"Fuzziness" (Continuity and classification)

John Grehan jrg13 at PSU.EDU
Thu Jul 26 08:57:26 CDT 2001


I may have engaged in a bit of fuzziness myself in having  posted the same
message more than once.


>Bottom line:  The boundaries between "species" (populations of individuals)
>will always be more "fuzzy" and subject to human interpretation than the
>boundary between a parent individual and its offspring individual.

Perhaps.



>Well, I think there is something to debate, and I think the focus of the
>debate boils down to "collective" personal preference.

I appear to be lacking clarity in my thought. I was referring to the
criteria for favoring a particular view. If one's criteria is simply "I
just like it better" then there is nothing to debate in the sense that
people have individual points of view. If, however, there is a criterion
that is specified beyond the personal preference then there is something to
debate (ok - in my opinion). If I just said I like cladograms (or whatever)
because they are appealing then what is there to debate? I have been
confronted with people who say they do not like panbiogeography simply as a
matter of personal preference. In such situations I do not engage in debate
since they are entitled to their view as much as I am mine.

>needs.  It is the personal preference of some that the nomenclature and
>classification should represent strict phylogenies.

Yes, but it is the criteria for these preferences that I find debatable,
not the preference as such.

John Grehan




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