[Taxacom] manuscript name question

John Grehan calabar.john at gmail.com
Thu Oct 8 22:22:14 CDT 2015


OK, you've got me already. Since you bring this up, what is your opinion
and on what basis?

John Grehan

On Thu, Oct 8, 2015 at 11:06 PM, Bevan Weir <WeirB at landcareresearch.co.nz>
wrote:

> I can't wait for Taxacom to explode when we get the requirement for DNA
> barcodes to be part of a valid species description for fungi.
> Perhaps half of currently described fungal species have no DNA data.
>
> Bevan
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Taxacom [mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of
> John Grehan
> Sent: Friday, 9 October 2015 3:57 p.m.
> To: Stephen Thorpe
> Cc: Taxacom
> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] manuscript name question
>
> Stephen,
>
> I don't think anyone is guilty of 'knee jerk' reactions. I think everyone,
> including yourself, is genuinely trying to articulate their various points
> of view as best or as precisely as they can. I have found all points of
> view, and responses, of interest.
>
> John Grehan
>
> On Thu, Oct 8, 2015 at 10:43 PM, Stephen Thorpe <
> stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz>
> wrote:
>
> > I really hate the way that distinct issues are being conflated on this
> > matter! The essence of the matter has nothing to do with photographs,
> > but with preservation of primary types. Can you describe a new species
> > without preservation of the (designated) primary type? Whether you
> > include a photo, or a drawing, or just provide written description is
> > not the issue. But there are two distinct scenarios: (1) your
> > description is based on examination of the primary type, which is then
> > discarded; or (2) you only know the primary type by way of a photo. In
> > this case (the fly), we have scenario (2). Sure, just having a photo
> > is nowhere near as good as having a whole specimen, but then having a
> > fossil is nowhere near as good as having a freshly killed specimen.
> > So, given a choice, one would prefer to have a freshly killed specimen,
> and one would prefer to preserve it indefinitely.
> > But, if you only have a fossil, or only have a photo, and you have at
> > most only a slim  chance of ever getting hold of a freshly killed
> > specimen, then it makes sense to make the most of what one does have.
> > Hence, species are described based on fossil impressions in rock,
> > cloudy amber inclusions, etc. So why not a photograph of a living
> > specimen? Whether Marshall & Evenhuis should have waited to see if new
> > material could be obtained is a moot point. There may not have been
> > any real need to describe this fly now, except to feed the fires of
> > Pensoft's desire for publicity. But these are all distinct issues to
> > be weighed up and thought about. Knee jerk reactions against
> > describing new species from photos really isn't helpful.
> >
> > Stephen
> >
> > --------------------------------------------
> > On Fri, 9/10/15, JF Mate <aphodiinaemate at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> >  Subject: Re: [Taxacom] manuscript name question
> >  To: "Taxacom" <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
> >  Received: Friday, 9 October, 2015, 3:00 PM
> >
> >  Dean:
> >
> >  “There seems to be a negative reaction to the term "dead  bodies" for
> > animals  that are preserved in museum collection. I find that
> > curious.”
> >
> >  I have never seen this term used in journals, which makes me  suspect
> > it was used as click-bait. It is not a direct way to explain  things
> > to  “non-native” speakers, it is a catchy title plonked  there in the
> > hopes  that BBC or CNN will report the paper (as they sometimes  do).
> > But  publicity in a matter like this could have unintended
> > consequences. It  is already hard enough collecting “dead bodies”,
> > imagine  if you give  them (PETA, WWF, any bureaucratic body,...) ammo
> > through  scientific  legitimacy.
> >
> >  “As to whether it's worth putting a name to a  distinctively new
> > species,  isn't that rather the whole point of nomenclature?”
> >
> >  You misunderstand me Dean. The point I am trying to make is  that, if
> > a  particular species is doomed, keeping a couple of pictures  is
> > pretty  much useless other than serving to name something.
> >  Nomenclature is
> >  important because it is the bedrock of something (biology,  ecology,
> > etc). Otherwise it is just a rock, a list of names (and you  wouldn´t
> > even be certain that the list is correct nor have the means  to
> > check).
> >  And physcial specimena or, lacking that, tissue samples,  contain the
> > information that gives “value” to the name.
> >
> >  With a physical specimen I can not only verify the original
> > hypothesis  in the future, but also access a large amount of
> > information  pertaining to the species itself (biology, phylogenetics,
> > feeding,  etc). With a photograph I only have pixels, and they will be
> > the same  pixels forever.Its value as a store of information
> > diminishes with the  passage of time whereas physical specimens become
> > more  valuable (DNA,
> >  X- ray microtomography are just two recent examples I can  think of).
> >  Photographs should be, IMO, a last resort when faced with no  other
> > choice, and to me this fly isn´t such a case. Fast and  loose is a
> > slippery slope to aliens and Nessie.
> >
> >  Best
> >
> >  Jason
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