Thursday, August 12, 2010

This will be the biggest encyclopedia

kw: blogging, biology

To the right of the posting area you will find a list of links to blogs I like. I have just added a new one, the blog of the Encyclopedia of Life. Go there and bookmark this one!

The founder, E.O. Wilson, to my mind the greatest naturalist ever, dreamed of having an encyclopedia of every known species, containing everything known about each one. The World Wide Web provides the perfect vehicle for this project, for it could never be accomplished by paper publishing.

There are at present about 1.8 million known species of living things. A single-page blurb about each one would take about 3,600 books the size of a Harry Potter novel. And we know much more than a single page's worth about hundreds of thousands of species. I thought of having a few sample photographs in this post, but the very idea is appalling in its effrontery. Just go there and see!

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