[Taxacom] The reality of species boundaries----blah, blah, blah.

Kenneth Kinman kennethkinman at webtv.net
Tue Sep 15 22:26:46 CDT 2009

Dear All,
      I think the overall conclusion is that species boundaries are both
fuzzy and controversial (no big surprise), but more importantly that
their fuzzy boundaries are evidenced by different sets of
characteristics in various taxa.  Even among metazoans, differences in
genitalia is going to be important for some groups and  totally
irrelevant in others.  Same goes for the relative importance of gene
sequences vs. expressed morphologies.  It really varies greatly  from
group to group.          
      Basically I am saying that two people can endlessly argue about
genitalia or gene sequences until the cows come home, and neither might
be right or wrong when it comes to any particular taxon.  Two people can
argue with experiences with two very different sets of organisms and
come to COMPLETELY different conclusions on what is more important. I
say "viva la difference", and who knows what might be most important for
any particular eukaryotes.  Prokaryotes are a whole different ballgame
(where genetics very often tends to be a greater factor).  
P.S.  I second Bob's irritation that certain people never seem to have
the courtesy of trimming the extraneous (often lengthy) ends of previous
posts that have no value whatsoever other than making it more difficult
to scan through even the digests (which thus unnecessarily go on and on
and on).  The worst offender seems to also be the same person who rails
at others "personalities" and fails to question what may well be his own
personality quirks that clearly pit him against so many others.  You can
have some great ideas and still be your own worst enemy when you
unncessarily rail against so many others and present very few concrete
classifications of your own.  Criticisms should be accompanied by
concrete alternatives in the form of phylogenies or classifications.
Otherwise you just come across as a contrarian (backseat driver or
Monday morning quarterback) with little to offer in return beyond a
seemingly endless litany of complaints and accusations.  A little
humility and empathy with the feelings of others would be helpful.

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