[Annelida] Traditional taxonomy discussion

Kirk Fitzhugh via annelida%40net.bio.net (by kfitzhug from nhm.org)
Sun Feb 7 16:19:57 EST 2010


"Personally I tend to agree with the outsiders that traditional descriptive taxonomy has a weak claim to be real science. Soon only molecular taxonomists will exist. This is not a bad thing as long as they can also handle and include organism phenotype descriptions."

How is 'traditional descriptive taxonomy' any less scientific than 'only molecular taxonomists' [sic!]? I'd be fascinated to know of the definitive text book on doing science that substantiates your claim that presenting hypotheses isn't a fundamental part of doing science. None of us should condone a world of 'only molecular taxonomists.' To do so would be a bastardization of the very principles of science.

Kirk

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
J. Kirk Fitzhugh, Ph.D.
Curator of Polychaetes
Invertebrate Zoology Section
Research & Collections Branch
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
900 Exposition Blvd Los Angeles CA 90007

Phone: 213-763-3233
FAX:    213-746-2999
e-mail: kfitzhug from nhm.org
http://www.nhm.org/site/research-collections/polychaetous-annelids
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-----Original Message-----
From: annelida-bounces from oat.bio.indiana.edu on behalf of Geoff Read
Sent: Sun 2/7/2010 12:49 PM
To: Annelida from magpie.bio.indiana.edu
Subject: [Annelida] Traditional taxonomy discussion
 
Hello,

This commentary is being discussed. Personally I tend to agree with the outsiders that traditional descriptive taxonomy has a weak claim to be real science. Soon only molecular taxonomists will exist. This is not a bad thing as long as they can also handle and include organism phenotype descriptions. Many can't at the moment. I worry more about the problems with the Zoological Code, and lack of consensus on the way forward, and the energy wasted on futility of  archaisms such as gender agreement, minutiae of revisionism in publication dates, obscure priorities, and especially keeping to print-only validity of names, and not registering all new names, than the issues raised here. Politics is everywhere.

Boero F 2010. The Study of Species in the Era of Biodiversity: A Tale of Stupidity. Diversity 2: 115-126.

[Open access]
http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/d2010115 
http://www.mdpi.com/1424-2818/2/1/115

Geoff




-- 

 Geoff Read <g.read from niwa.co.nz>
   http://www.annelida.net/
  http://www.niwa.co.nz/about-niwa
 ***************************


NIWA is the trading name of the National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research Ltd.

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