[Taxacom] Homo sapiens

Francisco Welter-Schultes fwelter at gwdg.de
Tue Jan 19 05:51:47 CST 2016


from the nomenclatural point of view there is no such thing, a currently 
valid definition. The usage of the name Homo sapiens is based on common 
acceptance and there have certainly been proposals in the more recent 
paleontological literature how to delimit sapiens against other species 
or subspecies. These proposals would reflect the current state of 
research, taxonomically. The Linnean 1758 publication has no taxonomic 
relevance today, it is only the nomenclaturally relevant source for the 
name and its description given there is certainly not the currently 
accepted taxonomic definition of H. sapiens. You would give an incorrect 
statement in saying that this one or Gmelin's would be the current 
After 1800 more human species were discovered which would also have 
matched the Linnean description for sapiens, but which were regarded to 
represent different species. From this point on the Linnean description 
of sapiens was taxonomically outdated.
Linnaeus did not need to give a description at all. Had Linnaeus only 
given a picture of a human and a name, this would have made the name 
Homo sapiens available without any word of a description or definition.
 From the nomenclatural point of view a name of a species established 
before 1931 does not need to have a description or a definition 
published at any time in history.


Am 19.01.2016 um 04:26 schrieb Thomas McCabe:
> Thank you all for your responses to my request for a current
> definition for *Homo
> sapiens*. Since no one has come up with a definition more recent than the
> one in Linnaeus’ last edition of *Systema natura*, as modified by Gmelin
> and translated by Kerr (http://dx.doi.org/10.5962/bhl.title.57940), I shall
> assume in my work that that is the current definition, while continuing to
> look for a more recent accepted revision.
> Thomas McCabe, M.D., M.P.H.
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