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Re: Publication and the Code

Dan Chure <danchure@easilink.com> wrote:

> So how to deal with this kind of "nomenclature"?  To
> treat it as a nomen 
> dubium, as some have suggested, is to give it more credence
> than it 
> deserves because it gives the specimen and name the cache
> that it is a 
> serious scientific taxonomic action. 

Not a 'nomen dubium' - this would mean that the name is valid, even if the 
holotype specimen is non-diagnostic.  Instead, we should treat 'Amphicoelias 
brontodiplodocus' as a 'nomen nudum' - this would that the name has no 
scientific standing whatsoever.  Therefore, the 'name' should not be used at 

> The name should be simply IGNORED.  Do not discuss the
> name, list it as a synonym or nomen dubium, etc.  Do NOT 
> acknowledge its existence. If you must, refer to the specimen 
> by its specimen number.  Anything more than that will only 
> cause greater problems for systematics and nomenclature. 

I absolutely agree.  One-hundred per cent.  Ignoring a nomen nudum should be 
the standard policy for any nomen nudum.  Avoid them like the plague.  

Nomina nuda have the potential to cause a great deal of trouble, because they 
can be mistaken for real scientific names.  We only have to look at the 
'Ultrasaurus' example from the 1980's to realize the kind of mayhem a nomen 
nudum can cause.  

> If  the Code is hoplessly out of date I don't see that the 
> scientific community is eternally obligated to walk down
> the path to madness because of a fundamentally flawed system 
> unwilling to correct its problems.

Well said, and I agree wholeheartedly.  The ICZN seems to want to turn a blind 
eye to rogue taxonomy, so it's up to those at the coalface of science to 'keep 
the bastards honest'.