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

Ken Kinman kinman2 at YAHOO.COM
Tue Mar 21 15:07:28 CST 2006

     Why on earth would you think I would disparage such an idea?  Such a consensus classification is the whole point of the Kinman System.  The cladist-eclectic coding system is designed for those who are interested in phylogenetic relationships.  Other biologists and non-biologists in general can just ignore the coding and be content with a relatively stable classification with relatively familiar names.  Purely cladistic classifications, on the other hand, are designed by and for the Ivory Tower crowd for whom stability is a minor concern and have been fighting consensus for 35 years.  And their classifications continue to get more complicated, less stable, and with more and more weird new taxon names.  If PhyloCode is ever put into effect, it's just going to get worse.

    The phylocodists in particular don't want a consensus at all, and they are bent on dragging the rest of us along whether we like it or not.  If we are going to develop a single classification that everyone can use, we need a paradigm shift back to more moderate ground.  And John, my moderate classification of primates does NOT suppress either your view, the conventional view, or even a third view (Gorilla-Pan clade).  No matter which of the three is true, the contents of a paraphyletic Pongidae will remain the same (only the coding of the taxa would change).  Why are people on both sides so opposed to THAT consensus classification (for the great apes)?
    ----Ken Kinman
P.S.  If a sixth Kingdom Archaebacteria is part of a consensus classification, I could live with that.  However, when it becomes abundantly obvious that they are not archaic at all, I bet more biologists will switch to calling them Metabacteria (whether it be as a Kingdom or a Phylum).   :-)
Doug wrote:
     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.

More information about the Taxacom mailing list