[Taxacom] classification of Class Rosopsida

J. Kirk Fitzhugh kfitzhugh at nhm.org
Fri Apr 10 13:07:11 CDT 2009

True, I my intent was not to be insulting. I'm simply holding 
systematics to the same standards expected of all the sciences - that 
our goal is to continually acquire causal understanding of the phenomena 
we perceive. In the case of systematics, that goal is, at a minimum, to 
causally account for the properties of organisms by way of a range of 
theories within evolutionary biology. This is why I find an indented 
list of names, a 'classification,' to be useless. Those names should 
refer to specifiable explanatory hypotheses that are answers to our 

John Grehan wrote:
> I've also raised this point with Ken who has declined to present the
> nature of evidence for his choices. The absence of the evidence does
> render the classification problematic with respect to whether it is
> science or alchemy - the former being about evidence, the other being
> about belief. So I think Kirk's comparison was less abut insult as it
> was to get to the core issue. What would be 'insulting' to science would
> be the withholding of evidence. It would be like my saying that humans
> and orangutans form a sister clade, but you have to take my word for it
> based on my years of analysis or consideration of other researchers. Ken
> may have come up with some insightful arrangements, but at the moment it
> is not possible to see if that is the case.
> John Grehan

J. Kirk Fitzhugh, Ph.D.
Curator of Polychaetes
Invertebrate Zoology Section
Research & Collections Branch
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
900 Exposition Blvd
Los Angeles CA 90007
Phone: 213-763-3233
FAX: 213-746-2999
e-mail: kfitzhug at nhm.org

More information about the Taxacom mailing list