[Taxacom] Paper on taxonomic standards in herpetology

JF Mate aphodiinaemate at gmail.com
Wed May 15 06:36:49 CDT 2013


Stephen Thorpe wrote

"Someone who publishes a really good taxonomic revision deserves lots of
credit for that, regardless of the authorship of any names. ...If we stop
linking name authorship to credit, then we remove motivation to create new
names without doing the associated science ..."

But part of the problem is the lack of recognition taxonomists get for
their work. It has already been discussed here how it would be desirable to
quote or mention the taxonomic authorship in papers that make use of these
names. So in a way the long term recognition of an author´s body of work is
linked by the species described by said author, at least to the end
consumer. I am not familiar with herpetology or vertebrate taxonomy of any
kind, but as someone who works on Coleoptera, a day hasn´t gone by where I
don´t foam in the mouth at the level of shot-gun, genus rubber-stamping I
see going on (particularly in the Aphodiinae), so I can understand the
spirit of the paper. What I don´t understand is how are  Hoser´s names Code
compliant if they are published in his own, self-edited, non-peer reviewed
journal? (not that peer-review has slowed the flood in any case)

Best

Jason



On 15 May 2013 01:23, Stephen Thorpe <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz> wrote:

> Yes, it could be a good idea. Particularly if that someone had a really
> good grasp of latin/greek, and a really good grasp of the Code, then they
> could create a pool of really good available generic names, saving future
> taxonomists the trouble of creating their own! Good idea or not, it is a
> non-issue, a pseudo-problem. The key point is for authors to get due credit
> for the quality (not quantity) of their publications. Someone who publishes
> a really good taxonomic revision deserves lots of credit for that,
> regardless of the authorship of any names. Someone who published new names
> with no science deserves little or no credit. If we stop linking name
> authorship to credit, then we remove motivation to create new names without
> doing the associated science ...
>
> Stephen
>
>
> ________________________________
> From: "Weakley, Alan" <weakley at bio.unc.edu>
> To: Stephen Thorpe <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz>; Wolfgang Wuster <
> w.wuster at bangor.ac.uk>
> Cc: "taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu" <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
> Sent: Wednesday, 15 May 2013 11:08 AM
> Subject: RE: [Taxacom] Paper on taxonomic standards in herpetology
>
>
>
> I don’t really care about glory.  Not the issue.
>
> So, it would be fine for someone to publish a new genus name for every
> species, such that any time a genus is split, a decade or a hundred years
> in the future, that name would have priority?  I think this would be
> taxonomic vandalism.
>
> From:Stephen Thorpe [mailto:stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz]
> Sent: Tuesday, May 14, 2013 7:02 PM
> To: Weakley, Alan; Wolfgang Wuster
> Cc: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Paper on taxonomic standards in herpetology
>
> That is a nonsense problem! There is no "glory" in proposing a new name.
> If an old and obscure name already exists for a newly recognised taxon,
> then that's all good, no need to bother creating a new one. It is a mere
> technicality that the author of the name is someone other than the person
> who recognised the taxon as new most recently. The "glory" (such that it
> is) is in being the author of the publication which newly recognises the
> taxon, not in being the author of the name! Get real! Repeat after me:
> "There is no glory in naming ..."!
>
> Stephen
>
> From:"Weakley, Alan" <weakley at bio.unc.edu>
> To: Stephen Thorpe <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz>; Wolfgang Wuster <
> w.wuster at bangor.ac.uk>
> Cc: "taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu" <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
> Sent: Wednesday, 15 May 2013 10:54 AM
> Subject: RE: [Taxacom] Paper on taxonomic standards in herpetology
>
> Wolfgang is making the inarguable point that many of the names (unless
> suppressed) WILL have to be taken up and used in the future, because future
> results will (in some cases) show that a split is warranted and the oldest
> available name for the new entity is one of these (it's type being
> contained within the circumscription of a future genus and no older name
> being available).
>
> In North American botany, Constantine Samuel Rafinesque-Schmaltz must be
> credited with the ultimate sawed-off nomenclatural shotgun in North
> American botany.  Kind of a sawed-off shotgun equipped with an unending
> machine-gun style ammo clip.  If molecular phylogeny indicates that a genus
> needs to be split, it is likely that Rafinesque already named it 180 years
> ago, through some combination of erudition and random, heavy fire.  Like
> the recent split of Osmanthus, whereby North American Osmanthus needs a new
> name, and Rafinesque had kindly supplied not one, but two (Cartrema being
> the winner).
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu [mailto:
> taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Stephen Thorpe
> Sent: Tuesday, May 14, 2013 6:31 PM
> To: Wolfgang Wuster
> Cc: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Paper on taxonomic standards in herpetology
>
> What we need is a coping strategy for dealing with poor quality taxonomy
> and its associated nomenclature. Mostly it is easy. If Hoser or whoever
> splits a genus into 10 genera, then you just treat them all as synonyms if
> you disagree. This makes the author of those new genera look foolish. Most
> such authors will probably take the hint before too long ...
>
>
>
> ________________________________
> From: Wolfgang Wuster <w.wuster at bangor.ac.uk>
> To: Stephen Thorpe <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz>
> Cc: "taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu" <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
> Sent: Wednesday, 15 May 2013 10:22 AM
> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Paper on taxonomic standards in herpetology
>
>
>
> 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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