A rose by any other name still smells and other nomenclatural matters - reply

Robin Leech robinl at NAIT.AB.CA
Sat Mar 18 07:09:22 CST 1995

Well said, Sir Reveal.

Every year when I give my plant taxonomy course, I go into the history of
the naming systems, back into the classical of Greeks and Romans.  I
mention that all schemes are purpose-bent, but that only through a good
binomial system with a hierarchy behind it can we show our perceptions of
probable relationships, present and historical.

I also give assignments that are outside the textbook we use, so that the
students have to "dig" a bit.  Almost to a one they grumble, and most do
not see a need or purpose to the historical aspects of the course.

So now one of the purposes of the historical review has been revealed in
all its glory for the past several days on the ether waves - so we do not
have to re-invent history in order to function today.

There is nothing wrong with challenging an established system.  In this
case, all of the challenges are being recycled.  No one has ever said
that the present system is perfect, but so far it is the best we have.

Let's see if we can come up with a new challenge.  If it has merit, it
will stand.  If it has no merit, will fall.  In the meantime, there will
be discussion, and this is healthy.

Can one of you out there come up with either a new perspctive of an old
idea, or a brand new idea?

Robin Leech

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