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  Bar Codes for God
From: "Ron Iles" roniles at eircom.net> on 2003.02.10 at 21:58:41(9964)
I am in awe of the beautiful work posted on the IAS Web Site by Wilbert &
his Friends, thank you

For prime reasons within three months another "Ark" must have accepted the
responsibility for this unique World Peace Lily Collection & I will no
longer be involved in botanical work. So, forgive me if this note to line is
not as literate as I would expect but time now is so extremely limited but
it is intended to be positively helpful as always. In it I wonder about
names, labels, evolution, & what things really are & what they seem.

In these DNA focussing times what definitive & phyllogenetic value does
empirical taxonomy have when it is based predominantly on morphology, i.e.
mostly what a thing just looks like even dead, squashed & dried?

Is not DNA fingerprinting a more reliable basis for defining true or false
relationships between different or
similar > looking kinds? Does not morphological empiricism serve
vocational & recreational debate more than
the indisputable Nature & evolutionary standing of the plants themselves?

Are not the functional morphologies of living organisms evolutionary
adaptations to optimum & tolerated environments, habitats, niches,
conditions etc? How common is parallel evolution, adaptive radiation,
evolutionary convergence & divergence between genera, species etc in the
Araceae anyway? Clearly the true Nature of aroids depend on these things &
their morphologies are but the resulting appearances?

If aroids were "numbered", bar-coded according to their DNA structures
complexities, would their phyllogeniesy,kinship & evolutionary origins &
patterns just fall out naturally with minimum massage by taxonomy. What then
need for definitive "names" of "species", genera, sections? Would the
Linnaean binomial system become as
irrelevant as it is now seems inadequate? Would a bar coded DNA basis for
identification, "naming", make "compartmentalisation" un-necessary. Could
there be continua, recognition of kinds intermediate between the then
redundant "box barriers" of species, sections, subsections, genera? Is the
aged first name & surname Linnaeus classification primed for extinction?
Presented with unequivocal data on genetic origins & affinities, would we
need empirical taxonomic

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