Taxa as hypotheses

Jere H. Lipps jlipps at UCMP1.BERKELEY.EDU
Sat Mar 18 17:13:22 CST 1995

Seems to me that all taxa, even species, in the scientific literature are
hypotheses, subject to testing and modification.  It has always been so,
and it will always be so, as new data, specimens, occurrences, hypotheses,
instrumentation, etc., are discovered or come into use.  We will therefore
always have to confront the changing names  or numbers that we have for our
systematic hypotheses as they themselves change.  The Linnean heirarchy
works well because it provides a set of rules to keep hypotheses
clear--holotypes, priority, and all the other things people object to.
Linnean useage does not lock anyone into particular hypotheses.

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