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David Marjanovic (firstname.lastname@example.org) wrote:
<Right. And no committee is involved in registration under the PhyloCode.>
And any so-called automated process has even more flaws in that it
removes a set of checks and balances that a review process undergoes.
There will and must always be a human element in the process of "deciding"
validity. There will be a person to enter nomenclature into database, and
there will be one (or more) person(s) to determine if the qualifications
have been met to be "valid" in the database, bar none. At this point,
"registration" becomes close to "committee descision."
<Can't be possibly worse than in Austria. :o)>
Don't know the process in Austria, so there is no room for comparison in
my case. But when you have Congresses debate and filibuster for 4 days
straight to prevent a bill from even being _seen_ by committee, much less
discussed by one, or to expend a debate past a critical deadline so that
the bill _can't_ be seen until a next session opens (in over a month), it
becomes VERY ugly. It seems odd, but committees are responsible for
distribution of monies to road-works. The RURAL highways in the US state
of Oregon are better than the URBAN highways and streets in the US state
of Idaho ... responsibility lies in committee descisions of priority.
<It's _supposed_ not to be automatic. The author has to care about it.
This is the reason for one big advantage of the PhyloCode over the
preexisting ones: under the PhyloCode it's impossible to unintentionally
create a new name. Many deride George Olshevsky for keeping track of every
single typo and of every Kittysaurus phenomenon in the world -- but the
ICZN _forces_ him to do so and to _formally_ declare each of them a
synonym of the correct names. (OK, perhaps not him, but it makes very
clear that someone must do it.)>
Fortunately, or unfortunately, *Avgodectes* was intentionally created.
The ICZN notes what publications must meet to be valid, by their use
casual mags and newspapers and such CAN'T, nor can dissertations or
abstracts of ANYTHING. Any statement of intent to name a taxon becomes an
intentional act, so at which point does the PhyloCode be "better" for
this? The PhyloCode, similarly, is not designed or intended to supercede
the ICZN/ICBN Codes, but work on the names it doesn't cover, and provide
phylogenetic bases for defining them.
However, the ICZN forces NO ONE to do anything, George has decided on
his own to catalogue names, wether they be "valid" or not, based on his
descisions of availability. The ICZN prevented abstracts and
dissertations/theses from being available, yet George catalogued these; if
he had so published them, his work being considered VALID by intent, these
names would be considered valid by the ICZN, under HIS authorship. This is
why there was a large discussion over "nomine ex dissertatione_.
<In the current situtation, *Avgodectes* would either be registered or
not, and that would preclude the discussion we're having. (It couldn't get
registered without having a phylogenetic definition, however -- _even if
registered before publication_.)>
This may prevent it's recognition by the PhyloCode after the fact, but
not under the ICZN. Since the ICZN is not going to be superceded by the
PhyloCode, by intent, this will not prevent *Avgodectes* from being valid
under the rules of taxonomic nomenclature. Clarification of intent and
validity can be made at a later date, or by referencing of past work.
"Oh, ooops, I accidentally missed a word no editor got in formulating my
definition, and the publication charges $5 to the page to correct this....
Bummer, no more grant money: My 'pure' intent and agreement to both Codes
has been made moot by a mistake in making an unclear definition, even _if_
the intent was known -- or can be assumed after the fact."
The point is ... people still must make descisions, the being able to
correct after the fact must also be written into the system. As Chris
Taylor wrote, this has led to the inherent vagaries of the current Code,
though I would prefer a lot more stricter statement of publication
criteria, rather than hunt among the various articles for semi-related
statements that need to be used to demonstrate availability and validity.
The PhyloCode would punish authors for an accidental mistake, and
correctibility would be either committee-driven (as it is now) or the
mistake would be simply uncorrectable.
Coining of names should NOT be keyed into the formation of a definition;
there is a large schizm between people who agree on definitions, those who
don't know what is meant by definition, those who disagree WITH them, or
those who simply don't think they are vital when the meanings of "species"
and "genus" are _quite_ clear. If it could be later used, as will happen
at the beginning of the PhyloCode's implementation, that names can be
defined _after the fact_, then this should be true at any time in history.
Nomenclatural availability and definition are NOT tied to each others'
success, and the framers of the PhyloCode are aware of this, which is why
it is not INHERENT for the name to be defined AT THE TIME it is coined, as
per the draft PhyloCode, just that recognition follows definition under
the Code's auspices.
Jaime A. Headden
Little steps are often the hardest to take. We are too used to making leaps
in the face of adversity, that a simple skip is so hard to do. We should all
learn to walk soft, walk small, see the world around us rather than zoom by it.
"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)
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