Modern systematics, a further botanical note
Flora Malesiana Bulletin , Volume 4 - Issue 1 p. 94- 95
As noted in Dr L.G.M. Baas Becking’s Postscript to Mr van Bemmel’s article in Chronica Naturae Vol. 104, part 4, the new systematics has not been entirely neglected by botanists. I would like to put a further botanical vieuwpoint on this subject. Firstly, I suggest that there is no sharp distinction between the old systematics and the new; secondly, I would emphasize that systematics of the primary descriptive type are an essential basis for the new systematics, and that we are still a long way from completeness in our primary systematic study of Malaysian plants. Systematics of the primary descriptive type need not be out of touch with modern scientific thought. The field botanist in the tropics cannot regard the subject of his study as dead material. But his first job is to classify his material so that others may have an intelligible guide to it. And he cannot classify it without some recognized code of procedure and of nomenclature. It is true that in the past the choice of the correct name for a taxonomic group has too often occupied ”the central position of systematic work”. But to a botanist with a modern scientific outlook, the search for the correct name is merely the last step in a study, a step necessary in order to correlate his work with what has gone before.
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Holttum, R.E. (1948). Modern systematics, a further botanical note. Flora Malesiana Bulletin, 4(1), 94–95.