Binomial elimination

Curtis Clark jcclark at CSUPOMONA.EDU
Fri Mar 17 09:37:38 CST 1995

Date sent: 17-MAR-1995
David Wright wrote:
 >An approach that would allow transition from the present system would be
 >to "freeze" all species names on an arbitrary date

That would be a bit of an inconvenience to those of us who describe new
species, unless we could immediately begin to work under the new rules.

 > 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

Why are coined names and combined names any better than numbers?

 >  The only thing that makes changing to a uninomial system
 >impractical is resistance to change.

The only thing that makes (elimination of endangered species/abolition
of social security/closing down all the universities and museums and
converting them into industrial parks) impractical is resistance to
change.  That doesn't necessarily make these actions desirable.

Curtis Clark                                       Voice: (909) 869-4062
Biological Sciences Department                     FAX:   (909) 869-4396
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
Pomona CA 91768-4032                               jcclark at

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