Taxonomic Concepts in the news

Ron at Ron at
Wed Feb 16 10:37:29 CST 2005

"This proposal is a devastating blow to open space across the Front Range,
to good science and to the public interest," said Jeremy Nichols,
conservation director for the Laramie, Wyo.-based Biodiversity Conservation

I agree with the "blow... to good science" part of this statement from the
article.  The "blow" is that it endorses as official governmental policy a
principle of rocks, paper, scissors - lumpers _beat_ splitters.   This
exposes the Great Flaw in the ESA - taxonomic opinion transformed into rigid
law.  There should be no lumper versus splitter "test" as both are equally
as right and wrong.  The perspectives are just scientific devices for
communication and application of data.   Problem is, in reality, lumpers vs.
splitters have long ago put themselves into condescending camps each
pointing a finger at the other as - you are wrong, I am right.  Law should
never be based in subjectivity - in the eye of the taxonomist criteria.  But
such is the thumbs up / thumbs down functionality of the ESA.

Then there is this. When this is de-listed will the government just go
"Oooops" to those who have lost millions, property, went to jail etc. over a
taxon that never  _EXISTED_.   What a mess.  Uncle Sam giveth and Uncle Sam
taketh away.

Ron Gatrelle

PS  Peer reviewed?   Looks more akin tobacco science - hire the best minds
to get the result you want?  Looks like Buisness gets what they want and
governemnt gets the revenue from all the new taxable "progress".  Sweet.

----- Original Message -----
From: David Remsen
Sent: Wednesday, February 16, 2005 8:59 AM
Subject: Taxonomic Concepts in the news

Did anyone see this CNN post a couple of weeks ago?

The Preble's meadow jumping mouse, once seen as a costly impediment to
development, is now viewed by the government as a critter that never
really existed -- and is no longer in need of Federal Protection under
the Endangered Species Act.

It appears however that of the 14 reviewers in the decision, 6 still
believe the concept exists while 8 determined it does not.

The mouse however, had no comment.

David Remsen
uBio Project Developer
Marine Biological Laboratory
Woods Hole, MA 02543

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