[Taxacom] global species lists and taxonomy ( was Re: Draft Checklist ...)

Fred Schueler bckcdb at istar.ca
Thu Aug 29 05:31:15 CDT 2013


On 8/28/2013 2:27 PM, Doug Yanega wrote:

> In either scenario, there would inevitably be some taxonomists who would
> absolutely refuse to cooperate, because the status quo *suits their
> purposes*. The ultimate question, then, is whether - in order to achieve
> a single unified classification of life - people would have the resolve
> to develop and implement such a system over the objections of all those
> who oppose it. If not, then any vision of a unified classification is
> dead in the water, and discussion is moot. If the best we can do is to
> simply list all the disputes, and tell non-taxonomists that it's up to
> them to choose which classification they want to follow, then we have no
> one but ourselves to blame for all the resulting antagonism, disdain,
> and lack of support for taxonomy.

* the problem here is that the naming of organisms is an anarchist 
enterprise, and under the Codes each person uses the name they believe 
is correct for each organism. Groups such as the American Ornithologists 
Union publish "official" lists of names, but "users" without an interest 
in the correctness of the names, and only wanting to put a label on 
something they're dealing with, just don't exist under the codes.

 From a scholarly or anarchist point of view this is the glory of the 
way we work at naming the ramifications of the bush of life, but it's 
hard to program if you don't acknowledge that's what you're trying to 
program, and are just trying to come up with an on-line AOU Checklist.

Maybe we want to take a lesson from the physicists' ideas of infinite 
parallel universes, and program systems where all published 
classifications are represented, but with some sort of combined voting 
or weighting by the recency of publication, and wiki-style comments and 
discussion, to show users which classifications are more currently 
approved and used.

...and as far as unemployability goes - at least in Canada I've been 
unable to find institutional support for freelance systematic work, 
despite looking for either this or a position somewhere, since the end 
of my postdoc in 1981.

fred.
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          Frederick W. Schueler & Aleta Karstad
Bishops Mills Natural History Centre - http://pinicola.ca/bmnhc.htm
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Daily Paintings - http://karstaddailypaintings.blogspot.com/
          RR#2 Bishops Mills, Ontario, Canada K0G 1T0
   on the Smiths Falls Limestone Plain 44* 52'N 75* 42'W
    (613)258-3107 <bckcdb at istar.ca> http://pinicola.ca/
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