[Taxacom] taxonomic "vandalism?"

Ivie, Michael mivie at montana.edu
Fri Oct 6 09:17:52 CDT 2017


Neutral is that the Code establishes priority and availability without reference to taxonomic decisions or morality.

And, while nothing excuses a thief, there is a legal concept of due diligence that limits a victim's damage claims.  For instance, if a bank leaves a stack of $100 bills on a counter, their insurance may not be required to pay a claim.  Being stupid certainly limits the sympathy a victim receives.

Mike

__________________________________________________
Michael A. Ivie, Ph.D., F.R.E.S.

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________________________________
From: Wolfgang Wuster <w.wuster at bangor.ac.uk>
Sent: Friday, October 6, 2017 1:16:33 AM
To: Ivie, Michael; Doug Yanega; taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] taxonomic "vandalism?"


Two things:


First, I don't think there is a neutral position here.

To give an analogy: if I fall asleep in a public place with my wallet lying unsecured next to me, then I am doing something very stupid. However, if someone takes the wallet, criminal law would still consider them a thief, with all the usual penalties. The Code would let them keep the wallet. Neither of those is a neutral position.


Second, I don't think it's fair to say that most of the contentious descriptions are based on data carelessly left lying around by herpetologists. Most of these "descriptions" were pre-emptive and based on things like allopatric distributions in field guides, mitochondrial phylogeographic studies (neither of which by themselves justify new species descriptions) or weakly supported nodes in major supermatrix phylogenies (for genera). Many of the resulting names are of course just synonyms, but some turn out to be the oldest available names when someone else later does the work leading to recognition of the taxon as valid. In most of these cases, there is no case to be made that earlier workers were negligent, or even overly slow, in naming something: the name preceded the evidence.


Cheers,


Wolfgang


--
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School of Biological Sciences
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________________________________
From: Taxacom <taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu> on behalf of Ivie, Michael <mivie at montana.edu>
Sent: 06 October 2017 02:28
To: Doug Yanega; taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] taxonomic "vandalism?"


Not even close, Doug, what you quote out of context is not part of the Code, see the intro to the Appendeces.  The Code itself is neutral, and applies equally to any situation, immoral or not.

Mike
__________________________________________________
Michael A. Ivie, Ph.D., F.R.E.S.

NOTE: two addresses with different Zip Codes depending on carriers

US Post Office Address:
Montana Entomology Collection
Marsh Labs, Room 50
PO Box 173145
Montana State University
Bozeman, MT 59717
USA

UPS, FedEx, DHL Address:
Montana Entomology Collection
Marsh Labs, Room 50
1911 West Lincoln Street
Montana State University
Bozeman, MT 59718
USA

(406) 994-4610 (voice)
(406) 994-6029 (FAX)
mivie at montana.edu


________________________________________
From: Taxacom [taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] on behalf of Doug Yanega [dyanega at ucr.edu]
Sent: Thursday, October 5, 2017 6:47 PM
To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] taxonomic "vandalism?"

On 10/5/17 5:20 PM, Michael A. Ivie wrote:
> Blaming the Code is equivalent to blaming the victim.  The Code is
> equally available to both the "victim" and the "vandal."  It is
> neutral and blameless.
>
Actually, no, the Code is not neutral about this; it does take a clear
stance on this exact issue, in Appendix A:

"2. A zoologist should not publish a new name if he or she has reason to
believe that another person has already recognized the same taxon and
intends to establish a name for it (or that the taxon is to be named in
a posthumous work). A zoologist in such a position should communicate
with the other person (or their representatives) and only feel free to
establish a new name if that person has failed to do so in a reasonable
period (not less than a year)."

Stealing other's intellectual property may not make your name
unavailable, but it DOES violate the explicit text of the Code, above.
When we asked for opinions from the taxonomic community whether this
passage and the others in Appendix A should be made part of the
legislative text (e.g., replace the term "should not" with "must not",
and make availability contingent upon compliance), we got a lukewarm
response from a handful of people. Evidently, and counterintuitively,
taxonomists don't care enough about intellectual property to WANT any
rules protecting it (or, at least, not enough to write letters
indicating their concern). Otherwise, they should have written letters
to the Commission when we openly pleaded with them to do so, about this
EXACT problem, just a few years ago.

Sincerely,

--
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
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