[Taxacom] "A Few Bad Scientists Are Threatening to Topple Taxonomy": more political nonsense

Geoff Read gread at actrix.gen.nz
Sun Sep 10 23:48:30 CDT 2017

Do I sense a hesitation to wade into this again Taxacomers?

There is no "official record of species names" as put forward twice in the
blog, to say a particular snake must be called Spracklandus something. So
that was misleading for the public. Even if ZooBank was meant (and Raymond
Hoser has been very active there). ZooBank is a self-described
"community-generated registry for zoological nomenclature", without
subsequent evaluating of the worthiness or current status of names entered
by users that would be implied by a description of Spracklandus as
'official' and the alternatives as 'unofficial'.

When I (at work) went to take a look at what Hoser actually produced
recently in his AJH I got this block from a filtering service:

is in the category Illegal or Unethical
Your FortiGate Administrator has blocked this category

Maybe not blocked due to the journal but to other content on the site, but


On Sat, September 9, 2017 6:47 pm, Stephen Thorpe wrote:
> http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/the-big-ugly-problem-heart-of-taxonomy-180964629/
> This is just another Hoser bashing exercise, with some very dodgy claims,
> like:
> [quote]If you’re a scientist who wants to name a newly discovered form
> of life, your first step is to gather two to three lines of
> evidence—from DNA and morphology, for example—that prove that you’re
> dealing with something new to science  ... the evidence you present must
> adhere to the high scientific and ethical benchmark of
> peer-review[unquote]
> Really? Might be true for herpetology(?), but I'm not sure this is in any
> sense REQUIRED across the taxonomic spectrum? And we all know the
> realities of peer review.
> [quote]The scientific community often opts collectively to reject the
> names that vandals ascribe, even if they’re technically Code-compliant,
> according to several taxonomists I spoke with. Strictly speaking, this is
> against the rules of the Code—the names are official, after all. But
> according to Wolfgang Wüster, a herpetologist at Bangor University, many
> herpetologists “are scientists first and nomenclaturists
> second”[unquote].
> If they were "scientists first and nomenclaturists second", then they
> wouldn't care who named a taxon, for this is mere nomenclature. But they
> seem to insist that it must be themselves who names new taxa.
> [quote]This might sound like semantics. But for you, it could mean the
> difference between life and death. “If you walk in [to the hospital] and
> say the snake that bit you is called Spracklandus, you might not get the
> right antivenin,” says Scott Thomson, a herpetologist and taxonomist at
> Brazil’s Museum of Zoology at the University of São Paulo. After all,
> “the doctor is not a herpetologist … he’s a medical person trying to
> save your life”[unquote].
> Keeping track of alternative names (in this case Afronaja) for the same
> taxon is not really that difficult! It is just one more tiny bit of
> information to link with the name Spracklandus, i.e. Spracklandus =
> Afronaja and so both have the same antivenin. What's so hard about that?
> As usual, I don't much care if Hoser and his ilk are stopped or not, but I
> really hate nonsense rhetoric being used against them (or against anyone,
> for that matter).
> Stephen
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> Nurturing Nuance while Assaulting Ambiguity for 30 Some Years, 1987-2017.

Geoffrey B. Read, Ph.D.
Wellington, NEW ZEALAND
gread at actrix.gen.nz

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