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RE: Dollodon status questioned



Mickey Mortimer wrote:

<But even given the ICZN's definition (inexact like the rest of the 
document), a junior synonym is not "of unknown or doubtful application".
  If anything, the ICZN's definition is even more exclusive than mine 
and David's and would only be used for nomina nuda which have an unknown
 or possibly nonexistant hypodigm, such as "Ngexisaurus" or Labrosaurus 
"huene".  After all, even an indeterminate taxon like Chingkankousaurus 
has a known and undoubted application- to its holotype IVPP V636.>

  [Note that a "genus" cannot have a holotype: the _type species_ (or "type") 
of *Chingkankousaurus* is *fragilis* Yang, 1958; the type specimen (in this 
case, "holotype" -- but also vernacularly the "type") of *fragilis* Yang, 1958 
is IVPP V636.]

  And that's not how "nomen dubium" is used, by almost anybody -- and you 
should know it. A holotype, or even referenced specimen, could be used in this 
sense to support any quanta of nomenclature and render them, by contrast, 
_nomina valida_ -- which have their own "stigma" of not being "dubious." 
Instead, the reference to a holotype as the bearer of validity should mean _no_ 
taxa could be referred to one another. All I need to do now is erect 
nomenclature and get it "published" (since the ICZN's "inexact" on that, too) 
for virtually every specimen I can. Boy, that will be a frabulous day!

  (As you can see, that's not a good slope to be arguing.)

  I made an argument of the either/or variety, at my quoted site. A taxon is a 
_nomen dubium_ if it cannot be referred to any _other_ taxon; if you can't 
refer it, but try, then it is not a _nomen dubium_. The argument made on a 
per-taxon basis is testable, and therefore scientific. Adopting even the sense 
that the ICZN's usage has any sort of reasoned quality, applied in such a 
ludicrous manner as above, is the opposite of a sane reasoning and the one we 
should strive for.

  I think the ICZN needs to drop all terms it doesn't want to actually use, or 
go back to the historical mode where they _were_ used and had better 
definitions, and adopt those better definitions, or revise them to the current 
usage/best model. Otherwise, we have to stop caring what terms people are using 
for their references to taxa and just care about the actions and reasoning 
behind the referrals devoid of those terms and their loaded meanings. Either 
they have meaning, and that meaning is succinct and useful, or they don't and 
there is no reason to use them.

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, 25 Mar 2011 13:40:31 -0700
> From: mickey_mortimer111@msn.com
> To: dinosaur@usc.edu
> Subject: RE: Dollodon status questioned
>
>
> But even given the ICZN's definition (inexact like the rest of the document), 
> a junior synonym is not "of unknown or doubtful application".  If anything, 
> the ICZN's definition is even more exclusive than mine and David's and would 
> only be used for nomina nuda which have an unknown or possibly nonexistant 
> hypodigm, such as "Ngexisaurus" or Labrosaurus "huene".  After all, even an 
> indeterminate taxon like Chingkankousaurus has a known and undoubted 
> application- to its holotype IVPP V636.
>
> Mickey Mortimer
>
> ----------------------------------------
> > Date: Fri, 25 Mar 2011 14:17:28 -0600
> > From: qi_leong@hotmail.com
> > To: david.marjanovic@gmx.at; Dinosaur.Mailing.List@listproc.usc.edu
> > Subject: RE: Dollodon status questioned
> >
> >
> > David Marjanovic wrote:
> >
> > <"[N]omen dubium" means "indistinguishable from two or more species that 
> > are distinguishable from each other".>
> >
> > Where is this definition written down? The ICZN, the only governing 
> > authority currently standing that mentions the term, only says:
> >
> > "A Latin term meaning [']a name of unknown or doubtful application[']."
> >
> > I understand that Mickey has argued that it _should_ be the above 
> > definition, and I agree with that, but the term itself has a historical 
> > _usage_, and a definition with an extremely vague application. Again, see 
> > http://qilong.wordpress.com/2010/05/25/what-if-anything-is-a-nomen-dubium/
> >
> > 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, 25 Mar 2011 11:05:32 +0100
> > > From: david.marjanovic@gmx.at
> > > To: dinosaur@usc.edu
> > > Subject: Re: Dollodon status questioned
> > >
> > > Rescued from truncation:
> > >
> > > > From McDonald's (2011) abstract...
> > > >
> > > > "Firsthand examination of the holotypes of the two taxa and numerous 
> > > > other =
> > > > basal iguanodont specimens=2C as well as a principal components 
> > > > analysis of=
> > > > basal iguanodont dentaries=2C did not find any morphological features 
> > > > to j=
> > > > ustify the distinction of Dollodon from Mantellisaurus. Dollodon 
> > > > bampingi i=
> > > > s thus best considered a nomen dubium and junior synonym of 
> > > > Mantellisaurus =
> > > > atherfieldensis."
> > > >
> > > > I have no opinion of the validity of Dollodon=2C but people have to 
> > > > learn w=
> > > > hat nomen dubium means. Dollodon can be a junior synonym of 
> > > > Mantellisaurus=
> > > > or it can be a nomen dubium=2C but it can't be both.
> > > > /rant
> > > >
> > > > Mickey Mortimer
> > >
> > > To spell it out, "nomen dubium" means "indistinguishable from two or
> > > more species that are distinguishable from each other". If *Dollodon
> > > bampingi* is indistinguishable only from *Mantellisaurus
> > > atherfieldensis*, it is not a nomen dubium.
> >
>