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The mission of the International Association of Bryologists (IAB), as a society, is to strengthen bryology by encouraging interactions among all persons interested in byophytes.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

RE: BRYONET: local endemics

BRYONET

Well. How to explain this? Perhaps mistrust that there are species and
genera "out there" though recognized by botanists since Aristotle is due
to an over-focus on pure method leading to emptying from classifications
of biological content.

1. Over-focus on "automatic classification" of pheneticists, where
weighting is discouraged because a "phyletic" element is discorage.
2. Over-focus on narrow types of data (phylogenetic data sets) to
exclusion of chromosome numbers, geography, population genetics, etc.).
3. Over-focus on sister-group relationships to exclusion of
macroevolution, leading to trees that are just nested parentheses with
no named ancestors.
4. Emphasis on importance of extremes of the usual spectrum of degree of
group distinction; some species stink, others are different at genus
level, most are distinguishable by traits given in floras.
5. Ignoring value to other sciences of basic units of taxonomy; they are
of pragmatic value.

Ultimately, phylogenetic leads to anomie. Empty precision leads to
aleatory classifications.

*****************************
Richard H. Zander
Voice: 314-577-0276
Missouri Botanical Garden
PO Box 299
St. Louis, MO 63166-0299 USA
richard.zander@mobot.org
Web sites: http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/resbot/
and http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/bfna/bfnamenu.htm
Non-post deliveries to:
Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63110
*****************************
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