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Re: Taxonomy is a matter of evidence...most of the time


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Posted by WW on October 16, 2002 at 12:15:30:

In Reply to: Re: Taxonomy is a matter of evidence...most of the time posted by pjay on October 15, 2002 at 16:19:49:

:The practice of ignoring legitimate name changes is a widespread problem in herp taxonomy.

An excellent point. Perhaps this is not so much of a problem in herp taxonomy, but it certainly is in other herp-related fields. If you want a nice throwback to 1960s nomenclature, take a look at some current toxinological papers - any contents page of Toxicon will suffice. You's thinlk nobody has done anything in venomous snake taxonomy in the last 30 years.

: The ICZN (not Collins et al or any other list maker) has complicated rules, so when a publication meets those standards the name should stick

That would be an overstatement. The ICZN rules are PROCEDURAL rules that govern cover the format a description for a new taxon has to take, and also govern the priority of names. They say absolutely nothing about the quantity or quality of BIOLOGICAL evidence that has to go behind a taxonomic act. This is a major red herring whichis not infrequently used as a cover for shoddy taxonomic work (it's valid under the ICZN rules, so it must be OK). It's like saying that someone who has never had a traffic ticket must therefore be a good driver - we all know that's rubbish.

Cheers,

Wolfgang



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