[Annelida] Traditional taxonomy discussion

Geoff Read via annelida%40net.bio.net (by g.read from niwa.co.nz)
Sun Feb 7 17:01:08 EST 2010


Hi Kirk,

Thanks for the short fussilade. Forgive me if in my feeble attempt to introduce this article for discussion, be that subsequently fervent or otherwise, I have appeared to intrude into the world of science philosophy, where you are much more comfortable than I am. But you have presumed too much in the proximity of two sentences. I don't have an opinion on how scientific future or current molecular taxomomists might be.

Best,

Geoff

>>> On 8/02/2010 at 10:19 a.m., "Kirk Fitzhugh" <kfitzhug from nhm.org> wrote:
> "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 
> ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
> 
> 
> 
> -----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
> 
> 

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