[Taxacom] Reproducibility of descriptive data

Stephen Thorpe s.thorpe at auckland.ac.nz
Wed Sep 9 17:41:49 CDT 2009

I almost totally agree! Except "anchors a name" = "defines a species", at least if anything can be said to define a species, it is that!
The important point is this:
Two taxonomists disagree about the circumscription of a genus - one is more of a lumper, the other a splitter. The disagreement is purely subjective opinion, not "science"
cf. Two taxonomists disagree about the circumscription of a (sexually reproducing) species. I say (at least) one of them is wrong as a matter of fact (the facts being ones about reproductive isolating mechanisms)
Example: Human and chimp can belong to the same genus, but cannot belong to the same species ...
From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu [taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Mary Barkworth [Mary at biology.usu.edu]
Sent: Thursday, 10 September 2009 9:47 a.m.
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Reproducibility of descriptive data

Personally, I prefer to talk about circumscribing a taxon rather than
defining a taxon - it conveys, to me, a recognition that the concept may
change - and the circumscription may need to be changed. Definitions are
less flexible. Having said which, a type does not define a taxon. It
anchors a name.


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