binomial elimination

Jim Croft jrc at ANBG.GOV.AU
Sat Mar 18 14:23:35 CST 1995

> The real problem is that a static name cannot entirely reflect a
> dynamic evolutionary entity.

This sentiment has been expressed several times in this profound and
serious thread, and I am not sure it is valid.

There seems to be a serious miscalculation of scale here.  Yes, it is
an article of faith that evolution happens, but in our lifetimes and
those of great grandchildren the change in the globe's biota is not
going to be all that shattering.  Some species will go extinct, some
races will diverge slightly, but nothing is likely to happen in the
next quarter millenium (or has happened in the last quarter millenium)
to create new clades or to rearrange the clades that are present now.

The only thing that changes is our interpretation and representation of
the system.

The issue is not dynamics - the issue is complexity.

And how to describe a complex and possibly chaotic system in which
we percive order, in a way that makes sense and serves some predictive

-- jim                    URL=
Jim Croft         [Herbarium CANB & CBG]          internet: jrc at
Australian National Herbarium &                      voice:  +61-6-246 5500
Australian National Botanic Gardens               faxmodem:  +61-6-2509 484
GPO Box 1600, Canberra, ACT 2601, AUSTRALIA            fax:  +61-6-246 5249
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