[Taxacom] Taxonomic 'Vandalism' to be Solved by Taxonomic Tyranny?

Richard Wells envirodata at hotmail.com
Mon May 20 09:33:37 CDT 2013



I would
just like to make a few comments on the Taxacom discussion on so-called 'vandalism' in recent herp taxonomy started by Wolfgang


Thorpe's comments are like honey on the wind compared to the considerations of
the Kaiser et al paper (hereinafter cited as Wuster et al). Thorpe has
consistently shown his superior intellectual grasp of not only the structure of
the Code and its more sensible applications, but also importantly where any
credit or kudos should really lie in the classification of life – not in the
act of naming, but through the efforts derived by discovery and scholarship.


shrill-like bleatings of Wuster over Hoser's actions (and mine too apparently),
make him look more like a spoilt brat spitting his dummy, than the
professional scientist that he obviously aspires to be. I have closely followed
Wuster's contributions in herpetology for a number of years and I can readily
attest that for the most part, it is a publishing record of which he can be
proud. The only real faltering in his output that I can see relates solely to
his personality clash with Raymond Hoser. 


In effect,
Wuster through his well-meaning attempts to bring down Hoser through his
orchestrated smear campaign over the last 15 years is starting to look more like
the hapless Cartoon character of Coyote who is always done over by the Road
Runner in the form of Raymond Hoser. Through Wuster’s circulation of pseudo-scientific
ravings to counter the frenzied accusations of Hoser, Wuster is leaving himself
wide open to serious criticism from his colleagues. Wuster now uses the
Internet like a playground bully uses a schoolyard. Step out of line in
taxonomic herpetology and you better watch out for the Wuster Gang ! 

He’s all
over Facebook, on Blogs, Forums, List Servers, Websites such as Wikipedia, Newspapers,
Google Alerts, and even in so-called peer-reviewed journals such as
‘Litterature Serpentium’, ‘Toxicon’ and even that now sensationalist rag
‘Nature’ peddling his own brand of idiocy masquerading as an alternative to
Hoser’s actions – a sort of pervasive Wuster Whisper that floods across
cyberspace as soon as Hoser starts the presses. It’s beyond pathetic, it makes
him front and centre the man actually responsible for much of Hoser's outbursts
in taxonomy and nomenclature in recent years, and it’s about time he took the
credit for that instead of Hoser’s names. That Wuster even went so far as to
actually rename a validly Available Hoser generic name recently (supposedly as
a new subgenus) just made him belly-flop into the same intellectual
cesspit as Hoser himself plays so competently in. And, if that wasn't enough to
make the already nervous wriggling of the ICZN Commissioners mutate into the
perambulations of spastics on steroids, Wuster et al have now entered the
realms of an almost comedic farce in Zoology with the retrospective banning of
not only Hoser's contributions, but also mine as well ! 

Given what Wuster has
been up against with Hoser constantly barraging him with insults, invectitude
and outright ridicule for years over the way he has responded to his work, I suppose it was not all that surprising
that Wuster should clutch for the only dead log in the current that Doug
Yanega's LAN idea represents. Unfortunately, Yanega's idea is like hoping for
love in a sleezy brothel - big on the promises, but definitely no after-glow
with that one Dougie...
Given that most branches of taxonomic zoology are in
decided decline with ever more power falling into rapidly dwindling numbers of
'authorities', an 'Official' LAN could be just what the doctor ordered for
those not having the ability to deal with Hoser with the intellectual honesty that he deserves. Such
an ‘official’ list of available names would not only fail to stop Hoser or anyone else determined and knowledgeable enough to contribute, it may actually have the reverse effect. It could even entrench a minority
or even an intellectual mediocrity, and it could also in the process strengthen the growing invasion
by corporations into the biological sciences through intellectual property
rights being more easily applied to novel products derived from the work of taxonomists….and
so begins a potential for Taxonomic Tyranny that will take everyone out eventually - Wuster
et al included….

And, finally, to quote Wolgang (Don Quixote) Wuster himself...."I strongly suspect that much of the... scientific community will regard the fact that we are having to waste our time on this with head-shaking incredulity". Finally, Wuster is starting to make sense ! I think that may deserve a bit of taxonomic recognition, and since Wuster et al sought fit to include my work in their attack on Ray Hoser, I may decide to immortalize BOTH of them in my next paper on the taxonomy and nomenclature of the Australian Reptilia - I may name a genus after Wolfgang Wuster, and name one of its included species for Ray Hoser - Just think of the magnitude of THAT honour...They will be linked by name forever.....ENJOY !




PS: And by
the way, I am NOT a taxonomic vandal. 


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