The claim that measures of global biodiversity dynamics are meaningless is based upon several methodological problems, including underrepresentation of tropical regions in “global” Phanerozoic data sets, inaccuracies in taxonomic data, non-equivalence of higher taxa among groups of organisms, and uneven sampling intensity across groups, environments, and time intervals. Some of these problems are inherent in the fossil record, whereas others lie in documentation and interpretation of the subject. But the subject of global biodiversity is perfectly legitimate, even if problems persist in evaluating its full history. Moreover, recognition of the methodological problems has resulted in notable improvements in the Phanerozoic...

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