More GBIF questions (was: ITIS)

Paul van Rijckevorsel dipteryx at FREELER.NL
Fri Jun 25 10:48:46 CDT 2004

Thomas G. Lammers wrote:
> > My point was that it should not be modified for ad hoc
 purposes, for the convenience of a single user-group, but
rather on the basis of what is best for science as a whole.
Modifying the Code to accommodate "informatics"
types is putting the cart before the horse: the informatics
types should modify THEIR procedures to bring them in line
with what taxonomists do and have done for years.

Richard Pyle wrote:
> I understand where Tom's coming from here, but it can be taken to

+ + +
Actually I doubt that the point of view of Tom Lammers is extreme. The Codes
are set in the way they work and cannot be radically altered without a
wholesale destablization of names. The Codes can be adjusted to keep up with
the times, but only in the detail ('baby steps')
+ + +

Richard Pyle wrote:
> Throughout most of the history of taxonomy, taxonomists did
not use computers at all.  They did not do cladistic analyses.  They did
not do a lot of things that modern taxonomists do.  This is such a
complex subject that it's hard to distill the issue into a few concise
sentences, but I think it boils down to this:

I think that Doug's point of view is that we taxonomists have proven
ourselves to be such a cantankerous and fickle and eccentric lot, that
we are not, generally, predisposed to voluntary cooperate efforts (if we
were, we would have less need for Codes of scientific nomenclature in
the first place).  Doug can speak for himself on this, but from my
(many) earlier discussions with him on this topic, I think I understand
his perspective to be that taxonomists simply aren't likely to play
along with a system that inherently works to everyone's (science's)
advantage unless 1) they can see how it directly benefits THEM; and 2)
they are forced to by rules in the Code.

+ + +
Actually there is no 'Code-police': the Codes are followed voluntarily (or
+ + +

Richard Pyle wrote:
> Doug sees [...]

Doug Yanega wrote
> Like insisting that only paper publication of names is viable, and
tolerating non-reviewed publications? Certain traditions are
worthwhile, and others are problematic. The Code-mandated reliance
upon traditional print media is a hindrance to the efficient and
timely compilation and dissemination of taxonomic information. That's
not simply one user group that benefits if the Codes are changed,
it's ALL user groups, AND the taxonomists themselves (i.e., "science
as a whole").

+ + +
"Insisting" is too strong a word. The St.Louis Congress did institute a
Special Committee on the topic. This Committee (through its Secretary
Richard H. Zander) is now proposing to allow publication in an electronic
journal (proposal 180) or on CD or DVD (proposal 181).
[ ; search; [for author] Zander [source
journal] Taxon]. These proposals will be debated at Vienna next year, where
it looks to be one of the main changes proposed in the working of the Code
(realistic changes proposed that is)

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