subspecies are real
Fri Apr 16 23:18:29 CDT 2004
----- Original Message -----
From: Robin Leech
Subject: Real species
I wonder what I am a subspecies of? Has my species ever been found? I
wonder what my roots are?
"Subspecies OF" -- that is looking for linage, systematic connectivity. It
is a valid want to know. It is totally unrelated to "_I am_ a subspecies".
The thread's operating word is - real. To determine that one would need the
least subjectivity. The singular most problem I see in various regions of
research (questioning) is using the same tools to determine different (and
sometimes mutually exclusively) evolutional states. In my subspeciation
paradigm, the "of" is unimportant - almost a non factor - a necissary evil -
that is where all the subjectivity lies. It doesn't matter much to me what
"species" someone may or may not connect the subspecies to - with - of.
The central matter is that the regional entity is _unique_ (in and of
itself). Unique how? That is up to the researcher to find out. Life is
unique in many varying ways. It is that uniqueness that is tangible (real
/fact) and the basis for recognition.
"Oh, I see that. I didn't notice that before. Now that you've pointed that
out its easy to see the difference." Said the mother as she told her
friend how she tells her twins apart. Then another set of twins -
different character sets - same result - non-subjective delineation. With
the first set of twins it may be a birth mark, and in the second, a voice
nuance. Telling a kid from the dog is a whole different identification
The biggest thing I dislike about the term subspecies is that there is
nothing "sub" (= under or less) about them. It is just the term the ZN Code
happens to use. One has to have the understanding that the term is only
being used to distinguish equal but different components - like two or three
or four ... pieces of the same pie. Each piece (subspecies) is The Pie as
much as any other section, and no piece is any more The Pie than the others.
Thus, in species where only one "subspecies" is recognized in the "species",
that one "species" ( Aus wus ) is actually a subspecies ( Aus wus wus )
with no known (past or current or future) sisters. But if evolution is
real, then the sisters are merely unknown (past and future) or undiscovered
(present). We call the past sister "mother" and the future sister
"daughter" but there are only sisters all. I contend that before any
species reached that "rank /state" it was a sister (subspecies ) with a
conger first - unless we embrace its creation as is. I think people see
species as a plateau only. While subspecies are both a plateau and the step
between plateaus. - And is not everything in an "in-between state"? (Which
is why "species" are not real.) IF so, then everything is a subspecies -
unique (currently stable reproductively as a small group) step/plateau in
the evolution of creatures.
I am not concerned much with trunks and branches (much of which are dead and
gone). I am concerned with the twigs and leaves - what is. Further, what
is behind is less and what in now and ahead is more - diversity. The last I
checked, the living world is still expanding (diversifying). In this age
of knowing the need for conservation (which depends on recognition of
organisms and their niche needs) it is appalling that so many seem bent on
lumping (stuffing) so much organic diversity back into some superspecies
amalgam and proclaiming THAT as real.
Species and subspecies are very different and must be assessed an defined by
different means and methods. Well, this is long enough and semi -
thinking-out-loud or venting even as I get frustrated by the arguments
against subspeciation by those who don't have a clue of how to determine it.
It's like a color blind person saying the traffic light is red when it is
I wrote some perspectives on this and it can be found at our web site's
Taxonomic Report section.
http://tils-ttr.org/report01.html click on Vol. 2 # 2. Its the first few
section of the paper. This is all just FYI for edification or a few good
laughs - depending on one's leanings. I just thought I'd jump in a bit as
the "real species" thread had just about everything else in it but this -
only subspecies, as the lowest denominator above individual specimens, is
the most real. One just has to figure them out - and without the easy aids
of DNA, genitalia, and other such tool that only apply to subspecies in
aiding to identify sister affinity - not delineation characteristics.
Have a good weekend. I shall retreat back to work (both jobs) and family.
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