[Taxacom] globalnames?

Jim Croft jim.croft at gmail.com
Mon Sep 28 03:13:10 CDT 2009

On Mon, Sep 28, 2009 at 5:10 PM, Stephen Thorpe <s.thorpe at auckland.ac.nz> wrote:
> In order to make taxonomic names meaningful, they need to be linked to the relevant literature.

This is almost a given. It is the only way a name of an entity/concept
is anchored and referred.

> Literature is a commodity that I understand, but "taxon concepts" just seem hopelessly wishy-washy to me.

Yes, it is quite wishy washy.  Until you define it.  Referring to a
publication, not necessarily the protologue, is one way to define it.
Citing a list of included/excluded synonyms is another way.  Offering
a comprehensive (or even diagnostic) description is another, as is
listing a bunch of discriminating attributes.  And offering a list of
specimens you chose to include as part of the concept is yet another.

As soon as you utter or write these down, in isolation or in
combination, the concept can be anchored, discussed and challenged.
It might be ambiguous, it might even be wrong, but it is no longer
'wishy washy'.


Jim Croft ~ jim.croft at gmail.com ~ +61-2-62509499 ~
... in pursuit of the meaning of leaf ...
... 'All is leaf' ('Alles ist Blatt') - Goethe

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