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binominal (noun, pl. binominals;nomenclature term) – the species name in Linnaean taxonomy consists of two "names", the Genus name and the specific epithet. The application of the binominal to biological entities has been much criticized because the genus concept is largely arbitrary and different opinions rather than scientific evidence therefore have a dominant effect on the naming of species. Other authors strongly defend the binominal for several reasons: (1) reconnaissance: well delimited genera are more easily recognized than species and including ranking information as part of the species name thus conveys biological information; (2) tradition: binominals feel natural to us because at least in Western culture they are part of naming tradition of first and second names; folk taxonomies have also frequently adopted a similar system, many common names are binominals, e. g., Mountain Ash, Sugar Maple, European Beech; the Linnaean system basically follows this tradition; (3) biological: the argument that only species are natural entities ignores other evolutionary groups such as individuals and populations; common ancestry is a biological fact and it may be argued that there is some justification to include reference to this ancestry in naming conventions.

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