[Taxacom] [tdwg] Semantic Web: What is a species?

Karl Magnacca kmagnacca at wesleyan.edu
Mon Jan 26 09:53:35 CST 2009

On Mon, January 26, 2009 3:32 pm, Richard Zander wrote:
> Gould (in his "Foundations") provides a summary of thinking that
> supports the idea that higher categories evolve and may be treated
> evolutionarily like individuals. Genera and families are then rather
> real.

I'd have to go look it up, but that seems like a big stretch, especially
given the vast differences between what are considered genera and
families in different taxa.  A big part of the issue is why genera and
families should be any different from any other clade or paraphyletic
(phenetic) grouping.

> Maybe not real like the table between two beer drinkers, who hear each
> others glass thump when they put it down, but more real than the stories
> they tell each other.

The thump may be heard, but how can one be sure the other person is
really there? (e.g., Are You Drinking With Me, Jesus?, by Mojo Nixon :-)

Karl Magnacca
Postdoctoral Researcher
Department of Zoology
Trinity College, Dublin 2

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