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Re: Nomina Dubia Part II: Rapator
David Marjanovic <email@example.com> wrote:
> As Mike Keesey has pointed out, I regard this as a
> contradiction in terms.
When we split or lump genera, nothing is being tested. Nevertheless, we are
still doing science.
For example, if somebody finds that _Hesperosaurus_ and _Stegosaurus_ are
sister taxa, and consequently decides to lump them in the same genus, they must
first build a case using the available evidence for regarding _Hesperosaurus_
as a species of _Stegosaurus_. So although it's not testable (because
ultimately it is a subjective decision), I would still regard it as 'doing
> As soon as you can't answer the
> question "if I were wrong, how would I know?" any longer,
> you're not doing science.
That's a little harsh. Some scientific questions have no "right" or "wrong"
answer. Is _Brontosaurus_ the same as _Apatosaurus_? The evidence suggests
"yes"; but we're never going to KNOW for certain.