[Taxacom] article on taxonomy

Bob Mesibov mesibov at southcom.com.au
Fri Feb 26 22:52:55 CST 2010


You have a literal mind. An ethical stance doesn't make you an 'ethical X'. That would be like saying 'I don't think killing people is a good idea' divides the world into happy murderers and everyone else. Think of ethical investment. One and the same investor can put money into projects that generate green income for rural Bangladeshis (ethical, in financial trade jargon) and also into mining projects that pollute rivers in PNG. To the extent that the investor supports the Bangladesh project, she is taking an ethical stance. To the extent that a taxonomist focuses on what I proposed, he is taking an ethical stance.

You also don't need to argue that a middle ground or halfway approach is best, because the world is full of Polonius-types who will do that for you. We make progress by pushing boundaries, and I'm delighted that Dr Boero has called the outcomes of Rio '92 stupid, because IMO they are. To devote so much time and money to the side-projects he discusses was a dumb mistaking of the Rio consensus.
Dr Robert Mesibov
Honorary Research Associate
Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, and
School of Zoology, University of Tasmania
Home contact: PO Box 101, Penguin, Tasmania, Australia 7316
(03) 64371195; 61 3 64371195
Website: http://www.qvmag.tas.gov.au/mesibov.html

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