[Taxacom] complete list of all species

Jody Haynes jody at plantapalm.com
Fri Feb 15 08:31:32 CST 2008

I realized that I mistakenly blamed Jim for your comment right after I sent 
my message... and for that I apologize.

I still disagree with your blanket statement in reference to ALL taxonomists 
not knowing what they are talking about. I am not a taxonomist by training, 
but I do some taxonomy, and I believe there are taxonomists out there who do 
know what they are talking about -- just as much as a chemist might know 
about chlorine (although I also don't believe your comparison between the 
biological sciences and the "hard" sciences is necessarily fair either). I 
also believe that there are reproducible descriptions and circumscriptions 
of taxa -- as well as some that are not reproducible. Taxonomy is obviously 
subjective... but that does not necessarily make it unreproducible.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Mike Dallwitz" <m.j.dallwitz at netspeed.com.au>
To: <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
Sent: Friday, February 15, 2008 9:07 AM
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] complete list of all species

> Jody Haynes wrote:
>> I find Jim's comment "[t]axonomists literally don't know what they're
>> talking about" somewhat offensive.
> It was my comment, not Jim's. The key word is 'literally'. Taxonomists 
> talk
> about taxa. Because of the lack of adequate, reproducible descriptions 
> (i.e.
> definitions) of taxa, they can't be sure what they are talking about. If
> chemists talk about chlorine, they know what they are talking about. What
> they say about it may be wrong - that's another matter.
> -- 
> Mike Dallwitz
> Contact information: http://delta-intkey.com/contact/dallwitz.htm
> DELTA home page: http://delta-intkey.com
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