: Real species and ideology

Ron at Ron at
Wed Apr 21 16:21:43 CDT 2004

----- Original Message -----
From: Richard Pyle
Sent: Wednesday, April 21, 2004 4:12 AM
Subject: Re: : Real species and ideology

....... Pretty soon one realizes that the whole notion of taxonomic
ranks is what condemns the taxa described within the ranked framework to be
necessarily "artificial".


Key word to me is "within".   That which is within is not artificial
(assuming the author has delineated what _self evident_ character states of
the organism manifest it to fit within said humanly devised rank).  Within,
is simply distinct from that which is without.  If there is a without, then
there is a within - making neither "artificial".  That which is within
should not be subject to veto by that which is without - other proximate
evolutional states - past or present.  Gray does not negate the reality of
the black and white to which it adjoins.  Our "now" assessment extends far
beyond our own life span or 200 years of the Linnaean system.   Our
knowledge of biogeographical evolution enables us to at least pretty
accurately _know_ what has been going on since the Wisconsin with the vast
majority of the biota.   If / then is the foundation of all science.  If
evolution is an overall slow process - then any present observable Within
(=taxon) (in Code parameters) has been in that state for thousands of years.
THAT "within" state  is not artificial - it is observable - testable - fact.

Thus, subspecies are real and also the most real organic units (within ICZN
ranks) because they are the smallest specifically delineated groups
(segregates) of individuals.  Evolution occurs from the individua out - or
up.  The first "out/up" within the Code is subspecies.  How people minimize
or ignore them is beyond me.   Perhaps if subspecies had not began to be
abandoned or relegated to obscurity 40-50 years ago, the rankless,
base-entity philosophy of PhyloCode would not have so easily found a

Ron Gatrelle

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