[Taxacom] Wuster's attack on the rules of zoology

Raymond Hoser Snakeman Snakebusters Reptile Parties viper007 at live.com.au
Wed May 22 06:59:36 CDT 2013

Wolfgang, who are you kidding here by saying:

“I posted the link to the paper here to make others in
the taxonomic 

community aware of this ongoing issue and the specifics of the paper - 

it is a taxonomic discussion forum after all.”


“and I also trust that you support the 

> right of those who disagree with aspects of the Code and desire change 

> to voice that view, even if you strongly disagree?”

Are both bare-faced lies contradicted both by the content
of Kaiser et al. and your own internet comments since, including for example as
recently as this week where one your posts said:

“I know you are

aware of several other recent cases
where names coined by some of your colleagues

have been ignored and overwritten by
others. The new names seem to be taking off very

nicely, if the number of Google and Google Scholar hits
is anything to go by”


“I'm sure it won't be too long before
we see papers appearing that implement the actions proposed by Kaiser et al.
and endorsed by most of the major herpetological societies across the globe.”


which matches with the statements on pages 19 and 20 of
Kaiser et. al. which you seem to be implying you had a minimal role in

You are not in fact advocating for a change in the rules
of Zoological nomenclature at some future point in time, but rather outright defiance
of it, and creation of chaos and instability, here and now!

You are calling for a retrospective boycott
spanning 12 years and illegal under the code, including the three critical
rules of:

1/ Homonymy (Principal 5, Article 52 and elsewhere), 

2/ Priority (Principal 3, Article 23 and elsewhere), 

3/ Stability (Principal 4, Articles 23, 65 and elsewhere), 

as well as the ethics of the Code (Appendix A).

by renaming of many hundreds of validly named, code compliant
taxa, many of which you have grudgingly conceded represent valid taxa, meaning
you have no issue with the taxonomy but only the nomenclature on the basis of an
obsessive dislike of the person who named it/them.

As for your claims here of: 

“modifying the text very substantially on the basis of 

information and suggestions received, and steering it through two rounds 

of peer review in the Herpetological Review”,

well they are laughable.

Fact is that if you cross-check the Kaiser et al. rant of
2012 sent out as a SPAM email in June by Kaiser, as published unedited in
Australasian Journal of Herpetology Issue 14, in mid 2012, or the “final
version” published on 19 March 2013 in Herpetological Review (reprinted in AJH
Issue 18 ethically with my response on 27 April this year, which I note your
side refused to print in Herpetological Review), the documents are effectively
unchanged save for a few paragraphs and the addition of about 100 taxa you seek
to rename without evidence.

Noting that the editor of Herpetological Review sent out
an e-mail postdating the first version saying he hadn’t been submitted the
piece and the fact that the final version had no changes save for those being a
direct result of my identification of specific errors in AJH issue 14, it is
self evident that there was no effective peer review or any substantial
modification as you have falsely claimed above.

Now for the benefit of the others here who seek to read
both versions of the Kaiser et. al. (Wuster et. al.) blog, you can do so to confirm
Wuster is misleading everyone again, do so, by visiting 


and seeing issues 14 and 18 of the journal for the exact
copies of each.

Wolfgang, no one here is trying to censor your views, no
matter how much you try to misrepresent the facts.

What most of us are concerned with is your repeated
attempts to create taxonomic and nomenclatural instability by stepping outside the
rules (the current code) to act out a personal vendetta and unethically steal
naming rights from earlier workers and the chaos that will not only ensue from
this dishonest act, but worse still if it is emulated by others within or
outside herpetology.

And as for your claim you are seeking a dialogue in terms
of your “point of view” the fact is that you and your associates have
consistently refused to publish alternative positions in forums and publications
you control for the last 15 years and the refusal to publish any replies in
Herpetological Review this year continue your despotic censorship of anything
that may expose the fraudulent nature of your claims and the obvious defects in
your arguments.

Finally, you published the links and comments to your
claims here, seeking to gain support for your illegal actions outside the code,
based on false claims against myself and Wells, which in reality aren’t
particularly relevant to your own unethical acts, and I am sure you are
surprised that a number of correspondents here have seen your plan for what it
is ... nothing more than a dishonest attempt to break the rules of zoological
nomenclature to steal the work of others and claim credit for it, just as you
have done repeatedly in the past!

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> Date: Wed, 22 May 2013 12:02:57 +0100
> From: w.wuster at bangor.ac.uk
> To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Paper on taxonomic standards in herpetology
> Stephen Thorpe wrote:
> > [quote]taxonomic decisions in herpetology and their nomenclatural 
> > consequences are acceptable only when supported by a body of evidence 
> > published within the peer-review process[unquote]
> >  
> > I agree that taxonomic decisions in herpetology are acceptable only 
> > when supported by a body of published evidence. I'm not sure that peer 
> > review prior to publication adds anything? But more seriously, it is 
> > the "nomenclatural consequences" bit which is highly debatable! If new 
> > names are published in accordance with the Code, then they cannot be 
> > claimed to be "unacceptable", except that they may be treated as 
> > synonyms (i.e. invalid). This much is already an option. It is however 
> > evident that you, Wolfgang, are pushing for such names to be 
> > considered unavailable, and THAT is the contentious bit ...
> All of us who worked long and hard on this paper, who spent months in 
> discussion with individuals and societies, gathering and assessing 
> support, modifying the text very substantially on the basis of 
> information and suggestions received, and steering it through two rounds 
> of peer review in the Herpetological Review (and by "all of us" I mean 
> primarily Hinrich Kaiser, who led the initiative from the start and did 
> the overwhelming majority of the work, contrary to the assumptions of 
> many) are well aware that our suggestions would be controversial. 
> However, I trust that you support the right of those espousing 
> controversial views to air those, and I also trust that you support the 
> right of those who disagree with aspects of the Code and desire change 
> to voice that view, even if you strongly disagree?
> I posted the link to the paper here to make others in the taxonomic 
> community aware of this ongoing issue and the specifics of the paper - 
> it is a taxonomic discussion forum after all. I am not surprised by the 
> diversity of reactions received, but hope that it will in time 
> contribute to a sensible discussion of the matter, and perhaps to to a 
> solution that will preserve the interests of all bona fide taxonomists 
> as well as the integrity of both taxonomy and nomenclature.
> -- 
> 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://www.bangor.ac.uk/~bss166/
> -- 
> Rhif Elusen Gofrestredig / Registered Charity No. 1141565
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