[Taxacom] Generic type of large genus belongs in different genus

Paul van Rijckevorsel dipteryx at freeler.nl
Mon Apr 8 03:00:33 CDT 2013

Nomenclature and taxonomy are separate, and scientific
names are the result of applying nomenclature to a
taxonomically defined situation.

But anybody who does not want to use scientific names
can create his own reality and use his own (alphanumerical)
identifiers, or use something like LSID's. And who knows,
this approach may win out eventually, when everybody's
brain has been augmented / replaced by computers.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Roderic Page" <r.page at bio.gla.ac.uk>
To: "TAXACOM" <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
Sent: Monday, April 08, 2013 9:39 AM
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Generic type of large genus belongs in different 

> It seems to me that this discussion makes a mockery of notion that 
> nomenclature is separate from taxonomy. Once you have bionomial names, and 
> insist on those names being "meaningful" (i.e., the genus name tells you 
> something about relationships) then you have a recipe for instability.
> The ICZN decision regarding Drosophila melanogaster was the right one in 
> my opinion, but for the wrong reasons. Why does it matter if Drosophila 
> melanogaster sits in a phylogeny next to some Sophophora species? What 
> matters is its relationships, not what we call it.
> Names are a poor way to convey relationships, why burden them with this 
> role? If you have no other way of conveying relationships then perhaps the 
> trade off between stability and meaning seems worthwhile. But we do have 
> powerful ways of visualising relationships, so it seems perverse to 
> continue to change names (thus annoying people who use them) in the hope 
> that names remain "meaningful". We don't expect the name of an organism to 
> be meaningful ("maximus" might not be the biggest species, "africanus" 
> might come from Australia), can we not let this last scrap of meaning go 
> and save us (and the wider community) some grief?
> Regards
> Rod
> ---------------------------------------------------------
> 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
> Email: r.page at bio.gla.ac.uk
> Tel: +44 141 330 4778
> Fax: +44 141 330 2792
> Skype: rdmpage
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> Home page: http://taxonomy.zoology.gla.ac.uk/rod/rod.html
> Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roderic_D._M._Page
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