In the beginning, as a familiar book recalls, the earth was a formless void. And by separating light from dark, water from sky, life from dust, order came forth. Thus appeared organisation and categorisation. This is to say, classification, since to classify is to make for order and clarity. These are the qualities needed today for the study of congenital malformations and eventual control of their occurrence. What follows is an inquiry into the present state of this desideratum.