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Re: Koreanosaurus (regarding PDFs instead of forelimbs)

>>The idea is that one should be able to read all publications of 
>>nomenclatural acts without any special apparatus

Isn't that a bit dated nowadays? It's now far easier to access electronic 
material than printed material.

>>Besides, the current (4th) edition of the ICZN is from 1999, does not 
>>predate the Internet, 
Granted, but it's essentially an update of a code that is significantly older; 
the Phylocode is a totally new thing.

(And even in 1999, digital media were a lot less dominant than now. It was a 
shortsighted decision even then, but not yet wholly incomprehensible.)

>>and does not require ink on paper;

Yeah, but it still requires a physical medium, which is pointless.

>>Why is that? :-)

Several reasons, but primarily because I think as we find more and more cases 
of reticulate evolution (hybrid speciation, etc.) a purely phylogenetic 
classification will get messier and messier. It *can* be done, but it requires 
weirdnesses like interlocking taxa -- which IMO are more trouble than they're 
worth. And bacteria are so full of horizontal gene transfer I'm not even 
entirely convinced that phylogeny is even a particularly useful starting point, 
since it's *so* unstable.

I think taxonomy should follow phylogeny in 99% of cases - at least for 
eukaryotes and less-riddled-with-gene-transfer prokaryotes, but taxonomic-units 
should be kept 'at one remove' from clades -- which are actual biological units 
& therefore messier than desirable in a classification, which is ultimately a 
tool, and thus utility is the most important thing. (The other case -- beyond 
reticulate evolution and such -- where I think taxonomy should depart from 
phylogeny is to preserve certain names of such wide use that changing them 
would only introduce confusion -- moving *Drosophila melanogaster* to 
*Sophophora* would never be universally accepted, so a paraphyletic 
*Drosophila* is probably the best of the available options.)

Also, I have inherent qualms with *any* fundamental change this late in the 
game, after ~250 years of taxonomy. It's unstable enough as is, and a lot of 
old names would be uprooted for no real reason. 

----- Original Message -----
From: "David Marjanovic" <david.marjanovic@gmx.at>
To: "DML" <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Sent: Thursday, October 21, 2010 8:05:57 AM GMT -06:00 US/Canada Central
Subject: Re: Koreanosaurus (regarding PDFs instead of forelimbs)

  > > and the PhyloCode will require ink on paper
>  Why on Earth?? The ICZN at least has the excuse that it pre-dates the
>  Internet.

The idea is that one should be able to read all publications of 
nomenclatural acts without any special apparatus (beyond glasses, I 
suppose). Even microfilm is therefore forbidden. Check out Articles 4.2 
and 4.3: http://www.ohio.edu/phylocode/art4-5.html

Besides, the current (4th) edition of the ICZN is from 1999, does not 
predate the Internet, and does not require ink on paper; if Internet 
publication is accompanied by CDs deposited in a couple of public 
institutions, that's fine with the ICZN. Has been done; new names have 
been published in Palaeontologia Electronica this way.

>  Not that I'm an especial fan of the Phylocode anyway

Why is that? :-)