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Re: Overhauling the tree of life



In a message dated 9/30/00 3:00:48 AM Eastern Daylight Time, 
kinman@hotmail.com writes:

> and my conclusion was (and continues to 
>  be) that a cladisto-eclectic approach is what is most needed both in the 
>  short run, and most definitely for the long term.  

I am not an anti-cladist  but I have to agree with Ken on this. I have said 
this before that cladisitics is merely _another_tool with which to discern 
the tree of life.  I view it as a necessary part of  lower level taxonomy , 
i.e. below Family level. Linnaean or other taxonomic methods should never 
entirely be abandoned. 
To become so dogmatic with any ONE method, tool or belief system etc., to the 
exclusion of all others such that other methods become "false" or useless, or 
worse IMNSHO where the attack becomes personal , pays a disservice to science 
and the scientific method. 

Examples:
1) The K-T impact/extinction theory
2) Origin of Birds
3) Cladistics vs. other methods

There are probably more. The archives of this list and other lists are rife 
with flame wars over these topics which all degenreate to personal attack.  

We _all_ should endeavor to be more ecclectic  when using the tools of our 
profession and with wach other. 

My 2c worth.   

Tom

Thomas R. Lipka
Paleontological/Geological Studies
Tompaleo@aol.com