Species as "Hypotheses"

Ron at Ron at
Mon Jul 12 17:46:16 CDT 2004

----- Original Message -----
From: Paul van Rijckevorsel
Subject: Re: Species as "Hypotheses"

This seems to leave something to be desired from an editorial point of view
(is there also a definition of a "nominal taxon"?), but it does appear to
equate a taxon with a "family, genus, species", etc. This would always be
ranked (i.e. by default), unless it is not named. But hair splitting is the
order of the day.

The ZN Code also defines / uses the following under taxon in its glossary:

    infrasubspecific taxon
    nominal taxon
    nominotypical taxon
    subordintate taxon
    taxonomic taxon
    zoological taxon

I was focusing on the latter two are distinct groupings.  One made by nature
(undefined), the other man made (written in stone ; -)


A taxon is a taxonomic group. The ICBN does not concern itself with what
taxonomic considerations have led to the taxonomic criteria for regarding it
as a group. A taxonomic consideration like "we will sweep these plants
together into this taxon, so they will be out of the way" may leave
something to be desired from a scientific point of view, but is in itself
fine by the Code. The Code concerns itself with the question what the name
of the taxon should be, not with the question if it is good science to
accept the taxon.

Likewise for the ZN Code.


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