Google for Internet Database of all life, and existing initiatives already doing this

John Grehan jgrehan at SCIENCEBUFF.ORG
Tue Mar 21 08:17:28 CST 2006


In your reference to "sloppy" classification in Species 2000 are you
characterizing classifications this way simply because you disagree with
them, or because they have been empirically shown by specialists to lack
phylogenetic validity?

John Grehan

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Taxacom Discussion List [mailto:TAXACOM at LISTSERV.NHM.KU.EDU] On
> Behalf Of Ken Kinman
> Sent: Tuesday, March 21, 2006 12:08 AM
> Subject: Re: [TAXACOM] Google for Internet Database of all life, and
> existing initiatives already doing this
> Hi Karen,
>       Perhaps an independent effort by Google would actually be
> not only in speeding up the process, but perhaps provide a superior
> product that might force other projects to improve their own efforts.
>      I would only hope they would take a top-down approach to
> classification, something for which many other projects (including
> 2000) have done a pretty sloppy job.  I can only hope your 2006
> has a better higher classification of life than the 2005 version.
> PLANTAE including the following phyla:  Euglenophyta (also listed as
> Euglenozoa in Protozoa), Haptophyta (also listed in Chromista),
> (also listed in Protozoa), Cryptophyta (also listed in Chromista), and
> worst of all Bacillariophyta (which is actually part of Phylum
> in Chromista).  And Phylum Labyrinthulomycota in Chromista is actually
> part of Phylum Sagenista (unless you are making the latter
> --and worse yet, it is the same as Class Labyrinthulea which is listed
> Protozoa.
>       I don't even know where to begin with the problems in the
> classification of Bacteria (your 2005 classification is still a total
> mess), so I won't even list particulars.  This is a small sample of
> problems I found in just 15 minutes.  And the number of problems
> to multiply at lower taxonomic levels.  Although NCBI's classification
> certainly has its problems, they aren't anywhere near that sloppy
> it.  A sloppy higher classification is NOT helpful in navigating
> classification at lower taxonomic levels, and frankly I often find
> searchs more helpful than I do things like the Tree of Life
> (which also has a lot of problems).  Whether Google could do a better
> I can't really say, but I really doubt they would cause me any more
> frustration than a lot of other internet classifications have caused
> Species 2000 is not one I would highly recommend in its present form.
> really needs to be organized from the top down by someone who knows
>   what they are doing.  Otherwise, it doesn't serve as a very good
> "authoritative index" to other databases.
>     ------Ken Kinman
> P.S.  Does any project yet plan to cover fossil species as well as
> species?

More information about the Taxacom mailing list