Ron Gatrelle gatrelle at
Mon Oct 16 16:26:41 EDT 2000

>From Ron
    The first time someone called me a splitter I was taken aback. To this
day I resent that label. There has been a real taxonomic dumbing down going
on in the last 20 years. I do not believe there is such a thing as a
harmless lie or an unimportant truth. Thus, like Mark, I know that forms,
anomalies, varieties, subspecies, species, genera etc. are all presenting a
truth to the scientist who has an ear to hear. The translation into
technical human terms may be difficult at times, but the message(s) are not
to be ignored. Which is what lumpers are basically doing.
    In my experience, Lumpers like to be called such -- they are lumpers and
proud of it. (I think this actually may just reflect an overall proud
[insecure] personality.) For the record, I am a professional research
scientist, not a splitter or a lumper. I have been paid Ph.D rates ($500 a
day) on several occasions to research leps and have scientific articles
published in prestigious lepidopterian
publications. I do believe in divergent (splitting) and convergent (lumping)
    This dumbing down is best evidenced in the fact that scientific names
have been basically dumped in favor of common (taxonomically useless) names.
I could say a whole lot more about who is behind this and WHY. But I will

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