[Taxacom] decline and fall of taxonomy

Lee Belbin leebel at netspace.net.au
Tue Jun 16 22:34:36 CDT 2009

I fully agree with Pete. I occasionally use the following example to suggest
that it is impossible to determine how data may be used (effectively)...

W.K. de la Mare, (1997). Abrupt mid-twentieth-century decline in Antarctic
sea-ice extent from whaling records. Nature, 389, 57-60.

Bill did estimates of the northern most extent of sea-ice in the Antarctic
based on whaling records of the 19th and 20th century.

My point is - would the whalers have figured out that their records would be
used to detect climate change? Not b likely.


Lee Belbin
TDWG Secretariat

The zero sum mentality is not helpful. Taxonomy needs to fix itself, not
point fingers. Discoveries in Astronomy have helped answer basic questions
in physics, including those of Einstein.

We are also under constant threat of an asteroid or deep space gamma ray
burst that would devastate all life on Earth.

I think that taxonomy will get increased funding when it starts operating
more like the other biological sciences.


- Pete

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