[Taxacom] very nice opinion article in today's Zootaxa

Karl Magnacca kmagnacca at wesleyan.edu
Thu Sep 15 16:23:21 CDT 2011


On Thu, September 15, 2011 10:13 am, John Shuey wrote:
>  But of course, had he done that, it would have been painfully
> obvious to even himself that he had crossed some ethical line in
> publishing from other's data, and self denial is important to
> maintaining one's psyche... (albeit data that they naively figured
> was ok to place in the public domain...).

I'm certainly not saying that Brower is in the right here, and I
would not have done something like that, especially without
contacting Janzen and Burns.  That said, I'm reluctant to explicitly
condemn it either, for the reasons I laid out previously - the bold
claims that were made in the original 2004 paper and the repeated
citation of provisional names, which does no good.

> And not of minor consequence - is that no one knows how exactly
> available names like "fulgerator" or "azul" fit into the cryptic
> species or what these species concepts represent.  Brower - in cheap
> and sloppy work, simply ignores the issue and acknowledges that some
> of the stupid names are stupid synonyms (but who knows when this
> will get resolved now, given that Brower hasn't really held a dead
> bug in his hands as part of this work).

How does Brower's paper affect when and how it gets resolved?  He's
merely acting as a gadfly and provocateur, replacing the provisional
names with official ones.  Since he doesn't even have the specimens,
it isn't like Burns has to travel to some remote museum to examine
the types and see which ones he's referring to.  And since he left
the older names untouched, it's trivial to sink the newer ones if
need be; Burns will have to compare the older types to the new
specimens anyway to determine their status.

Karl





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