new, probably brief subject

Doug Yanega dyanega at POP.UCR.EDU
Mon Oct 11 10:37:16 CDT 1999

Stuart wrote (and, incidentally, Stuart, do you think you could toggle your
HTML function to "off"? Thanks):

>Is this assertion generally agreed upon  by those who advocate the
>Phylogenetic Species Concept?
>As we all know from a host of celebrated crimes, it is not only possible to
>distinguish subspecific variability, but also variability among virtually all
>individuals as well.  Are all individuals, except perhaps identical twins, to
>be regarded as different species simply because they are genetically

It was stated clearly in the seminal paper on the PSC that if there is so
much as ONE character shared by all members of population X that is not
possessed by any members of population Y, then X and Y are separate
terminal taxa (species). Obviously, that one defining character can be a
single base pair. I don't know of any species yet defined on that small a
foundation, but how the PSC interprets such a case is quite unambiguous,
since base pairs *are* characters.


Doug Yanega        Dept. of Entomology         Entomology Research Museum
Univ. of California - Riverside, Riverside, CA 92521
phone: (909) 787-4315 (standard disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
  "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
        is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82

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