[Taxacom] Phylocriminetics

Frederick W. Schueler bckcdb at istar.ca
Wed Dec 29 15:21:31 CST 2010

On 12/29/2010 3:41 PM, Richard Pyle wrote:
>> 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.

* there's a book (Alexander Rosenberg, Instrumental Biology, or The 
Disunity of Science) which claims that no biology is a "pure" science 
like physics, because our endevours are so befuddled by what what we 
want to get out of biological systems that all our inquiries are 

Curiously, Rosenberg doesn't include the search for patterns of 
relatedness among populations in the range of the biological endevours 
he considers, which makes his discourse a mere aberrantcy for some readers.

HOWEVER, maybe there's a hint here, and perhaps classificatory methods 
should be instrumentally ranked, in the present era of biotic collapse, 
by their effectiveness in deferring the extinction of the populations 
they classify.

           Frederick W. Schueler & Aleta Karstad
Bishops Mills Natural History Centre - http://pinicola.ca/bmnhc.htm
Thirty Years Later Expedition - 
Longterm ecological monitoring - http://fragileinheritance.org/
Daily Paintings - http://karstaddailypaintings.blogspot.com/
      RR#2 Bishops Mills, Ontario, Canada K0G 1T0
    on the Smiths Falls Limestone Plain 44* 52'N 75* 42'W
     (613)258-3107 <bckcdb at istar.ca> http://pinicola.ca/

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