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Posted by chrish on January 22, 2003 at 13:15:28:
In Reply to: There's also the statement by some... posted by Kenny Wray on January 21, 2003 at 00:14:38:
:on the committee, that Crothers competely ignored most of their input.
That may be true. I frankly don't know. The politics of putting a list like this together have proven to be ugly.
But the accomplishment of that list, IMHO, is that they set down a list of rules for naming species (much like the rules outlined in the code). That, in itself, is a big step.
I simply do not see any trained biologist wasting any kind of time to compile a list that does not benefit the scientific community
I am not sure if you meant this comment seriously or not, but I will approach it as if you did.
So I guess you feel the same way about Whit Gibbons "wasting" his time writing books for the public about Reptile and Amphibian conservation and ecology, or maybe his several newspaper columns that he writes weekly? Or maybe he doesn't count as a trained biologist? Whit spends a significant portion of his time communicating his passion for ecology and conservation to the public, in their own language. I can't see how books like "Their Blood Runs Cold" benefit the scientific community, but I hardly see that as the sole measure of the value of someone's work.
The purpose of biology is to investigate natural phenomena in a scientific way and to disseminate that information to rest of the world, not just to each other. Standardizing common names helps us do that by giving us the language to communicate with others.
Yes, there are of course backwoods hicks whose "granpappy" showed them "one them there hoop snakes", but on the whole, the non-scientists in our communities are educated and would benefit from knowledge about the fauna of our nation. For that, they need names in their native tongue.
I think Travis Taggart spelled out the other important targets of such a list in his excellent post below.