[Taxacom] "Classification of Life" in Wikispecies

dyanega at ucr.edu dyanega at ucr.edu
Mon Dec 13 15:15:17 CST 2010

Chuck Miller wrote:

>The great thing about WikiPedia/Species is that if you don't like it or
>agree with it, just change it.  Freedom reigns at WikiMedia! Everyone
>and anyone is free to change anything on WikiPedia/Species.  So, jump in
>there and amend it to use Mayr.
>Of course, anybody else is free to change it again, and again, and

No, that's simply not true. Anyone who has a RELIABLE, RELEVANT CITATION is free to change any article in order to include information from that citation. You can't go into Wikipedia and put whatever you want, or delete whatever you want, and you absolutely, ESPECIALLY, cannot insert your own personal opinions - there are rules, and if you violate them, whatever you add is generally reverted by one of the many editors (like myself) who vigorously enforce the rules. You could also expect a polite message explaining that you were violating policies regarding issues such as


or others.

If there is a dispute over alternative classifications, then what you *can* do is go in and delineate the dispute, giving citations for BOTH sides, a summary, and then you can state "At this point, the majority of authorities in this area are still following classification X". You can't simply go in and REMOVE something you don't agree with. Doing that is a good way to get banned from Wikipedia, and this has happened to some taxonomists who thought they were above the rules.

It's the perpetuation of falsehoods like these about how Wikipedia operates that prevents more informed, authoritative people from contributing. It's called a "vicious circle" - and you can look that up in Wikipedia.


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