[Taxacom] why Martin Fikacek resign

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Fri Oct 9 17:31:31 CDT 2015


So, you can't let it go then! Tell you what, I'll quit while I'm ahead ...

Stephen

--------------------------------------------
On Sat, 10/10/15, Michael A. Ivie <mivie at montana.edu> wrote:

 Subject: Re: [Taxacom] why Martin Fikacek resign
 To: "Stephen Thorpe" <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz>, "taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu" <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
 Received: Saturday, 10 October, 2015, 11:17 AM
 
 The discussion with John Noyes had
 nothing to do with the designation of 
 a Neotype, it was about when a Neotype is allowed. Apples
 and Oranges.  
 Simply, if this is difficult for you, you should leave it to
 those 
 better able to handle it.  The proof of this is that I
 have done it 
 repeatedly, my actions have been cleared pre-publication by
 multiple 
 current and past Commissioners, and it was not difficult
 (exacting, yes, 
 difficult, no).
 
 Mike
 
 On 10/9/2015 4:12 PM, Stephen Thorpe wrote:
 > I hate attention, but I feel obliged to try to carry a
 debate through to a reasonably satisfactory outcome.
 >
 > Mike said [quote]They are not difficult for a
 reasonably intelligent person qualified to be handling
 nomenclatural maters [sic!] who can read ... [unquote]
 >
 > Easy to say, as a device of rhetoric, but prove it!
 We've already seen the very intelligent and excellent
 taxonomist John Noyes make a statement about neotypes which
 you quite rightly corrected.
 >
 > Face it Mike, you are trying to refute something which
 actually has very little precise meaning (i.e. that
 designating neotypes is, in some unspecified sense,
 "difficult"). If you set the unspecified level of difficulty
 too high, then it is too easy to refute, and if I set it too
 low, then it is too easy to defend! The argument has become
 pure rhetoric! Let it go, if you can ...
 >
 > Stephen
 >
 > --------------------------------------------
 > On Sat, 10/10/15, Michael A. Ivie <mivie at montana.edu>
 wrote:
 >
 >   Subject: Re: [Taxacom] why Martin
 Fikacek resign
 >   To: "Stephen Thorpe" <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz>,
 "taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu"
 <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
 >   Received: Saturday, 10 October, 2015,
 10:48 AM
 >
 >   [sigh]  It is not
 >   difficult, but you do have to follow
 the strictures in
 >   the Code.  Think of those
 strictures more as a
 >   road map to success than
 >   difficult
 >   barriers.  They are not difficult
 for a reasonably
 >   intelligent
 >   person qualified to be handling
 >   nomenclatural maters who can read
 either
 >   the Official English or French
 versions of the
 >   Code, or one of the
 >   unofficial translations
 >   into Chinese (Simplified), Chinese
 >   (Traditional), Czech, German, Greek,
 Japanese,
 >   Russian or Spanish.
 >
 >   Further, the issue of whether it is
 difficult
 >   to DESIGNATE a Neotype is
 >   separate from
 >   whether or not a Neotype is allowed,
 which is what John
 >   and I were discussing.  But, that
 is not hard
 >   either.
 >
 >   Exceptional (def.)
 >   adjective, unusual; not typical.
 >
 >   Clear to those who want it to be,
 perhaps not
 >   to those who want attention.
 >
 >   Mike
 >
 >   On
 >   10/9/2015 3:00 PM, Stephen Thorpe
 wrote:
 >   > All of which further proves my
 point that
 >   the Code requirements for neotypes are
 somewhat
 >   "difficult", or else we wouldn't be
 having
 >   such divergent opinions offered from
 veteran
 >   entomologists!
 >   >
 >   >
 >   Q.E.D.
 >   >
 >   >
 >   --------------------------------------------
 >   > On Sat, 10/10/15, Michael A. Ivie
 <mivie at montana.edu>
 >   wrote:
 >   >
 >   >   Subject: Re:
 [Taxacom] why
 >   Martin Fikacek resign
 >   >   To:
 >   taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
 >   >   Received:
 Saturday, 10
 >   October, 2015, 6:47 AM
 >   >
 >   >   Dear John,
 >   >
 >   >   That (a
 >   Neotype) would only be
 >   >   valid if there
 is some
 >   confusion about
 >   >   the
 >   >   identity. 
 The Code does not
 >   allow Neotypes in cases where
 >   >   there is
 >   >   no confusion
 about what
 >   the
 >   >   species
 is.  In this
 >   case there is nothing
 >   >   known that is
 even close to
 >   it, so its identity
 >   >   is not
 >   confused.  The
 >   >   authors
 >   covered that
 >   >   well in the
 >   description.
 >   >
 >   >   Mike
 >   >
 >   >   On
 >   >   10/9/2015 3:30
 AM, John Noyes
 >   wrote:
 >   >   >
 >   >   Hi,
 >   >   >
 >   >   > It seems
 that
 >   >   in this case it
 should be
 >   possible to designate a neotype
 >   >   from an extant,
 preserved
 >   specimen. So muDear ch the better
 >   >   if the neotype
 is the
 >   holotype of a previously described
 >   >   species so that
 the
 >   "new" species can be treated
 >   >   as a junior
 synonym [although
 >   in this particular case that
 >   >   seems unlikely].
 It can be
 >   safely assumed that the
 >   >   photographed
 holotype no
 >   longer exists. So long as the
 >   >   specimen
 designated as
 >   neotype is pretty damned similar to
 >   >   the one in the
 photograph and
 >   all other conditions of
 >   >   designating a
 neotype are met
 >   according to the ICZN then I
 >   >   cannot see a
 problem.
 >   >   >
 >   >   > Maybe that
 is too
 >   mischievous??
 >   >   >
 >   >   > John
 >   >   >
 >   >   > John Noyes
 >   >   > Scientific
 Associate
 >   >   >
 >   >   Department of
 Life
 >   Sciences
 >   >   > Natural
 >   >   History Museum
 >   >   > Cromwell
 Road
 >   >   > South
 Kensington
 >   >   >
 >   >   London SW7 5BD
 >   >   > UK
 >   >   >
 >   >   jsn at nhm.ac.uk
 >   >   > Tel.: +44
 (0) 207 942
 >   5594
 >   >   > Fax.: +44
 (0)
 >   207 942 5229
 >   >   >
 >   >   > Universal
 >   >   Chalcidoidea
 Database
 >   (everything you wanted to know about
 >   >   chalcidoids and
 more):
 >   >   >
 >   >   www.nhm.ac.uk/chalcidoids
 >   >   >
 >   >   >
 -----Original
 >   Message-----
 >   >   > From:
 >   Taxacom [mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu]
 >   >   On Behalf Of
 Stephen
 >   Thorpe
 >   >   > Sent: 07
 >   >   October 2015
 21:04
 >   >   > To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu;
 >   >   bayshark at exemail.com.au
 >   >   > Cc: penev at pensoft.net
 >   >   > Subject:
 Re: [Taxacom]
 >   why Martin Fikacek
 >   >   resign
 >   >   >
 >   >   > I'm
 >   >   sure that people
 are playing
 >   right into Lyubo's hands by
 >   >   adding to the
 publicity about
 >   this (any publicity is good
 >   >   publicity!)
 Pensoft are a
 >   commercial publisher. I have
 >   >   pretty much
 given up on them
 >   as well, largely because
 >   >   Biodiversity
 Data Journal has
 >   now become little more than a
 >   >   venue for
 promotional papers,
 >   miles away from its initially
 >   >   stated
 philosophy.
 >   >   >
 >   >   >
 >   >   Nevertheless,
 many of the
 >   reasons cited against describing
 >   >   new species from
 photos are
 >   quite unconvincing. Why is
 >   >   palaeontology
 considered to
 >   be science? An impression in
 >   >   rock, or a
 partly obscured
 >   amber inclusion are both on a par
 >   >   with a
 photograph, given that
 >   you can't see all the
 >   >   relevant
 characters, you
 >   can't dissect, and you
 >   >   can't extract
 DNA (most
 >   of the time).
 >   >   >
 >   >   > It would be
 a very
 >   >   bad idea to
 describe a new
 >   species of hydrophilid beetle
 >   >   (Martin
 Fikacek's
 >   speciality) from photograph(s) of a
 >   >   live specimen,
 but this may
 >   not apply equally to other
 >   >   groups of
 organisms.
 >   Iterestingly, Fikacek does describe
 >   >   fossil
 hydrophilids!
 >   >   >
 >   >   > One thing,
 however, that
 >   Marshall &
 >   >   Evenhuis
 >   did misinterpret from the Code relates
 to
 >   >   "Designation of
 an
 >   illustration of a single specimen as
 >   >   a holotype is to
 be treated
 >   as designation of the specimen
 >   >   illustrated".
 This is
 >   actually quite irrelevant!
 >   >   Designating a
 specimen as
 >   holotype via a photograph, is what
 >   >   Marshall &
 Evenhuis have
 >   done. This is very different
 >   >   from designating
 a photograph
 >   of a specimen as holotype! The
 >   >   above quote from
 the Code
 >   simply reduces the latter to the
 >   >   former, but that
 is
 >   irrelevant here.
 >   >   >
 >   >   > As for
 Vratislav's
 >   P.S.: >If this
 >   >   will
 >   continue, anybody can create not just
 new species, but
 >   >   complete new
 family using
 >   just Photoshop.<
 >   >   >
 >   >   > Anybody can
 and
 >   >   always could do
 effectively
 >   that anyway. Write a verbal
 >   >   description
 based on
 >   fictional characters, maybe add a few
 >   >   fanciful
 drawings, and
 >   conveniently claim the holotype to
 >   >   have been
 subsequently lost.
 >   Lost holotypes do not
 >   >   invalidate
 described taxa.
 >   >   >
 >   >   > Stephen
 >   >   >
 >   >   >
 >   >   >
 >   >   --------------------------------------------
 >   >   > On Wed,
 7/10/15, bayshark at exemail.com.au
 >   >   <bayshark at exemail.com.au>
 >   >   wrote:
 >   >   >
 >   >   >   Subject:
 >   [Taxacom] why Martin
 >   >   Fikacek resign
 >   >   >   To:
 taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
 >   >   >   Received:
 >   Wednesday, 7
 >   >   October,
 >   2015, 9:44 PM
 >   >   >
 >   >   >
 >   >   >
 >   >   >   https://www.facebook.com/martin.fikacek.7/posts/10206448754731807
 >   >   >
 >   >   >
 >   >   >
 >   >   >
 >   >   >
 >   >   >   I
 just
 >   >   resigned for the
 position of
 >   editor in ZooKeys for  two
 >   >   reasons:
 by  the recent
 >   publication of a description of a
 >   >   new
 species  based on
 >   photos  ZooKeys evidently
 decided
 >   >   for the
 direction of
 >   "bad science  and good
 >   >   publicity" which
 is the
 >   direction I cannot support.
 >   >   In 
 addition, they
 >   recently introduced a new automatic
 >   >   system
 >   "bullying"
 >   >   >   editors,
 >   which now
 >   >   >   makes
 >   editors basically
 >   >   non-paid
 >   slaves with very limited 
 decision power. I
 >   >   simply cannot
 work for such a
 >   journal anymore. Sorry to
 >   >   everybody,
 and  thanks for
 >   years of author-editor
 >   >   cooperation.
 >   >   >
 >   >   >
 >   >   >
 >   >   >   My
 >   >   letter to
 editors is attached
 >   below:
 >   >   >
 >   >   >
 >   >   >
 >   >   >   Dear
 >   editors,
 >   >   >
 >   >   >
 >   >   >
 >   >   >   I
 was
 >   >   really shocked
 when I
 >   discovered the paper entitled
 >   >   "New
 species  without
 >   dead bodies: a case for
 >   >   photobased
 descriptions,
 >   illustrated by a  striking new
 >   >   species of
 Marleyimyia Hesse
 >   (Diptera,
 >   >   >   Bombyliidae)
 >   from South
 >   >   >   Africa"
 >   published few
 >   >   days ago in
 >   ZooKeys. The paper is  exremely
 dangerous  for
 >   >   several
 aspects:
 >   >   >
 >   >   >
 >   >   >
 >   >   >   (1)
 It
 >   misuses the weak parts
 >   >   of
 >   the Code which were  originally
 designed to  keep some
 >   >   very old names
 valid, which
 >   were described in  historical
 >   >   publications
 mostly in 18th
 >   century. In difference to what
 >   >   the authors
 are  writing in
 >   the paper, this Article was not
 >   >   designed to
 solve  the
 >   situation  with lost holotypes,
 but
 >   >   to keep valid
 the names which
 >   were  really based  only on
 >   >   illustrations in
 times when
 >   no rules were given as  it
 >   >   concerns
 the  quality of
 >   taxonomic descriptions. Using the
 >   >   same
 Article  for today is
 >   really ridiculous attempt to
 >   >   use this Article
 to cheat
 >   the  system. Moreover,  note
 the
 >   >   word
 "illustration"
 >   in the text of the Article
 >   >   (i.e. NOT a
 >   >   >   photograph!!!)
 >   >   >
 >   >   >
 >   >   >
 >   >   >   (2)
 It
 >   >   makes a very
 dangerous
 >   precedence for future 
 generations.
 >   >   Now 
 everybody may try to
 >   describe a new big insect
 >   >   (cetonid 
 beetle, wasp,
 >   >   >   butterfly)
 >   based just on the
 >   >   photographs. I
 am sure good
 >   entomologists will  not do
 >   >   that, or would
 at least do
 >   that only once all needed
 >   >   characters
 are  really
 >   visible. Unfortunately the
 >   >   entomology is
 full of  crazy
 >   individuals  focused only in
 >   >   describing new
 taxa and
 >   producing new names,  no need to
 >   >   give 
 examples as everybody
 >   knows some of them. These
 >   >   individuals 
 were
 >   difficult  to deal with even
 until now,
 >   >   basically
 producing chaos
 >   in  taxonomy of  particular
 >   >   group and partly
 causing that
 >   taxonomy is often  considered
 >   >   as 
 non-scientific. You now
 >   opened a brand new way for
 >   >   these 
 people how to do
 >   even worse work!
 >   >   >
 >   >   >
 >   >   >
 >   >   >   (3)
 In
 >   >   my opinion
 neither the
 >   authors of the above paper,  nor
 the
 >   >   editorial 
 board is
 >   evidently not aware of the reason why
 >   >   voucher 
 specimen
 >   (holotype)  is needed when a
 species is
 >   >   describe. It is
 not because
 >   the  author should  have it
 >   >   easy to
 illustrate all needed
 >   characters. It it  because
 >   >   only the 
 specimen itself
 >   form a firm base for the name.
 >   >   All
 taxonomic  work,
 >   identification of next specimens
 >   >   found etc. is in
 fact
 >   testing the  hypothesis that the
 >   >   specimens in
 your hand are
 >   conspecific  with the
 >   >   holotype. 
 To test that
 >   hypothesis, you may re-examine
 >   >   the holotype,
 extract  new
 >   characters which were not stated
 >   >   or illustrated
 in the
 >   original  description etc.
 Testing
 >   >   the hypothesis
 and providing
 >   the  way how to falsify  it
 >   >   is what makes
 taxonomy a
 >   science! In case of the new 
 South
 >   >   African 
 species, nothing of
 >   this is possible - nobody will
 >   >   ever be 
 able to test the
 >   hypothesis that the specimens
 >   >   in hand are
 conspecific
 >   with  the holotype (and  no
 other
 >   >   characters will
 be ever known
 >   than those  illustrated on
 >   >   the 
 photos). This basically
 >   moves this paper (and taxonomy
 >   >   in
 >   >   >   general)
 >   REALLY
 >   >   >   OUT
 OF
 >   SCIENCE. Hence, this
 >   >   is a
 >   step backward, not an  innovative
 way as you  present
 >   >   it.
 >   >   >
 >   >   >
 >   >   >
 >   >   >   I
 >   >   appreciate the
 effort of
 >   Pensoft and ZooKeys to try
 >   >   innovative ways
 of
 >   taxonomic publishing. However, I
 would
 >   >   expect that you
 would  think
 >   about  your steps and
 >   >   decision
 properly, evaluating
 >   the possible  risks of such
 >   >   steps for the
 future of
 >   taxonomy. I did not notice
 >   >   anything 
 like that in
 >   your actions and decisions within
 >   >   last months,
 including the
 >   publication of  the above
 >   >   paper. Editorial
 board is
 >   never consulted in such  cases,
 >   >   and if  the
 editors provide
 >   their critique, this is rarely
 >   >   followed.
 >   >   >   In
 >   opposite,
 >   >   >   you
 >   recently introduced a
 >   >   system of
 >   "bullying" the editors.
 >   >   >   I
 >   understand all
 >   >   >   these
 >   actions in the way that
 >   >   editors are just
 workers
 >   you  use FOR FREE (we  are
 not
 >   >   paid for that),
 but never as
 >   partners with whom
 >   >   problematic
 things  should
 >   be discussed.
 >   >   >
 >   >   >
 >   >   >
 >   >   >   To
 sum
 >   >   up - by
 publishing the
 >   photo-based description of
 >   >   Marleyimyia, 
 ZooKeys moves
 >   into the position of journals
 >   >   trying to
 break  up the
 >   good  practices in taxonomy for
 >   >   the sake of
 publicity. Its
 >   not  only "the border of
 >   >   taxonomic
 malpractice",
 >   it is in fact the "border
 >   >   of 
 non-science". I do
 >   not  want to provide my time
 >   >   to the journal
 going in this
 >   really  dangerous 
 direction.
 >   >   That is why I am
 resigning
 >   immediatelly from the  editorial
 >   >   board  of
 ZooKeys.
 >   >   >
 >   >   >
 >   >   >
 >   >   >   Thanks
 for
 >   understanding!
 >   >   >
 >   >   >
 >   >   >
 >   >   >   With
 >   >   best regards
 >   >   >
 >   >   >
 >   >   >
 >   >   >   Martin
 >   >   >
 >   >   >
 >   >   >
 >   >   >
 >   >   >
 >   >   >   Vratislav
 >   >   >
 >   >   >   (name)
 >   >   Vratislav
 Richard Eugene
 >   Maria John Baptist
 >   >   >
 >   >   >   (surname)
 >   of Bejšák (read
 >   >   as a
 >   >   >   Bayshark)-Colloredo-Mansfeld
 >   >   >
 >   >   >   website:
 >   >   www.coleoptera.org
 >   >   >
 >   >   >   address:
 >   P.O.Box 3335 ,
 >   >   Redfern,
 >   NSW 2016  AUSTRALIA
 >   >   >
 >   >   >   phone
 : +61
 >   0420602040
 >   >   >   http://www.facebook.com/bayshark
 >   >   >   alternate
 >   email: bayshark at ymail.com
 >   >   >   (to
 >   iPhone)
 >   >   >
 >   >   >
 >   >   >
 >   >   >   _______________________________________________
 >   >   >   Taxacom
 >   Mailing List
 >   >   >   Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
 >   >   >   http://mailman.nhm.ku.edu/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/taxacom
 >   >   >   The
 Taxacom
 >   Archive back to
 >   >   1992 may
 >   be searched at: http://taxacom.markmail.org
 >   >   >
 >   >   >   Celebrating
 >   28 years of
 >   >   Taxacom in
 >   2015.
 >   >   >
 >   >   >
 >   >   _______________________________________________
 >   >   > Taxacom
 Mailing List
 >   >   >
 >   >   Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
 >   >   > http://mailman.nhm.ku.edu/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/taxacom
 >   >   > The Taxacom
 Archive back
 >   to 1992 may be
 >   >   searched
 >   at: http://taxacom.markmail.org
 >   >   >
 >   >   > Celebrating
 28 years
 >   >   of Taxacom in
 2015.
 >   >   >
 >   >   _______________________________________________
 >   >   > Taxacom
 Mailing List
 >   >   >
 >   >   Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
 >   >   > http://mailman.nhm.ku.edu/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/taxacom
 >   >   > The Taxacom
 Archive back
 >   to 1992 may be
 >   >   searched
 >   at: http://taxacom.markmail.org
 >   >   >
 >   >   > Celebrating
 28 years
 >   >   of Taxacom in
 2015.
 >   >
 >   >   --
 >   >   __________________________________________________
 >   >
 >   >   Michael
 >   A. Ivie, Ph.D.,
 >   >   F.R.E.S.
 >   >
 >   >   Montana
 >   Entomology
 >   >   Collection
 >   >   Marsh Labs, Room
 50
 >   >   1911 West
 Lincoln Street
 >   >   NW
 >   >   corner of
 Lincoln and
 >   S.19th
 >   >   Montana State
 >   >   University
 >   >   Bozeman, MT
 59717
 >   >   USA
 >   >
 >   >   (406)
 >   >   994-4610
 (voice)
 >   >   (406) 994-6029
 (FAX)
 >   >   mivie at montana.edu
 >   >
 >   >
 >   >   _______________________________________________
 >   >   Taxacom Mailing
 List
 >   >   Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
 >   >   http://mailman.nhm.ku.edu/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/taxacom
 >   >   The Taxacom
 Archive back to
 >   1992 may be
 >   >   searched at:
 >   http://taxacom.markmail.org
 >   >
 >   >   Celebrating 28
 years of
 >   >   Taxacom in
 2015.
 >   >
 >   >
 >
 >   --
 >   __________________________________________________
 >
 >   Michael A. Ivie, Ph.D.,
 >   F.R.E.S.
 >
 >   Montana Entomology
 >   Collection
 >   Marsh Labs, Room 50
 >   1911 West Lincoln Street
 >   NW
 >   corner of Lincoln and S.19th
 >   Montana State
 >   University
 >   Bozeman, MT 59717
 >   USA
 >
 >   (406)
 >   994-4610 (voice)
 >   (406) 994-6029 (FAX)
 >   mivie at montana.edu
 >
 >
 >
 
 -- 
 __________________________________________________
 
 Michael A. Ivie, Ph.D., F.R.E.S.
 
 Montana Entomology Collection
 Marsh Labs, Room 50
 1911 West Lincoln Street
 NW corner of Lincoln and S.19th
 Montana State University
 Bozeman, MT 59717
 USA
 
 (406) 994-4610 (voice)
 (406) 994-6029 (FAX)
 mivie at montana.edu
 
 



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