[Taxacom] Does the species name have to change when it moves genus?

Roger Burks burks.roger at gmail.com
Wed Jun 20 08:48:36 CDT 2012

On Wed, Jun 20, 2012 at 4:24 AM, Roderic Page <r.page at bio.gla.ac.uk> wrote:
> Dear Rich,
> Thanks for the insightful response. I agree that we are in a transitional period (from analogue to digital), and things will >be messy for a while (as we can see by looking at what's happened as the music, newspaper, and movie industries >have struggled with this transition). Of course, I want things to go much faster, in part because I'm not convinced that >the rest of biology will hang around patiently waiting while taxonomy makes this transition.

I wanted to excise this part from the conversation and expand on it.
Most specifically, would that be so bad really, if the rest of biology
doesn't wait patiently for systematists to stop arguing and start
doing? Suddenly many "issues" would likely become less critical and
many "obstacles" would likely become less obstructive as a result--all
because perceptions of necessity would change.

Also, I would be thrilled to see "the rest of biology" come back and
say that species description is actually important. I can't count the
likely hundreds of times that I have heard from biologists, especially
from other systematists, that some aspect of systematics is not
important. Actions of course speak louder than words, and continued
funding of species description proves that some people do find it
important. This doesn't stop constant reminders that "nobody is ever
going to use this," reinforcing a negative community view. Much of the
time, actions stemming from negative world views will prevent good
work from being initiated or completed. That is something that I would
like to see change...and if it means a community shift, I can't see
that as completely bad.


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