[Taxacom] validation of taxon names

Frederick W. Schueler bckcdb at istar.ca
Sun Feb 19 12:30:02 CST 2012

On 2/19/2012 12:49 PM, Curtis Clark wrote:

> One way that this is commonly handled is to pick an authoritative source
> and explicitly use that, for example "Nomenclature follows Munz (1974)"

* I think a lot of the kinks in this thread have pointed out that the 
problems being grappled with are largely caused by the fact that 
taxonomy, in trying to provide globally unique names for every taxon, 
was so far out in advance of other fields that we've had a system for 
solving these problems that's been evolving for a couple of centuries, 
and the solutions for one technology can become problems for a 
subsequent technology. The problem of how to extract ideas from text, 
for example, would be much more straight-forward than that of how to 
extract taxonomic names from text, because it wouldn't be hedged around 
with a wilderness of old rules and practices; and if we were starting 
out now to name all taxa from scratch, we could have very direct and 
simpler ways of applying unique identifiers.

In this case, the old technology is the author-date citation for a name, 
which looks so much like the author-date citation for a publication that 
it's fatally confusing to cite the publication that's the authority of a 
species concept rather than of a name (the author-date citation for a 
publication may well, in fact, have evolved as a mimic of the taxonomic 
form). I've always thought that this similarity has inhibited the 
citation of an accepted authority for individual names, along the lines 
of "Nomenclature follows Munz (1974)," in the way one would cite the 
authority for any other kind of statement.

          Frederick W. Schueler & Aleta Karstad
Bishops Mills Natural History Centre - http://pinicola.ca/bmnhc.htm
Mudpuppy Night in Oxford Mills - http://pinicola.ca/mudpup1.htm
Daily Paintings - http://karstaddailypaintings.blogspot.com/
          South Nation Basin Art & Science Book
     RR#2 Bishops Mills, Ontario, Canada K0G 1T0
   on the Smiths Falls Limestone Plain 44* 52'N 75* 42'W
    (613)258-3107 <bckcdb at istar.ca> http://pinicola.ca/

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