[Taxacom] Semantic Web: What is a species?

J. Kirk Fitzhugh kfitzhugh at nhm.org
Fri Jan 30 11:50:45 CST 2009

Interesting. I would apply the term meaningless to the claim that 
species are special, that they can be discerned as anything beyond 
hypotheses of past causal events involving organisms. Attaching the term 
real to species might be relevant, but it's misguided.


Curtis Clark wrote:
> On 2009-01-29 19:54, Kenneth Kinman wrote:
>> And I am tempted to also ask, is a monophyletic
>> (holophyletic) species any "more real" than the paraphyletic mother
>> species that might have given rise to it? 
> These are meaningless terms, as meaningless as saying that an oxygen 
> atom is holophyletic, or determining the valence of a population, or the 
> charge and spin of an ecosystem.

J. Kirk Fitzhugh, Ph.D.
Curator of Polychaetes
Invertebrate Zoology Section
Research & Collections Branch
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
900 Exposition Blvd
Los Angeles CA 90007
Phone: 213-763-3233
FAX: 213-746-2999
e-mail: kfitzhug at nhm.org

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