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Well, I agree chemotherapy has its uses, but I would resort to it only
if all else failed ("targeted" approaches are fast replacing it). In a
similar way biologists now look for targeted approaches to kill pests,
rather than the old "spray everything with pesticide" from a plane. And
root canals are apparently being found to be the source of many serious
infections in other parts of the body, and the "save the tooth at all costs"
approach apparently has serious drawbacks.
Benton is looking at the long-term repercussions and sees a lot of
problems with the PhyloCode approach (unnecessary invasive surgery?), that
is going affect taxonomy (for everyone) for a very, very long time.
Like it or not, most professional biologists prefer Linnean
classification, and its intuitiveness for the "populace" is just a side
benefit, not the primary reason we use it. Bats and rats were easily
classified by everyone (until pure cladism started to muddy the water). And
if high-schoolers had electric cars almost everyone would understand how
they operate----they could even teach auto mechanics in home economics
Unnecessary complexity and specialization (that has had obvious
deterimental effects in other areas of human endeavor) should be resisted,
and taxonomy may be plunging headlong into the wrong direction. I feel
sorry for the poor high-schoolers of the next couple of generations who will
really be confused and frustrated. Cladists have strong "beliefs" that
their approach is superior, and that all be well in a couple of generations
when all the rest of us are "educated". But many of us see gridlock and a
bunch of unforeseen side-effects, and our dirty, expensive, complex
transportation system should be taken as a lesson and cautionary tale. The
same goes for invasive medical procedures for which we are now substituting
Simpler is not only easier and less expensive, it is often "better"
once we evaluate all the side-effects of the more complex. Taxonomy needs
fewer formal names, not more.
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