Message 2001-06-0112: Re: finalization of PhyloCode "behind closed doors"

Sun, 20 May 2001 08:40:56 -0400

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Date: Sun, 20 May 2001 08:40:56 -0400
From: Philip Cantino <>
Subject: Re: finalization of PhyloCode "behind closed doors"

>At 08:25 AM 5/18/01 -0400, Philip Cantino wrote [regarding forebearance of
>conversion of genus names):
>   >No, it isn't being seriously considered.  A clade is a clade,

Jonathan Wagner wrote:

>          I must admit that I am a bit taken aback by this. As the author of
>this (one of these?) proposal(s), I am interested in knowing who determines
>that it is not being seriously considered? There was, to my knowledge, no
>final discussion of why it was not to be considered, and I was not informed
>of any official decision on the matter.
>          Is the PhyloCode being finalized behind closed doors?

Perhaps I made too strong an assertion in saying that excluding genus
names from the first implementation of the PhyloCode was not being
seriously considered.  All I meant is that I was unaware of any
member of the PhyloCode advisory group espousing this view.  Perhaps
I am mistaken about this, in which case the persons (if any) who
support this view should speak up.  Most (and perhaps all) members of
the advisory group are also subscribers to this listserver, and I
wish many of them would participate more actively in the discussions
(some, such as Kevin, have of course participated regularly, but
others rarely or never do).  Too often, I find myself having to act
as spokesman for the group because no one else speaks up, though I am
just one member and have not been asked to serve this role.

An important function of this listserver is to inform the advisory
group about the views of a much broader segment of the systematics
community--including many potential users of the PhyloCode but also
(as we have recently seen) some opponents.  At some point (in the not
too distant future, I hope), the advisory group will meet again and
decide how to proceed.  The discussions that have occurred in the
meanwhile, on this listserver and elsewhere (e.g., at SSB/SSE and
other professional society meetings) will undoubtedly be taken into
consideration in all future decisions of the advisory group.

The PhyloCode is not being finalized behind closed doors.  It is my
understanding that, before the PhyloCode is implemented, a Society of
Phylogenetic Nomenclature will be established (see Art. 21), one
committee of which will be the International Committee on
Phylogenetic Nomenclature (ICPN).  The Society will be open to anyone
who wants to join.  The ICPN will be elected by the membership of the
Society.  The ICPN will have the power and responsibility to amend
provisions of the PhyloCode and produce future editions.
Presumably, the ICPN will also have to approve the first edition of
the code before it is implemented.  (Although the latter point is not
specifically stated in Art. 21, this is my understanding.  If I am
wrong about this, I hope someone on the advisory group will correct


Philip D. Cantino
Professor and Chair
Department of Environmental and Plant Biology
Ohio University
Athens, OH 45701-2979

Phone: (740) 593-1128; 593-1126
Fax: (740) 593-1130


Feedback to <> is welcome!