[Taxacom] Paraphyly

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Fri Oct 3 01:33:48 CDT 2014

Ha, I'm up for anything matey! :)

I prefer to discuss the general issue, which seems to be this: what if some human cells mutated into something like an independent new organism (which was totally unlike Homo sapiens in morphology and behaviour, and reproductively isolated from H. sapiens)? Most of the debate on Helacyton gartleri is really a side issue about whether it is an independent new organism or not. But theoretically, we can imagine a case when that is uncontroversially true - it really is an independent new organism. I don't think paraphyly comes into it, because we don't really know how exactly speciation normally occurs, and it might be like this. So, yes, in this imaginary case, we would have a new species of Homo (I would say sister species to H. sapiens), which was morphologically highly aberrant. So, no real theoretical problems with this. To my mind paraphyly only applies to phylogenetic trees with species as terminal nodes, so there is no such thing as a "paraphyletic
 species", but I know others disagree!


On Fri, 3/10/14, Rob Smissen <SmissenR at landcareresearch.co.nz> wrote:

 Subject: [Taxacom] Paraphyly
 To: "taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu" <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
 Received: Friday, 3 October, 2014, 7:17 PM
 While we are on paraphyly, anyone up
 for a few rounds on Helacyton gartleri?
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