Species as "Hypotheses"

Doug Yanega dyanega at UCR.EDU
Mon Jul 12 09:35:47 CDT 2004

Rich wrote:

>Don't get me wrong -- I'll almost certainly be a practitioner (and ardent
>defender) of the Linnaean nomenclatural system until the day I die.  But,
>for those who are interested in establishing objective definitions for names
>in a monophyletic context, a multi-anchor definition system is definitely
>the way to go (whether or not that system is the Phylocode).

As an aside (I don't think this particular dead horse needs much more
beating), I'll note that the way in which the Phylocode allows
definitions of taxa is actually one of its greatest drawbacks,
insofar as nomenclature goes, so while the multi-anchor philosophy
may have its advantages, its practical application certainly would
need to follow something *other* than the Phylocode model.
Specifically, a taxonomist under the Phylocode may use any one of 5
different definition types for a taxon (node-based, stem-based,
character-based, etc.), and the choice of anchors may be vast - but
only taxa with IDENTICAL definitions can be considered synonyms. In
other words, as long as the definitions are different, the same taxon
can have many different names. That is NOT a good example to follow.


Doug Yanega        Dept. of Entomology         Entomology Research Museum
Univ. of California - Riverside, Riverside, CA 92521
phone: (909) 787-4315 (standard disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
   "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
         is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82

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