[Taxacom] Fwd: complete list of all species

Paul Kirk p.kirk at cabi.org
Fri Feb 15 01:49:24 CST 2008


Mike,

Isn't your reproducible data what Genbank are collecting ... ;-)

You all have a good weekend,

Paul 

-----Original Message-----
From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
[mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Mike Dallwitz
Sent: 15 February 2008 07:42
To: Taxacom
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Fwd: complete list of all species

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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