[Taxacom] [tdwg] Semantic Web: What is a species?

Richard Zander Richard.Zander at mobot.org
Mon Jan 26 09:39:59 CST 2009

Well, operationally, a species needs to be described and published
according to the rules, then survive the marketplace of ideas. This is
close to "what a community of taxonomists say it is" and rather
different from "what a taxonomist says it is" (which I have also heard).
The former is in a somewhat different class than the latter. I know of
species I recognize and others (possibly even most others) do not.
Reality then lies in the community's apprehension of how well they help
describe a larger reality, some complex system.

Richard H. Zander 
Voice: 314-577-0276
Missouri Botanical Garden
PO Box 299
St. Louis, MO 63166-0299 USA
richard.zander at mobot.org
Web sites: http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/resbot/
and http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/bfna/bfnamenu.htm

-----Original Message-----
From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
[mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Richard Pyle
Sent: Sunday, January 25, 2009 2:08 PM
To: 'Bob Morris'
Cc: tdwg at lists.tdwg.org; Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] [tdwg] Semantic Web: What is a species?

I've said it many times before on this list elsewhere: 

"A species is what community of taxonomists says it is."

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