[Taxacom] I'm furious over article: On typeless species and the perils of fast taxonomy

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Tue May 10 16:53:43 CDT 2016

Interesting comments from Doug. I would just like to add that the obvious best thing that the ICZN could do is to issue a formal clarification of the Code in relation to the issue of holotypes designated by way of photographs/the absence of a preserved holotype. Although the phrase "extant specimen" in Art. 16.4 clearly does not mean anything remotely similar to "extant species", contra Santos et al., it is not completely clear how to apply the Code in practice (i.e. it is a bit vague).

I also agree 100% with Doug's comment in reply to Cris that [to paraphrase somewhat] science desperately needs open and unrestricted peer review, both pre- and postpublication. Obstructing valid criticism is an all too common strategy these days.

Cheers, Stephen

On Wed, 11/5/16, Doug Yanega <dyanega at ucr.edu> wrote:

 Subject: Re: [Taxacom] I'm furious over article: On typeless species and the perils of fast taxonomy
 To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
 Received: Wednesday, 11 May, 2016, 4:36 AM
 At least a few Commissioners, myself
 included, communicated with one or 
 more of the co-authors of this paper when it came out, and
 pointed out 
 the errors to them, but as far as I am aware, they have yet
 acknowledge any errors. They most certainly did not include
 Commissioners among the referees of the paper prior to
 publication. The 
 Commission is also looking into the possibility of issuing a
 paper" of our own.
 On 5/9/16 10:46 PM, John Grehan wrote:
 > Yes, by all means
 > challenge problems you see, but don't expect them to
 ever go way (unless
 > one day there will be "intelligent" computers that will
 assess all papers
 > and be able to cross reference every nuance and
 combination of rules to
 > provide the perfect kind of evaluation you and everyone
 else might wish
 > for).
 This does not require computers. It requires a different
 mechanism for 
 review; open public review. Having hundreds of taxonomists
 reading every 
 paper before they are accepted would go a very, very long
 way to 
 alleviating all of the shoddy practices that concern us.
 Critical review 
 can easily be circumvented at present, but we have the
 option of making 
 that impossible. There is no technical challenge, only a
 societal one.
 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
    "There are some enterprises in which a
 careful disorderliness
          is the true method" -
 Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82
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 Channeling Intellectual Exuberance for 29 years in 2016.

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