In defense of nomenclature

Thomas Lammers lammers at VAXA.CIS.UWOSH.EDU
Wed Apr 4 07:37:48 CDT 2001

At 12:10 PM 4/4/01 +0100, it was written:

>  Chris Thompson's statement that nomenclature is not real science) is
> confusing nomenclature with taxonomy/systematics. I agree with Chris that
> nomenclature is not real science

Excerpts from SCIENCE, in the Oxford English Dictionary (

  a. The state or fact of knowing; knowledge or cognizance of something
specified or implied; also, with wider reference, knowledge (more or less
extensive) as a personal attribute.

   2. a. Knowledge acquired by study; acquaintance with or mastery of any
department of learning. Also pl. (a person's) various kinds of knowledge.

    3. a. A particular branch of knowledge or study; a recognized
department of learning.

   If someone would please point out to me just where nomenclature fails
these qualifications to be "real science", I will accept the
contention.  Otherwise, I must consider the put-down to be mere academic

Thomas G. Lammers, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor and Curator of the Herbarium (OSH)
Department of Biology and Microbiology
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54901-8640 USA

e-mail:       lammers at
phone:      920-424-1002
fax:           920-424-1101

Plant systematics; classification, nomenclature, evolution, and
biogeography of the Campanulaceae s. lat.
"Today's mighty oak is yesterday's nut that stood his ground."
                                                 -- Anonymous

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