clones of fathers
Rodham E. Tulloss
ret at PLUTO.NJCC.COM
Mon Jun 16 23:02:15 CDT 1997
Take a more extreme example. Let's eliminate cloning.
A sexually reproducing species includes at present a male and a female.
The number of offspring that a mating pair normally produce in this species
is rather large. Before an after a particular mating period (at time T),
they always produce(d) offspring that were interfertile with themselves
and others of their species. However, at time T, it happened that certain
of the offspring were affected by a mutation that, while very restricted
in scope molecularly, made some of the offspring in that given generation
intersterile with all others of their species except for their little
group of siblings. This group of siblings is "instantly" (so to speak)
isolated from its parents et al. Perhaps the mutation also made for
a notable character difference (say, a different color on top of the head).
A specialist soon notices this little (but growing) population of creatures
with different colored heads. A little experiment is performed. Hmmm, they
can't mate successfully with members of the species we've known up to now.
At this point, has the species of the (still living) parents changed?
The point is we are not talking about offspring of members of an ancestor
species, but living creatures that were classified in it and have undergone
no change themselves. Are we to say that because we can distinguish them
from the small (but still growing) group of different-colored offspring,
even though no characters of the preceding taxon have changed (none...no
matter what method of classification is used), that we must consider the
parents and their ilk ALSO a new species?
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