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I would like to move this discussion from the Dinosaur Mailing List to a more
appropriate forum: the PhyloCode Mailing List. Instructions for joing can be
found on their website at <http://phylocode.org>; or, what the heck, I'll paste
"If you would like to join an internet discussion group focusing on
phylogenetic nomenclature, send a message to email@example.com. The message
should read: "subscribe PhyloCode" (without the quotation marks). Do not
include anything else in the message. In a short time, you should receive an
automatic reply explaining how to send messages to the discussion group."
--- "Jaime A. Headden" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> I want to get to the core of what I think is either too lax of a
> system or too easy a one to play with, and to point out reasons why the
> current recommendations and "registration" need to be tighter, more
> David Marjanovic (email@example.com) wrote:
> <It isn't automated. If you coin a name and want it to be valid, you have
> to visit the registration database (available online, of course) and
> submit it. The webmaster will register it as soon as you notify him/her of
> And what qualifies as publication? David stated below that _some_
> dissertations _could_ be, which is ridiculous: dissertations on their face
> have NEVER been treated as a valid source of nomenclature, no MATTER the
> number of institutionally available copies there were, or how many people
> had a copy of it. This is usually why authors of dissertations tend to
> _publish_ their work after the thesis/dissertation has been accepted and
> they attain their degree; some publish work from it PRIOR to acceptance,
> but that is a moot issue.
> 4.2. Publication, under this code, is defined as distribution of text (but
> not sound), with or without images, in a peer-reviewed book or periodical.
> To qualify as published, works must consist of numerous (at least 50
> copies), simultaneously obtainable, identical, durable, and unalterable
> copies, some of which are distributed to major institutional libraries in
> the field so that the work is generally accessible as a permanent public
> record to the scientific community, be it through sale or exchange or
> gift, and subject to the restrictions and qualifications in the present
> <No more nomina nuda.>
> Actually, if it were to meet the requirements of publication, the name
> can still be considered as published in agreement to the code. Does this
> name get "forgotten" until the description/definition exists?
But the requirements of publication include a definition -- a name published
without one would have no formal status.
> Or someone actually assigns it a number? It's that "someone" that worries me.
I would assume that a number would be assigned automatically by a database
algorithm, not a person. This is extremely common (nearly universal) in
Which reminds me of a question I asked before but can't recall a definitive
answer to: what will the tables look like for the PhyloCode Mailing List? (As a
web developer *and* someone who follows systematics, I'm highly interested.)
> <Hardly, because the qualifications for validity are so simple. Note that
> before actually submitting the name, the author is most likely going to
> search the database for a homonym (identical name) or synonym (identical
> Possible, doesn't mean s/he will.
But you can set up the database so that it automatically rejects an entry with
a duplicate name. Trivially easy. That would make it impossible to register a
> Are we including all invertebrates to avoid *Syntarsus* and *Rahova*
I don't see why not; another benefit of on-line registration.
> What plants will go in, and who will rename *Gastonia,* the tooth,
(_Gastonia_ is a lot more than a tooth, but your point still holds.)
> preoccupied by the plant?
Now this is a very interesting point. I was hoping that some talk at the Paris
meeting would cover this, but I didn't see any such abstracts.
There are hundreds of synonyms between the various pre-existing codes, and
there can be none in the PhyloCode. It seems to me that this would warrant at
least a recommendation, preferrably favoring the older usage and maybe even
suggesting how to rename the junior taxon.
One possibility I'll throw out there is to suggest adding prefixes to the
younger names: perhaps "Phyto-" if covered by the ICBN, "Zoo-" if covered by
the ICZN, and "Monero-" if covered by the BC. Thus the animal _Gastonia_ could
be converted as Zoogastonia, etc. Perhaps this is unnecessary, but it seems to
me it would help speed up and smoothen out the conversion process.
> <- Under the ICZN, it's enough to publish a name to make it valid. It's a
> nomen nudum in that case, but still. Under the PhyloCode a name cannot
> become validly published if it isn't already registered!>
> It can't be a nomen nudum unless it's published. If it's published with
> intent, under the code, it's not a nomen nudum. Imagine how this works
> out: Mike Keesey publishes his description of a clade system (see
> http://dino.lm.com/) in a periodiocal (note, publication criteria doesn't
> require peer-review, it says "_or_ periodical" [of which _Prehistoric
> Times_ is one]) as a description, using the names *Alpha,* *Beta,* etc.
> These, because they show NO intent to name new species but simply form
> species/genus and clade groups by explicit use, even offer definitions,
> become absolute valid names.
Umm, not without type specimens, they wouldn't.
(The rest snipped; see the Dinosaur Mailing List Archives at
=====> T. Michael Keesey <http://dino.lm.com/contact>
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