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Re: Classification: A Definition



On 5/22/07, Graydon <oak@uniserve.com> wrote:
On Fri, May 18, 2007 at 10:53:56PM +0100, Mike Taylor scripsit:
> Graydon writes:
>  > > No, no, _alpha_ taxonomy, the naming of species and genera.
>  > > Those we will never get rid of.
>  >
>  > I am uncertain of that.
>  >
>  > Specifically in paleontology, it's unclear that species level
>  > resolution is possible at all, never mind generally, so the
>  > question ought to be pretty much moot.
>
> Species or genus -- doesn't matter which, we need one of them.

Why?

We need a label that people can remember and say for a specimen or a
group of specimens.  We don't need to attach a meaning beyond "this
non-empty list of specimens" to the label, though.  I think it could be
argued that in paleontology one *should not* go beyond that, because
there isn't enough information to do it.

When you say a list, do you mean a literal list, or a potential one? I mean, it may be possible and worthwhile to list every brachiosaur specimen, perhaps every dinosaur one, but it certainly won't when we get to fossil bivalves or diatoms.


-- Andreas Johansson

Why can't you be a non-conformist just like everybody else?