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Re: Classification: A Definition



On Tue, May 22, 2007 at 12:54:39PM +0100, Mike Taylor scripsit: [snip;
TOKOT = "The Other Kind Of Taxon"] 
> You _could_ argue that TOKOTs should be abolished completely and all
> biology done in terms of specimens and clades only.  But that is never
> going to happen and to be honest I wouldn't want it to.  I like the
> convenient of TOKOTs.  I prefer the name "Brachiosaurus" to the
> specimen number FMNH P 25017.

How would defining "Brachiosaurus" *as* "FMNH P 25017" cause difficulty
or information loss?

That is pretty much the situation we've got with fossils, isn't it?  No
population, no genes, no real prospect of being able to define things in
terms of that-which-is-being-selected-upon, so what is there as facts
are the specimens.

Formalizing the working nickname as the human-usage name, which is in
turn what the actual name is called, doesn't strike me as a bad thing.