Freedom of taxonomic thought

The Code does not tell anybody how to classify something or how to recognize species or other taxa. These are scientific decisions that are totally under the responsibility of the systematist. The Code provides rules for a system of communication, a "language,'' for communicating such taxonomic decisions. This "freedom of scientific thought'' is expressly guaranteed in the Preamble of the Code, and, indirectly, emphasizes the role of nomenclature in biology as a notional process acting subsequent to the scientific process. As an example, the Code permits a scientist to continue using a name that is considered to be a junior synonym by another author. Conversely, the freedom of taxonomic thought includes also the freedom to make taxonomic mistakes that, as a consequence, do not affect nomenclature. If, for example, a name is erroneously placed in synonymy, its validity is not affected.

0 0

Post a comment