new, probably brief subject

Dr. Neil Snow nsnow at BENTLEY.UNCO.EDU
Mon Oct 11 12:19:57 CDT 1999

For those interested in this thread, I had to grapple with these issues as a
working taxonomist and wrote out my approach in some detail in Austrobaileya 5:
1-8 (1997).  The paper covers the P.S.C.and  the philosophical rational of whether
it is useful to recognize infraspecific taxa.

N. Snow

Doug Yanega wrote:

> 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
> >distinguishable?
> 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.
> Peace,
> 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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