[Taxacom] Taxonomy Anarchy

Richard Pyle deepreef at bishopmuseum.org
Thu Jun 1 17:37:56 CDT 2017


I began drafting a rebuttal Correspondence note to Nature before I was even finished reading the article.  I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who had a similar reaction. 

Aloha,
Rich

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Taxacom [mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf
> Of Scott Thomson
> Sent: Thursday, June 1, 2017 5:47 AM
> To: JF Mate
> Cc: Taxacom
> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Taxonomy Anarchy
> 
> Several of us who were co-authors on my paper in BZN on Case 3601 have
> briefly discussed this. We have issues with the concept of Conservation
> attempting to control taxonomy as this leads to circularity. Taxonomy is a
> science and must have the freedom to perform its function without the
> constraints of other sciences or fields. A point the code also acknowledges.
> Their aim is to constrain taxonomy to a single species concept. This would
> vastly debilitate the development of potential breakthroughs in the future of
> taxonomy. Conservationists are end users of taxonomy and nomenclature, a
> point that taxonomists should recognise with some consideration, but
> taxonomy must have the academic freedom to explore and present its
> science without political influence.
> 
> So yes I reject the views of that paper. I also think that they are confused on
> what taxonomy is. When they say that taxonomists would welcome a
> constraint on how taxonomy is done, I get the impression they are referring
> to nomenclature there, not taxonomy.
> 
> Cheers, Scott
> 
> On Thu, Jun 1, 2017 at 12:29 PM, JF Mate <aphodiinaemate at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> 
> > When I read the title I assumed it would be about the cladification of
> > classifications or supraspecific oversplitting. Instead it is solving
> > a legal issue by adding lawyers to taxonomy and systematics. What
> > could go wrong.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > On 1 June 2017 at 16:56, Richard Zander <Richard.Zander at mobot.org>
> wrote:
> > > Another thing for taxonomists to worry about:
> > >
> > > https://www.nature.com/news/taxonomy-anarchy-hampers-
> > conservation-1.22064
> > >
> > > "Taxonomy anarchy" and its supposed solution. Journal Nature.
> > >
> > >
> > > -------
> > > Richard H. Zander
> > > Missouri Botanical Garden - 4344 Shaw Blvd. - St. Louis - Missouri -
> > 63110 - USA
> > > richard.zander at mobot.org<mailto:richard.zander at mobot.org>
> > > Web sites: http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/bfna/bfnamenu.htm and
> > http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/resbot/
> > >
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> 
> 
> --
> Scott Thomson
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