Sunday, February 06, 2011
Wherein I get a bit too philosophical about the naming of things
In fact, it's a new week with new possibilities ahead and I think I might see if one of the specimens that I brought home from the British Museum is something new to people. I don't know yet, but it might be. So far, I have no preconceived notions of what it might be other than a butterfly I haven't looked at yet. I still cannot help wondering what I'd name it if it's new. I could name it after something mythological, following in the grand tradition of lepidopterists who have gone before me, or a colleague, loved one, or other person - also traditional, or something else that I haven't thought up yet. Naming organisms is funny business and seems to me a bit like signing your own name to someone else's work of art. I, of course, had no hand in the formation of any organism other than my own offspring that I might give a name to, but it's out of love that I'd give it a name and an identity. I suppose that's the same reason we give names to our children or even to our pets. If we didn't care, we wouldn't set them apart from the others by naming them.