[Taxacom] Paper on taxonomic standards in herpetology

Wolfgang Wuster w.wuster at bangor.ac.uk
Tue May 14 17:22:15 CDT 2013


On 14/05/2013 22:35, Stephen Thorpe wrote:
> Perhaps, be we also need a unified system of taxonomy and 
> nomenclature, i.e. not one which subgroups (like herpetologists) want 
> to tailor to their own best interests, because everyone's best 
> interests are not the same, and you can't please all the people all of 
> the time. We really don't want factionalism in taxonomy/nomenclature, 
> and we particularly don't want factions deciding what is or isn't 
> "scientific" (or rather, they can do so, but they can't ram it down 
> other people's throats outside the faction)...
>

The only "ramming down throats" is being performed by those who exploit 
the Code to force others to use some of their hundreds of unfounded 
names in those cases where the taxa concerned are found valid and 
without a senior synonym. I agree that a unified system of nomenclature 
is highly desirable. However, you cannot expect workers on one group of 
organisms to simply hand over much of their future nomenclatural output 
to a few fringe elements operating outside of the normal constraints of 
science just to "take one for the team". Herpetologists have already 
been there over the Wells & Wellington affair. While I am by and large 
in favour of elitismophobia, I don't think we should be blinded by it 
when it comes to recognising and acting against the extremes of 
taxonomic vandalism.

At the end of the day, the proof of the pudding will lie in subsequent 
usage. The suggestions of put forth by Kaiser et al. have gained 
considerable support from a number of major herpetological societies and 
bodies. If a move towards translating them into nomenclatural acts gains 
traction in herpetology, then relevant publications will start to 
appear. If no consensus emerges, then they won't. Time will tell.

-- 
Dr. Wolfgang Wüster  -  Senior Lecturer
School of Biological Sciences    Bangor University
Environment Centre Wales
Bangor LL57  2UW                 Wales, UK
Tel: +44 1248 382301  Fax: +44 1248 382569
E-mail: w.wuster at bangor.ac.uk
http://pages.bangor.ac.uk/~bss166/





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