[thechat] Taxonomic ... Auction?

Luther, Ron Ron.Luther at hp.com
Mon Sep 24 08:59:50 CDT 2007

William Anderson asked:

>>... really?  Are you confusing him with someone else?

Hi Nuero,

"Damn!  Double Damn!  And a pint of damn on the side!"  [1]

My bad.  Not a good example I suppose.  I was momentarily indignant that
anyone with the inclination (and deep enough pockets) could name one of
these new species after Stalin, Putin, or anyone else they chose - even
Posh Spice!  For some unknown reason I was, for a brief moment anyway,
thinking that the purity of the scientific spirit would induce the
boffin discoverers to consider their reputations and choose more
elegant, descriptive, and "professional" names.  

Silly me.  The historical record certainly doesn't bear that out, does
it?  Many creatures have been named after real or potential sponsors in
an effort to curry favor.  Why should today be any different?  Perhaps
this is merely a bit of a more direct path. 

While I still cringe somewhat at the thought of future generation
studying 'Paracheilinus TacoBellii' in class, I am reluctantly becoming
more accustomed (or perhaps inured) to the idea.  I'll be fine, really;
pass the absinthe!


[1] from an old 'A Bit of Fry and Laurie' sketch.

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