Clements names

Subject: Clements names
From: Carl Clifford <>
Date: Sun, 6 Jan 2008 23:08:59 +1100
Did they have any option but accept? With only 4 out of the 10 members and 1 of the 6 Technical Advisors of the South American Classification Committee (SACC) from "south of the border" and representing only 3 countries in South and Central America it is hardly representative of the Continent.

My point is that the AOU and the ABA have an unhealthy attitude to the rest of the Ornithological world, rather like the attitude of the US government towards the UN. There is an international body to guide avian nomenclature and while not perfect, should not be undermined by cow-boyish decisions made with little consultation with the rest of the Ornithological world, often with little basis. An example is the rejection by the AOC of the IOC recommendation in 2007 to remove hyphens from 126 compound group names on the grounds that it "would de- stabilize world Ornithology" Really? Ornithology should be treated like a science, not an extension of of American foreign policy. We all know where that is taking us.

On the subject of Professor Van Remsen, I do not remember saying anything about, let alone denigrate his research. He is a brilliant scientist and deserves great respect for it.

Carl Clifford

On 07/01/2008, at 8:10 PM, Andrew Taylor wrote:

On Sun, Jan 06, 2008 at 04:56:34PM +1100, Carl Clifford wrote:
Seeing as the official language in Belize is English* and is a British colony,
I can not imagine why they would  object to
English language common names. They may object to them being
imposed by the Americans though.

Indeed English is spoken in Belize which was the point of my attempt at
humour (but it became independent from Britain in 1981).  Its possible
they there is anti-SACC feeling in Belize but I rather doubt they resent
Van Remsen and other US members of SACC choosing English common names
(or the Brazilian, Argentinian, Columbian & Chilean members of SACC).

Incidentally I heard Van Remsen give an impressive & sweeping talk
on hummingbird taxonomy last year - easy to see how he got the job
chairing SACC.


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