[Taxacom] BioNames and others names

Paul Kirk P.Kirk at kew.org
Mon Jun 3 04:20:36 CDT 2013

I have recently argued that a 'return' to the circumscription method - in ICNafp 'space' - might be warranted in the largely molecular/'omics digital environment we now live in ... coupled with abandoning the type method.

From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu [taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Paul van Rijckevorsel [dipteryx at freeler.nl]
Sent: 03 June 2013 09:24
To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] BioNames and others names

From: "Richard Pyle" <deepreef at bishopmuseum.org>
Sent: Monday, June 03, 2013 10:03 AM

>> The broader taxonomic/biological community is very clear in what it
>> regards as a taxon name: generic names, binomials / binomens, and
>> trinomials / trinomens (plus some stuff at other ranks). As the Codes
>> are geared towards providing just these, there should not have been
>> all that much of a problem

> This is only true with a sufficiently vague definition of "taxon name".
> Get any two random taxonomist together in a room and ask them to
> define it precisely, and I'd bet you have better than even odds that
> they will have some difference of opinion as to where to "draw the
> line".  It may be subtle, but it will be there.

> The reason I am confident in asserting this, is that I have MANY times
> been in the room with taxonomists, and in an effort to come up with
> precise definitions, we always start out in full agreement, but as the
> layers are peeled off towards ever greater precision, the subtle
> differences start to reveal themselves.

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 ...

The real challenge for bioinformatics is to track circumscriptions
(different circumscriptions indicated by the same name), but
apparently nobody has given this any thought.


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