[Taxacom] Pop article on taxonomy's decline

Richard Zander Richard.Zander at mobot.org
Wed Jan 26 16:14:50 CST 2011


You are mixing scientific method and irrational absolutism, Mike. Cladistics and molecular systematics involve innocent and powerful tools that can be used to infer descent with modification, and create theories of such descent that can be used in classification. (Classification being the structured language that represents those theories when used to cluster groups evolutionarily.) 

It is the absolutism of using sister-group only analysis that must be condemned as non-science. See more info on this in my Manifesto:
http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/resbot/EvSy/Manifesto.htm
also in Russian:
http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/resbot/EvSy/Manifesto-Russ.htm
for the fun of it.

 
* * * * * * * * * * * * 
Richard H. Zander 
Missouri Botanical Garden, PO Box 299, St. Louis, MO 63166-0299 USA 
Web sites: http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/resbot/ and http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/bfna/bfnamenu.htm
Modern Evolutionary Systematics Web site: http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/resbot/21EvSy.htm



-----Original Message-----
From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu [mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Michael A. Ivie
Sent: Wednesday, January 26, 2011 3:59 PM
To: John Grehan
Cc: TAXACOM
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Pop article on taxonomy's decline

I agree with John, and add that neither cladistics nor molecular biology
is an enemy of anything.  Both are tools that taxonomists can and should
use, but not the only ones.

Mike Ivie
> Saying that cladistics is an enemy of taxonomy seems to me to be bizarre,
> to say the least. I'm labeled as a cladist, so how am I an enemy of
> taxonomy?
>
> John Grehan
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> [mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Stephen Thorpe
> Sent: Wednesday, January 26, 2011 4:27 PM
> To: TAXACOM
> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Pop article on taxonomy's decline
>
> I don't think that the right enemy has been identified here ... I don't
> blame
> bioinformatics for the decline of taxonomy (if anything, it is a covert
> way of
> diverting some funding back to taxonomy, funding that would otherwise be
> swallowed up by the real enemies: cladistics and molecular biology)
>
> the real "children" are frantic to "climb trees" and play computer games
> ...
>
> Stephen
>
>
>
>
>
> ________________________________
> From: Bob Mesibov <mesibov at southcom.com.au>
> To: TAXACOM <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
> Sent: Thu, 27 January, 2011 9:35:38 AM
> Subject: [Taxacom] Pop article on taxonomy's decline
>
> http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/01/extinction-of-taxonomists/
>
> Quote:
> "The millions of dollars spent globally on technology to catalog species
> may
> actually be pushing out the people we rely upon: taxonomists and
> systematists.
> We're like young children frantic to add new baseball cards to our
> collections,
> while the actual creators of the baseball cards themselves are vanishing."
>
> Nice to see that message getting out to a wider audience.
> --
> 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
> Ph: (03) 64371195; 61 3 64371195
> Webpage: http://www.qvmag.tas.gov.au/?articleID=570
>
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-- 
Michael A. Ivie, Ph.D., F.R.E.S.
Montana Entomology Collection
Marsh Labs, Room 50
1901 S. 19th Ave
Montana State University
Bozeman, MT 59717-3020
USA

(406) 994-4610 (voice)
(406) 994-6029 (FAX)
mivie at montana.edu



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