Why accurate species identifications are important.

A few people still raise arguments against DNA barcoding — often these are embarrassingly silly. But no one disagrees that the ability to accurately identify species is very important. Case in point…


5 comments to Why accurate species identifications are important.

  • As a genomicist, I am clearly on your side as opposed to that the traditional morphological taxonomist. But many of the arguments in that paper aren’t really “silly”, if you can look past their ad-hominem accusation of “anti-intellectualism”. Just as genomics threatened traditional microbial geneticists content to spend their careers studying a single operon in E.coli,  barcoding threatens traditional taxonomists content to spend their careers reclassifying a single group of spiders. It’s the traditional conflict between “small science”, conducted by individual labs and at little cost and “big science” conducted by consortia at large cost.
     

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    • I’m not opposed at all to morphological taxonomists — in fact, a very nice one is working across the road here reclassifying spiders (and I’ve collaborated with him and collected with him in the field). Ditto for other taxonomic groups. Even the non ad-hominem arguments are silly because it is based on a total lack of a clue about what is actually being done…

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    • Incidentally, the joke is that this could/should have been IDed morphologically! :-)

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  • Buckaroo Banzai

    That’s the second of these “cat found” posters I’ve seen. The first one had a possum isntead of an opossum, but the text was almost the same, if I recall.

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