[Taxacom] Lumping and Splitting

Peter Stevens peter.stevens at mobot.org
Thu Sep 6 13:14:57 CDT 2007

Who ever said that age and wisdom (of course knowledge and wisdom are  
distinct concepts) were connected?  Peter Davis also had a very nice  
graph showing taxonomic expertise against age.  it did indeed  
increase with age, rather like a doctor's expertise (a favourite  
comparison of taxonomists, I think), but tended to tail off  
dramatically as madness or blindness supervened and the taxonomist  
kept on working....


On Sep 6, 2007, at 1:03 PM, Beach, James H wrote:

> Lumping and splitting will always be with us, I fear, whatever one's
> classificatory philosophy.  To quote Davis and Heywood:
> "Short of the death penalty, there will always be lumpers and
> splitters. Splitting tends to be accentuated by age, a characters of
> the malaise being that the sufferer seldom admits that he is a
> splitter."
> Peter Stevens
> --------
> Hmm.
> Professor John Beaman of Michigan State University and lately  
> active at
> Kew, always held:
> "The more you know, the more you lump."
> So, I think we could use that to counter Davis and Heywood (which  
> Beaman
> used in his taxonomy courses) and seed a food fight, but be warned,
> anyone who is a closet lumper and rails against the lumping lifestyle,
> risks being outed!
> Jim B.
> _____________________________
> James H. Beach
> Biodiversity Research Center
> University of Kansas
> 1345 Jayhawk Boulevard
> Lawrence, KS 66045, USA
> T 785 864-4645, F 785 864-5335
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