Saturday, April 16, 2005

ENV: Two national taxonomy stories!

Yesterday we had the Golden Palace Monkey garbage. Of course, on that, the IUCZN has ruled on the scientific name, and it's basically fine except for the sleaze involved. However, the committee has no oversight over the common name, which i'm hoping the scientific and amateur communities reject outright in publication. The monkey can't be copyrighted, patented or trademarked -- at least not yet.

Unless, the scientific community kisses up to politicians the way today's story tells. If so, who knows what might happen.

In today's story two British (lousy excuse) biologists named three beetles for three of the US's top three morons in office. On the surface it's disgusting. I was hoping it was an inside joke based on the fact that the three critters were slime-mold beetles. It's a shame they weren't just slime-molds. Or based on the idea that the three bugs were evolutionary products of some primordial slime-mold eater. But it looks not . . .

"We admire these leaders as fellow citizens who have the courage of their
convictions and are willing to do the very difficult and unpopular work of
living up to principles of freedom and democracy rather than accepting the
expedient or popular," he said.

Oh, the horror, the horror.

However, seeing that the bugs will now forever carry the epithets bushii, cheneyi and rumsfieldi, i feel a certain resignation and sadness washing across me.

You'd get it if some big company named a shoddy product after the three, but biologists!? Is there no shame anymore.

All i can say is that the once proud and honorable profession of systematics has taken a double hit in the last couple of days and must dig out of these dark, dark times.

Read the two crappy announcements here:

Slime-mold beetles named for US politicians fromCNN

Golden Palace Casino buys monkey name from MSNBC

Update, 15 June 2005: Here's two posts that further comment on the naming of the beetles . . .

From Pharyngula

From Seago and Seago


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