[Taxacom] Clade age (was: Taxacom Digest)‏

Richard Pyle deepreef at bishopmuseum.org
Sat Nov 12 10:44:23 CST 2011


> > If it is impossible to work on live specimens then stick your neck out
and
> make a call:
> > "a species is what a competent taxonomist says it is."
>
> This is also true when working on live specimens.

Indeed, this is *always* true.

Here's how Darwin put it:

“Hence, in determining whether a form should be ranked as a species or a
variety, the opinion of naturalists having sound judgment and wide
experience seems the only guide to follow.”

He followed this up with:

“We must, however, in many cases, decide by a majority of naturalists, for
few well-marked and well-known varieties can be named which have not been
ranked as species by at least some competent judges.”

..which translates to:

“A species is what a community of taxonomists says it is.”

Aloha,
Rich



This message is only intended for the addressee named above.  Its contents may be privileged or otherwise protected.  Any unauthorized use, disclosure or copying of this message or its contents is prohibited.  If you have received this message by mistake, please notify us immediately by reply mail or by collect telephone call.  Any personal opinions expressed in this message do not necessarily represent the views of the Bishop Museum.




More information about the Taxacom mailing list