[Taxacom] Objective/Subjective Molehills

Kenneth Kinman kennethkinman at webtv.net
Sun May 30 23:58:20 CDT 2010

Sorry Curtis,
        We just have long been looking at things from a different
perspective.  I am a top-down systematist, seeing evolution as mainly a
very few low level taxa eventually becoming higher taxa (kingdoms,
phyla, and classes) due to the their long-term evolutionary fitness and
even luck, versus many other lower level taxa that become extinct over
       I therefore find subspecies and even many species as less
important in the long term than higher level taxa.  Whooping cranes are
one exception, since I grew up so close to Cheyenne Bottoms that is a
common stop-over on their twice annual migration.  Many bird enthusiasts
concur, mainly because endangered big birds are human favorites.   But
mostly I am more concerned with the worldwide extinction of higher taxa
(genera and families).  There is a very distinct family of bats with
only a single surviving species in Thailand that gets almost no
attention at all.  On the other hand, I find oak species and subspecies
relatively boring.  The oil spill in the Gulf might be irrelevant to
oaks, but it is relevant to species that I find of interest, one of
which might become a separate insect genus that in now in danger of
becoming extinct due to the current Gulf disaster.  In comparison,
species and subspecies "synonymies" are relativity irrelevant.  But
admittedly the concerns of BP executives and their stock holders are
even more irrelevant and most of them deserve whatever punishment
(economic or criminal) that they eventually receive.  Sadly, many on
Wall Street will get off scot free for the disaster that they created.
Whoever can afford the most lawyers have the edge in the current world
       -------Ken Kinman
Curtis Clark wrote:
On 5/30/2010 8:34 PM, Kenneth Kinman wrote: >         Anyway, if you
spend too much time on trivial semantics, you miss the bigger picture. 
What is this, International Everything That's Not Important To Me Is
Garbage And The People Who Work On It Are Assholes Week? I hate to be
the one to break it to you, Ken, but a lot of us are capable of working
on and thinking about more than one thing at a time. And it seems ironic
that you should complain about people wanting to converse accurately
about biodiversity (yes, it's true, we don't just make up the names,
they are tied to the actual diversity of organisms) when it seems that a
lack of accurate communication about the functional state of the blowout
preventer led to the BP disaster.

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