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At Nature: Much insect research could be “impossible to replicate”

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From Brian Owens at Nature:

More than 98% of entomology papers contain so little species information on the insects being studied that they are essentially impossible to replicate, according to a survey of more than 550 articles published in 2016.

aurence Packer, an entomologist at York University in Toronto, Canada, and his colleagues examined every paper published in 2016 in nine major entomology journals published by the United Kingdom’s Royal Entomological Society, the Entomological Society of America and the Entomological Society of Canada. Less than 2% of the papers included three key pieces of information: a description of how an insect was identified; evidence that biological samples had been documented and placed in a repository; and a reference to a recent definition of that species. Two-thirds of the papers did not contain any of these things. The work was published last month in Insect Conservation and Diversity. More.

Various fixes are suggested to pin things down. But the underlying problem may be that the concept of speciation is a mess anyhow, which would render any information given questionable. As we say here, nothing says “Darwin snob” like indifference to the mess that the entire concept of speciation is in.

Darwin snob? Darwinism was supposed to explain the origin of species. Literally, On the Origin of Species. That was the title of the book that started off Darwinian evolution.

And what better demonstration of social power can there be than the fact that the idea is admittedly ignored in science papers today but that makes no difference. Ignorant armies of science writers will rush to defend Darwinism to the public whether or not speciation works as a concept. Reform or reevaluation might even be a bad idea because then many people would discover for the first time what a bollix it all is.

See also: Elephant family tree needs a rethink?

Speciation ain’t what it used to be. Neither is certainty about evolution.

New butterfly has 46 chromosomes, like a human, not the expected 68, like a close relative


DNA: Giraffes are four separate species?


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