[Taxacom] New systematics book

Curtis Clark lists at curtisclark.org
Tue Sep 10 16:41:46 CDT 2013

On 2013-09-10 12:02 AM, JF Mate wrote:
> If we had access to fossils for every species that has ever lived our
> classifications would be one large list of species names. And if we had
> access to fossils of all populations of every species that has ever lived
> we probably wouldn´t have species either.

In my view, this is specious (in the classical meaning of the word). 
This would leave us with a taxonomy defined by what we don't know, which 
would be travesty beyond measure.

One point of grouping by synapomorphy is that one can have groups in the 
absence of gaps. And a purpose for studying speciation is to understand 
species as evolutionary units (my favorite definition of phylogeny is 
"genealogy of species").

In general, transitional forms are statistically insignificant. Remember 
that punctuated equilibrium was the application of peripatric speciation 
to the fossil record, and it was an explanation for the paucity of 
transitional forms.

Curtis Clark        http://www.csupomona.edu/~jcclark
Biological Sciences                   +1 909 869 4140
Cal Poly Pomona, Pomona CA 91768

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