[Taxacom] complete list of all species

Chris Lyal C.lyal at nhm.ac.uk
Fri Feb 15 12:57:11 CST 2008

This is behind the distinction between the objective nomenclator layer of name lists and the taxonomic / classification layers, and of course the underlying reason for the Taxon Concept Schema.  One of the themes of this thread, although perhaps not brought out sufficiently clearly, is the author and date of taxon concepts (= opinions) as opposed to author and date of taxon names.    
I agree that the distinction is not always sufficiently recongnised, but we do have a terminology and certainly there are people constructing databases that seek to recognise different concepts.


From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu on behalf of Erik Rijkers
Sent: Fri 15/02/2008 15:38
To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] complete list of all species

A little off topic, perhaps, but I would appreciate your

When reading about the grail of databasing complete lists
of species, I often think it might be better to replace
'species' with 'opinion'.

After all, species lists are name lists, each name being a
literature reference to the original description. This
description anchors the name into the real world via a

It seems to me that the extent to which the type (one
individual organism) is representative for a wider state
of affairs (a species) is an educated guess, although
admittedly 'educated' can be quite a convincing body of

Organism names are opinions and should be stored in
databases as such - with the necessary time aspects.

Is this too obvious to be discussed, or is it indeed often


Erik Rijkers

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