Don Baccus dhogaza at pacifier.com
Fri Mar 5 21:17:53 PST 1999

At 08:23 PM 3/5/99 -0600, Eugene Kridler wrote:
>Among the macadamia nuts there are splitters and lumpers. First one is
>on top and you get used to it, along comes a guy trying to make a name
>for himself and screws it up again. Back and forth: forth and back.
>Lumping the Baltimore Oriole with the Bullocks Oriole and calling them
>the Northern Oriole then splitting them up again as a case in point.
>Then squabble, squabble, squabble. And so it goes, ad nauseum. E.

All of science works this way.  Without this squabbling,
no increase of knowledge is gained.  Taxonomy is like
linguistics, a snapshot of consensus.  If taxonomy were
to freeze, evolutionary biology would cease to exist as
a discipline.  Or vice-versa, they drive each other :)

Evolution is the paradigm, taxonomy our attempt to 
present a snapshot of that paradigm that will last 
'til next year.  End the arguments, and you end
anything other than descriptive biology.

- Don Baccus, Portland OR <dhogaza at pacifier.com>
  Nature photos, on-line guides, and other goodies at

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