[Taxacom] Phylocriminetics

Richard Pyle deepreef at bishopmuseum.org
Wed Dec 29 14:41:29 CST 2010

> How does retaining some paraphyletic groups for taxonomic classification
> purposes aid science? Which comes first, taxonomy or science?

The discovery and documentation of biodiversity should ALWAYS come first. I
don't care whether you label this taxonomy, or classify it as
science....what matters is that as populations of organisms disappear (as
they are currently doing at perhaps unprecedented rates), the vast, vast
majority of them will leave absolutely no trace of their existence.  Like
burning the last copy of a book, whatever secrets they had to share within
the "pages" of their genomes will be lost forever.

Hypothesizing relationships and speculating about theoretical underpinnings
of inferred evolutionary processes are nice intellectual endeavors, but
should take a back seat to pure discovery and documentation.


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