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>
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