[Taxacom] Why stability?

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Thu Apr 30 21:36:10 CDT 2015


Jason,

I didn't have you in mind when I said "I was responding to others who had suggested that authors should always cite the publication used for the identification of any species that they mention. Basically, their motivation is probably merely to increase citation rates in taxonomy."

As for your other comments, you are talking about information (published revisions, etc.) which goes with the species name, rather than needing to be cited every time someone identifies that species. What you are in effect suggesting is that everyone who identifies a species needs to provide a taxonomic literature search on that species, each and every time! Nonsense!

You (and others) are still missing the point that if I see a single specimen, already identified in a collection, but do not know how it was identified, if it is distinctive enough, I can recognise that species again. Nowhere in this picture is any published taxon circumscription.

Stephen


--------------------------------------------
On Fri, 1/5/15, JF Mate <aphodiinaemate at gmail.com> wrote:

 Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Why stability?
 To: "Taxacom" <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
 Received: Friday, 1 May, 2015, 1:44 PM
 
 Stephen, I really don´t want to get
 into the middle of this again but
 as you like to go down rabbit´s warrens maybe I can throw
 you a torch.
 
 
 No Stephen, that is your intrepretation. What I said was
 that in doing
 so, revisionary work would get cited as well. Or did you not
 say (in
 regards to Hoser mopping-up names) that species descriptions
 matter
 not, but it is good taxonomic work that counts? I am
 guessing that is
 because the brilliant redescriptions will allow others to
 identify
 material.
 
 "My comment was intended to point out that, in a great many
 cases,
 identifications are not made using any specific publication,
 even
 identifications down to the species level. Many names do not
 have any
 well defined "taxonomic concepts" associated with them, but
 may
 nevertheless be names for distinctive species which are
 easily
 identified by direct comparison of specimens (given a bit
 of
 experience with the group)."
 
 This is appeal to authority as well as ignoring future
 needs. Your
 experience came from literature and identified material
 (which was
 either identified via comparison to type or literature or a
 previous
 iteration). You are not a platonic entomologist that
 generates species
 concepts through inward contemplation. If you can´t
 remember how you
 acquired this "experience", then it is your choice to put
 whatever
 complimentary information on the label you see fit. No
 additional
 information would stand for "S. Thorpe´s opinion". Fair
 enough.
 However, for the vastly larger army of individuals who do
 use
 literature to identify material, citing the source is easily
 done and
 helpful for others in the future when the ´Many names with
 no defined
 "taxonomic concepts"´ are in the minority.
 
 Jason
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