[Taxacom] Lumping and Splitting

Curtis Clark jcclark-lists at earthlink.net
Fri Sep 7 08:39:26 CDT 2007

My favorite quote on lumping vs splitting is from E.L. Greene, in his 
1905 monograph of Eschscholzia:

"As to the powers of taxonomic discernment, there are a few who, having 
before them several related plants, can see, and do see, of their own 
discriminative intelligence, the differences that separate them.

"There is a much larger class of those who, in the same case, seem 
blinded by the resemblances which these related things so strongly bear 
to one another, and cannot see the differences at all distinctly until 
some other has pointed out those differences one by one. Then, these too 
can see.

"There is a third class, consisting of such as can not [sic] see a thing 
that is before their eyes and has been pointed out."

As you might imagine, Greene was a splitter, extraordinaire.

Curtis Clark                  http://www.csupomona.edu/~jcclark/
Director, I&IT Web Development                   +1 909 979 6371
University Web Coordinator, Cal Poly Pomona

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