Message 2003-02-0033: Re: Art. 20

Tue, 25 Feb 2003 12:24:47 -0600

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Date: Tue, 25 Feb 2003 12:24:47 -0600
From: "Jonathan R. Wagner" <>
To: Kirsten Nicholson <>, PhyloCodeList <>, "peter a. cejchan" <>
Subject: Re: Art. 20

It happens: At least one systematist has already published a nearly
comprehensive phylogenetic nomenclatural scheme for a vertebrate group. Said
author was, apparently, offered the opportunity to participate in a group
project with colleagues to establish a consensus nomenclature for at least
part of the tree, but he (here used as the third-person, gender
indeterminate pronoun) chose to go it alone. By strict priority (which will
thankfully be reset), this individual's definitions have priority in an
entire field, and his name is associated with nearly every taxon in that
part of the tree. While few NEW names were coined (this author had already
coined quite a few new names already, many of them nearly redundant), this
certainly enforces that author's preferred nomenclatural scheme. For some
people this is as important as, or more important than, simply having you
name associated with a taxon name.

As for the proposal, I believe that tradition, and scientific good manners,
require us to embrace citation of an author's name with their taxon. For
that reason, it is important to distinguish between the original author and
the author of the phylogenetic definition.

One way to manage monopolizers is to not use their nomenclature. PhyloCode
dictates which name has priority, not whether you HAVE to use a name for a
clade at all. Presumably the Big Book will cover the major names, and give
you enough to work with that you won't have to not use, say, Coleoptera. I
say we should all refuse to use Bobsbigbugsoidea, Marilynstreesales, and
Tomsterribletyrannosauridae. :)


Jonathan R. Wagner
2625-B Alcott Lane
Austin, TX 78748


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