[Taxacom] Multiple views, singular views, and hopelessness

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Sat Aug 31 19:56:37 CDT 2013

I think that the "hypothesis" aspect is often overstated by taxonomists in defence of taxonomy. The reality is that taxonomy is mostly descriptive and opinion, but that's not a bad thing ...

From: Fred Schueler <bckcdb at istar.ca>
To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu 
Sent: Sunday, 1 September 2013 12:50 PM
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Multiple views, singular views, and hopelessness

On 8/31/2013 6:35 PM, Bob Mesibov wrote:

>  But taxonomists *are* experts in the eyes of non-taxonomists, and although you might think that taxonomy doesn't rank very highly as a science (no mega-funding, regarded as stamp-collecting by some 'hard science' practitioners), none of my taxonomic-story-telling listeners ever seemed to doubt that what I did was real science.

* the historical sciences, especially taxonomy, are the hard sciences, 
because you can't do experiments, and must test all hypotheses 
indirectly, which is intrinsically difficult. The term is widely misused 
for the indoor or 'easy' sciences, where experiments and direct 
observation make it relatively simple to test hypotheses.

          Frederick W. Schueler & Aleta Karstad
Bishops Mills Natural History Centre - http://pinicola.ca/bmnhc.htm
Mudpuppy Night in Oxford Mills - http://pinicola.ca/mudpup1.htm
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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