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Re: Monotypic genera and the PhyloCode

----- Original Message -----
From: "Teoslola" <bkazmer39@yahoo.com>
Sent: Thursday, September 30, 2004 12:33 AM

> Being a biology teacher and a paleontologist I think
> there are better things to do in science that to try
> and change all of science to alleviate this problem in
> one vein of science. It's just my opinion though. I
> haven't talked this problem over specifically with
> anyone else at the university. But from general
> conversations no one else in the past few years seemed
> to think there was any real problem with names.

Well, there certainly is one. The Linnaean system demands that every species
be put into a genus. This creates problems. Firstly, if we don't want to
risk making polyphyletic genera (note I haven't even mentioned paraphyletic
ones yet!), we must either find out the relationships of the species we want
to classify, or create a genus for each of them. Secondly, practically every
time the assumed relationships of a species change, its name changes. This
is _the_ biggest nuisance of the Linnaean system. It prevents a lot of
stability. We have to find some other method.

> Having these extra-long compound names seems to
> make science more unapproachable by the general public.

They are unpleasantly long, that's true.

> If we are going to force this on science why not be
> truly radical and go to shorter names.since everything
> will have to be changed anyway. think smaller. Why not
> begin with no more than two syllables until we run out
> of those and only then add another syllable to names.

This would mean changing all existent species names, which would destroy a
lot of stability.