"arcane" rules/was gender of -opsis

Thomas Lammers lammers at VAXA.CIS.UWOSH.EDU
Tue Aug 20 08:04:04 CDT 2002

At 10:26 AM 8/20/02 +1000, Steve Shattuck wrote:
> >the only *absolutely* definitive answer comes when one has the original
>descriptions IN HAND
> >the original literature is a basic tool of the trade.
>No, the basic tool of the trade is specimens, they are the only things that
>let us discover "truth".  Publications are little more than one person's
>opinion of that "truth".  The true foundation of nomenclature is type
>specimens, nothing more.
>At the core of this problem is whether we focus on nomenclature or
>systematics.  If our focus is nomenclature then learning Latin grammar and
>tracking down every single reference ever published over the past 244
>years are important.  If we focus on systematics - the biological part of
>what we do - then the types are all we need and nomenclature is nothing
>more than a tool.

Yes.  That's what I said.  *A* basic tool.  Not *THE* Basic tool.  *A*
basic tool.  Of course, without type specimens (or ANY specimens for that
matter), all the literature is meaningless.

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 uwosh.edu
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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