[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Re: On naming taxa

In a message dated 5/22/01 4:24:30 PM EST, rowe@psych.ucsb.edu writes:

<< Hence the requirement for registration can be considered an improvement 
since it would do away with problems such as that.  I rest my case. >>

This is not even a "problem" in zoological nomenclature. Greg Paul named a 
number of theropod taxa from new species on up in Predatory Dinosaurs of the 
World. Although a few people got worked up about this initially and made a 
problem out of it where there was none, his book is now considered part of 
the paleo literature and some of his taxa remain in use. There was never any 
need to register his nomenclature, and there is no need to register 
nomenclature in the literature at any time. All publications eventually find 
their level without legislative oversight.

On the other hand, once a mandatory registry is created, there is great 
opportunity for mischief. From registration it is only a short step to 
exclusion, and I see this as a great infringement of a worker's freedom to 
create taxonomic names as needed in his or her work. In particular, a worker 
who disagrees with cladistic philosophy (or whatever the prevailing 
philosophy might be) may find his or her work excluded from taxonomy, even 
though he or she has discovered valid taxa worthy of naming. The present code 
does not institutionalize any taxonomic philosophy and in fact indirectly 
encourages exploration of all kinds of philosophies by not governing 
suprafamilial taxa at all. This is a good system, it is not broke, no need to 
fix it.