[Taxacom] Mona Lisa Smile

Thomas G. Lammers lammers at uwosh.edu
Wed Jul 26 08:07:10 CDT 2006

At 06:13 AM 7/26/2006, pierre deleporte wrote:
>I my view, the worst "divorce from reality" (I would rather say: "divorce
>from realism") could well be the lasting belief in the Holy Grail of a
>unique, universal, optimal-for-all-purposes classification.

Of course not, for the simple reason that (as I constantly remind my 
students) A Classification Is A Hypothesis.  As such, classifications are 
constantly being tested, a process that either supports them or fails to 
support them.  That's why taxonomy IS science.

That does not mean that we cannot arrive at a classification that withstand 
repeated testing and so achieve a modicum of long-term stability and broad 
utility, perhaps to the point where we would call it a "theory."

Tom Lammers
Thomas G. Lammers, Ph.D.

Associate Professor and Curator of the Herbarium (OSH)
Department of Biology and Microbiology
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54901-8640 USA

e-mail:       lammers at uwosh.edu
phone:      920-424-1002
fax:           920-424-1101

Plant systematics; classification, nomenclature, evolution, and 
biogeography of the Campanulaceae s. lat.

"Today's mighty oak is yesterday's nut that stood his ground."
                                                               -- Anonymous
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