[Taxacom] More on Linnaeus

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Wed Sep 4 22:39:34 CDT 2013

Maybe L. didn't want to call genus 'family' because of the genealogical connotations?

From: Curtis Clark <lists at curtisclark.org>
To: "taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu" <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu> 
Sent: Thursday, 5 September 2013 3:25 PM
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] More on Linnaeus

On 2013-09-04 7:53 PM, Stephen Thorpe wrote:
> My understanding of what was in Linnaeus' mind is slightly different: 
> The binomial system was analogous to the binomial system of people's 
> names, where the genus is analogous to the surname and represents 
> "family relationship", so classification did have everything to do 
> with it (and this is independent of creationism/evolutionism). 

I believe Stafleu would disagree, since the epithet was an afterthought.

> But there are far more species than Linnaeus predicted, so we needed 
> far more genera and this required other categories to manage the 
> genera effectively. The term "family" got hijacked for a suprageneric 
> category, though it would perhaps have been a better term for what we 
> call 'genus' ...

This was actually an important factor in where his students went with 
his system. The issue is that special creation rules out a genealogical 
relationship, so it created a tension that resulted (in part) in Darwin.

Curtis Clark        http://www.csupomona.edu/~jcclark
Biological Sciences                  +1 909 869 4140
Cal Poly Pomona, Pomona CA 91768

Taxacom Mailing List
Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu

The Taxacom Archive back to 1992 may be searched with either of these methods:

(1) by visiting http://taxacom.markmail.org/

(2) a Google search specified as:  site:mailman.nhm.ku.edu/pipermail/taxacom  your search terms here

Celebrating 26 years of Taxacom in 2013.

More information about the Taxacom mailing list