[Taxacom] BioNames and others names

Richard Pyle deepreef at bishopmuseum.org
Mon Jun 3 03:40:13 CDT 2013


> You specified the"broader taxonomic/biological community ", and that
> means a dipterist talking about plants, and a plant taxonomist talking
about
> flies, in which case there will be clarity. The problems will start only
when the
> dipterist starts talking about flies ...

No, that's my point.  If you spread the group to include the "broader
taxonomic/biological community" (instead of just "taxonomists"), then the
probability that any two of them will agree on a precise definition of
"taxon name" is even lower.  

I think the key difference you and I have here is the degree of precision of
the definition.  It's easy to find two botanists or two zoologists to agree
on what a "taxon name" is so long as the definition is not precise.  The
problem comes when you get down to the precision definitions.

We can both justify our respective positions, provided we're operating with
different scales of precision for how a term is defined.  I reflexively lean
towards high-precision definitions.

> The real challenge for bioinformatics is to track circumscriptions
(different
> circumscriptions indicated by the same name), 

I COMPLETELY agree!!

> but apparently nobody has
> given this any thought.

I COMPLETELY disagree!!

There are many people (including some on this list) who have given this a
GREAT DEAL of thought.  (Nico -- that's your cue!)

Aloha,
Rich





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