Mayr on "What is a Species"

Ken Kinman kinman2 at YAHOO.COM
Thu Apr 22 17:56:36 CDT 2004

Dear All,
      For those who have not read it yet, a paper by Ernst Mayr, 1996 (entitled "What is a Species, and What is Not?") might be of interest.  Philosophy of Science, 63:262-277.  Here is the abstract:

    I analyze a number of widespread misconceptions concerning species.  The species category, defined by a concept, denotes the rank of a species taxon in the Linnaean hierarchy.  Biological species are reproducing isolated from each other, which protects the integrity of their genotypes.  Degree of morphological difference is not an appropriate species definition.  Unequal rates of evolution of different characters and lack of information on the mating potential of isolated populations are the major difficulties in the demarcation of species taxa.

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