[Taxacom] Wuster et al (the attack on the Zoological Code) Yanega response.

Raymond Hoser Snakeman Snakebusters Reptile Parties viper007 at live.com.au
Wed May 22 20:58:23 CDT 2013




Doug,


Doug wrote:


“I also recognize that there are
many 

journals that follow PRINO (peer review in name only). This is one of 

the major sticking points of the entire "quality control in the Code"


debate over the years, and you yourself have accused Kaiser, Wuster, and 

others of publishing in PRINO journals; it would not be surprising if 

they or others accused you of the same thing. That kind of back and 

forth nonsense gets us collectively nowhere. Over the many times the 

issue has come up, one of the common remarks has been "We can't use peer 

review, in and of itself, as a criterion, because peer review can be 

biased" - and I agree. The follow-up comment is usually "The only
thing 

that works in the long run, separating good science from bad, is whether 

people accept your work or reject it". What I have repeatedly suggested, 

generally finding only ambivalent support (at best), is that all 

nomenclatural acts be channeled through a public-access, public-review 

online journal that covers all zoological nomenclature. Public review 

exposes any bias, and falsehoods can't persist in the face of full 

disclosure.”


I agree with all the above!


Doug wrote:


“I apologize to the extent that
the peer-reviewed journals you have 

published in would not qualify as PRINO journals. You'll forgive me if I 

don't have time to do the necessary research to determine this - but 

this is all the more reason I was trying to make it clear that the 

specifics of your situation are not crucial to the bigger debate.”


Your comments are accepted and agreed
fully in context!


Doug wrote:


“There are already people who are
refusing to comply with various parts 

of the Code, so that sort of chaos is the status quo.”


Yes, Wuster is a holotype example.
But the unavoidable fact is that the majority of taxonomists and the users of
their results do in fact comply!


Contrary to your next words “The
hope is that 

any changes we make will improve compliance.” You are not in a credible
position to argue non-compliance with the code is at present a serious problem
(ignoring Wuster and co for the moment as the only serious non-compliance issue).


Wuster is a serial offender and
will not comply with anything if it goes against his warped agenda.


Doug you wrote:


“> For a more specific example
of the lies by the Wuster gang, 

> cross-proven against your own statement (Doug) above, I refer you to a 

> recent Facebook post by Mark O’Shea on 19 March 2013 which reads

>

> *“**The PoV also has the backing of the International Commission for 

> Zoological Nomenclature. Authors of herpetological papers wishing to 

> avoid the use of names by Hoser and Wells can cite this Point of View. 

> A Table of preferred names for each of the several hundred Hoser and 

> Wells coined names is also provided for clarity."*

>

I was unaware of this quote, and can only offer two points regarding it: 

(1) there were certainly discussions with Commissioners prior to the 

publication of the PoV, during the review process, but it is - I agree - 

not fair to equate "reviewed by members of the Commission" with
"backed 

by the Commission".”


Thanks for your response. I didn’t
expect you to be aware of the scandalous statements by O’Shea and others in the
Wuster gang, but believe you should be aware of the methods they use to inflate
alleged and real support for their actions.


Noting most taxonomists comply
with the ICZN’s directives, the false claim of ICZN backing is a very serious
crime on their part and good reason for me and others to be alarmed.


I am stunned you claim not be and
this indicates a serious bias in favour of Wuster on your part.I would have expected you and/or the ICZN to issue a public statement refuting the false claim by O'Shea and others!


Doug wrote:


“In the most literal sense, since
the approach 

advocates measures outside the Code's jurisdiction, the Commission's 

position would be NEUTRAL. If we could stop taxonomists from acting in 

non-compliant manners, that might change the equation, but we have no 

such power,”


You are wrong, and again (perhaps
deliberately) confusing taxonomy with nomenclature.


Fact is the PoV advocates invoking
sections of the code (see p. 20) and seeking ICZN involvement to reverse
priority. The ICZN then acts and has power to act and is in fact dragged into
the mud by the PoV call to arms.


You cannot possibly or credibly
divorce the ICZN from the Wuster et al. call to arms as it very specifically
involves both the code and the mandatory need for rulings by the ICZN to
execute the plan.


Doug, try reading pages 19 and 20 of the Wuster et al blog
again where the involvement of code and ICZN is spelt our clearly.


Do you need me to cut and paste them here?


Doug your comments:


“I would say the statement above
is misleading, though a more accurate 

re-phrasing would not necessarily be to your satisfaction (i.e., if they 

said "The Commission takes a neutral position on activities outside of 

the Code's jurisdiction").”


Are a purile attack on myself as
your new suggestion is totally opposite to what they in fact said ... support
turns to non-support.


The code itself states that it
takes a neutral position on taxonomy. 
This is common ground. Taxonomy is not of the jurisdiction of the ICZN –
the nomenclature (names) are!


You are repeatedly confusing
taxonomy with nomenclature.


I am sure you understand the
difference! (or at least I hope so).


Doug wrote:


“I suspect they are following the
discussion, and I would encourage them 

to reconsider the phrasing of the above claim.”


Surely a formal retraction would
be better!


“Until and unless I gain the power
of telepathy, I'm not in a position to 

do anything but hypothesize whether dishonesty is involved, and on whose 

part. Given that both sides in this case accuse the other of dishonesty, 

it's not profitable to assume anything other than both sides believe 

they are telling the truth.”


Surely, now that the lie about ICZN
support for Wuster (Kaiser) et al has been outed by yourself you can be big
enough to condemn your good friends for making it in the first place.


Doug wrote:


“I'm quite familiar with Article
23, and it deals with issues surrounding 

prevailing usage; I don't see the parameters "well-known",
"widely 

published" or "databased" mentioned in the text. The closest
phrase 

you'll find there is "used...in at least 25 works, published by at least 

10 authorsin the immediately preceding 50 years". And, that particular 

section applies only to names not used since 1899, so it is not 

pertinent.”


That is correct – and yet this is
the exact section relied upon by Wuster (Kaiser) et al. on page 20 of their
call to break the code!


Doug wrote:


“The pertinent article is (if
anything) 23.9.3, which allows 

authors to challenge ANY senior synonym if they feel it would "threaten 

stability or universality or cause confusion", but requires that they 

ask the Commission for a ruling. That article could indeed be invoked 

for the purpose of renaming validly named taxa of recent vintage, though 

it might definitely be a "hard sell" to convince the Commission”


Correct and noting the two
published hit lists of Wuster (Kaiser) et al. of several hundred taxa, you are
I presume, happy to see several hundred cases come up to the commission in ten
years time in one big cluster! ... and then the next lot from the copycats
outside herpetology!


Doug wrote:


“You are standing up and saying
"My names are Code-compliant, 

and therefore you are forced to use them" and that is not literally 

true, because the Code cannot force anyone to do anything - it tells 

people what they SHOULD do in order to be compliant.”


Wrong in first instance – correct in
second.


I am not telling anyone to use my
taxonomy. What I am saying is that if my taxonomy is correct, the rules of
nomenclature need to be complied with.


In other words, and as you are
aware, Wuster’s renaming of Spracklandus Hoser, 2009,  with the new junior synonym he unlawfully
coined is an acceptance of my taxonomy and a deliberate attempt by him and his
friends to rename the valid taxon group with his own coined name in breach of
the code. That is why I went to the ICZN with this matter and well before their
“Kaiser et al. plan was hatched up.  I am
sure you are aware of these significant events.


Wuster and co have done this with
one of my species and several others properly named by other (highly respected)
herpetologists. Wuster et. al. now seek to widen these illegal actions to
include hundreds of taxa.


Surely you see the magnitude of
the issue!  It is the nomenclature at
issue, not the taxonomy as noted by several others on this list, including even
Jason Mate who has posted against me, citing what he said was the evidentiary basis
to support my taxonomic acts!


“Again, you are fighting over
details that change nothing even if they 

are interpreted in your favor. The issue is that people are organizing a 

boycott against your works, and your argument that they can't do that 

because your works are Code-compliant doesn't seem to be working. You 

might need to worry less about convincing people that you aren't 

violating the Code and more about convincing them that your names are 

WORTH USING.”


Doug you’ve missed the point. The
taxonomy stands or fails on its merits.


The issue is stability of
nomenclature, which is what the ICZN and the code stand for.


You here are stepping outside this
domain and going against the ICZN by encouraging Wuster and others in their
campaign to rename validly named taxa according to the code for the purposes of
their own self-aggrandisment.


How many times does it need to be
said, that if my taxonomy fails – nomenclature is not an issue. The issue here,
as seen with the older names like Broghammerus is that the taxonomy is all OK
and unnamed groups been named in accordance with the rules.


Now we have a bunch of renagades
(your mates) seeking to rename lots of properly named taxa with widely used
names in an action never before contemplated on a scale like this in terms of
the code that puts the entire code at risk.


Again I am astounded that on this
forum, you (an ICZN commissioner) have given tacit support to this wholesale
attack on the rules of the code to destabilize things!


And Doug, we are not talking minor
and inadvertent breaches of the rules, by others which you have alluded to here,
but rather a concerted, highly organized and deliberate attack on the rules by
people fully aware their actions are illegal.


“You may not be aware that I have
often advocated that we change how the 

community and the Commission interact to allow the community to vote 

directly on matters, rather than delegating all voting to the 

Commission.”


Interesting view, elsewhere Wuster
wrote “Science is not a democracy”.


He has advocated himself being in
control.  I don’t think a democratic
process is what he wants either!


Furthermore wanting to change
rules to fit what you want in the future is not an excuse or justification for
breaking the rules as they stand now, or to encourage others to do so!


All the best

Snakebustersâ - Australia's best reptilesâ

The only hands-on reptilesâ shows that lets people hold the animalsâ.

Reptile partiesâ, events, courses
Phones: 9812 3322

0412 777 211

 
> Date: Wed, 22 May 2013 18:01:07 -0700
> From: dyanega at ucr.edu
> CC: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Paper on taxonomic standards in herpetology
> 
> On 5/22/13 2:55 AM, Raymond Hoser Snakeman Snakebusters Reptile Parties 
> wrote:
> >
> > Doug, you wrote:
> >
> >
> > “That is an extremely interesting statement coming from someone who does
> > not publish in peer reviewed journals.”
> >
> >
> > You are wrong here.Excluding the recent papers in recent journal I 
> > control which IS peer reviewed (just not by your mates), I have 
> > published dozens of papers in other recognized peer reviewed journals 
> > since 1980 of which I have no editorial control or influence, which 
> > you would be aware of had you bothered to check before sprouting false 
> > and defamatory comments here!
> >
> >
> The Australasian Journal of Herpetology is the one publication I have 
> read, and I've seen quite a lot of it. It is clearly self-published, and 
> self-reviewed. I admit to not being familiar with your work prior to the 
> start of that journal, though I also recognize that there are many 
> journals that follow PRINO (peer review in name only). This is one of 
> the major sticking points of the entire "quality control in the Code" 
> debate over the years, and you yourself have accused Kaiser, Wuster, and 
> others of publishing in PRINO journals; it would not be surprising if 
> they or others accused you of the same thing. That kind of back and 
> forth nonsense gets us collectively nowhere. Over the many times the 
> issue has come up, one of the common remarks has been "We can't use peer 
> review, in and of itself, as a criterion, because peer review can be 
> biased" - and I agree. The follow-up comment is usually "The only thing 
> that works in the long run, separating good science from bad, is whether 
> people accept your work or reject it". What I have repeatedly suggested, 
> generally finding only ambivalent support (at best), is that all 
> nomenclatural acts be channeled through a public-access, public-review 
> online journal that covers all zoological nomenclature. Public review 
> exposes any bias, and falsehoods can't persist in the face of full 
> disclosure.
> >
> > “ If you do not dispute this is the acceptable medium, and support 
> > making peer review a criterion in the
> > Code, then, unless I'm sorely mistaken, all of your papers would be
> > excluded.”
> >
> > See above – you are sorely mistaken.
> >
> > An apology would be nice!
> >
> I apologize to the extent that the peer-reviewed journals you have 
> published in would not qualify as PRINO journals. You'll forgive me if I 
> don't have time to do the necessary research to determine this - but 
> this is all the more reason I was trying to make it clear that the 
> specifics of your situation are not crucial to the bigger debate.
> >
> > It is inevitable the rules will be changed in the future, as they have 
> > in the past. However without compliance you have chaos.This is exactly 
> > what your friend Wolfgang wants and you seem to be actively encouraging!
> >
> There are already people who are refusing to comply with various parts 
> of the Code, so that sort of chaos is the status quo. The hope is that 
> any changes we make will improve compliance.
> >
> > For a more specific example of the lies by the Wuster gang, 
> > cross-proven against your own statement (Doug) above, I refer you to a 
> > recent Facebook post by Mark O’Shea on 19 March 2013 which reads
> >
> > *“**The PoV also has the backing of the International Commission for 
> > Zoological Nomenclature. Authors of herpetological papers wishing to 
> > avoid the use of names by Hoser and Wells can cite this Point of View. 
> > A Table of preferred names for each of the several hundred Hoser and 
> > Wells coined names is also provided for clarity."*
> >
> I was unaware of this quote, and can only offer two points regarding it: 
> (1) there were certainly discussions with Commissioners prior to the 
> publication of the PoV, during the review process, but it is - I agree - 
> not fair to equate "reviewed by members of the Commission" with "backed 
> by the Commission". In the most literal sense, since the approach 
> advocates measures outside the Code's jurisdiction, the Commission's 
> position would be NEUTRAL. If we could stop taxonomists from acting in 
> non-compliant manners, that might change the equation, but we have no 
> such power, and even then, it could still devolve to a philosophical 
> debate (should we alwaysapprove of actions that follow the letter of the 
> Code but violate its intent, and reject actions that uphold the intent 
> but violate the letter?) (2) If you replace the word "Commission" with 
> "Code" then the above statement would read as a claim that the proposed 
> actions are Code-compliant - and such a claim is open to interpretation 
> and debate.
> 
> I will reiterate, that actions taken outside the Code do not require 
> support from the Commission; whether they are followed is up to the 
> individuals that comprise the taxonomic community, and as far as I can 
> see, they will receive neither our blessing nor our curse, at least 
> under the present Code.
> >
> > Tell me Doug, how do you feel about the ICZN being misrepresented this 
> > way by the authors of Wuster et al. (Kaiser et al) to create taxonomic 
> > and nomenclatural chaos?
> >
> I would say the statement above is misleading, though a more accurate 
> re-phrasing would not necessarily be to your satisfaction (i.e., if they 
> said "The Commission takes a neutral position on activities outside of 
> the Code's jurisdiction").
> > Are you going to tell them to “cease and desist”?
> I suspect they are following the discussion, and I would encourage them 
> to reconsider the phrasing of the above claim.
> > Are you going to concede that Wuster et al. have been dishonest in 
> > their attempts to manufacture alleged support for their active 
> > stepping outside of the rules?
> Until and unless I gain the power of telepathy, I'm not in a position to 
> do anything but hypothesize whether dishonesty is involved, and on whose 
> part. Given that both sides in this case accuse the other of dishonesty, 
> it's not profitable to assume anything other than both sides believe 
> they are telling the truth.
> >
> > If you bothered to read 23 of the code, you’d be well aware of what 
> > the section includes and excludes for reversal of priority and it is 
> > not for the purpose of renaming validly named taxa, for which the 
> > proper names are well-known, widely published and databased!
> >
> I'm quite familiar with Article 23, and it deals with issues surrounding 
> prevailing usage; I don't see the parameters "well-known", "widely 
> published" or "databased" mentioned in the text. The closest phrase 
> you'll find there is "used...in at least 25 works, published by at least 
> 10 authorsin the immediately preceding 50 years". And, that particular 
> section applies only to names not used since 1899, so it is not 
> pertinent. The pertinent article is (if anything) 23.9.3, which allows 
> authors to challenge ANY senior synonym if they feel it would "threaten 
> stability or universality or cause confusion", but requires that they 
> ask the Commission for a ruling. That article could indeed be invoked 
> for the purpose of renaming validly named taxa of recent vintage, though 
> it might definitely be a "hard sell" to convince the Commission to 
> support it if the senior synonym is in prevailing usage. And, once 
> again, you seem to be arguing as if you can use Code-compliance as a 
> defense - even if your names are fully Code-compliant, neither you nor I 
> can do anything to stop other people from ignoring your names and not 
> using them.You are standing up and saying "My names are Code-compliant, 
> and therefore you are forced to use them" and that is not literally 
> true, because the Code cannot force anyone to do anything - it tells 
> people what they SHOULD do in order to be compliant. There are LOTS of 
> taxonomists who do things that are not Code-compliant. Don't think for a 
> minute that, as a Commissioner, I am unaware of this and not bothered by 
> it. However, MY personal response to knowing that there are people 
> breaking the rules is understanding WHY they are doing so, and then 
> considering the possibility that therules themselves might need to be 
> changed - just like we saw with paleontologists publishing names in 
> e-only journals *before* we changed the rules to allow them to do so and 
> still be compliant.
> >
> > And you cannot here deny that all the Hoser and Wells names have been 
> > published at least twice in different and widely circulated 
> > herpetological journals and are now well-known as being validly 
> > published and available, one of course being a publication you seem to 
> > endorse, namely “Herpetological Review”.
> >
> Again, you are fighting over details that change nothing even if they 
> are interpreted in your favor. The issue is that people are organizing a 
> boycott against your works, and your argument that they can't do that 
> because your works are Code-compliant doesn't seem to be working. You 
> might need to worry less about convincing people that you aren't 
> violating the Code and more about convincing them that your names are 
> WORTH USING.
> > You would also be aware that the ICZN has already ruled against the 
> > Wuster et al scheme several times, so how do you feel about promoting 
> > instability in nomenclature so that a whole bunch of unnecessary cases 
> > go before the commission and waste fellow commissioners time?
> You may not be aware that I have often advocated that we change how the 
> community and the Commission interact to allow the community to vote 
> directly on matters, rather than delegating all voting to the 
> Commission. Cases like yours are one of the arguments in favor of such a 
> mechanism. The mechanism I've proposed has the very explicit benefit of 
> allowing names to be eitherdeclared available or unavailable within a 
> very short time frame, so the period during which anything is unstable 
> is extremely short. Any name that is declared unavailable can be ignored 
> completely, in perpetuity, just as presently happens in a LAN 
> application. Specifically, I advocate a mechanism which streamlines the 
> functions presently incorporated into Article 79 so that they can be 
> applied immediately to individual names, and within having to involve 
> the Commission. e
> >
> > “
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > *“**The*
> >
> >
> > *The Point of View is an open-access paper so please feel free to 
> > circulate this pdf on websites, forums and social network sites where 
> > other herpetologists may access and benefit from it.”*
> >
> >
> >
> > Tell me Doug, how do you feel about the ICZN being misrepresented this 
> > way by the authors of Wuster et al. (Kaiser et al) to create taxonomic 
> > and nomenclatural chaos?
> >
> >
> > Are you going to tell them to “cease and desist”?
> >
> >
> > Are you going to concede that Wuster et al. have been dishonest in 
> > their attempts to manufacture alleged support for their active 
> > stepping outside of the rules?
> >
> >
> > I wrote
> >
> >
> > “So you know yourself, that Wuster and co are habitual liars.”
> >
> >
> > To which you replied:
> > “Even if that were true, it would only have bearing upon your personal
> > case, not the larger issue.”
> >
> >
> > From the above copied lie by co-author O’Shea, (reposted by others in 
> > the Wuster gang) about ICZN backing of his attack, you must surely 
> > concede that this alleged official ICZN backing is not the case!
> >
> >
> > Doug your reference to stability trumping priority for names not used 
> > since the 1800’s is a diversionary waste of time. It has no relevance 
> > here. You are well aware of the fact that Wuster et al seek to boycott 
> > well known, widely published names none older than year 2000!You are 
> > century out of time!
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > And you cannot here deny that all the Hoser and Wells names have been 
> > published at least twice in different and widely circulated 
> > herpetological journals and are now well-known as being validly 
> > published and available, one of course being a publication you seem to 
> > endorse, namely “Herpetological Review”.
> >
> >
> > You would also be aware that the ICZN has already ruled against the 
> > Wuster et al scheme several times, so how do you feel about promoting 
> > instability in nomenclature so that a whole bunch of unnecessary cases 
> > go before the commission and waste fellow commissioners time?
> >
> >
> > Or Doug how about just one specific case so we know exactly where you 
> > stand ... do you seriously support Wuster’s push to rename the snake 
> > genus Broghammerus? A name valid under the code and widely used for a 
> > decade? Yes or no?
> >
> >
> > Now Doug, you seem to be confused as to the difference between 
> > taxonomy and nomenclature.
> >
> >
> > Naming issues arise only if and when it is decided a taxon is valid 
> > and unnamed. Wuster et. al. have implicitly assumed that the 
> > Hoser/Wells taxa are valid and need renaming.This is clear for example 
> > in his online posts telling people to rename Broghammerus.You cannot 
> > claim no ICZN jurisdiction now!
> >
> >
> > Do you support the Wuster plan of boycott of names and renaming of 
> > taxa in breach of the three critical rules of, 1/ Homonymy (Principal 
> > 5, Article 52 and elsewhere), 2/ Priority (Principal 3, Article 23 and 
> > elsewhere) and 3/ Stability (Principal 4, Articles 23, 65 and 
> > elsewhere) in order to rename validly named taxa? Yes or no?
> >
> >
> > By the way Doug, you are wrong to allege I am defending my taxonomic 
> > opinions. I have published the papers and they stand on their merits.I 
> > see no need to defend the taxonomy at all.
> >
> >
> > Wuster et. al. have not specifically attacked the taxonomic opinions 
> > in the papers in any serious way other than to make five minor 
> > complaints about five of dozens of papers, none of which actually 
> > affected the integrity of the descriptions.By way of example, no one 
> > on the planet has disputed a single genus created by myself in the 
> > papers of 2012-2013, which isn’t surprising as they are backed by both 
> > molecular and morphological data.
> >
> >
> > It is for others to decide if my taxonomy is correct. If I am wrong 
> > and have described “non-taxa” nothing happens.
> >
> >
> > This is not what Wuster et al. is about and you are scandalous in 
> > trying to assert it is.
> >
> >
> > Wuster et. al. is about stepping outside the ICZN rules to rename taxa 
> > in violation of the three critical rules of, 1/ Homonymy (Principal 5, 
> > Article 52 and elsewhere), 2/ Priority (Principal 3, Article 23 and 
> > elsewhere) and 3/ Stability (Principal 4, Articles 23, 65 and 
> > elsewhere) in order to rename validly named taxa. (see p. 20 their rant).
> >
> >
> > Doug, you wrote: “It is perfectly possible that a person could publish
> > 500 Code-compliant names, not one of which represents a valid
> > species-level taxon.”
> >
> >
> > I agree. That is not what Wuster et al is about. We are dealing ONLY 
> > with those names agreed to represent valid taxa. Wuster himself has 
> > spelt this out several times!
> >
> >
> > You wrote: “Having read a few hundred of your new taxon names,
> > I admit that as a taxonomist, I find the majority to be singularly
> > lacking in "robustness" (typically failing criteria such as, say,
> > molecular support, evidence for monophyly, and the sample size upon
> > which they are based).”
> >
> >
> > Well you are obviously not reading the papers I wrote!
> >
> >
> > PS Either don’t accept the taxa, but please don’t recognize and rename 
> > them in violation of the code!
> >
> >
> > You wrote:
> >
> >
> > “names that are
> > controversial can and do cause instability *whether or not they are
> > correct, and whether or not they are Code-compliant*, and when they do,
> > then you can expect me, as a Commissioner, to take interest.”
> >
> >
> > Agreed and perfectly reasonable on your part.
> >
> >
> > BUT – there is no need to create instability and new (synonym) names 
> > for the purposes of needing ICZN intervention!The code is designed to 
> > avoid this so you are now in effect stepping outside of it’s preamble 
> > by encouraging Wuster’s plan to create instability of nomenclature!
> >
> >
> > Noting this, will you Doug, now tell Wuster et al to cease and desist 
> > with their plan to destabilize the nomenclature?
> >
> >
> > Doug, you wrote:
> >
> >
> > “While the Code doesn't support "boycotting", it also can't
> > prevent it”
> >
> >
> > Yes it can and quite simply. This is by enforcing the rule of 
> > priority. If this is not done, and if the Wuster plan gains support 
> > and traction and is copied elsewhere (and perhaps with your active 
> > encouragement), you WILL have taxonomic chaos and an end of the 
> > code.This is exactly why the ICZN has ruled emphatically against the 
> > Wuster-type shenanigans several times in the past!
> >
> >
> > Relevant here is the refusal of the ICZN to support Sprackland’s 
> > attempt to reverse priority for the species Varanus keithornei Wells 
> > and Wellington, because the commissioners knew of the tidal wave of 
> > similar cases headed their way if they went with Wuster’s mate 
> > Sprackland for that one!
> >
> >
> > The ICZN published their “opinion” and it kept the Wuster’s away for a 
> > generation!
> >
> >
> >
> > Snakebustersâ <http://www.snakebusters.com.au> - Australia's best 
> > reptilesâ
> > The only hands-on reptilesâ shows that lets people hold the animalsâ.
> > Reptile partiesâ <http://www.reptileparties.com.au>, events, courses
> > Phones: 9812 3322
> > 0412 777 211
> >
> >
> > > Date: Wed, 22 May 2013 01:50:34 -0700
> > > From: dyanega at ucr.edu
> > > To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> > > Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Paper on taxonomic standards in herpetology
> > >
> > > On 5/21/13 11:25 PM, Raymond Hoser wrote:
> > > >
> > > > Doug, I am quite alarmed at certain parts of what you have written.
> > > >
> > > The feeling is mutual, then.
> > > >
> > > > 1 – You seem to have accepted the demonstrably false and evidence 
> > free
> > > > claims of Kaiser et al. (better known as Wuster et al.) as fact.
> > > >
> > > I have read more of your papers than you apparently think I have. They
> > > constitute fairly damning evidence of at least one sort, as they are
> > > full of self-aggrandizement and political diatribes that have no place
> > > in scientific literature of any sort, taxonomic or otherwise. That,
> > > however, is nowhere near the central issue (though it does seem to be
> > > one of the reasons they claim your works should not be interpreted as
> > > being published for the purpose of establishing a permanent scientific
> > > record; that is, there is evidence that you have a different purpose in
> > > mind, that is personal and political rather than scientific).
> > > >
> > > > Their blog, as it best described, published in a journal one of the
> > > > authors is an editor at, bypassing effective peer review and 
> > editorial
> > > > control or ethics
> > > >
> > > Pot, meet kettle.
> > > >
> > > > The preamble stating evidence based, peer reviewed papers are the
> > > > acceptable medium is not disputed and has not been by anyone in the
> > > > recent past.
> > > >
> > > That is an extremely interesting statement coming from someone who does
> > > not publish in peer reviewed journals. If you do not dispute this is 
> > the
> > > acceptable medium, and support making peer review a criterion in the
> > > Code, then, unless I'm sorely mistaken, all of your papers would be
> > > excluded.
> > > >
> > > > Doug, you also seem to accept the demonstrably false claim by Wuster
> > > > here, of widespread support for the Wuster et al. / Kaiser blog from
> > > > the wider herpetological community when the evidence is in fact to 
> > the
> > > > contrary, (beyond the statement of the undisputed obvious in the
> > > > preamble).
> > > >
> > > You act almost as if you are the only person who has ever been accused
> > > of taxonomic vandalism, and therefore believe that the larger issue to
> > > which I refer is centered upon YOU, specifically. You are, personally,
> > > not quite that important (just as mine is only the opinion of a single
> > > Commissioner who may well not represent the others). Yours is just the
> > > most recent, and hence most visible, example of a problem that has been
> > > ongoing, in various disciplines, for hundreds of years. Namely, whether
> > > the taxonomic community is capable of policing itself, and in what
> > > precise form that policing should be most effectively and fairly
> > > implemented. We do not have to continue following the practices and
> > > policies that have been followed up to this point, however, and that is
> > > the larger issue.
> > > > You have confirmed also herein that the ICZN has not issued a
> > > > statement in support of the blog and yet Wuster and co have 
> > repeatedly
> > > > stated publicly this is the case!
> > > >
> > > >
> > > The Commission is unlikely to issue any public statements that either
> > > support OR condemn actions taken outside of the Code's jurisdiction. 
> > You
> > > will note, for example, that (unless I have missed or forgotten
> > > something) there has never been an official statement from the
> > > Commission regarding the unilateral actions of many lepidopterists who
> > > refuse to recognize the Code's provisions requiring the changing of
> > > adjectival species-level names to agree with the gender of the genera
> > > into which they are placed; i.e., there are other people who have been
> > > following a practice that is outside of the Code for several years now,
> > > and the Commission has said nothing. We cannot prevent the community
> > > from doing what they want to do, though individuals such as myself can
> > > attempt to communicate with such individuals/groups if and when we feel
> > > there may be some constructive purpose served by entering into a
> > > dialogue (as Frank Krell and I did at a recent meeting of the
> > > Lepidopterists' Society).
> > > >
> > > > So you know yourself, that Wuster and co are habitual liars.
> > > >
> > > Even if that were true, it would only have bearing upon your personal
> > > case, not the larger issue. Nonetheless, it would be interesting if we
> > > could have a poll of all the world's publishing herpetologists, I 
> > think.
> > > With any luck, such a thing might even be possible in the near future.
> > > > Doug, you write here with tacit acceptance of the false claims of
> > > > taxonomic vandalism by myself and others deemed like by Wuster et 
> > al.,
> > > > and including all non-peer reviewed works and names from the 1800’s
> > > > including the likes of herpetological taxonomist Fitzinger and 
> > others,
> > > > who have already seen some of their many names superseded by junior
> > > > synonyms of the Wuster gang, causing unprecedented instability and 
> > the
> > > > need (sooner or later) for the ICZN to waste time and effort 
> > ruling on
> > > > each and every name that the Wuster gang seek to usurp by way of
> > > > submission to resolve issues of stability and priority.
> > > >
> > > >
> > > Actually, this is precisely what LANs are designed to avoid; the
> > > Commission only has to approve the LAN as a whole, rather than pass
> > > judgment on all of the acts subsumed within the LAN itself. Those acts
> > > can be in direct contravention of the Code, just so long as everyone
> > > supporting the LAN agrees that this use of the Plenary Power is their
> > > explicit intent. In effect, a LAN is a Declaration of Independence for
> > > whatever discipline submits it, by which they tell the Commission that
> > > they wish to control their own destiny. Also, do not forget that in the
> > > present Code, stability often trumps priority, and this is not
> > > restricted to herpetology, but the entirety of zoological taxonomy. If
> > > there are names from the 1800s that the community does not wish to use,
> > > and other junior names are in prevailing use, then the Code may give
> > > them the authority to ignore the older names without involving the
> > > Commission (e.g., via 23.9.2) - and even if not, the point remains that
> > > no one can FORCE anyone to use the older names. Just read Articles
> > > 23.9-23.12 to get a feel for what the Code actually supports. Hint: 
> > it's
> > > NOT strict priority.
> > > > Notwithstanding the tacit acceptance by you here of the false claims
> > > > of taxonomic vandalism, I am also astounded at your tacit support
> > > > given here for stepping outside of the zoological code and 
> > effectively
> > > > expressly supporting the taxonomic and nomenclatural vandalism and 
> > all
> > > > the instability it causes, by the Wuster gang.
> > > >
> > > >
> > > Again, until and unless the Code specifically addresses some of the
> > > issues that could be used as defining features of taxonomic vandalism,
> > > it is not a matter of my acceptance of their claims or not, insofar as
> > > my concern *as a Commissioner* is with the larger issue. Once the 
> > matter
> > > has moved outside of the zoological Code, it cannot be supported, but
> > > neither can it be rejected - that is precisely what "outside of our
> > > jurisdiction" means. As things stand, you're faced with the 
> > challenge of
> > > convincing the herpetological community that you are right and "they"
> > > are wrong without using the Code as a defense - because you are
> > > defending your taxonomic opinions (and publishing practices), which you
> > > admit the Code has no jurisdiction over. My feelings as a taxonomist 
> > may
> > > be different from my feelings as a Commissioner.
> > > > You have also side-stepped the central critical issue of the
> > > > correctness of my taxonomic papers of the last 12 years, noting that
> > > > all taxonomic decisions are based on robust evidence and that the
> > > > obvious and real fear of the Wuster gang is nothing more basic than a
> > > > dislike of the idea that they will have to use the “Hoser-names” for
> > > > valid taxa and groups first named by the man they have declared war
> > > > against for the last 15 years.
> > > >
> > > >
> > > Again, the correctness of your taxonomic papers is a matter that is
> > > outside the Code. It is perfectly possible that a person could publish
> > > 500 Code-compliant names, not one of which represents a valid
> > > species-level taxon. Having read a few hundred of your new taxon names,
> > > I admit that as a taxonomist, I find the majority to be singularly
> > > lacking in "robustness" (typically failing criteria such as, say,
> > > molecular support, evidence for monophyly, and the sample size upon
> > > which they are based). But that is TAXONOMY, and when we are talking
> > > about the Code, taxonomy is NOT the central critical issue - until and
> > > unless it has carryover into stability. That, unfortunately for you, is
> > > where the Code and taxonomy are going to overlap; names that are
> > > controversial can and do cause instability *whether or not they are
> > > correct, and whether or not they are Code-compliant*, and when they do,
> > > then you can expect me, as a Commissioner, to take interest. Any
> > > discussion should focus on that, and NOT the taxonomy /per se/.
> > > > In summary, do you honestly support the mass destabilization of
> > > > herpetology (and in turn wider zoology) caused by the indiscriminate
> > > > renaming of hundreds of taxa as advocated by the Wuster gang,
> > > > (including the serious acts of vandalism I noted in an earlier post
> > > > here, to which you havenot bothered commenting on) noting that this
> > > > group includes taxa named more than 12 years ago and includes names
> > > > now widely in use and noting that to do so is a breach of the central
> > > > rules of Zoology, being retrospectively made by more than 12 years by
> > > > a group of self-appointed and unqualified “rulers”.
> > > >
> > > >
> > > To the extent that we are talking about names that are genuinely in
> > > prevailing usage, then I would - all else being equal - not be in favor
> > > of replacing them, because that violates stability. That "all else 
> > being
> > > equal" clause is rather important, however, because if there is a
> > > community consensus that they should not be used (for whatever reason,
> > > be it true or false), then things are not equal, and neither I nor the
> > > combined "might" of the Commission can do anything but open a dialogue,
> > > and see what comes of it (and, as I said earlier, I feel that community
> > > consensus is the highest priority - assuming, of course, that the
> > > consensus is both genuine and properly-informed; rest assured that I
> > > realize that you dispute both points, in your particular case, so
> > > there's no need to remind me). If, on the other hand, we are talking
> > > about several hundred names which have found little or no use in the
> > > herpetological literature (other than your own), and there are names
> > > that ARE in broader use that are junior to them, then the younger names
> > > would also have stability on their side, even though it isn't
> > > Code-compliant usage. The point is that in that case, you cannot use
> > > "mass destabilization" as an argument. It's simple enough, in the end;
> > > if herpetologists want to use your names, they will, and if they don't,
> > > they won't. While the Code doesn't support "boycotting", it also can't
> > > prevent it - and establishing a full-fledged Registry would only serve
> > > to prevent controversy beyond a certain point; how that would shake out
> > > depends entirely upon the criteria that would be used to determine
> > > whether a name was eligible for Registration.
> > >
> > > Sincerely,
> > >
> > > --
> > > Doug Yanega Dept. of Entomology Entomology Research Museum
> > > Univ. of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0314 skype: dyanega
> > > phone: (951) 827-4315 (disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
> > > http://cache.ucr.edu/~heraty/yanega.html
> > > "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
> > > is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82
> > >
> > > _______________________________________________
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> > >
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> > >
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> > >
> > > Celebrating 26 years of Taxacom in 2013.
> 
> 
> -- 
> Doug Yanega      Dept. of Entomology       Entomology Research Museum
> Univ. of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0314     skype: dyanega
> phone: (951) 827-4315 (disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
>               http://cache.ucr.edu/~heraty/yanega.html
>    "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
>          is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82
> 
> _______________________________________________
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> The Taxacom Archive back to 1992 may be searched with either of these methods:
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> (1) by visiting http://taxacom.markmail.org
> 
> (2) a Google search specified as:  site:mailman.nhm.ku.edu/pipermail/taxacom  your search terms here
> 
> Celebrating 26 years of Taxacom in 2013.
 		 	   		  


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