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Re: Phil Currie podcast interview + Jurassic dinosaurs

Ben Creisler <bcreisler@gmail.com> wrote:

> Think of the self-published "Amphicoelias brontodiplodocus" of a few
> years back that has not been accepted or acknowledged in the formal
> literature. And maybe even the Raymond Hoser situation in Australia,
> where the self-styled herpetologist's self-published new names for
> taxa are being systematically boycotted by career herpetologists, who
> have called on the ICZN to find a way to render Hoser's names invalid.

Alas, rogue taxonomists will always be with us.  It would be really
helpful if the ICZN would take a firm stance against this practise,
but it's track record on rogue taxonomy is not impressive.  As an
example, the ICZN refused to strike down names coined by certain rogue
taxonomists in the herpetological world:


Rather, it is up to workers in the respective fields to boycott those
genera and species erected by rogue taxonomists.  This is the
'hands-off' approach taken by the ICZN.

In dinosaur paleontology, Ben mentioned "Amphicoelias
brontodiplodocus", which has been ignored by vocational
paleontologists, and therefore (thankfully) has not become entrenched
in the formal literature.  There are other precedents.  Further back,
in the 1990's, an amateur paleontologist and rogue taxonomist named
Stephan Pickering named a slew of new dinosaur genera and species
using self-publication.  All were roundly ignored by vocational
paleontologists... and pretty much everybody else.  As a result, the
names have no currency in the formal literature.  So boycotting rogue
genera and species can work.

Unfortunately, technology has made self-publication much easier.
Firstly, software means that vogue taxonomy can superficially appear
to be of a professional standard.  Secondly, the internet makes it
much easier to disseminate self-published works.  Going forward, the
kind of 'free-lance' rogue taxonomy exemplified by Ulansky &c will
likely become more prevalent.  In other words, it's going to be even
more of a pain in the butt than it is now.