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Re: terminology

Whatever taxonomic disagreements might exist between hominim
palaeontologists, there is no such disagreement over dinosaur
palaeontologists over Tyrannosaurus and Manospondylus.  Everyone --
everyone -- prefers the former name.  The latter is only ever
mentioned as a "did you know that Tyrannosaurus ..." trivium, and
otherwise has no presence at all in scientific contexts.  So: if the
ICZN were to mandate the use of Manospondylus, they would be wrong,
simple as that.  They'd be ignored, and the people ignoring them would
be right to do so.

The ICZN is not magical.  It's not a priesthood bearing the very words
of Zeus carved on stone tablets.  It's just a bunch of scientists,
exactly like us except that they don't specialise in dinosaurs.

-- Mike.

On 21 January 2011 21:57, Jaime Headden <qi_leong@hotmail.com> wrote:
>   In this case, then, it is science bowing to art. Not following the ICZN in 
> this case would be a case of rejecting them; should they then choose to 
> follow some provisions of the Code while ignoring others, the whole point of 
> the Code (any of it) will be lost, and Chaos becomes the practitioner's 
> friend. Imagine if the prevailing usage, despite correction and appeal of a 
> limited few, supported *Brontosaurus* over *Apatosaurus*, including over the 
> protest of Jack McIntosh at the time this issue was most recently _public_? 
> What if Bakker had his way and we all used the latter name in all papers? The 
> ICZN would bow to prevailing usage, and I suspect it will do so here because 
> the scientists at hand refuse to consider the stability of nomenclature to be 
> its own goal.
>   We can see this with the australopithecine-hominine groups of hominids, 
> where a select few can enter such a sustained ideological refusal to 
> acknowledge taxonomic usage that it will be disruptive to the ability to 
> communicate about the groups in question. And I'm not even talking about 
> religion, I'm talking paleoanthropologists rejecting each others' taxonomies 
> for the sake of their own.
> Cheers,
> Jaime A. Headden
> The Bite Stuff (site v2)
> http://qilong.wordpress.com/
> "Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)
> "Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a
> different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race
> has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or
> his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion 
> Backs)
> ----------------------------------------
>> Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2011 16:49:29 +0000
>> From: mike@indexdata.com
>> To: keesey@gmail.com
>> CC: dinosaur@usc.edu
>> Subject: Re: terminology
>> On 21 January 2011 16:45, T. Michael Keesey  wrote:
>> > On Fri, Jan 21, 2011 at 5:28 AM, Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.  wrote:
>> >>
>> >> And let us remember: the Code serves Science, Science doesn't serve the 
>> >> Code.
>> >
>> > Tell that to Drosophila melanogaster! ;)
>> >
>> > (Drosophila hasn't been sunk, but D. melanogaster probably belongs to
>> > Sophophora instead. A petition to make D. melanogaster the type was
>> > denied.)
>> Sure. But from what I hear, kinds of people who write papers about
>> fruit flies are going right on calling it D. melanogaster anyway.
>> Which just goes to prove that when the Code _doesn't_ serve science,
>> science just ignores it and gets on with its job. Hence the title of
>> my (2009) paper in the Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature,
>> "Electronic publication of nomenclatural acts is inevitable, and will
>> be accepted by the taxonomic community with or without the endorsement
>> of the Code".
>> -- Mike.