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

Roderic Page r.page at bio.gla.ac.uk
Mon Apr 8 04:43:56 CDT 2013

On 8 Apr 2013, at 10:02, Paul van Rijckevorsel wrote:

> Obviously names do depend on taxonomy (and this has nothing
> to do with nomenclature). Names cannot be invariant, as taxa
> are not invariant. This works both ways:
> * one and the same taxon may have different names, depending
> on taxonomic placement.

Why? Why change the name? This is a convention. If I switch citizenship from New Zealand to the UK I don't have to change my name. 

> * the same name refers to variously circumscribed taxa (and 
> everything in between).

Sure, but the name hasn't changed, just what we think it points to.

> Only when you assume a God-created nature (with no religious
> disagreement on what-is-what), is it possible to have invariancy.

But we can separate the things we point to using names from how we arrange those things. We have chosen not to, with a consequence that we are flooded with multiple names for the "same" thing (however you want to define "same"). 



> Taxa are the result of a process of growth (evolution) and they
> do not (naturally) fit into boxes (or into a Tree-of-Life). They have 
> to be shoe-horned into it, and general agreement is unlikely (thus
> no stability). To quote the famous saying: If you want stability of 
> names, first make sure all taxonomists are safely buried.
> Paul 
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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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