[Taxacom] encylopedia of life

Richard Zander Richard.Zander at mobot.org
Thu May 10 16:29:23 CDT 2007

There's a major problem with a wiki natural history of Earth. Clearly
space should be made for conflicting opinions between specialists. For
instance MUST the most recent specialists always trump the older ones;
that is, is science ALWAYS built on the work of those who come before
and therefore be incrementally better and progressive, or is it
sometimes just wrong? How to judge?

Or between groups at loggerheads, like Coders versus Phylocoders, like
those who follow APG and those who don't, or like you and everyone else?
: )

At some point, it should be easy to make a choice within EofL of which
elements to follow, just as we select certain identification manuals to
consult and avoid others. 

To avoid monolithic structure, the EofL needs to be more than a wiki
kind of compilation since that assumes consensus or at least progress
toward one truth, while real-life science offers a series of parallel
judgments and often clear explanation of how those judgments differ, and
results in several models of "what is out there." Or am I being overly
postmodern here?

Richard H. Zander 
Voice: 314-577-0276
Missouri Botanical Garden
PO Box 299
St. Louis, MO 63166-0299 USA
richard.zander at mobot.org
Web sites: http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/resbot/
and http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/bfna/bfnamenu.htm
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Missouri Botanical Garden
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> However, once data are in
> the
> databases and properly curated, these data will be there for
ethernity, or
> eventually until the specialist revise the species page
> Bjarte Jordal (PhD)
> Department of Biology
> University of Bergen

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