[Taxacom] Species-level homonyms - between/within codes

dipteryx at freeler.nl dipteryx at freeler.nl
Thu Nov 11 02:40:00 CST 2010

Van: Tony.Rees at csiro.au [mailto:Tony.Rees at csiro.au]
Verzonden: wo 10-11-2010 21:11

> Dear Paul, all,

> This is certainly not a world I have somehow invented - 
> it is called the scientific names of organisms, or biodiversity,
> or biodiversity informatics, q.v...

As far as I can tell, it is a world unto its own, consisting
of (a rendition of) the content of several nomenclatural 
universes plus some miscellaneous material. 

Scientific names of organisms look to be something else, 
a scientific name of an organism consists of a name (formed
according to a nomenclatural Code) plus a circumscription / 
authority defining the taxon (or to put it differently, an 
indication of what polyseme is being used).

I am also pretty sure that biodiversity exists out there and 
is not sitting somewhere in a computer.
* * *

> I believe it is simply reasonable to call these "homonyms 
> across codes" and in support I would cite e.g. the following
> statement:

> "Each of the major nomenclatural Codes (ICBN, ICNB, ICTV) 
> is exclusive; they govern homonymy independently. Thus 
> homonyms (the same name for different taxa) are allowed 
> between Codes. For example, the genus Ficus is available 
> and valid for both a gastropod genus and the plants commonly 
> called figs. It is assumed that points of confusion 
> in referring to organisms in different Kingdoms will be rare,
> thus homonymy is not controlled in these cases."

> This is to be found on (of all places) the ICZN website, 
> http://iczn.org/content/are-homonyms-across-codes-
> permitted-example-between-plants-and-animals

It looks to me that this should be argued the other way: The
ICZN Commission is very much aware of the possible confusion 
whenever the word "homonym" comes up and made an attempt
to clarify the relative positions (from a zoological perspective:
it obviously is silly to assume that "the genus Ficus is available 
and valid [...] for the plants commonly called figs"). So, it looks
to me to be a good idea for you to put in explicitly what you mean 
by homonymy (or any other term), when you use it ...


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