Message 2004-10-0027: Re: Panstems

Mon, 13 Sep 2004 00:12:06 -0500

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Date: Mon, 13 Sep 2004 00:12:06 -0500
From: [unknown]
To: Kevin de Queiroz <Dequeiroz.Kevin@NMNH.SI.EDU>
Subject: Re: Panstems

In response to Dr. de Queiroz's points:

I understand that the restrictions to nomenclature now imposed, or in=
to be imposed, by the PhyloCode transcend orthography, as in the case=
conversion of preexisting names. By the same token, the ICZN certainl=
y does=20
more to limit nomenclatural freedom than restrict orthography in the=
strictest sense; if you were to adopt the Anglocentric perspective th=
at a=20
"name" constitutes a particular and unique combination of characters,=
the requirements of Latin grammar adopted within that Code exceed the=
bounds of nomenclatural freedom by requiring certain spellings and ce=
spelling changes. I chose not to highlight these points because you h=
covered some of them, and because I felt that listing every additiona=
instance would make my posting excessively long, cumbersome, and less=
likely to be read carefully.

My point was that the existing codes dictate only *reasonable* limits=
nomenclatural freedom, with notable exceptions. And, yes, I did indee=
d mean=20
to cite "family-group" taxa, and not "families" as such, as you chari=
suggest. I never meant to imply that the ICZN adopts a "Principle of=
Nomenclatural Freedom." I am well aware that it does not, and we are =
complete agreement (as I wrote in my previous post) that freedom abov=
e the=20
family-group level is entirely a result of failure to establish rules=
these ranks. From a "strict constructionalist" perspective, nomenclat=
freedom is *implied*, as I stated. Indeed, apart from the exceptions=
listed, de facto nomenclatural freedom abounds under the ICZN (at lea=

I guess the "strict constructionalist" approach isn't holding up. As =
recall, Thomas Jefferson insisted forcefully that the Bill of Rights =
formally appended to the Constitution, because, unlike his peers, he=
anticipated the day when some of the inalienable rights envisioned hi=
compatriots might not be considered self-evident. I wonder how many o=
phylocoders would not have questioned "nomenclatural freedom" before =
panstem convention was proposed. The point I was trying to make earli=
er was=20
that, rather than simply abrogating nomenclatural freedom, perhaps th=
SHOULD be an article in the PhyloCode establishing the limits of that=
freedom in the document. See my next posts.


At 02:33 PM 9/11/04, you wrote:
> >My responses to JRW's comments.<
>Thanks for the response, and for the thoughtful justification of you=
>position. I guess I feel that taxonomic freedom is somewhat hollow w=
>nomenclatural freedom (apart from orthographic constraints).
> >Orthographic constraints are not the only ones imposed by the=20
> PhyloCode.  For example, you won't be permitted to convert "Dinosau=
> for a clade within snails.  See also my next comment.<
>I believe that
>the ICZN (at least) does grant the latter by default, except at the =
>level, and I think we should too.
> >Don't forget superfamilies, subfamiliies, tribes, and subtribes (o=
> perhaps you meant the family group level).  Also, it's not really=
> accurate to say that the ICZN grants nomenclatural freedom at other=
> (e.g., higher) levels.  For one thing, it does place restrictions o=
n the=20
> form of names (they have to be made up of a single, capitalized wor=
d in=20
> the Latin alphabet).  For another, the reason that the ICZN has few=
> restrictions at higher ranks is because it largely ignores these ra=
> and NOT because it adopts a general principle of nomenclatural free=
> (as evidenced by the restrictions it places on the names of=20
> superfamilies, families, subfamilies, tribes, subtribes, and=20
> nominotypical subgenera and subspecies)..<
>At the very least, I think this issue
>should be addressed in the general, and not just in particular insta=
>That is, the intent to do so should be written into the Code, and if=
 we do
>establish a set of rigid nomenclatural practices, these should be
> >Agreed.  That's why I voted for adopting the Pan- convention as a=
> general rule.  On the other hand, I don't think it's necessary to h=
ave a=20
> standard affix for names associated with every type of definition (=
> branch, apomoprhy, crown, stem, etc.).<
>As for restricting the number of definitional classes, I believe you
>misunderstood my post. I support not restricting definitional types =
> >Glad to hear that!<
>11 Sep 2004


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