Irony and Value of 'naming'

Peter Rauch anamaria at GRINNELL.BERKELEY.EDU
Thu Jul 18 18:40:30 CDT 1996

I just got the AAAS Science 12 July 1996 issue. Page 181, "Evolutionary
and Systematic Biologists Converge" reports on the joint annual meeting
of the Soc Study of Evolution and the Soc Systematic Biol., 19-23 June.

The article reports on outgoing president of SSB, Michael Donaghue's
presidential address. He asks systematists to dismantle the
Linnean system of ranked nomenclature. Systematics/taxonomy hits
the big time pages of Science/science once again. And, the story, again
is "our system is seriously flawed, and doesn't reflect or serve well
reality as we know it."

It's in interesting juxtaposition to our current Taxacom discussion about
the "validity" of scientific/standard/vernacular schemes of naming things.

The issue Donaghue highlights certainly has consequences that reflect
on the proposed BioCode, ICZN-4, and any other Codes as well.

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