[Taxacom] encylopedia of life [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]

Thomas Lammers lammers at uwosh.edu
Sat May 12 08:20:55 CDT 2007

----- Original Message -----
From: John Grehan <jgrehan at sciencebuff.org>

> Consensus is a political concept concerning the belief systems of the participants.
> Sometimes consensus is used in place of "majority". These become very
> troubling standards to introduce into taxonomy, especially when
> creationists are regularly accused of being non-scientific. When there
> is no single standardized taxonomy the issue of politics is less 
> acute,although it has already emerged with the tree of life. 

Those are indeed valid concerns.

At the same time, I think it is axiomatic that "classifications are hypotheses."  They are not final answers, they all stand pro tempore.  As such, a hypothesis arrived at via concensus is as useful, pro tem, as any other.  The important thing is to be honest about status.

Tom Lammers

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