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Taxonomy is dead!?!

  • To: Multiple recipients of list AROID-L <aroid-l@mobot.org>
  • Subject: Taxonomy is dead!?!
  • From: "Eduardo Goncalves" <edggon@hotmail.com>
  • Date: Thu, 12 Apr 2001 21:17:51 -0500 (CDT)

Hi Al,

    Very interesting comment, indeed. The PhyloCode have some interesting 
advantages, and many problems too. Anyway, it makes no difference which 
approach you are using: probably both are wrong. Taxonomy reflects the 
biodiversity just like Euclidean Geometry reflects the real world. Have you 
ever seen perfect cubes, pyramids or prisms occurring naturally in our 
world? No? Neither me. We are all pretenders... I think I need another job! 


                               Eduardo - Old-fashioned plant taxonomist
                                       (Endangered species)

P.S. Maybe someday we will create some kind of "Fractal Taxonomy"... Anyway, 
it will take much time!

>Taxonomy was the subject of an interesting article in Science Vol 291 No 
>p2304 entitled "Linnaeus's Last Stand".  It reports a then-impending
>(30-31 March) Sympsoium in D. C. on a new system for classification which
>the call 'PhyloCode'.  Under this proposal, "which seeks to reflect
>phylogenetic relationships, genus names could be lost, species names
>shortened, hyphenated with former genus descriptor, or given a numeric
>designation.  The critics are not happy."  The article is extensive and
>interesting (though I can imagine this proposal's acceptance in aroid-l
>would be scant).  The article concludes with the note that over the
>next several years, we will probably find researchers naming organisms with
>both approaches.  Some argue for a complete break with traditional names to
>avoid confusion.

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