[Taxacom] The rules and DNA

Paul van Rijckevorsel dipteryx at freeler.nl
Fri Apr 27 12:44:17 CDT 2012

From: "Richard Zander" <Richard.Zander at mobot.org>
Sent: Friday, April 27, 2012 6:39 PM
Subject: [Taxacom] The rules and DNA

> There is some misapprehension that changes in the Botanical Rules now
> allow description of species solely with DNA data. Check this:
> http://planetark.org/wen/65264

An interesting link, and an interesting development!

I see nothing here that is out of place; it was always allowed
to name new species "solely with DNA data" or with any
character that caught an author's fancy (like having long
or short, black or white hairs), as long as there is "a statement 
of that which in the opinion of its author distinguishes the taxon 
from other taxa." And I imagine it is indeed easier to write 
about DNA in English than in Latin. 

Whether this constitutes good science is a question that 
is taxonomic rather than nomenclatural in nature.


P.S. strictly speaking I should add a caution as I am
making this pronouncement based on the text of the
Melbourne Code, which is as of yet unpublished.
Theoretically, the Melbourne Code could contain a
provision which turns the above into nonsense, but
I don't see how this could be.

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