[Taxacom] LSID versus names

Roderic Page r.page at bio.gla.ac.uk
Wed Jun 20 07:33:46 CDT 2012

Dear Jim,

By "authoritative" I mean the sense that if I go there and get an answer I can trust it to be reliable in most cases, not that it asserts "this is truth". 

Most of what we need is actually pretty trivial and not subject to much doubt (a name appears in this publication). We can fight over details (what, exactly, was the date this was published, etc.) but the basics are usually straightforward (cue long list of anecdotes about cases where it's not).

It's also possible in many cases to say that two names are synonyms, at least at the level of names (e.g., "Pithecanthropus erectus" and "Homo erectus").

A list that could tell give me the link to first publication of a name, list names which have been asserted to be synonyms (or any kind), ideally with references (i.e., to first use of a new combination) would make life a lot easier, at least for me...



On 20 Jun 2012, at 13:20, Jim Croft wrote:

> This kind of thinking is a big problem and one of the reasons we get
> into messes like this. NONE of these databases is authoritative.  They
> are not mentioned in the Code, they have not legislated priority and
> have no official standing in nomenclature or taxonomy at all. They are
> at best useful and reliable indices to the literature (with the type
> and cited specimens, the real authority), at worst, incomplete
> perpetuators of falsehoods.
> There is no point looking for a single point of truth when there isn't
> one. Well ok, it might be core business for religion and politics. But
> it is not going to work for nomenclature and taxonomy, unless we
> change the Code radically and create one (ducks quickly, to avoid the
> ugly reg* word).
> jim
> On Wed, Jun 20, 2012 at 5:42 PM, Roderic Page <r.page at bio.gla.ac.uk> wrote:
>> Plant people are
>> somewhat better off with IPNI, although one could argue whether we should
>> regard IPNI, Tropics, or the Plant List as the definitive authority.

Roderic Page
Professor of Taxonomy
Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences
Graham Kerr Building
University of Glasgow
Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK

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