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Re: nomenclatorial problems (was: another diatribe)



> Date: Sat, 20 Apr 1996 19:47:53 -0400
> From: "King, Norm" <nking.ucs@smtp.usi.edu>
> To: dinosaur
> Subject: nomenclatorial problems (was: another diatribe)
> Message-ID: <9604202347.AA33023@lepomis.psych.upenn.edu>
>
> Of course, I realize that your use of the term is correct, but what you
> call "renaming" and what someone else calls "renaming" may be two
> different things.
>
> Don't you see that this discussion proves my earlier point?  I am fully
> confident that you have done your homework, and the above explanation is
> correct--to the letter!  I just don't think that very many people care,
> or have the patience to wade through it.  In all of the things there are
> to know about dinosaurs, how important is all of that?

It sounds to me like you are arguing for some non-"scientific names" for
dinosaurs.   Who, exactly, are the "very many people" who don't care
about the correct names, or don't want to bother to wade through it?
The general public, or other dinosaur researchers?

I can't help but believe that nomenclatural problems are significant,
because it goes to the question of which material belongs together.
The nomenclature gets confusing because the situation is confusing,
and it does need to be sorted out.  It *is* significant that the
Edmontosaurus and most Anatosaurus material belong in the same genus,
except for the Anatotitan material, which does not.  Don't just throw
up your hands and say that all this "renaming" proves your point; tell
us what would be a better way of sorting out all the different names,
and be *specific* (so to speak :-)) about how the problems should be
solved.

The only way around this sort of problem is to have some kinds of
"popular", non-scientific names for dinosaurs, which don't have to
be related to how the dinosaurs themselves are related.  You *can*
have more than one popular name for an animal, and you can have one
name apply to several species.   I just don't think you can have the
precision of scientific names without the attending complications.
Scientific names must serve scientific purposes.