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Re: Classification: A Definition



Graydon writes:
 > > 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?

Woah!  Dude!  Radical!

I think I have to go and lie down.  I am not ready for this :-)

 > 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.

I see where you're coming from, but do you really want to take away
the ability of field-workers in Utah to say "we've found a new
Brachiosaurus specimen"?

 _/|_    ___________________________________________________________________
/o ) \/  Mike Taylor    <mike@indexdata.com>    http://www.miketaylor.org.uk
)_v__/\  "I don't see disagreement as a bad thing. It forces me to defend
         my position.  If I cannot do it satisfactorily, my idea hits
         the bin.  I see this as good" -- Alan Kent.