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

Doug Yanega dyanega at UCR.EDU
Tue Mar 21 11:45:39 CST 2006

John Grehan wrote:

>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?

I think Ken's comment here is indicative:

>It really needs to be organized from the top down by someone who
>knows what they are doing.

The obvious implication is that Ken knows, and others don't. However,
I point this out not to single out Ken, actually, but to highlight
the general issue using his specific example. That is, taxonomists
themselves will never express a UNANIMOUS agreement on any
classification. Our job, however, is to either supply the remainder
of the scientific and civilian communities with a single
classifiication or LOSE our jobs. The inability to give a clear
answer to any classificatory question we are asked is the major
reason for (1) sociopolitical pressure to relegate taxonomists to
obsolescence, and (2) splinter groups like the PhyloCode crowd.

As much as the "rugged individualists" like Ken might disparage the
idea, we do actually NEED to develop a single classification that
everyone OUTSIDE the taxonomic community can use, and that means a
consensus opinion, even if it isn't unanimous.

Some of us seriously hope to build such a classification, and I hope
many of the folks on this list will support and contribute to such an


Doug Yanega        /Dept. of Entomology         /Entomology Research Museum
Univ. of California - Riverside, Riverside, CA 92521-0314
phone: (951) 827-4315 (standard disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
   "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
         is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82

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