[Taxacom] Objective synonyms?

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Mon May 31 18:28:42 CDT 2010

the divergence I refer to is this:

as per previous threads on Taxacom a while ago, it seemed clear that you (qua bioinformatician) regarded the binomen as the name of the species

if so, then different binomen, different name

combinations are different binomina, so different names for the same species, therefore synonyms (=different terms for the same thing) by definition, and seemingly objective synonyms because homotypic

but ICZN would never apply the concepts of homotypy and synonymy to binomina per se, only to the specific epithets as used in the binomial (a subtle distinction, but one that means that there is no non-trivial synonymy between combinations according to the ICZN - they are effectively the SAME name for the SAME species)


From: Richard Pyle <deepreef at bishopmuseum.org>
To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Sent: Tue, 1 June, 2010 10:46:20 AM
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Objective synonyms?

> This causes some divergence between what bioinformaticians 
> and the ICZN mean by certain terms

Would everyone *please* stop bringing "bioinformaticians" into this debate?
(Stephen isn't the only culprit -- I actually agree with much of what he's
been trying to say on this topic.)  In my experience, the
"bioinformaticians" are *WAY* ahead of the non-informatically-inclined
taxonomists in understanding the different terminology -- both between the
Codes and among different practitioners within each Code; and also in
understanding the implications of these differences for issues both
nomenclatural and taxonomic.

There is no divergence between bioinformaticians and the ICZN.  The
divergence is between zoologists and botanists (mostly), within & among
zoologists (secondly), and within & among botanists (to a lesser extent).



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