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Re: Questions and answers...


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Posted by Travis on June 26, 2002 at 12:51:36:

In Reply to: Re: Questions and answers... posted by Eric on June 26, 2002 at 12:01:53:

Eric,

> Yes the popular literature and vernacular can
> benefit from this, but if we don't adopt it in
> scientific literature why would they? Standard
> lists cannot be enforced in the the popular
> literature or in the vernacular. Anyone can
> publish a list. On the other hand IF the
> societies and the editors choose to do so they
> can enforce one in the scientific literature,
> then the popular literature and vernacular can
> follow. Maybe this is a matter of opinion. But
> that is mine and I'm sticking to it.

I would agree (somewhat) as to how you have stated the above, however it seems to be a shift from your previous postings. And yes, you're right, it is only my opinion.

> Like I said, IF the editors use one list it
> will be successful. If they don't then we are
> skuck right here arguing over whose list is
> better. Yuck!

I would argue that the Big 3 isn't as big as you think. And their mandate doesn't guarantee success, at least by the criteria I would use. Perhaps, the correct thing to do, is argue which list is better.
As 'Will' has done in his postings to this forum. I don't agree with his pluralistic view in selecting names from each, but he does point out several examples in which he thinks each list fails with respect to the herpetofauana of California.

> > Yet, since the Big 3 are publishers of one of
> > the competing lists, you reasoning appears
> > circular. In effect, a restatement of its only
> > premise.

> Premise: We as scientists who write for
> journals published by the big three, in order
> to better communicate, I think we should follow
> the standard names list that is backed by
> the "Big 3"
> Premise: Crother et al. is backed by the big
> three.
> _____________________________________________
> Conclusion: We should follow Crother et al.
> There is no circularity in this argument.

In addition to circularity, I would also add a fallacy of relevance in your appeal to authority or popularity. Not that this isn't to be expected, it is however, in my opinion, flawed. Surely, a discussion of the merit of each would be a better criterion upon which to stand.

> The big three are backing the Crother et al.
> list not because they published it, they
> published it because they think it is worth
> backing. Am I wrong on this one?

I really don't know. Are you?

Best,

Travis



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