[Taxacom] [iczn-list] Dealing with taxonomic vandalism without the need to alter the zoological Code, this being relegation of bogus taxa to synonymy

Philipp Wagner philipp.wagner.zfmk at uni-bonn.de
Sat Jan 11 13:14:49 CST 2014


Stephen, of course there were times where the ethics of 
few people imposed these of many others, but this is 
totally different and should not be compared with the 
problem here. Moreover, it is not the problem of few vocal 
institutional herpetologists. I personally know many 
herpetologists and I am very sure that there is no 
herpetologust in the world, student, employed or 
non-professional, who does not agree that Hoser is a great 
problem. The problem was as well discussed intensively on 
the world congress. We are clearly not talking about a few 
institutional scientists, we are talking about the entire 
herpetological community. So please, have this in mind.








  Stephen Thorpe <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz> wrote:
>>Question #1 is "Are ethical violations a problem that 
>>affects taxonomy and nomenclature"? So far, nearly 
>>everyone seems to be skipping over that question 
>>entirely. If the answer is no, then we could end the 
>>discussion right there
>  
> NO! At least no more so than any other area of human 
>activity. Besides, what objective meaning is the ICZN 
>giving to "ethical violations"? Looks to me like it is 
>just what a few vocal institutional taxonomists think 
>ought to be stamped out! This looks alarmingly similar to 
>some of the more tragic events in human history where the 
>"ethics" of a few were imposed on the many. The problem 
>here is that a few vocal institutional taxonomists are 
>yelling "hell yes!" to your question #1. Ignore them ..
>  
> Stephen
> 
> 
> ________________________________
>From: Doug Yanega <dyanega at ucr.edu>
> To: "taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu" 
><taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu> 
> Sent: Saturday, 11 January 2014 11:09 AM
> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] [iczn-list] Dealing with 
>taxonomic vandalism without the need to alter the 
>zoological Code, this being relegation of bogus taxa to 
>synonymy
> 
> 
> Since Neal went ahead and commented anyway, I'll do so 
>briefly myself.
> 
> On 1/10/14 11:39 AM, Neal Evenhuis wrote:
>> Few seem to know or pay attention to history, but it has 
>>helpful
>> information to allow accurate decision making. When one 
>>puts the H/Sche
>> situation in comparison to past situations like this, it 
>>is pitifully
>> small and unimportant in the big scheme of all 
>>zoological taxonomy.
> Arguable, but even if this is granted, the point remains 
>that the ICZN 
> Call for Comments is about ALL forms of questionable 
>practice, not just 
> about "taxonomic vandalism", and certainly not just 
>about the Hoser 
> dispute. If we were to limit the discussion to 
>plagiarism, for example 
> (where the names in question are NOT synonyms), would 
>people's comments 
> reflect the same "hands off" opinion? More to the point, 
>perhaps, is 
> that the comments we are soliciting cover several serial 
>questions, and 
> we are getting a lot of responses that skip all the 
>early questions in 
> the series and jump straight to a conclusion (most often 
>focused solely 
> on taxonomic vandalism, and not the broader issue). 
>Question #1 is "Are 
> ethical violations a problem that affects taxonomy and 
>nomenclature"? So 
> far, nearly everyone seems to be skipping over that 
>question entirely. 
> If the answer is no, then we could end the discussion 
>right there. Since 
> the discussion doesn't seem to be ending, it looks like 
>even you are 
> implying that it IS a problem. The question then comes 
>to "What should 
> be done about it?". It is entirely possible for that 
>answer to be 
> different with regards to different types of unethical 
>behavior!
>>  The
>> ICZN has, since its inception, rightly refused to 
>>"sanction" names or
>> "suppress" names in a censorship mode and should not 
>>start now -- or even
>> devise filters or rules (instead of recommendations) by 
>>which names should
>> be formed to disallow certain people from publishing. If 
>>it does, it is a
>> slippery slope that falls into an open can of worms 
>>leading to a sticky
>> wicket guarding Pandora's box -- and it will it be hard 
>>to get out of all
>> those clichés. They should only be involved with threats 
>>to stability, and
>> instability can really only be proven after a long time 
>>of usage.
> The way I see it, the slope is only as slippery as we 
>make it. That is, 
> you apparently believe it is impossible to draw any 
>lines, anywhere, 
> that separate ethical from unethical practices. I 
>believe, on the other 
> hand, that we, as a community, are capable of drawing 
>such lines *if we 
> need to*. The Call for Comments is basically asking for 
>people's 
> opinions on exactly that; if lines should be drawn or 
>not, and if so, where?
>> I told Doug privately I would not comment -- apparently 
>>I lied.
>>
> Well, maybe now we're even. ;-)
> 
> Peace,
> 
> -- 
> 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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----------------------------------------
Dr. Philipp Wagner
[www.philippwagner.net]

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