The challenges of Taxonomy. Is Taxonomy necessary?

Taxonomy is the science of naming and classifying living organisms.  Systematics are the use of data to determine the relationships between different species.  Systematics guide the process of taxonomy, which classify all the living organisms. This is a complex process due to the fact that there are so many living organisms in the world’s overall biomass.

In early taxonomy, there were two kingdoms in which organisms were classified: plants, and animals.  However, there were organisms that possessed characteristics of both plants and animals.  This kingdom of two, was later expanded to include protists, (organisms that possessed the characteristics of animals and plants).  However, this did not include a category for every living organism.  Thus 5 animal kingdoms were developed: plants, animals, fungi, protists, and monera.

Monera, which the single celled prokaryotic classification,posed an issue.  Prokaryotic cells are more similar to eukaryotic cells, than to other prokaryotic cells.  For this and other reasons, monera has become obsolete.

These kingdoms are divided into three domains: bacteria, archaic, and Eukaryota.  (Monera possesses characteristics of more than one domain; another reason why it is obsolete.)

This system has flaws and errors, but at this point, it is the only method scientists have been able to use, somewhat effectively.  A biologist’s classification should not necessarily be taken as an absolute inviolable truth, because there are still many errors in the system.  A biologist’s classification should be considered and also analyzed, with an open-critical mind.

For now, this system is both necessary and important.  Systematics and taxonomy have flaws, but they are an essential means of organization.  This system makes the work of a biologist easier, when researching, or discovering a new species.  Perhaps a better method, with more accuracy will eventually be developed, but for now, biologist’s rely on systematics and taxonomy.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s