Curtis Clark jcclark at CSUPOMONA.EDU
Wed Apr 4 22:09:03 CDT 2001

At 07:33 PM 4/4/01, Doug Yanega wrote:
>Curtis Clark wrote:
> >The only
> >reasons they can't coexist are reasons of personality, not of logic.
>Not so. If someone publishes clade names for Phylocode purposes, then they
>will very often satisfy the ICZN/ICBN guidelines for being validly
>published - and forever thereafter, even if they violate various code
>provisions, they will still need to be shoehorned into the traditional
>system, if only to declare them all nomina nuda or whatever.

That's not logic, that's b*llsh*t. It's the same as if botanists of the
last century said that because descriptions of new plants in newspapers
could be validly published according to the ICBN, we should ban newspapers.
Instead, the ICBN rules were changed to eliminate newspaper publication
(although see Joe Laferriere's posts of several years ago for a different
take on this).

If the Phylocode people are intentionally trying to make the requirements
so similar that Phylocode names are also ICxN names, that is a serious
problem. But it is a problem of personalities. On the other hand, some of
the aspects of Phylocode seem to be quite different--I haven't read the
section on typification in a while, but some of the proposals would have
required a Phylocode group to have at least *two* types ("the least
inclusive group containing both X and Y"), which violates ICBN (they could
not be syntypes, since they are explicitly regarded as non-equivalent), and
I imagine ICZN as well. And if there is still a problem, it can be fixed.

Why is it that Phylocode discussions always break down into alarmist
rhetoric? A lot of you who work in the United States are familiar with the
rectilinear land survey of township/range/section. For various reasons, it
is not algorithmically convertible (in any useful way) to
latitude/longitude. And yet no one (that I know of) claims that we have to
make the decision to use one or the other. Each has its purpose--lat/long
is most useful for GIS, rectilinear when you are driving section line roads
in the Great Plains with no GPS. I'll say it again, there is no *logical*
reason why Phylocode and ICxN can't coexist.

Curtis Clark        
Biological Sciences Department             Voice: (909) 869-4062
California State Polytechnic University      FAX: (909) 869-4078
Pomona CA 91768-4032  USA                  jcclark at

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