Best sentence I’ve read today

by Henry on September 27, 2009

bq. Taxonomy was once a sedate occupation; now it’s like staging triage in a big city hospital.

“Context”:http://unlikelyworlds.blogspot.com/2009/09/random-linkage-260909.html. Also check out the Cocoon concept cooker.

{ 3 comments }

1

Matt 09.27.09 at 3:26 pm

I’m glad I followed the link as, in my early morning reading, I kept reading “taxonomy” as “taxidermy”, and while the context made that sound unlikely, it also sounded amusing.

2

Billikin 09.27.09 at 5:55 pm

“Taxonomy is the death of science.”

— Alfred North Whitehead

:)

3

Bill Benzon 09.27.09 at 8:26 pm

Well, independently of the rapid extinction of as yet unknown (to science) species, taxonomy isn’t so dry as it once was. For one thing, the rise of methods for comparing the DNA and RNA of different populations has created a need to reconcile the results of traditional morphological techniques with the results of molecular methods. And that, so I’m told, is leading to the restructuring of significan portions of the Tree of Life. Nor is the Tree of Life a tree any more. There’s so much horizontal transfer of genetic material in certain regions of the biome, especially among one-celled organisms, that the tree is an inadequate model for phylogenetic relationships. The upshot is that taxonomy now presents profound and intersting challenges.

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