[Taxacom] Fwd: complete list of all species

Mike Dallwitz m.j.dallwitz at netspeed.com.au
Fri Feb 15 01:42:07 CST 2008


Jim Croft wrote:

> The Type is all that is needed to prevent it being a farce.
> 
> The descriptive data adds the character (pun intended), and all 
> the elegance and drama of a great work.

The descriptive data is what makes it science. Suppose you publish research 
on a chemical that you call chlorine, but which other researchers may have 
called bromine or 50 other names. You justify this by saying: 'I've kept a 
sample of this chemical, and if you visit my lab in Woop Woop, and the labs 
of the other 50-odd researchers, you'll probably be able to work out what 
we've all been writing about'. I'd call that farcical.

Taxonomists literally don't know what they're talking about. What's needed 
to fix this problem is comparative, _reproducible_ data - analogous to a 
chemical test for chlorine. If an identification fails, it's usually because 
the user hasn't been been able to reproduce the data of the author; and they 
frequently (~30%) do fail - see 'Effectiveness of Identification Methods – 
References' (http://delta-intkey.com/www/idtests.htm).

-- 
Mike Dallwitz
Contact information: http://delta-intkey.com/contact/dallwitz.htm
DELTA home page: http://delta-intkey.com




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