When Andrew and I were five and six years old, we used to sit on the old, dusty couch in our living room and try to memorize a 1,300 page, illustrated animal encyclopedia. Not in our wildest dreams would we have imagined anything like the Encylopedia of Life. With 30,000 entries up so far and a whopping 1.77 million on the way, the EOL boldly plans to document every living species on this planet of ours.

But the much anticipated site debuted last week to some technical glitches- it was so popular with 11.5 million hits the first day that the site crashed- and some pointed criticisms. We’re pretty sure that just about everyone who has an IQ over 80 believes that the EOL is a great concept. But how about the execution? Too Web 1.0? Hoping for more collaboration or wiki-like options? Not enough baby sloth pics? Not enough information on the Loch Ness Monster? What’s your experience been…



  1. #1 Rosie Redfield
    March 3, 2008

    I can’t find anything on the EOL site that addresses the big scientific issues surrounding species. No discussion of ‘species concepts’, no way to deal with sub-species and maybe-species and sister-species, no mention of speciation.

    And some of their classification is just plain wrong. Diatoms are listed under Plants. Fungi are given equal status with ‘Protozoa’.

    Given the scientific heavyweights behind it, I would have expected a better treatment

  2. Well these little guys are cute regardless benny is the neatest animal I have ever seen.

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