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

Fred Schueler bckcdb at istar.ca
Thu Sep 5 13:30:13 CDT 2013

On 9/5/2013 2:11 PM, Richard Pyle wrote:
>> * just looking at the situation with sexual reproduction and overlapping or
>> parapatric distributions: "Individuals with characteristics listed in the diagnosis
>> of species A are much more closely connected by interbreeding with other
>> individuals with those characteristics than they are with individuals with the
>> characteristics of listed for other species."
> Yes, agreed -- that's what I meant by how a clade can be a hypothesis.  But
> nothing in the above statement asserts an hypothesis about whether "A" and
> "the other species" should be regarded as two distinct species, or as a
> single species with some degree of population structure.

* by "other species" I meant groups delimited by analogous hypotheses. 
This is meant to be a biological species concept of contemporary 
interbreeding, while a clade would be delimited by a combination of 
apomorphies and hypotheses of most recent interbreeding.

 > 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
 > verifiable).

* I don't see how a proposed name (except objective synonyms) can be 
regarded as anything other than an hypothesis - "the individuals 
delimited by this description, and including this type, are distinct 
species according to the species concept currently endorsed by the 
describer." The hypothesis is falsified if new patterns of variation are 
discovered which either split or lump the proposed entity, and the 
hypothesis is made more or less irrelevant by a changed species concept, 
though the name hangs on as a nomenclatoral attachment to the type specimen.

          Frederick W. Schueler & Aleta Karstad
Bishops Mills Natural History Centre - http://pinicola.ca/bmnhc.htm
Mudpuppy Night in Oxford Mills - http://pinicola.ca/mudpup1.htm
Daily Paintings - http://karstaddailypaintings.blogspot.com/
          RR#2 Bishops Mills, Ontario, Canada K0G 1T0
   on the Smiths Falls Limestone Plain 44* 52'N 75* 42'W
    (613)258-3107 <bckcdb at istar.ca> http://pinicola.ca/

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