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This slide shows you a pie diagram of the world's biodiversity. We've described approximately 1.7 million species of organisms. We think that there may be anywhere between 10 and 100 million left out there to discover. People use approximately 30 or 40 or 50,000 different species every year to sustain their lives. The number of species that are involved with human sustainability is immense. I always like to say that 80 percent of the world's people will never really set foot inside a pharmacy. Their pharmacy is in their backyard, in the forest in their backyard, in the fields in their backyard. Consequently, we can see that if we lose biodiversity it's going to have a major, major impact on humanity.

And systemitists are the people who provide the baseline data for the study of biodiversity through taxonomy, and then finally make analysis. Terry touched on this. What we want to try to do is understand how species and groups of species are related to one another. And the reason for that is very simple; once you have that knowledge about how species are related to one another you can then do comparison. In other words, you would expect that if I knew that, for instance, mammals had hair and had mammary glands, if they formed a natural group, I could make predictions about other characteristics of mammals.


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