One origin? (viral evolution)

Curtis Clark jcclark at CSUPOMONA.EDU
Sun Jul 22 11:35:59 CDT 2001

At 10:43 AM 7/22/01, Barbara Ertter wrote:
>Does this mean that Homo sapiens (to use an example!) is paraphyletic
>unless all renegade DNA (aka viruses) are included therein?  Fun!

That actually touches a larger question: should paraphyletic species be
accepted? The peripatric model of speciation virtually assures that the
ancestral species, which continues through the speciation event, becomes
paraphyletic, despite the fact that it might be in no way changed by the
speciation. Is Clarkia biloba paraphyletic because of the origin of Clarkia
lingulata? Most likely. Should it matter? IMO, no.

Note to Ken: This is a completely different issue from paraphyletic higher
taxa. Paraphyletic species are the result of a fairly well understood
natural phenomenon. Paraphyletic higher taxa are the result of human decisions.

Curtis Clark        
Biological Sciences Department             Voice: (909) 869-4062
California State Polytechnic University      FAX: (909) 869-4078
Pomona CA 91768-4032  USA                  jcclark at

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