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RE: Having your ideas published without attribution, and having your names with priority ignored
Well, since you replied... ;)
By now, we all know you say screw the ICZN when it comes to priority. I could
go on about how Scansoriopteryx/Scansoriopterygidae and the Archaeovolans
holotype aren't ignored (both also smuggled and described crappily in the same
journal), but let's look at the issue from another angle.
Honestly, the flouting of the ICZN isn't my biggest worry. As you say, none of
us uses Deinodontidae (though we should!). What's concerning is that instead
of honestly mentioning Omnivoropteryx and saying the authors prefer to ignore
it and its family due to ethical issues regarding its import into the US, they
pretend it doesn't exist. Let that sink in- scientists are purposefully
excluding information from their paper, with the apparent hope people will
ignore or never learn about history. Gao et al. state "To date, the clade is
known from fewer than a dozen published specimens and four species." If we're
right in thinking the authors know about Omnivoropteryx (basically a
certainty), realize it is valid according to the ICZN (there's absolutely no
reason it wouldn't be) and realize it falls within their Sapeornithidae (also a
near certainty), that's a LIE. Whoever wrote that sentence- Chiappe, Gao, or
whoever is near certainly a LIAR. And whoever among the authors and reviewers
read that sentence and knew about Omnivoropteryx being related allowed a lie
into the published literature.
Are you truly comfortable with scientists lying in the published literature?
> Date: Thu, 30 Aug 2012 14:22:22 +1000
> From: email@example.com
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Subject: Re: Having your ideas published without attribution, and having your
> names with priority ignored
> Mickey Mortimer <email@example.com> wrote:
> > So, Gao et al. have a paper out in the new JVP issue with the major
> > conclusion "Examination of the characters used to diagnose other named
> > sapeornithid
> > species reveals that such diagnoses have incorporated morphologies that are
> > influenced by either taphonomy or ontogeny. Based on qualitative and
> > quantitative
> > comparisons between the new specimen and other sapeornithid species, we
> > argue that all other named sapeornithids are junior synonyms of S.
> > chaoyangensis."
> > Does that sound familiar to anyone? Moreover they are the latest and one
> > the most egregious examples of workers utterly ignoring Omnivoropteryx and
> > Omnivoropterygidae, the latter of which has four years priority over
> > Sapeornithidae. More here-
> > http://theropoddatabase.blogspot.com/2012/08/having-your-ideas-
> > published-without.html . Thoughts?
> Well, since you ask... ;-)
> On using Sapeornithidae in preference to Omnivoropterygidae... Fine by
> me. The original description of _Omnivoropteryx_ was crap, and
> appeared in a crap "journal". Above all, the circumstances
> surrounding the description of this fossil have profound ethical
> concerns. I'd prefer that the name (and namers) not be rewarded by
> having "Omnivoropterygidae" perpetuated any further. So I'm happy to
> see Sapeornithidae gain traction as the preferred family-level name,
> and Omnivoropterygidae consigned to oblivion.
> All this might be in technical violation of the ICZN. BFD. The ICZN
> rules regarding the priority of family-level named are set aside all
> the time. We use Deinodontidae instead of Tyrannosauridae, even
> though the former has priority (says the ICZN). We also use
> Dromaeosauridae instead of Ornithodesmidae (ditto), and Diplodocidae
> instead of Atlantosauridae (again, ditto). Tyrannosauridae,
> Dromaeosauridae and Diplodocidae are all used for convenience, and for
> the sake of stability - in defiance of what family names the ICZN says
> we *should* use. I'm happy to have ICZN govern the priority of genera
> and species, but anything higher (such as family-level names) should
> be turned over to phylogenetic taxonomy. When it comes to
> family-level names, the ICZN is about as useful as a chocolate teapot.
> If researchers want to use Sapeornithidae instead of
> Omnivoropterygidae based on personal (and professional) preference,
> then so be it. Nomenclature should serve scientific endeavor, not the
> other way around. I'm calling bullshit on this priority-at-all-cost
> rationale of the ICZN for family names. If a family name is
> well-established, then stick with it. Sapeornithidae is
> well-established. Tough titties for Omnivoropterygidae.
> So yeah, those are my thoughts. :-)