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Re: Unified cladistics, et al.
In a message dated 11/18/99 3:21:54 PM Pacific Standard Time,
> I propose this database keep a record of all known specimens down to catscan
> details in one place and then send the text-based clipnotes of this data to
> a website so that it is available to researchers. I am beginning to
> understand that this would not do the wrok for us, more that it would help
> us having to do the same bits of work many times over independently when we
> needn't have to.
But the problem is that we often *do* have to. The study of phylogeny is
rife with examples of characters that are not easily describable in verbal
form, that various researchers have various interpretations of, or that have
been ambiguously, confusingly, or misleadingly described in the literature.
So while I think a graphic database (down the road, when we all have
supercomputers on our desktops) would be invaluable for this sort of
investigation, I don't know that a text-based database would do it.