[Taxacom] iSpecies with Wikipedia

B.J.Tindall bti at dsmz.de
Fri Mar 28 04:57:58 CDT 2008

Hi Paul,
Well, this is de facto what is happening in 
bacteriology, but not because the system is 
designed to work that way, but because there are 
a long list of websites out there (given Rich's 
definition of expert I suppose because they are 
on the web and expressing an opinion they are 
also "expert") that like to handle the problem in 
that fashion. However, the system generally stops 
short of the last taxonomic revision and stops at 
the last published new name. Thus if a taxonomy 
goes back to using an older name it falls below 
the counter - even worse the sites that get it 
right are usually out numbered by the ones that 
get it wrong. A google type system would give me a consensus wrong answer.

Other comments I have seen coming in on the list 
suggest we are concentrating too much on 
nomenclatures. Classifications are the result of 
the evaluation of the data collected 
(characterisation). The names we use depend on 
how the data is evaluated, what the resulting 
classification is and how the corresponding 
nomenclature is affected. The situation becomes 
more than just bizzare when one claims that the 
data supports a particular classification and 
nomenclature when, in fact, if you check the data 
and classification you find that you should be using another name!

If any system is "doable" it is bacteriology and 
virology. However, there is a difference between 
"thinking about doing it" and what actually 
happens when you "do it". Then you see all the 
problems and exceptions that have to be either corrected or put in by hand.


At 08:37 28.03.08, Paul Kirk wrote:
>Doug Yanega wrote:
> >but the former requires an immediate change,<
>that's like saying that my new web site, using all the same words as
>gazillions of others, should instantly be at the top of Google ranking
>because it's the newest ... any decent algorith will deal with this ...
>and with the greatest respect I think the argument is perculiar to
>zoology, the ICZN, and the 'latest revision is the valid one', and not a
>problem for botanical nomenclature which [mostly] separates nomenclature
>from taxonomy ... ;-) ... but do tell me if I'm wrong.
>Dr Paul M. Kirk
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