Binomial elimination

Thu Mar 16 19:05:23 CST 1995

Mike Simpson wrote:
>16 March 1995
>  I have no general problem with eliminating higher level ranks, but I
>would seriously like to know how you propose to eliminate binomials.  I
>see no better alternative myself but to work at making genera
>monophyletic but retain the basic Linnaean binomial system.
>  If you or anyone else out there would like to present a practical
>example for replacing the binomial with another system, I'd like to see
>-Mike Simpson

An approach that would allow transition from the present system would be
to "freeze" all species names on an arbitrary date and combine the
then-current generic and trivial ("species") names into a single name.
Another transitional approach that would result in shorter names would be
use existing trivial names if they are unique, if they are not unique to
use the first available genus name, and if none is available to coin a new
name (perhaps by combining elements of the present generic and trivial
names).  The only thing that makes changing to a uninomial system
impractical is resistance to change.

David Wright
dwright at

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