[Taxacom] RE revisiting patronym auctions

Richard Petit r.e.petit at worldnet.att.net
Fri Aug 15 09:40:00 CDT 2008


Dear Dr. Edwards:

You wrote: "The greedy capitalists are most likely to be the unscrupulous 
profiteers who don't work as taxonomists, are not willing to follow the 
rules, or even care if their new species are valid."

If, for a moment, you can stop sneering at us greedy capitalists you may 
refelect upon the fact that it is capitalists who make it possible for you 
to have a tenured position (a situation unknown in the real world).  Also, 
if museums were denuded of all specimens collected and/or purchased by 
non-professionals and donated to museums, there would be little left.

As for cooperation between specialists, it is often the professional 
taxonomists' lack of cooperation with, and often total disregard for, 
non-professionals that results in non-professionals "doing" alpha taxonomy. 
Yes, we amateurs do make mistakes.  Would you like for me to enumerate 
mistakes made in taxonomy by professionals?

I know nothing about the auctioning or sale of names. I am guilty of having 
named species for persons who collected previously unknown species and made 
specimens available for study and deposition in major institutions. If such 
recognition of collectors/donors constitutes "selling names" it can be 
traced back to at least the early 19th Century.

Fortunately, not all professional taxonomists look down on those of us 
outside of academia. Many are appreciative of our contributions to their 
institutions.

I will not take any more space with this thread, although I could.  However, 
I must get back to the capitalist problem of trying to determine exactly how 
I will make my quarterly tax payment in three weeks. Perhaps I can sell a 
name to the IRS.

dick p. 





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