RE: new species

Michael.Chamberland (23274MJC@MSU.EDU)
Tue, 23 Aug 94 19:40 EDT

> Ross,
> >B. L. Turner is a rather (in)famous systematist. While he is
> >a very dynamic personality, I am not sure I trust his thorough
> >investigation into the existing nomenclature before he jumps
> >to name new species.
> These are rather drastic words for the things I feared already. He does not
> cite a single literature reference (but he does not forget to thank a bunch
> of friends who helped him his way) in his paper.
> Together with really new species it is these little quarrels which render
> taxonomy so fascinating. One can learn much about plants but one quite
> inevitably does learn more about taxonomists! 8-)
> Kind regards
> Jan

I think it only serves to promote an image of cutthroat botanists engaged
in an eternal battle for one-upmanship. Of course opinions will differ.
There will be lumpers and there will be splitters. Some researchers will
place greater or lesser significance on certain characters or techniques.
Do these differences in opinion serve to shed more light on variability,
or the validity of alternate classifications? Or do they show that the
other guy is just an oaf who's finally loosing it after breathing too
much paradichlorobenzene from the herbarium case linings? :-)

The labels of "good science"/"bad science" are bandied around so much, I
wonder... who is the enemy here? I've come to hate it the way the botanists
I've worked with will glibly refer to so-and-so as a "bad researcher". Seems
the only "good researchers" are the ones they're buddies with personally!

And so we have "non-botanists" like Taylor and Lowrie and Katterman
producing the interesting stuff, while "real botanists" can't fund this
kind of research because it's not expensive/trendy enough!

But yes, the real new species ARE interesting! (like GeoHINTONIA!) :-)