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RE: Is *Duriatitan* published? was Re: Is *Duriasaurus* published? was Re: Andesaurus redescribed

Tim Williams wrote:

<Yep. Somehow it works.>

I think what "works" is an idealized set of rules that are based on some 
concept of the ICZN, including the subjective use of "nomina dubia" (scare 
quotes!), and including the idea of what a publication actually alludes to, but 
not _is_. But what is being used is not a strict application of the Code; 
Mickey's comments have merit here. Mickey's cynical take on the Code is perhaps 
too light.


Jaime A. Headden
The Bite Stuff (site v2)

"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 

> Date: Tue, 8 Mar 2011 12:23:48 +1100
> From: tijawi@gmail.com
> To: dinosaur@usc.edu
> Subject: Re: Is *Duriatitan* published? was Re: Is *Duriasaurus* published? 
> was Re: Andesaurus redescribed
> On Tue, Mar 8, 2011 at 10:41 AM, Mickey Mortimer
>  wrote:
> > In other words, the ICZN merely serves to provide the illusion we follow
> > objective standards when the reality is basically a popularity contest where
> > technically valid names can be ignored.
> Well, that's a cynical take on it, but in essence true. I would point
> out that the vast majority of names do follow the 'objective
> standards' of the Code, and it's only a tiny percentage of names that
> fall into a gray area. Unless a petition is submitted to the ICZN,
> then the 'gray' names do indeed become subject to a popularity
> contest.
> Also, the 'objective standards' are not really objective at all. As I
> said in a previous message, the actual rules as presented in the Code
> are a gray area in themselves. We could argue until the cows come
> home about whether certain publications meet the criteria of a valid
> publication, because the Code is vague and ambiguous on this point.
> So when it comes to these publications, the ICZN standards are fairly
> subjective. I have a hunch this is deliberate. The ICZN doesn't want
> its "In" tray to be piled up with petitions regarding which names are
> valid or not, based on quality of the publication. So the ICZN lets
> those at the coalface sort it out for themselves.
> > As an additional example of this I just found out about- Diplodocidae 
> > should be
> > Atlantosauridae.
> You see, I don't think Atlantosauridae should trump Diplodocidae,
> because Atlantosauridae is based on a nomen dubium. Maybe the Code
> would prefer that Atlantosauridae is the 'correct' name for this
> family. If so, I don't care. Otherwise, using your reasoning, we
> would use Deinodontidae instead of Tyrannosauridae... and that's just
> silly.
> > But nobody will care, or even petition the ICZN (as would be proper to 
> > maintain
> > the more recent names), because we know we can (collectively) get away with
> > doing what we want without following the rules.  What a system!
> Yep. Somehow it works. With the conventions of PhyloCode being
> introduced by stealth into dinosaur taxonomy, this isn't a big
> problem. Families are now just a kind of clade, and all clades are
> defined phylogenetically. I can't imagine anyone defining a clade
> using _Atlantosaurus_ (or _Deinodon_), so it's a moot point. When it
> comes to family-level taxa, the world has moved on from the ICZN. I
> think this is a positive step.
> David Marjanovic wrote:
> > Somebody should definitely sit down and rewrite the whole thing to be 
> > legible,
> > as was done with the prokaryote code in 1990. In the process, the 
> > ambiguities,
> > contradictions and absurdities should be brought to the Committee's 
> > attention.
> Nice idea, but I'll never happen. It would be nice if what
> constitutes a valid publication would be spelled out clearly, perhaps
> with the requirement for peer review, and a ban placed on
> self-publication for the purposes of nomenclature.
> Cheers
> Tim