[Taxacom] Electronic publication

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Mon Jan 9 23:30:48 CST 2017

Scott said "the code explicitly separates the science of taxonomy from nomenclature".Yes, Hinrich wants to see scientific standards linked to nomenclatural availability for new names. As soon as you start talking "standards", in comes subjectivity and bias. To (try to) be completely rational for a moment, all we actually need is a simple way to deal with names of uncertain application. Maybe we have such ways already? The issue becomes muddied with agendas.


On Tue, 10/1/17, Scott Thomson <scott.thomson321 at gmail.com> wrote:

 Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Electronic publication
 To: "Hinrich Kaiser" <chalcopis at yahoo.com>
 Cc: "Stephen Thorpe" <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz>, "deepreef at bishopmuseum.org" <deepreef at bishopmuseum.org>, "taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu" <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
 Received: Tuesday, 10 January, 2017, 6:16 PM
 difficulty though Hinrich is that the code explicitly
 separates the science of taxonomy from nomenclature. So if I
 read you correctly what you are asking is that the science
 is to be considered by the Code, through the Commission,
 something it has deliberately avoided. Taxonomic freedom has
 been seen as being important, yes people have abused that.
 Maybe some way of dealing with it should be developed. The
 code is meant to be looking at availability of names largely
 based on publication and priority. The other problem with
 panels is who would be on them. Anyone? Restricted to people
 who are taxonomists? I am being serious. In our field
 Hinrich, herpetology, I read peoples papers, recent papers,
 where they cannot even write the "important
 nomenclatural parts" of a paper so that their
 nomenclatural acts are even valid. These are usually
 phylogeneticists, phylogeographers etc. Should these people
 be judging nomenclatural acts when they cannot write one? I
 am with Stephen on this, I am not sure random groups of
 "interested" people can do that job
 On Mon, Jan 9, 2017 at
 11:51 PM, Hinrich Kaiser <chalcopis at yahoo.com>
 is right, I certainly do not like the idea that minimally
 Code-compliant names should be considered valid for the
 purposes of nomenclature. On the contrary, I would like to
 see the bar for validity of taxonomic decisions (whether
 this would be new names or something else) RAISED to ensure
 that all such decisions are supported by verifiable data,
 produced using best practices in the best tradition of the
 Scientific Method. While initially my idea of a Taxon Filter
 becoming reality appeared a little bit far fetched, I think
 that any names produced by minimally Code-compliant
 procedures would require some form of quality control and
 the Taxon Filter models that.
 have seen the rapid production of names in the past, when
 unscrupulous or mentally ill individuals produced large sets
 of taxon names, unfettered by scientific processes and
 driven by their egos, and we see some of this still today.
 Given that new science builds on old science, we should
 learn from the mistakes of the past - and we need to
 integrate nomenclature into the scientific endeavor.
 Nomenclature is not science, it is a receptacle and an
 accounting mechanism for taxonomic decisions, subservient to
 the needs of science and scientists. I believe the next
 edition of the Code should include a set of best taxonomic
 practices that, from the date the new Code takes effect,
 forms the basis for rejecting names that violate these
 practices or the "spirit of the Code" as outlined
 in the Preamble, or the Code of Ethics. Anything else (i.e.,
 older names) would be governed by the 1999 edition as
 amended in 2012, with questionable issues past, present, and
 future adjudicated by scientific panels constituted from
 within individual disciplines. Thus, dipterists,
 nematologists, herpetologists, and other zoological
 specialty organizations would be asked to constitute such a
 panel however they see fit, and these panels would deal with
 enforcing the new Code, perhaps with the vote of two thirds
 of panel members required to reject a taxonomic decisions.
 Start with a 2-year trial for this system and see how it
 goes. If no panel forms, or if the panel does not reach the
 67% threshold, the Commission decides.
     On Monday, January 9, 2017 9:04 PM,
 Stephen Thorpe <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz>
 so, if I understand you correctly, you are actually saying
 that you ARE indeed taking minimally code compliant
 descriptions of new taxa out of the publication metrics
 system! The idea appears to be that any taxonomist worth the
 title when then publish much fuller (re)descriptions in the
 usual way. But this is potentially problematic. I don't
 think Hinrich will like the idea, for it means that Code
 compliance results from minimal descriptions, which is all
 good for the likes of Hoser, etc. Besides, at the end of the
 day taxonomists are taxonomists, but other scientists
 (systematists, phylogeneticists, ecologists, etc.) simply
 use the output of taxonomists for other purposes. So, now
 they can easily make new names available in minimalist
 fashion and then charge ahead and use those names for other
 purposes! I don't see quality control on new names made
 available in minimalist fashion? Where is the peer review on
 the generation of new names?
 Scott Thomson
 Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de São
 PauloDivisão de Vertebrados (Herpetologia)
 Avenida Nazaré, 481,
 Ipiranga04263-000, São Paulo, SP, Brasilhttp://www.carettochelys.com
 ORCID: http://orcid.org/0000-0003-1279-2722Lattes: http://lattes.cnpq.br/0323517916624728Skype:
 Skype Number: +55 (11) 3280
 0144Mobile Phone: +55 11
 974 74 9095

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