[Taxacom] Validation of taxon names

Kenneth Kinman kennethkinman at webtv.net
Sat Feb 25 21:24:53 CST 2012

Dear All,
       When this thread began, Stephen warned that the original question
could open a "can of worms".  Not sure if it is closer to a "Can of
Worms" or a full-blown semantic "Pandora's Box".   But the length of
thread speaks volumes how the Codes can get bogged down into semantic

      Either way, it used to make me sort of thankful in a way that my
main interests are in higher taxa, where the Codes have consistently
"fear to tread".  But ironically, the problem is that PhyloCode has
attempted to interject itself into that void in ways (severely
anti-paraphyletic) which are even more unfortunate.  

      In any case, I am grateful to the ICZN for adding the generic name
Mesoplodon to the Official List back in 1985 (the only time I felt
compelled to spend some 6-7 years trying to do so and also getting two
other long forgotten generic names rejected).  Of course, the delayed
decision came after one of those rejected generic names (Nodus, if I
recall correctly) was in the interrim resurrected in the Mammals of
North America (2nd Edition).  Perhaps better late than never, but just
shows how frustrated I have gotten with the slowness of Commissions or
Congresses to act (even when the Internet now should make it possible to
avoid such delays).  

      Anyway, forgetting about the slowness to act on cases involving
species, genus, or family names, the total failure of the Codes to
tackle higher taxa (at all) could end up allowing PhyloCode to interject
itself into the void and cause even more problems on those taxonomic
levels.  I wouldn't be surprised to see some PhyloCoder trying to get
"Archaea" phylogenetically defined and given priority over
"Archaebacteria".  I guess I can only hope that PhyloCode proves to be
even more disfunctional than the other Codes.  They ALL remind me of the
U.S. Congress in many ways (none of which is positive). 
              ---------Ken Kinman

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