[Taxacom] decline and fall of taxonomy

Frederick W Schueler bckcdb at istar.ca
Thu Jun 18 10:08:04 CDT 2009


Richard Zander wrote:
> Peer review in taxonomy is superficial with a paper is reviewed for
> publication, but is repeated every time a revision is done by the next
> specialist, whether sooner or later. Don't we all peer review the grand
> masters of the 1800's when we re-examine their types in light more a
> century of additional collecting and development of more theory on
> evolution and ecology? Taxonomy is a long-term study we all participate
> in. Ever since, who? Caesalpino? 

* those who assert that peer review insures accuracy don't understand 
the process. All peer reviewers can do, except in rare cases of gross 
error or poorly manipulated fraud, is to improve the authors' 
communication of their findings, or to say that the findings aren't 
worthy of publication. We all know that many authors are so immersed in 
their research subject that their submitted attempts to communicate it 
are seriously defective, but reviewers can't evaluate data supporting 
statements such as "Peromyscus maniculatus and P. leucopus were 
reproductively isolated at this site" any more than they can correct 
indoors data such as "sedimentation rate was 3 g/sec."

fred.
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