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Questions and answers...


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Posted by Eric on June 25, 2002 at 07:08:42:

In Reply to: Nope... posted by EJ on June 24, 2002 at 19:33:52:

>The rub is not that there needs to be a standard but that why not work on something more realistic and useful to the scientific cummunity world wide. It would seem simpler to work on a standard that would actually be useful to all concerned.

Great we are finally getting to the meat of the argument. I appreciate your questions. Would you please clarify by answering these two questions.

1. Why do you think that Crother et al. 2001 is unrealistic or not useful to the scientific community world wide?

2.What do you propose would be more realistic and useful?

I would suggest that Crother et al. 2001 is useful to the scientific community world wide because standardization of both English and scientific names helps stabilize taxonomy in a good way. Taxonomy will of course still change, but this change will be the result of new knowledge, not the inability to keep track of the current standard name. This list is to help people communicate better in the scientific literature. I think all three major North American herp societies (ASIH, SSAR, HL) have adopted the Crother et al. list. If the editors enforce its use, it will be a success.

As for the other lists you mention. I have not read Frank and Ramus. As far as I know none of the academic herp societies have backed that list.

As for Collins, well that is a big can of worms that I don't want to get into. Let me just say that he was replaced as the chair for the SSAR list and then he went out on his own. Anyone can do this. You could publish your own list, if you like. What really matters is what the societies decide to follow.

I can appreciate it if you feel frustrated because there are 3 "official" lists that may disagree. But no one can prevent anyone from publishing their list. The only thing that matters is what is being published in peer reviewed literature. Only there can taxonomy change. There is also where it should be standardized, and used as a reference for others to follow.


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