[Taxacom] Binomial Nomenclature - was: "cataloguing hypotheses & not real things"

Dan Lahr dlahr at ib.usp.br
Wed Sep 4 11:50:50 CDT 2013


Rafael

It seems to me that you are either confusing taxonomy and nomenclature, or
(what is more likely) purposedly mixing them up.  You *want* a
nomenclatural system that is embedded in the classification system.

This lack of separation of what are two completely different things *at the
species level* has been made multiple times in this thread.

What I propose refers *only* to species names. There is no need for the
name of natural entities to be obligatorily tied to the classification.
Hence, it is superfluous to do so.

Current agreement on names is also irrelevant because next year someone
sequences the transcriptomes of all the species and  swaps around a bunch
of species within the genera. And in 25 years, people decide that what is
cool is the *epigenome* and species get swapped around a bunch more times.
This goes on ad infinitum.

Nomenclature at the species level needs to be distinct. Because it is the
only one where there is an anchor to reality (the type) while other ranks
including genera are *entirely* human constructs, subject to whims of
funding agencies and egoes of excentric personalities.

Unlike what has been claimed previously, stars are named by a convention on
their coordinates in the sky, "apart from a limited number of bright stars
with historic names" [1].  Constellations are simply arbitrary
classifications of stars at a "rank" above the name and do not interfere
with the naming system for the units.  Hence, a system where the units are
named independetly from the classification of those units is entirely
feasable, as is a system that can deal with legacy names from an outdated
system.

Refs

1 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astronomical_naming_conventions


On Wed, Sep 4, 2013 at 6:08 PM, Rafaël Govaerts <R.Govaerts at kew.org> wrote:

> Although I'm not against showing different (current) taxonomies; at least
> in botany this is barely an issue. When bringing together most taxonomic
> experts to review a Myrtaceae checklist there was taxanomic disagreement on
> 0.01 % of names and when notified about this the taxonomists quickly
> agreed. So I can now say with confidence that 100% of Myrtaceae taxonomists
> agree with the species concepts as available on the World checklist (WCSP).
> That does not mean there are no errors in the data or synonymy we missed
> but there is no current alternative taxonomy. This to me seems the result
> of the other favorite subject of taxonomists - the lack of
> alpha-taxonomists- You are lucky to find one expert or consortium for a
> taxonomic group let alone two. So this only becomes an issues for "popular"
> families.
> The most extreme case of competing taxonomies (and that is only at generic
> leve)l is between GrassBase (traditional) and GrassWorld (Phylogeny based)
> and a recent paper by Maria Vorontsova from GrassBase showed to there was
> only 11% difference in accepted species, which surprised even me.
> So although in Botany a lot (well probably less than 11%) of names have
> changed in the past 20 years I am not convinced that there are many current
> competing taxonomies. It is true that users often use the name they know
> and not do the effort to check COL or others but I strongly contest that
> there is much disagreement among Botanists and therefore I also see no need
> for alternative naming systems.
> Showingdifferent taxonomies to me seems more an IT task than a scientist's.
> Rafaël
>
> ________________________________________
> From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu [
> taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Ashley Nicholas [
> Nicholasa at ukzn.ac.za]
> Sent: 04 September 2013 15:41
> To: Curtis Clark; taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Binomial Nomenclature - was: "cataloguing
> hypotheses & not real things"
>
> Hi Curtis -- I agree fully. That is why I think that multiple
> approaches/solutions/hypotheses should be encouraged. That is why I do not
> like the one size fits all option that is being pushed. There is room for
> both a non-hierarchical evolutionary based monomial system and a
> classification using binomials (and descriptions and keys). I think in both
> mediums (and benefit enormously from the fact I do this). A monomial system
> without keys would have made it impossible for me to key out that plant
> that poisoned those two boys. I did it the old fashion (useful way).
> However, as an evolutionist I also know that old fashioned classifications
> are hugely problematic in actually understanding the origin and diversity
> of organisms. Why is there not room for both? If I can work simultaneously
> in both constructs -- I am sure others can too. Dictatorial lists of names
> in current use are an anathema to me as they go against the very way
> empirical science should work.
>
> Cheers
> Ashley
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu [mailto:
> taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Curtis Clark
> Sent: 04 September 2013 16:19
> To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Binomial Nomenclature - was: "cataloguing
> hypotheses & not real things"
>
> On 2013-09-04 4:21 AM, Ashley Nicholas wrote:
> > Great quote with some truth. But if the choice is between being logical
> and being illogical -- I think I will choose logic thank you.
>
> It concerns me that there is not so much emphasis on "useful".
>
> --
> Curtis Clark        http://www.csupomona.edu/~jcclark
> Biological Sciences                   +1 909 869 4140
> Cal Poly Pomona, Pomona CA 91768
>
>
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-- 
___________________
Daniel J. G. Lahr, PhD
Assist. Prof., Dept of Zoology,
Univ. of Sao Paulo, Brazil
+ 55 (11) 3091 0948


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