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Re: Proceedings of the "Quatrième sympos
Here comes Jaime and the semantic police.
Mickey Mortimer writes:
<<A nomen dubium is a taxon that cannot be be diagnosed nor assigned
to a diagnosable taxon. If it's a junior synonym, that's assigned to
a diagnosable taxon. It's not just a word for 'name I don't think is
valid'. Get it right, people.>>
This definition does not occur under any published code of
nomenclature in which the taxa listed can be covered. The ICZN does
have a definition for "nomen dubium," but it is a lot shorter:
"nomen dubium (pl. nomina dubia),
n.A Latin term meaning "a name of unknown or doubtful application"."
I understand the need to have the term mean something grand and
useful; as it is, the ICZN's definition isn't. This is largely due to
practice: the term was often irregularly used, and how a person would
call a taxon by it, and what they would do with the taxon
subsequently, had much variation.
Mickey does have a point: Norman's usage of terms is inappropriate. He
is certainly using "nomen dubium" as a formal suppression tactic, but
suppression is itself an act the ICZN holds as a plenary power, not
one it shares with anyone who can use the term "nomen dubium" for
whatever. We can understand that the author feels that other authors'
taxa are "not useful" and maybe based on a little too much crap, or
only have one autapomorphy, or are defined on an suite of characters
which are unique to the taxon but lack a single, special autapomorphy.
But he cites no work that demonstrates this. Norman is a classic
taxonomist in this case, but shows little effort to validate this
opinion with more rigorous, perhaps mathematic, analysis.
On Thu, Mar 27, 2014 at 4:46 AM, Mickey Mortimer
>> NORMAN, D.B. - On the taxonomy and diversity of Wealden iguanodontian
>> dinosaurs (Ornithischia: Ornithopoda)
> Norman seems not to know what 'nomen dubium' means-
> "Sellacoxa pauli is considered to be a nomen dubium. The latter name should
> be suppressed. The partial skeleton NHMUK R3788 may be referred to the
> hypodigm of Barilium dawsoni."
> Then Sellacoxa is a junior synonym, not a nomen dubium.
> "Huxleysaurus hollingtoniensis is therefore a nomen dubium and its name can
> safely be suppressed. NHMUK R1148 (and a series of additional specimens that
> were given different numbers, but together form an associated set of skeletal
> remains collected at the same time from the same quarry - Norman, in press b)
> has been referred to the hypodigm of Hypselospinus fittoni."
> Then Huxleysaurus is not a nomen dubium, it's a junior synonym of
> "Darwinsaurus evolutionis is a nomen dubium and this name can safely be
> suppressed. The alleged holotype material can be referred Hypselospinus
> fittoni and Mantellisaurus atherfieldensis."
> Again, by definition, that's not a nomen dubium.
> "Dollodon seelyi is therefore a nomen dubium and the name can safely be
> suppressed. The material, which was regarded as the holotype of I. seelyi is
> considered to be referable to the taxon Iguanodon bernissartensis."
> And again. And it continues, for Dollodon bampingi and Mantellodon.
> A nomen dubium is a taxon that cannot be be diagnosed nor assigned to a
> diagnosable taxon. If it's a junior synonym, that's assigned to a
> diagnosable taxon. It's not just a word for 'name I don't think is valid'.
> Get it right, people.
> Mickey Mortimer
Jaime A. Headden
The Bite Stuff: http://qilong.wordpress.com/
"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth" - P. B. Medawar (1969)