[Taxacom] Queen of the Sciences

Richard Zander Richard.Zander at mobot.org
Sat Feb 27 12:51:08 CST 2010

I also think that biodiversity/taxonomic data in the professional literature is not "fit for use" by anybody if it is strongly biased by preconceived species concepts, across-the-board simplistic models of evolution, and artificial (holophyly) classification systems. 
Traditional taxonomy allows nature to teach us species concepts appropriate to a taxon. Traditional classifications give scientists in other fields the least biased groupings of organisms in nature. Properly, systematics should be a careful alpha taxonomic program (a system of successful heuristics, see Gert Gigerenzer's book "Gut Feelings") followed by evolutionary analysis by a professional evolutionist. 
Not, as at present, an amateur evolutionary analysis followed by crackpot ideas for classification, then the stew presented to the rest of science as the new sorry get of the "Queen of the Sciences." 
Richard H. Zander
Missouri Botanical Garden
PO Box 299
St. Louis, MO 63166 U.S.A.
richard.zander at mobot.org


From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu on behalf of Schindel, David
Sent: Sat 2/27/2010 11:00 AM
To: Bob Mesibov; pentcheff at gmail.com
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] article on taxonomy

Biodiversity/taxonomic data in the professional literature is not 'fit for use' by a wide range of stakeholder, users, donors, funders, and others.  It's not until these data are digitized, linked through string-names and molecular sequences (that can be more easily searched than morphological character states), and aggregated that non-taxonomists can find and use them.  When conservationists or government officials ask about the state of global biodiversity, pointing them to the literature and telling them the data are all there is not going to be well received.

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