[Taxacom] FW: formation of zoological names with Mc, Mac, et
dipteryx at freeler.nl
dipteryx at freeler.nl
Thu Sep 3 03:13:19 CDT 2009
Thank you for the update on Dew Makhan; I had not followed
As to the Codes, these codify existing nomenclatural practice.
In general they are limited in scope (with the Bacteriological
Code having a much firmer grip), and this limitation is quite
deliberate, as there is a strong feeling that nomenclature
should not hinder taxonomy. That these limitations can cause
problems to individual users (who have a very specific purpose)
is a given.
The Codes are finely balanced instruments of conditional logic
and it is not unknown for them to have internal flaws, but the
general user is not likely to find these.
As to your general argument, your internal logic is full of
holes. You quote commissioner Zhang who refers to problems
with 'taxonomic vandals'. As appears from your post you "don't
actually think there is such a thing as "taxonomic vandals"."
(so you disagree with commissioner Zhang), but nevertheless
you "[intend to use this quote] to back up my general claim
that there are many holes in the Code". How can somehing that
does not exist back up a claim? Also, we are not to connect
your "solutions" to apply to the problems in the directly
It looks clear to me that the Codes regulate many matters
connected with formal names. They are also clear on what a name
is (what is part of the name and what is not part of the name),
and they are focused on ensuring that for any particular taxon
there is only a single correct name.
It does not look to me that the problems that databases have in
documenting names are to be attributed to (or solved by) the
Codes. It would probably be wrong also to attribute these problems
to design flaws in the databases. Most likely it is a planning error,
a severe underestimation of the complexity of the field, and
especially of the amount of work involved in the proper gathering
of data (the "we are investing in the infrastructure, the data will
take care of itself" approach).
Van: Stephen Thorpe [mailto:s.thorpe at auckland.ac.nz]
Verzonden: do 3-9-2009 0:56
Aan: dipteryx at freeler.nl; taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Onderwerp: RE: [Taxacom] FW: formation of zoological names with Mc, Mac, et
> I am sure everybody would be most interested to hear more about
>how your "sensible and pragmatic solutions" are going to stop those
Hold on there, Paul, I DIDN'T SAY that my solutions were intended to stop
"taxonomic vandals"! The quote was intended to back up my general claim that
there are many holes in the Code. I don't actually think there is such a thing
as "taxonomic vandals". But this is a whole different issue. The discussion
from which the quote was taken concerned this unfortunate situation: http://species.wikimedia.org/wiki/Myuchelys The same new genus was named
again in Zootaxa without even a mention of Wells' previous publication, because
Wells is considered by many to be a bogus "taxonomic vandal"! Efforts are being
made to prove his journal to be bogus according to the letter of the Code.
I strongly DISAGREE! I say that bad taxonomy is nothing new, and is by no means
restricted to "amateurs" like Wells. If we start restricting who can contribute
taxonomy, then it is the thin end of the wedge, and who will be excluded next?
It will become an exclusive club, and many people who could otherwise make
valuable contributions will be unable to do so. This sort of thing can get
quite nasty: have you read what has been published concerning Dewanand Makhan?
For example, read the references at the bottom of this page (if you have a strong
From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu [taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu]
On Behalf Of Paul van Rijckevorsel [dipteryx at freeler.nl]
Sent: Wednesday, 2 September 2009 10:41 p.m.
To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] FW: formation of zoological names with Mc, Mac, et
From: "Stephen Thorpe" <s.thorpe at auckland.ac.nz>
Sent: Wednesday, September 02, 2009 10:52 AM
>If you try to follow the Code to the very letter, you will soon run
>into all sorts of problems. To quote commissioner Zhang (pers. comm.)
>in the context of a discussion about what counts as valid publication
>according to "the letter of the Code" [quote] there are many holes
>that taxonomic vandals can exploit - it doesn't make our jobs very
>easy [unquote]. So, what do we do? My approach is to try to find
>sensible and pragmatic solutions to the problems,
I am sure everybody would be most interested to hear more about
how your "sensible and pragmatic solutions" are going to stop those
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