[Taxacom] barcode of life

Dick Jensen rjensen at saintmarys.edu
Thu Jul 1 12:02:06 CDT 2010



'a set of organisms grouped into two or more species which constitute a genus' 



So, who decides the members of each species?  While we humans may use various algorithms for recognizing these species, it's evolution, operating on the organisms, that determines what the species really are.  If evolution is real, then there must be real entities that evolve.  Most of us think of species as those entities.  Thus, species, as evolving entities, have an existence beyond our ability to imagine.  If no one imagines a species, does that species not exist? Would species exist if there were no human imaginations?  I think they would. 



Dick Jensen  






From: "Paul Kirk" <p.kirk at cabi.org> 
To: "Richard Zander" <Richard.Zander at mobot.org>, "Robin Leech" <releech at telusplanet.net>, "Stephen Thorpe" <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz>, dipteryx at freeler.nl, taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu, "Steve Manning" <sdmanning at asub.edu> 
Sent: Thursday, July 1, 2010 12:00:51 PM 
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] barcode of life 

characteristics of organisms/individuals change through evolution so ... it's 'evolution of the constituent organism of the higher taxon ...' and 'a set of organisms grouped into two or more species which constitute a genus' ... 'organisms/individuals die off ...' and 'the characteristics of the organisms/individuals which define the species which constitute the genus change and thus the genus changes' 
  
I guess that's enough dancing angels for one day :-) 
  
Cheers, 
  
Paul 

________________________________ 

From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu on behalf of Richard Zander 
Sent: Thu 01/07/2010 16:26 
To: Robin Leech; Stephen Thorpe; dipteryx at freeler.nl; taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu; Steve Manning 
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] barcode of life 



I don't think genera and higher categories are necessarily generated by 
"human imagination." There is lots of discussion of evolution of higher 
taxa in the literature. 

Consider a set of species all sharing some fairly neutral generic traits 
(ones that for that bauplan don't affect selection in the different 
environments of the different species). Well suppose all environments 
dry out. All species of the genus that can't take it, die off, the 
remainder survive, and future speciation is necessarily constrained to 
dry habitats. The genus thus evolves. The shared genetic basis is 
mediated by the environment as a kind of "envirosome." 

***************************** 
Richard H. Zander 
Voice: 314-577-0276 
Missouri Botanical Garden 
PO Box 299 
St. Louis, MO 63166-0299 USA 
richard.zander at mobot.org 
Web sites: http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/resbot/ 
and http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/bfna/bfnamenu.htm 
Modern Evolutionary Systematics Web site: 
http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/resbot/21EvSy.htm 
***************************** 

-----Original Message----- 
From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu 
[mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Robin Leech 
Sent: Thursday, July 01, 2010 9:53 AM 
To: Stephen Thorpe; dipteryx at freeler.nl; taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu; 
Steve Manning 
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] barcode of life 

Hi Steve, 
The possible reason is that species are real, and that all categories 
from 
genera on up the hierarchy represent human imagination. 
Robin 

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