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Re: worrying decline

Chris Brochu wrote:

"The trend I'm seeing is toward morphological cladistic analyses that
rely on museum collections rather than the (untrustworthy) literature"

  I agree with that, in principle. But something keeps worrying me. 
  If it is accepted a priori that no morphological information can be
gathered from primary descriptions in the literature, what is the point
of producing such works at all? 
  It is well known that primary descriptions are long lasting pieces of
work (some more reliable than others, but well), while phylogenetic
analysis are (and should be) temporary.
  Therefore, under this point of view - with primary descriptions viewed
as not precise useless stuff, and phylogenetic analysis so trendy
nowadays - I am afraid that we will soon stop seen the primary data
printed (what is already sometimes the case), having instead only
hypothesis that are to be modified next week.


Max Cardoso Langer
Department of Earth-Sciences, University of Bristol
Wills Memorial Building, Queens Road
BS8 1RJ    Bristol     UK
Phone: 44 117 954 5402
FAX: 44 117 925 3385
E-mail: Max.Langer@bristol.ac.uk
Web page: http://palaeo.gly.bris.ac.uk/personnel/langer/langer.html

"There is a crack, a crack, in everything.
 That's how the ligth gets in. That's how the ligth gets in."
                                                   L. Cohen