The meaning of the term “feature” as applied to Adansonian taxonomy is reviewed and the difficulties of adequate definition pointed out. Features which are negative in each of two organisms compared require differentiation between negative results that represent absurdities and negative results that are rational. The meaning of absurdity and nonabsurdity in bacteriology is a function of the bacteriologist’s knowledge and experience. It is from the sensible, significant and practical features that random selection of features that may be thought necessary will be made.

For the benefit of workers without adequate access to an electronic computer, a relatively simpler approach to the problem of scoring similarities is outlined.


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