richard Jensen rjensen at SAINTMARYS.EDU
Mon Feb 14 10:36:00 CST 2005

Ken Kinman wrote:

>      The main purpose of a classification should be information storage and retrieval (which goes way beyond just pigeonholing taxa).

Here may lie the crux of the problem.  For many, the main purpose of a classification is to reflect phylogenetic relationships.  The information storage and retrieval component is viewed as a secondary function; however, because of the mistaken belief that a cladistic classification will maximize predictivity (i.e., maximizes information storage and retrieval), many believe that cladistic classifications are the sine qua non of taxonomy (sensu lato).

Richard J. Jensen              | tel: 574-284-4674
Department of Biology      | fax: 574-284-4716
Saint Mary's College         | e-mail: rjensen at
Notre Dame, IN 46556    |

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