[Taxacom] Reproducibility of descriptive data

Stephen Thorpe s.thorpe at auckland.ac.nz
Wed Sep 9 19:02:06 CDT 2009

I don't think I need to have an answer to that! The context of this whole discussion is twofold:
(1) I am reacting against (my interpretation of) certain comments by Richard Pyle to the effect that there is no "reality" to species (i.e. that they are just like genera in this regard); and
(2) I am reacting against (my interpretation of) certain comments by certain bioinformatics people to the effect that a (species) name means little or nothing without a SPECIFICATION of an accompanying species concept, which they seem to equate with a species description!
Question: how many uses of a species name in the literature are accompanied by a specification of exactly what level of interbreeding/fertility of offspring is allowable? Answer: none!
So the main point I am trying to make is that there is a HUGE difference in kind between genera and species, namely that the latter is grounded in scientific facts, while the former is determined only (subject to monophyly) by subjective choice/opinion/convention/usage ...


From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu [taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Mary Barkworth [Mary at biology.usu.edu]
Sent: Thursday, 10 September 2009 11:46 a.m.
To: Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Reproducibility of descriptive data

So what is your answer? Once every five years? Ten years? 100 years?
1000 years? And fertility of offspring - 100%? 5%? 1% And are people
that disagree - preferring 20% - wrong?


Taxacom Mailing List
Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu

The Taxacom archive going back to 1992 may be searched with either of these methods:

(1) http://taxacom.markmail.org

Or (2) a Google search specified as:  site:mailman.nhm.ku.edu/pipermail/taxacom  your search terms here

More information about the Taxacom mailing list