The Zetetoscope, a New Instrument for Taxonomy

Richard H. Zander

Res Botanica

January 28, 2009

Return: http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/resbot/10Meth.htm

 

The Zetetoscope, a New Instrument for Taxonomy

 

From Taxacom listserver January 2009:

 

The Zetetoscope is a new invention that costs much more than any computer or DNA analyzer. It is presently under wraps for final laboratory testing!

 

Because it examines real differences, only zetetoscopic relationships are now important and you can forget the old Linnaean or cladistic or phenetic literature completely! A hand-held model for field use is being developed, but it, too, will be very expensive. For the nonce, only the elite can afford this equipment, but older taxonomists can "retool" themselves to prepare for eventual lowering of prices. Deans are quite enthusiastic about grant proposals that include the expensive Zetetoscope.

 

I have gotten offline requests for clarification of the Zetetoscope.

These are instructions for its use from a beta version of the manual:

 

Press the Red Button, then order specimens including types.

Press the Orange Button, then sort specimens and types into groups using whatever techniques seem appropriate.

Press the Yellow Button, then decide evolutionary relationships using whatever techniques seem appropriate.

Press the Green Button, then name smallest distinctive groups that seem evolutionarily coherent with the earliest name of an included type, then put other type names into synonymy, and arrange a hierarchy of groups using similarity and avoiding convergence with whatever techniques seem appropriate.

Press the Blue Button, then write it up as a scientific paper.

Press the Indigo Button, then send the paper to a publisher.

 

If accepted for publication, press the Violet Button. A bell will ring.

 

If rejected, press the Red Button.