[Taxacom] I'm furious over article: On typeless species and the perils of fast taxonomy

JF Mate aphodiinaemate at gmail.com
Tue May 10 23:55:30 CDT 2016


Not a ban, more like an overt show of displeasure. All the scenarios
that you mention are true but they are just reductio ad absurdum:
"...in practice a determined faker would have many options regardless.
They could deliberately damage or even destroy the holotype, and the
availability of the new name would be unaffected, with only the
description and illustrations left to use for ID. " So your solution
is less data? That is essentially what you are saying really. This is
not like going from hand-drawings to high red colour pictures, this is
going from a multivariate, potentially ever-expanding data matrix and
collapsing it down to a bunch of pixels. I don´t care how good the
pixels are, or who took them, or why they took them, the end result is
data poor. We have a minimal description and that is it.

If it weren´t because it comes on the coat-tails of Minteer et al this
whole argument would probably be academic, even trivial. But the truth
is that taxonomy isn´t flavour of the month; on the one hand various
groups advocating no-take policies and on the other those spousing
more "efficient" approaches (DNA barcoding). In the end it is all the
same, reducing multiple sources of information to one
true/infallible/convenient/acceptable one. But nature is not definable
by one axis and if collecting and descriptions based on physical
evidence fall prey to ignorant bureaucracy or well-intentioned but
foolish faux conservation, then we might as well give up and do
something else because the vast majority of the world´s biota will be
an indistinguishable morass.

Best

Jason



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