[Taxacom] The more you know the more you lump|split.
releech at telus.net
Thu Jul 18 18:03:46 CDT 2013
Hi Jim B,
There are weaknesses in those two positions.
Sometimes the more you know, the more you think you know, so the more you
tend to lump things.
(everything is the same with just variations, so they are all represent just
And the corollary is:
Sometimes the less you know, the more you study the problem, so the more you
tend to split things.
(everything is different, and with more study, the differences come to
represent species level)
From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
[mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Beach, James H.
Sent: July-18-13 4:06 PM
To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: [Taxacom] The more you know the more you lump|split.
Jason Mate's comment:
> On the other hand, the pursuit of "meaningful" higher taxa has lead to
provincialism and oversplitting.
> By this I mean that the longer and harder you look at something the
> more you see of it but the less around it and this leads taxonomists along
the path of believing that their group is so unique that it deserves a
classification to match.
reminded me of a rule of thumb that was a favorite of my plant systematics
"The more you know the more you lump."
The other camp (to make this a good binary discussion) is of course:
"The more you know the more you split"
I have an interest in psycho/social/professional influences of how people,
starting with young kids, classify the world into self/not-self and later
same/not-same as they learn more about it.
It would be interesting (and fun!) to know from the Taxacom faithful what
arguments/research experiences would support either of these two views and
which view they would most identify with.
James H. Beach
University of Kansas
1345 Jayhawk Boulevard
Lawrence, KS 66044 USA
Taxacom Mailing List
Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
The Taxacom Archive back to 1992 may be searched with either of these
(1) by visiting http://taxacom.markmail.org
(2) a Google search specified as: site:mailman.nhm.ku.edu/pipermail/taxacom
your search terms here
Celebrating 26 years of Taxacom in 2013.
More information about the Taxacom