Electronic Registration

B. J. Tindall bti at DSMZ.DE
Mon Nov 19 08:49:59 CST 2001

At 11:47 16.11.2001 -0500, Ron Gatrelle wrote:
>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.

Well yes and no:
All codes are restrictive in that you can't publish just anything - you
can't reuse the same name for a different type if that name is still in
use. There are already restrictions which are there to serve a defined
purpose. The present system in zoology and botany operates around a system
of "I have published a new name - now you try and find it." All
registration requires is that one notify the scientific community that a
name has been published which comforms to the appropriate code. Creating a
central list and publishing such names on a website makes access easier.
Someone has to administer such a site, which means that one has to rely on
a "central body".
In your e-mail you also mention that review can cause problems - I see
similar problems developing in microbiology, but this is a case of
education. David Hull in his "Science as a Process" documented the
situation. I do not see that problems at the review stage should stop
registration - sit on the reviewers and editors, don't take it out on
registration - your quarrel is with the way taxonomy is being practised,
not with the goal of listing all names in use - these are two different
aspects, although I appreciate your point!

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