[Taxacom] OMG! DNA only descriptions (with one habitus photo)!

Thomas Pape tpape at snm.ku.dk
Thu Jul 25 17:03:57 CDT 2019


>>> all we have here is one photo of possibly limited diagnostic value and a DNA sequence for that same individual

This is by itself very useful. And the specimen can be consulted for further documentation.
For many of the new species there are several specimens considered to be conspecific, although these are not documented with neither barcode nor photo. Great baseline data.

Neal quoted Andy Brower for "... simply because species can be identified and publicized on the basis of a few nucleotide differences it does not mean that they should be".
The question is how much (and which kind of) data we think is sufficient to justify the proposal of a scientific species-group name.
No straight answer.

/Thomas Pape


-----Original Message-----
From: Taxacom <taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu> On Behalf Of Stephen Thorpe via Taxacom
Sent: 25. juli 2019 23:28
To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu; Kirk Fitzhugh <kfitzhugh at nhm.org>
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] OMG! DNA only descriptions (with one habitus photo)!

 One of my main worries with this approach is that it seems pretty obvious that they are basing their judgements of species distinctions on a cursory and superficial morphological examination and then assuming that the associated DNA profiles define species! Obviously, however, every individual organism has a different DNA profile, and I doubt that any categorical genetic genetic distance between speciesĀ applies across the board, so, when all said and done, all we have here is one photo of possibly limited diagnostic value and a DNA sequence for that same individual! This is not taxonomy as we know it! They should have known that DNA really stands for Do Not Attempt!
Stephen
    On Thursday, 25 July 2019, 08:19:46 pm UTC, Kirk Fitzhugh via Taxacom <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu> wrote:  
 
 Revolutionary? Not at all. Especially given the largely toothless opinions regarding species and taxa overall that permeate biology. This is just another instance of technology driving science at the expense of the established principles upon which science is supposed to be based.


On Thu, Jul 25, 2019 at 12:51 PM Stephen Thorpe via Taxacom < taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu> wrote:

> https://dez.pensoft.net/article/34683/
>
> Yikes!
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--
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
J. Kirk Fitzhugh, Ph.D.
Curator of Polychaetes
Invertebrate Zoology Section
Research & Collections Branch
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
900 Exposition Blvd
Los Angeles CA 90007
Phone: 213-763-3233
FAX: 213-746-2999
e-mail: kfitzhug at nhm.org
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