Electronic Registration

Ron at Ron at
Fri Nov 16 11:47:44 CST 2001

----- Original Message -----
From: "Joel Hallan" <joelhallan at HOTMAIL.COM>
Sent: Friday, November 16, 2001 10:01 AM
Subject: Electronic Registration

> If an electronic registration website existed [and it was ICZN legal to
> publish so], I feel that more and more new names would be published on
> web.  It would be cheaper and faster and more available.
> While Bacteria [3000 names] does have such a site, they are extremely
> funded as a group and the number of names of bacteria is rather small
> a per cent or less] with relatively few names being added compared to the
> rest of life.
> Joel Hallan

Up side.
It seems to me that the only real reason this is desired is easy access to
information.   Which we would all like to have.  User convienience.
Especially where mountains of information present a daunting task of
information retrieval.

Down side.
The down side is that registration does not lead to restriction  -- it is
restriction.  Restriction overseen by human beings is called control.  More
convenience is directly related to more control -- control yielded to a
dictatorial authority.   Moving away from a Code that merely regulates
nomenclatural process - but leaves thought, research, systematics alone is
fraught with pitfalls totally related to the natural ego and corrupt
tendencies of human beings.  Power still corrupts and absolute power still
corrupts absolutely.  It is a high myth of academia that somehow education
eliminates "sin" - the base prejudices and delusions of the human soul of
greed for power and control. Talk of a registration per this statement by
Doug is alarming to me.

"I believe it is absolutely necessary, for the future of our science, that
we either establish or designate a single agency which will act as THE
universal nomenclatural clearing-house; this will be the SOLE agency with
which all new names must be registered, and it must also be rempowered to
review, publish, archive, and disseminate new *electronic* taxonomic works
(in addition to the registration and archival functions of external

The ICZN is wisely structured to accommodate both scientific definition (by
uniform _restriction_ of technical terms) and evolutionary theory (by
_non-regulation_ of authors textual presentations of organic
interrelation.).  There is a very good reason why the ICZN does not (and
hopefully never will) "require" review of authors papers.  It is academia
that wants this requirement (control).  Some at the top of the pecking
order do not just review they restrict and or eliminate that which is not
in accord with their view of systematic taxonomy _ their_ "species

The ICZN is not an "agency".  We don't need or want an agency.   The
code(s) can be amended to allow electronic publication.  But an agency
would control what thought (not just whose) is published.   The phylogenic
concepts of those who push for the  Phylocode are totally facilitated
within the rules of the ICZN.  Their movement is not just a pragmatic
desire for a better system.   It is ultimately an imposition of "their"
system and the elimination of others (i.e. the biological species concept).

I also feel that some here are much more involved with the management of
the information of systematics than the day to day application of it.
What may be very convenient for the librarian may be a disaster for the
author.   As a working taxonomist, I would love to have easier access to
the individual jewels I need  but are buried in the mountains of
information - but not at the price of control and restriction of my
systematics.  It is a very small step from "review" to "censorship".

Ron Gatrelle

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