nomenclature and the code, Curator TEL: 513-529-2755 VINCENMA at CASMAIL.MUOHIO.EDU
Wed Jan 10 10:46:40 CST 1996

P.Stevens wrote:

> I would very much like to see the issue of priority revisited.  Why
> systematists should have to recheck the attribution of all the names ever
> used in a group every time that group is monographed is beyond me (of course,
> many larger groups haven't been monographed within the last 100 years, but
> that is in part another issue).  Why not restart the clock when a group is
> monographed, to the effect that only names that are accepted in that
> monograph have any nomenclatural standing?   I realise that there are
> problems involved in instituting such a retooling of priority, but where
> there is a will, there will be a way.  We cannot let the past so circumscribe
> our future.

As My grandmother would have said, "What a bunch of Hooey!"  Where is
stability in such a concept?  Restart every time a monograph is
done????  Every Joe (or Josephine) out there could remonograph
anything, anytime, and come up with a new nomenclature for a group.
Without the past, we have NO future.

> Such a retooling will surely greatly reduce the amount of nomenclatural work
> that systematists undertake.  It will also greatly reduce the amount of space
> devoted to type collections, hence making their proper curation far easier,
> slim down data bases of names and type specimens, and make it easier for
> systematists world-wide to inventory nature and understand its genealogy.

The amount of space allotted to type specimens in miniscule, when
compared to the total number of specimens out there in specimen land.
There are really not that many nomenclatural problems, when put in
the context of all species names in use.  What's the big deal?????

Dr. Michael A. Vincent, Curator    TEL: 513-529-2755
W.S. Turrell Herbarium (MU)        FAX: 513-529-4243
Department of Botany
Miami University
Oxford, Ohio 45056 USA
Email: Vincenma at

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