Mayr on "What is a Species"
Mon Apr 26 15:31:05 CDT 2004
----- Original Message -----
From: Richard Pyle
To: TAXACOM at LISTSERV.NHM.KU.EDU
Sent: Monday, April 26, 2004 3:03 PM
Subject: Re: Mayr on "What is a Species"
"here-and-now" interconnectedness? When I think of the word "population", I
infer a set of individuals joined by genetic heritage. And as such, I find
it hard to think of a population without also including the dead ones.
This is a logical thought at face value. I consider the local population to
extend beyond the local flock and to the other reproductively "same" flocks
in breeding interconnectedness. And, when individuals die in current and
near time, I think of them as the "same thing" also. But that natural line
of reasoning is flawed because I have to practically consider that _if_ I
continue viewing the dead as part of the living _then_ I have placed myself
into a totally subjective assessment (and indefensible argument) of where
that connectedness ends... 10 seconds, 10 days, 10 years, 10 centuries...
Herein lies our question - are "species" real. Not if we connect them to
_anything_ beyond the least common denominator - living and local. After
that, subjectivity (un-real) only increases. And what do we call those
living and local populations? Thingies? :-) How about a zoological (or
botanical) taxon. A few posts of mine back I posed the word "taxon" as
perhaps better than "species" (or subspecies).
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