Why is the philosophy of Phylocode not universal?

The main difference between the ICZN Code and Phylocode is philosophical. PC assumes adherence to a particular philosophy of phylogenetic definitions which underpin the way it requires scientists to define and hence name clades, whereas, the ICZN Code is independent as far as possible of scientific (and especially taxonomic) judgments. This is very clear from the Introduction which says “The … Code…, has one fundamental aim, which is to provide the maximum universality and continuity in the scientific names of animals compatible with the freedom of scientists to classify animals according to taxonomic judgements” and principles 1-4 go on to say that the Code should refrain from “infringing on taxonomic judgement” or “taxonomic freedom”. The reason why this is so important is because it allows the Code to be universal, i.e. used by all scientists as the standard way of communicating scientific names. PC cannot be used this way because those who did not share the phylogenetic philosophy would not be able to use it, at least without compromising their scientific independence. The past 100 years have shown that the Code has been able to accommodate the numerous schools of taxonomic philosophy that have come and gone, and there is no reason why it cannot satisfactorily accommodate phylogenetics. Indeed most phylogenetic taxonomists (the vast majority of taxonomists today) do use the Code. No doubt the philosophy of PC will come and go the way other such philosophies have done in the past. In connection with this, another difference is that the ICZN takes commissioners from any taxonomic philosophy and with no membership criteria, whereas the Committee on Phylogenetic Nomenclature (CPN) members are elected only from the International Society of Phylogenetic Nomenclature, which although it says it has no membership restrictions, its stated purpose is to promote a specific phylogenetic nomenclature, an aim which would exclude many from wishing to be members.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith