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

Richard Pyle deepreef at bishopmuseum.org
Thu Sep 5 13:07:15 CDT 2013

I FULLY agree with Curtis here. In case it wasn't clear, in my previous post
I made references to type specimens of names as proxies for "species",
because names are the labels we use to refer to species, and type specimens
are the only objective link between the names and the biological world.

Names are obviously NOT hypotheses; but names (in combination with their
associated asserted synonyms) are proxies for species.  I don't see how
either of them (names, or conceptual species) can be framed as hypotheses --
so long as one assumes that hypotheses must be falsifiable (or, at least


> -----Original Message-----
> From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu [mailto:taxacom-
> bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Curtis Clark
> Sent: Thursday, September 05, 2013 7:56 AM
> To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Binomial Nomenclature - was: "cataloguing
> hypotheses & not real things"
> On 2013-09-05 5:57 AM, Ashley Nicholas wrote:
> > By all means have rules to govern names but do not abuse these to govern
> what hypotheses should be accepted and which should not.
> That's why nomenclature and taxonomy are separate endeavors. Saying that
> a species is a hypothesis is a very different assertion from saying that
> name is a hypothesis. We can all hope that people unclear on the
> will not be put in charge of devising the rules of nomenclature.
> --
> Curtis Clark        http://www.csupomona.edu/~jcclark
> Biological Sciences                   +1 909 869 4140
> Cal Poly Pomona, Pomona CA 91768
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