The Encyclopedia of Life
January 30, 2010 3:22 PM   Subscribe

The Encyclopedia of Life [previously] is E.O. Wilson's dream become reality. It has been online since February of 2008, aiming to catalog the currently known 1.9 million species on our planet. You can also add text, images, video, comments, and tags. [ FAQVideo IntroductionTutorials ]
posted by not_on_display (10 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
Hmmm . . . doesn't have episode guides for Aoki Densetsu Shoot . . . . FAIL.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 3:56 PM on January 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


Is there a cladistic tree somewhere on this website? Hopefully interactive?
posted by Flunkie at 4:15 PM on January 30, 2010


They could have done this in Wikipedia with very little trouble. If nothing else, they'd have gotten better URLs out of it.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 6:12 PM on January 30, 2010


They might have been able to make it some sort of Wikimedia project with cross-references to Wikipedia, but I don't think it work well in Wikipedia by itself. What makes this potentially interesting would be the attachment of detailed databases like genetic sequences, anatomy, and physiology. That sort of detail would be trimmed from a Wikipedia page, but fully belongs here.

That said, their citation style varies between nonexistent and amateurish, and if they're aiming for "more scientific and detailed than Wikipedia" they'd do well to reference EVERYTHING, and to reference it to peer-reviewed papers, not people as sources.
posted by Humanzee at 6:37 PM on January 30, 2010


Actually, wikispecies is somewhat similar.
posted by dhruva at 6:37 PM on January 30, 2010


This is an extremely cool set of links; very beautiful way to eat up some biological information.
There are going to be many gems of natural connections to be taken from there!

There are several variations on the theme of this web-project... each with their own strengths and weaknesses.

This one has my favorite interface...Explore the evolutionary links between living things with Sir David Attenborough and the Wellcome Trust's Tree of Life. (I recommend downloading the java app, rather than just exploring online, it lets you dive into the tree of life in 3d interactive and informative format, also it includes an introduction by a favorite naturalist-informer-educator.


The actionbioscience organization contains a whole mess of info for being able to share the beauty of biology, and to be able to answer the "pressing" questions of people who may doubt, or rather, misunderstand the grand nature of Evolution (in a non judgmental package, which helps in sharing information with those who have been told by mass culture that they are supposed to be on the opposite side of everything from "evolutionists"/// It hurts to see such divisions splitting us up... especially when it is not needed to "eradicate" religion from peoples lives for people to become Scientists... I may "believe" in Evolution... yet it pains me intensely to see condescension used in talking of "creationists"... let us EDUCATE and share the knowledge science has wrought, not further inflame variations in understanding between our various, and yet intensely similar languages of thought, some people are dead set in not ever changing their understanding of texts... many many others will see, and incorporate, the great value of scientific thought.)


UBerkeley has shared
a pretty cool similar resource also, this gives the freedom to explore branches of life...


The international tree of life
is a lot more complex to navigate, and really isn't nearly as consumable... but seems like it has lots of potential.


Why can't we start teaching evolution from a much younger age... seriously, I cannot believe that there isn't a stronger voice of logic and reason, speaking of the need to teach the literal inter-connectivity between all species on this earth at the earliest age possible (between 3 and 5) - this is when we love* dinosaurs (*traumatic anecdote... I was actually disciplined for talking about dinosaurs and evolution in both grades two and three; after that I said bump that, and just kept my obsession with science to myself, and (too?) often after that ignored the teachers in my own little world... where I sucked at "doing" school). We are ready to accept what science informs us of when we are young, before we develop the negative habits of intellectual bias. (no wonder we all care so little about the way our house of cards and civilization is collapsing slowly around us... we get taught that everything is a mystery, and only big CAPITAL S- "SCIENTISTS" can really know all about it... that is such a line of hooey... we must start training our next generations to think wider, to realize how truly small this planet is within the universe.. how precarious the perch of life really is within the universe (we only know of one tiny planet among possibly trillions which contains life forms, and especially highly evolved forms... and yet the vastness and complexity of the interconnections of life truly are seem to not be important to getting across early, and often... Canada, for example, dealt with evolution exactly ONCE... in the final grade of High school... this is pathetic. Stop holding back information vital to forming a rounded and multidimensional paradigm from our societies 'kids'.... no matter how great our societies adults are... they do not give credit to how smart and adaptable the minds of our societies young people are...

Instead we get naptime, and learning how to be socialized... meh&grarrr, to our "modern" "western" education system; it all seems like such a waste... so many people who could, would, and should be FULLY capable of "doing" science are told that is it just too complex and confusing, sure, making life all about the "mysterious" was great for making the kind of society that was useful to the industrial age... but it is a complete and utter disgrace in the scientific age to not get to be taught in a mature manner, from a young age, about the Beauty, Excitement, Interconnections, and Surreal Realities of our natural biological world, and the ways in which it has come about... but we sure are good at doing wars.
er. well, besides the logistics of putting body armour on people before we let our brothers and sisters get shot at, with guns, and also we have trouble not electrocuting our soldiers in showers and such... but, at least we are really really good at the public relations side of war...
Ok, sorry, sidetrack over, this track takes me back to saying Thank You for sharing the links.
posted by infinite intimation at 8:49 PM on January 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


I had high hopes, but sadly, this systematist's field of dreams is an epic fail.
posted by aeshnid at 8:49 PM on January 30, 2010


I was thinking that wikipedia might have been suitable for this, but this is obviously far more detailed and technical than would survive on wikipedia.

I wish there were more specialist scientific wiki's out there. A lot of wikipedia articles are too technical for the lay person and not accurate or specific enough for scientific use. I wish there were a place where scientists could geek out on all the insanely complicated math involved in say, the standard model of particle physics, while still having a simple page on wikipedia that the average high school student could understand.
posted by empath at 10:44 PM on January 30, 2010


Well, close enough....
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 11:08 PM on January 30, 2010


"sounds coming soon!"

Oh good! An excuse to wander through the pines of the Cascades with the recorder running. (Not that there aren't enough unusual birdcalls in the city.)

Hopefully EOL is smart enough to keep the audio *PD* ... because most commercial sources for animal sounds suck. Audio flickr! Audio flickr! Audio flickr! Audio flickr!
posted by Twang at 5:48 PM on January 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


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