Quote: W. W. Howells on naming Homo erectus

W. W. Howells, in the conclusion of the 1980 review, Homo erectus–Who, When and Where: A Survey”:

So we might be wise to be continually careful in writing about Homo erectus, making clear whether one is referring to a population or taxon with a workable definition (such as might embrace all the Chou-k'ou-tien and Javanese fossils), or to a grade taken broadly, or to a time zone (Campbell, 1972). The history of argument about the "Neanderthal phase" should show what the problems may be. As to subspecies of H. erectus, there [sic] are of course legitimate and what we should look for; we should expect their development and their survival over considerable periods. There is no reason to suppose that H. erectus as a species did not include all hominids for a long interval. But the bestowing of names, like having a child, carries responsibilities. To be too liberal with subspecific names, even awarding them to single specimens (e.g., H. e. leakeyi), rather than to recognizable populations, is both to injure their use and to confuse the search for real lineages.

I’m quoting Howells not to endorse this view but because he expresses clearly one opinion about the goals of naming species and subspecies.