[Taxacom] BioNames and others names

Roderic Page r.page at bio.gla.ac.uk
Mon Jun 3 04:26:33 CDT 2013

I guess I'm with Paul on this one. In most cases when people talk about names they mean generic names, binomials / binomens, and
trinomials / trinomens. They don't care about the details, nor even about names, they want the stuff connected to the names. It's our job to help that process, or otherwise get the hell out of the way.

Imagine we are a book publisher. We could invoked wonderfully complex models of what a "book" actually is (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Functional_Requirements_for_Bibliographic_Records ) and ask people what do they mean by book, do they understand the full complexity of what it means to say "I want this book" (which edition, physical version, electronic, what access rights, which translation, etc.). Or we could be Amazon and give them the book. If it's not the book they wanted, we give them other choices. We let people decide what they want, and do our best to give it to them.

If we were book sellers we would be out of business in seconds. 



> 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.

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
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