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Re: Darwin's young dead pet from Messel

Augusto Haro writes:
 > Another thing:
 > Can resolutions of the ICZN be made retroactive?

They can, but the ICZN usually resists doing this, and for good reason
-- changing the meaning of a nomenclatural act after the event is not
a good route to the stability that the Commission proclaims as its
mission.  That's why the code is full of clauses about how to treat
differently works published before 1930, or before 1999 in the case of
the electronic-publication rules.  Continuity is important.

 > It seems that if even in the future they admit only-pdfs as
 > publications, it does not necessarily mean that all those species
 > and genera which were erected on only-electronic journals before
 > such possible future statement can be saved.

Correct.  And neither should they be.  The ICZN rules on electronic
publications are explicit, and the requirements have even been freely
available online for some time now -- since before the names in
question were submitted.  It was the responsibility of the authors
(and to a lesser extent the editor and reviewers) to ensure that they
did what was necessary to make their names nomenclaturally valid --
just as it is in the case of on-paper publications, where for example
the authors have be sure to designate a holotype.

 > In case the IZCN losts relevance by common usage and citation, as
 > said by Mike Taylor, that can be a weapon in favor of the Phylocode
 > defenders.

Sorry if I beat this drum too often but ...

There is NO CONFLICT between the ICZN and the PhyloCode.  The former
governs rank-based names, and the latter governs clades.  Not only
does the PhyloCode not compete with the ICZN (and ICBN), it DEPENDS on
it -- because it needs species to use as the specifiers in clade
definitions, and has no provisions of its own for naming species.

This is good and proper, and as it should be.

(The only possible point of conflict between the codes occurs when a
clade name is the same as that of a supraspecific rank-based name, as
quite often happens with families.  But in practice, there don't seem
to be a lot of actual problems of this kind.)

 _/|_    ___________________________________________________________________
/o ) \/  Mike Taylor    <mike@indexdata.com>    http://www.miketaylor.org.uk
)_v__/\  "Boy meets monolith; boy loses computer; monolith gets boy" --
         Roger Wilmot's plot summary of 2001: A Space Oddysey