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RE: On naming taxa

Apologies.  I'm just in a bad mood, and am trying to make trouble today.

-----Original Message-----
From: Dinogeorge@aol.com [mailto:Dinogeorge@aol.com]
Sent: Tuesday, May 22, 2001 6:03 PM
To: dinosaur@usc.edu
Subject: 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
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
fix it.<

I agree completely with George.  And this is not just a problem in taxonomy.
I myself have what may be an insurmountable hurdle in a similar area.  I
probably will not be able to publish some of my ideas about stratigraphic
nomenclature in the Illinois basin with the Indiana Survery or other state
surveys, because they have a committee that passes on all proposed
stratigraphic names.  The nomenclature of parts of the Pennsylvanian System
in the Illinois basin is a mess, but it is well entrenched in the respective
state surveys (Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky).  Certain aspects of the
existing nomenclature have been de facto institutionalized.  For political
reasons (like my future research directions) Moreover, I really cannot say
"to Hell with you guys" and do whatever I think is best in a publication
independent of those surveys.  Don't let taxonomic nomenclature go this way!

Norm King