[Taxacom] A simple solution?

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Sun Nov 14 23:58:14 CST 2010

>They only want one opnion and want to know that it is *the* opinion

they want to know the most sensible opinion, or at least what the most sensible 
opinions (plural) are

there are many taxonomic issues that are not *really* disputed except by a few 
rather vocal "fringe" people, and also groups that are given elevated taxonomic 
status by specialists in the taxonomy of the group as opposed to those with a 
more wide-ranging and/or phylogenetic persuasion. The latter has potential to 
lead the average punter astray, i.e., "well, if the late world expert on bark 
beetles thought they were a distinct family, ..."

From: Jim Croft <jim.croft at gmail.com>
To: Tony.Rees at csiro.au
Cc: TAXACOM at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Sent: Mon, 15 November, 2010 6:31:19 PM
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] A simple solution?

Yes, I do not think it is at all helpful to separate nomenclatural and
taxonomic database and documentation efforts. But it is helpful, even
essential to separate 'fact' from 'opinion'.
We do this in APNI, and others are doing it elsewhere, by recording
and documenting the ' fact' of  *published* taxonomic 'opinion'.  All
of them. Some of the literature 'facts' are nomenclature, some are
taxonomic, but looking at it this way the the details and content of
each type of publication is still a fact.
This of course does not help the class of users you describe. They
only want one opnion and want to know that it is *the* opinion. :(
The Australia Plant Census is a an attempt to arrive at that through a
mixture of consensus and fiat.  But it is just another opinion. :)


On Mon, Nov 15, 2010 at 12:05 PM,  <Tony.Rees at csiro.au> wrote:
> Of course the taxonomic component will be permanently evolving ("opinions") 
>while in general, the nomenclatural element will be "facts", but it is mainly 
>the most up-to-date and coherent collection of the former that is what is really 
> (Let even more flogging commence)
> Regards - Tony

Jim Croft ~ jim.croft at gmail.com ~ +61-2-62509499 ~
'A civilized society is one which tolerates eccentricity to the point
of doubtful sanity.'
 - Robert Frost, poet (1874-1963)

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