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Re: hmmm


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Posted by troy h on October 17, 2002 at 16:37:39:

In Reply to: Re: hmmm posted by pjay on October 17, 2002 at 13:29:59:


:No, that is unfair to good journals that may not appear on the shelves of most medium to large university libraries becuase they are not published by blackwell, elsevier and the lot. Many quality herp descriptions can be found in Hamadryad, Revista de Biologica Tropical, as well as Australian and European journals that don't get picked up here in the states because of journal cost or language barriers.

possibly, but as often as it is the case where the journal is obscure but good, we have the case where a paper is substandard and published wherever the researcher can find a publisher - its all part and parcel of the "publish or perish" reality of academia.


:Clearly. I'll address this in a post "down-string". p.s. When did J. Herp become the standard bearer for herp taxonomy?

not necessarily saying J. herp is a standard of herp taxonomy (evolution, etc . . . ) but it is not a "substandard journal" either.


:Not the same at all. Try to get a paleo-anthropologist to lump their australopithecines. All results based exclusively on fossil evidence are debateable because we have small sample sizes, potential missing links etc. With living species we can and should do better.

i would and am arguing that since a name change reflects a hypothesis of relationships (i think population A is a distinct species from population B based on this and that data) that it is the same thing. a researcher presents and defends a hypothesis - someone else refutes it or provides it with more supporting data, one way or the other. but a hypothesis, in science, should never be accepted simply because its been published.

: Now that I know that you are aspiring to do this for the rest of your life

actually, i'm not. i "bailed" on getting a ph.d. for lack of funds . . . but i do like to stay up on herp and systematics research as much as possible, and continue to enjoy debates 8^)

: I am surprised by your position. As a systematist you have an investment in "the code" and collegial adherence to taxonomic usage.

why? if someone's research is flawed, i'll say so . . . if their conclusions are flawed, i'll say that to. if it is an organism that i'm actually working with or involved in research on (or writing about in a book), then i'll point out (in a polite a manner as possible) the problems with their research and why i maintain the useage that i do.

: You may someday publish a taxonomic arrangement that is the product of years of hard work and it will hopefully appear in a major journal that is widely read. Your colleagues will read it and most will dismiss it as crap because they didn't write it themselves,

someone who would do this really has no business being involved in science, now do they? dismiss something without evidence to the contrary, i mean. out of spite, or whatever. one should only dismiss something if they have evidence to the contrary. for example, with the elaphe allegheniensis business. obviously, these "species" are interbreeding. ever found an E.obsoleta at the crest of the apalachians? i have. ever found an obsoleta over a mile out into a reservoir or seen it swim a large river? i have. so clearly, the apalachians and the relatively small apalachicola river cannot be barriers to gene flow. in fact, obsoleta from the east and west side of the apalachicola river are identical!

: the rest will likely follow their lead because they don't know any better. If you have done an excellent job and you are lucky, you may see your taxonomic arrangement adopted by some specialists within 5 or 10 years. The public may never fully accept your name regardless of how evolutionarily accurate you perceive your data to be.

1) who cares if the public accepts it or not. or if anyone else does. its not about ego, but rather uncovering the evolutionary history of the taxa you are working with. only in cases where a disappearing, unique population is "hidden" within a large population, and giving that unique population a name helps to preserve it and its biodiversity does it really matter all that much what the public calls it.

: I know many who still use Natrix for Nerodia because they don't care to change.

anyone who hasn't been convinced that the egg-laying natrix and the live-bearing nerodia aren't two different evolutionary lineages isn't concerned with systematics or evolution, and for all practically purposes, they really don't need to change in their usage.

later
troy


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