[Taxacom] [tdwg] Semantic Web: What is a species?
l.raty at skynet.be
Mon Jan 26 10:24:24 CST 2009
Richard Zander wrote:
> This is a good balance between scientific realism and total
> subjectivity, but then what is the difference between treating
> something as real for pragmatic purposes though harboring
> reservations, and thinking it is real with no reservations? Feedback
> from the great Out There when you are wrong?
In my view - and although the consequences would probably be less
drastic in the case of species - the difference is of the same nature as
treating electrons as particles for pragmatic purposes though harboring
reservations, and thinking they really are particles without reservations.
In the first case, I would be making use of a model while remaining
aware of its limitations. In the second, I would be confusing my model
with the reality, and I think I'd be quite likely to reach wrong
conclusions in some situations...
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